Update #1 Feb-16-2010:
We've talked to GM several times today about this incentive. It only applies to the 2004-07 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid.
GM is offering a $5,000 new-vehicle trade-in loyalty bonus for owners. It can be combined with GM's other current cash or finance offers. Owners must take advantage of the offer before April 1.
The original Silverado gas-electric pickup was a so-called ‘mild’ hybrid. It paired a 42-volt electric motor with a 5.3-liter V-8, but the electric motor never turned the wheels, like today's . Instead, the motor was leveraged at full stops to provide power to internal systems for creature comforts like XM satellite radio and a dual-zone climate controlled AC while the gas engine was shut off to save fuel. When you lifted your foot from the brake or applied a light touch to the accelerator, the V-8 powered right back up.
The 2004-07 Hybrid could also be used as a giant portable generator. The electric motor could provide 120-volt, 20-amp power for up to 32 hours on a full tank of gas when it was run off the three batteries stowed under the rear bench seat.
The loyalty offer is good toward the purchase of almost any GM vehicle, including the 638-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, if you're looking to get out of a pickup truck. In that case, we'd forgive you if you did.