60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee From GM

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Here’s an interesting development from General Motors, they’ve decided to offer a “60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee” on new cars purchased. It’s more than a warranty, and the full details have not been released by The General yet, but it’s an interesting idea. Will other car manufacturers follow GM’s lead on this, or will it be seen as a sign of desperation to win over car buyers?

GM is calling it the ‘May the Best Car Win’ marketing effort, and they’re hoping it will show the car company’s confidence in the quality and durability of its cars and trucks. Head Automoblog guy Chris noticed an interesting wrinkle right off the bat. He noticed that the guarantee is for “between 31-60 days” and not “within 60 days,” and speculated that provision is there to give buyer’s remorse some time to wear off.

That could very easily be, and also why someone hasn’t done something like this before. You could see waves of returns due to bad press for example, causing huge losses only to have the negative press turn out to be erroneous or some such.

Anyway, GM says that “The guarantee allows customers to return their vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund of the purchase price for the vehicle.” Strange gap aside, that is a pretty unprecedented offer from a car manufacturer.

Remember that scene from “Breaking Away” where the kid tells his used car lot dad that he should give a customer a refund and take the car back, only to send the dad into some sort of near coma screaming “REFUND?! REFUND?! REFUND?!”.

Even Bob Lutz is OK with the program:

“We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices – that’s what makes an offer like this possible. The Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon, the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, for instance, are all outstanding new products. This new marketing effort should help us communicate these facts to consumers,” according to the GM vice chairman, Marketing and Communications.

Lutz also went on to say that “We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul.”

The current list of details goes something like this:

It applies to 2009 and 2010 Model Year Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (except medium duty trucks), and is limited to one per household. There’s that “between 31 and 60 days” thing, and the car has to have less than 4,000 miles. you have to take delivery by November 30 of this year and the Satisfaction Guarantee covers the vehicle purchase price and sales tax, but not other add-ons like accessories, negative equity on a trade-in or other fees. And leased vehicles are not included.

Here’s the full GM press release:

GM Launches 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee; Offer Bolsters Campaign to Earn Consumer Confidence

· ‘May the Best Car Win’ marketing effort demonstrates GM’s confidence in the quality, durability of its cars, trucks and crossovers

· 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year vehicles

· Builds on 100,000-mile/five-year powertrain warranty

· Covers all vehicles sold by Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac

· Program runs Sept. 14 through Nov. 30

DETROIT – General Motors announced today that it will offer a Satisfaction Guarantee to eligible buyers of new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The guarantee allows customers to return their vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund of the purchase price for the vehicle.

The announcement is part of a larger “May the Best Car Win” marketing campaign that demonstrates GM’s confidence in its vehicles when compared head-to-head with the most competitive vehicles in each vehicle segment.

The new Satisfaction Guarantee bolsters GM’s existing industry-leading consumer coverage, which includes a transferrable100,000-mile/five-year (whichever comes first) limited powertrain warranty, roadside assistance and courtesy transportation.

“We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices – that’s what makes an offer like this possible,” said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, Marketing and Communications. “The Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon, the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, for instance, are all outstanding new products. This new marketing effort should help us communicate these facts to consumers.

“We know that we’ll need to work very hard to get people’s attention and encourage them to give Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC a try. We think the ‘May the Best Car Win’ campaign and the Satisfaction Guarantee offer should help re-instill confidence in the excellence of our products. We’re putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don’t absolutely love it, we’ll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul,” Lutz said.

Details of GM’s new Satisfaction Guarantee:

· Offer covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (except medium duty trucks)

· Customers (one per household) can return their vehicle between 31 and 60 days with less than 4,000 miles

· Customers will be informed in writing before they buy the vehicle of the terms of the Satisfaction Guarantee

· Customers must take delivery by Nov. 30

· The Satisfaction Guarantee covers the vehicle purchase price and sales tax, but not other add-ons like accessories, negative equity on a trade-in or other fees; other restrictions apply

· Leased vehicles are not included

· More details are available beginning Sunday, Sept. 13, online at [Chevy][Buick][Cadillac][GMC].com/guarantee

About General Motors: General Motors Company, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 219,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors Company acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com

Photo from Flickr user

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric “systems.” He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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