Uh-Oh: Some GM Dealers Not Liking 60-Day Guarantee

September 22nd, 2009
Cadillac: Too good for a money-back guarantee?

Cadillac: Too good for a money-back guarantee?

Here’s a troubling sign:

Some GM dealers are opting out of GM’s just-launched 60-day money- back guarantee program.

According to 24/7 Wall St., 149 of GM’s 4,000 dealers are saying ‘no thanks’ to the program that allows customers to return their cars after 30 days of ownership. Reasons cited by those dealers are:

1. They dislike the new ad campaign promoting the 60-day promotion. The campaign TV commercials star new GM Chairman Ed Whitacre, former head of AT&T (T). Whitacre has no experience in the auto industry.

2. Dealers believe that they are running financial risks by taking cars back from customers. Whether this is true or not is hard to tell. Some dealers are worried that once they pay customers it may take time for them to get money from GM.

3. Higher end dealers, particularly those who sell Cadillacs, believe that the marketing program is a sign of desperation that cheapens the brand.

While only about four percent of dealers are opting out (so far), the fact that they are concerned is worthy of our attention. Perhaps those dealers don’t have the same confidence in their cars that corporate GM seems to have, and foresee too many returns.

The promotion is indeed a sign of desperation, but it’s also a sign of a corporate behemoth asking the American public for our trust back.  I for one am glad to see GM humbled  to the point of sticking up for itself and proving its worth, rather than assuming people will buy its cars no matter what.

GM will have to work hard to earn our trust and prove its products are competitive with other brands, but dealers have to be on board for the promotion to work. I hope the majority of dealers stand up behind the General and work just as hard to prove the cars they sell are worthy of our attention.

I say the American public, not GM dealers, should be the ones who decide if General Motors has told the truth this time around.

Should GM dealers opt out of GM’s money-back promotion?

-tgriffith

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  1. randy
    | #1

    This is yet another sign of GM’s desperation to change public perception that they are not up to the standards of foreign competitors. It’s already backfired because GM vehicles ARE of lower quality than the competition, as can be seen from any organization that rates and reviews vehicles, so the public perception is deserved. Even big names like JD Powers are suspect because GM and GM dealers deluge customers with coaching and badgering to give top marks for sales and early ownership surveys. After the last GM vehicle I bought, I was constantly badgered with calls, cards and letters urging me to give perfect ratings. In other words, these surveys are suspect. As for my ownership experience…. Well, the car had many minor defects and at least one major one- The Chinese engine’s top end was rapidly breaking down and I was happy to get rid of it recently. Don’t fall for these phony GM hype programs because the quality of a vehicle reveals itself over several years of ownership, not the first 60 days.

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