Thirty Percent of Eligible GM Buyers Return Cars

November 25th, 2009

arnold_schwarzeneggerWhat’s the bigger news here: Arnold Schwarzenegger parking illegally, or 30 percent of GM’s 60-day money-back guarantee customers returning their cars?

Well, it seems like the Web loves a good Governator controversy. TMZ posted photos, the one here included, of the Governor getting into his Porsche 911 that was parked in a red zone. That’s a $90 ticket for civilians, but it looks like the big man got off free of charge. That story, at last count, had generated 88 heated comments, many of which pointed out that Arnold’s car also is missing the required front license plate.

I tend to think that if you’re a governor, you should get perks that include free parking wherever you want. But whatever.

The bigger news, I think, is a story published over at Leftlane saying about 30 percent of GM buyers are returning their cars under the 60-day money-back guarantee program. The last time we checked on the stats, only one buyer had made a return.

Now, we need to clarify some numbers here. Since GM launched the guarantee program, the company has sold about 220,000 vehicles. However, only 653 buyers have accepted the guarantee (the others took an additional $500 off the sales price). Of those 653 people, 193 have returned their cars for a refund. So really, GM is dealing with a very small fraction of returned cars while gaining public trust just by offering the guarantee. That seems like smart marketing and money well spent to me!

Also, GM is using the opportunity to have execs personally call each person who returned a car to ask for feedback. To me, such actions are evidence that GM really cares about improving its quality and building world-class vehicles.

Now, if GM really wants to succeed, it’ll sign Schwarzenegger to an endorsement deal and require him to park his all-new Chevy Malibu only in clearly marked spaces.

So what’s the bigger news: Schwarzenegger’s parking skills or GM cars getting returned?

-tgriffith

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