Oh, how I love spending a sleepy Sunday afternoon watching the Seattle Seahawks beat up on a division rival. Yes, football season brings great happiness in my house. It also brings a glut of new car commercials.
Most of the advertising this Sunday brought your typical car-ad fare: Denis Leary ranted for 30 seconds at a time about new Ford pickups, Hyundai offered new discounts to drive showroom traffic, you know – the usual.
What was unusual, though, was this ad, the announcement from new GM chairman Ed Whitacre that we thought was coming Monday about a money-back guarantee.
Pretty confident spot, isn’t it? Whitacre strolls past future GM models (see the Chevy Spark? Cadillac Converj and ATS?) while calmly telling us that his company’s cars will beat out any other car from any other automaker. That’s a pretty bold statement if you ask me, but I have to say I like the attitude, and I like the money-back guarantee.
Naturally, as soon as I saw the ad, I leaped to the computer to read the fine print of the offer (the Seahawks were up 28-0, so I figured I wouldn’t miss much), and what I saw there was also impressive:
GM really will refund you the full purchase price of your car, including sales tax, if you are not satisfied with it after 30 days. You won’t get your title, registration, and other dealer fees back, but overall, a customer who returns a car won’t be out too much dough.
Also, owners need to be careful not to rack up more than 4,000 miles or cause more than $200 worth of damage in those 30-60 days, or GM won’t take the car back. (There goes my Corvette plan.)
General Motors desperately needs to build trust, and I applaud Whitacre for taking a drastic measure to begin building that trust. I’ve been pretty hard on the company, both on its cars and management, but if this new confident attitude carries on and the future cars are as good as promised, I might be ready to give them all another chance.
While the initial launch of this program is causing buzz, it’ll be interesting to see if it actually increases sales. The program will run September 14 through November 30.
If you are considering a new car, does GM’s offer change anything for you?