Just as General Motors exited bankruptcy, it rolled out a new campaign called “Let the Best Car Win.” Part of the promotion included a 60-day return policy, wherein a buyer could bring back a purchased GM vehicle for a refund if he or she became unhappy with it.
The return rate was a mere 1% or so, which showed a pretty high level of satisfaction for GM’s cars. Or at least it showed a level of satisfaction that was good enough to avoid the trouble of starting the buying process over.
Yesterday, GM announced a new take on the return policy. This time it’s wrapped into a promotion that guarantees a no-haggle price on most Chevrolet vehicles. Will it help Chevy stay ahead of surging Toyota?
First, some details on the promotion.
The new “Chevy Confidence” program allows buyers to return any model they’ve purchased within 60 days, as long as the vehicle has less than 4,000 miles on the clock and is free of any damage. GM calls that part the “Love It Or Return It” program.
The General has also created special pricing on all its 2012 models under the name “Total Confidence Pricing.” Each model carries a clearly marked no-haggle price.
A return policy might sound good in TV ads, but really, who goes to the trouble of researching, test-driving and buying a car only to realize it’s a piece of junk and return it 60 days later? It doesn’t make sense, which explains the low return rate from the 2009 promo. Buying a car from a dealer isn’t like buying a blender from Target. It’s not an impulse buy—it’s typically a well-thought-out process that involves lots of comparison shopping. People buy cars because they are happy with them, they don’t buy cars hoping the happiness comes later.
This promotion might convince people who were already interested in a Chevy to pull the trigger and sign the paperwork, but I don’t think it’ll do much to change the mind of other people who have already decided on a Tundra over a Silverado.
Would a money-back guarantee and no-haggle pricing be enough to get you to buy a Chevy?