Beginning Monday, September 14, General Motors will offer a 60-day money-back guarantee on its products in an effort to lure customers back into its showrooms.
GM calls the campaign “May the Best Car Win,” and it is the company’s first major marketing campaign since GM emerged from bankruptcy. With the new campaign, GM hopes to shed a multitude of negative perceptions many consumers hold against the company.
Unlike other incentive programs that offered to take a car back if the purchaser lost their job, GM’s offer simply gives the purchaser their money back within 60 days if they are not satisfied with the car.
“People are going to like this guarantee,” said GM’s new chairman, Ed Whitacre Jr. “We’re putting a lot on the line here, but I think that these risks are necessary.”
“It’s a pretty powerful statement of confidence in our products,” said GM CEO Fritz Henderson. “It’s really all about getting people to consider our brands and our vehicles.”
GM’s head of marketing, Bob Lutz, said GM has no way of knowing how many consumers will return cars after buying them, but said there are restrictions in place to prevent fraud (don’t think you can borrow a Corvette ZR1 for a couple months). Still, analysts predict GM doesn’t risk a flood of returned vehicles any time soon.
“The risk GM has in buyers returning its vehicles is very minimal,” said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com.
In another advertising move, GM will use Whitacre in a series of advertisements, similar to Chrysler’s tactic in the ‘80s and earlier this decade. Interestingly, GM plans on phasing out the Whitacre ads fairly quickly, allowing it to shift focus back on the money-back program and its four core brands.
Source: GM, New York Times