by Jon LeSage
- In this era of standard offerings now including infotainment, connectivity, and telematics, how about throwing free maintenance onto the list?
- General Motors is taking that gamble, offering free maintenance on most of its 2014 Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC models – the target is increasing sales and customer loyalty, according to GM CEO Dan Akerson.
- What do they get? Free oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and 27-point inspections for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- GM already offers such services on its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and a more extensive program for Cadillac.
- Nearly all GM products will offer the deal with the exception of a few low-volume high-performance cars.
- Akerson thinks the move will “forge even stronger relationships” between GM dealerships and customers and “to kick the ownership experience off on the right foot.”
- Loyalty is key – Akerson said customers who have service done at the dealership are more likely to return there for their next purchase.
- All of this started years ago with luxury cars. More recently, Toyota and Volkswagen have offered free maintenance across their US lineups.
- Dealers like these maintenance programs because it can become a relationship builder to close future sales and draws customers back to their stores as service customers.
- Some dealers have complained about the payback – GM doesn’t reimburse them for all services provided to customers.
- GM brands had above-average industry gains in US owner loyalty during the first quarter of this year, according to a Polk study. GM is hopeful its maintenance programs will up the numbers.
Tags: Akersonfree maintenanceGMGM dealersGM maintenanceluxury carsservice plansvehicle maintenancewarrantywarranty coverage