GM to Launch 60-Day Money-Back Promise

The auto maker also will reportedly reduce the profit margin its dealers make on the vehicles they sell by half a percentage point.

General Motors Co. launches a 60-day satisfaction guarantee to eligible buyers of Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC products, part of a new marketing campaign that will tackle the auto maker’s toughest competitors in every vehicle segment.

The announcement of GM’s “May the Best Car Win” marketing campaign, fulfills a pledge from GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz last month to get more aggressive with the auto maker’s advertising by taking on competitors head-to-head where it has an advantage.

“We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices – that’s what makes an offer like this possible,” Lutz says in statement outlining the money-back guarantee.

“We’re putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don’t absolutely love it, we’ll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul,” he adds, referring to GM’s transferrable 100,000-mile (160,930-km)/5-year limited powertrain warranty.

According to GM, if a customer is not satisfied with his vehicle, he can return it to the dealer 31 to 60 days after purchase and receive a full refund.

The deal covers all ’09 and ’10 cars and trucks, excluding medium-duty vehicles, from the auto maker’s four core brands. The offer is good for one vehicle per household and the vehicle must have logged fewer than 4,000 miles (6,437 km) during the ownership period.

Customers must take delivery before Nov. 30 to be eligible. Leased vehicles are not included. GM plans to release additional details Sept. 14, when the program officially kicks off.

GM offered a similar guarantee on Saturn vehicles. The brand’s 30-day return policy was a hallmark of its vaunted retail experience until late last year, when captive-finance arm GMAC LLC raised qualifying credit scores for customers needing financing.

The move led Saturn retailers to seek customer financing from other lenders, which would not agree to swap sales contracts without a fee, as GMAC had done. GM now has an agreement to sell Saturn to auto dealer Roger Penske.

Hyundai Motor America ran a similar play this year as the recession spoiled sales, with an assurance program allowing buyers to return their vehicle if they lost their job within 12 months of purchase. GM and Ford Motor Co. followed with plans that have since expired.

GM also will reportedly reduce the profit margin its dealers make on the vehicles they sell by half a percentage point. The pricing changes were approved during a 2-day meting of GM’s board earlier this week, Reuters reports.

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