Kudos to General Motors for raising the competitive ante with longer warranties rather than a new round of cash-on-the-hood incentives.
By increasing the powertrain warranty on all its 2007 models sold in the United States and Canada to five years or 100,000 miles, GM demonstrates confidence in the quality of its products. That's better than undermining their value by paying customers to buy them.
GM didn't pull the powertrain warranty idea out of thin air. It was a competitive response to Ford Motor Co., which two months ago increased the powertrain warranty on its 2007 models to five years or 60,000 miles on Ford and Mercury vehicles and six years or 70,000 miles on Lincolns.
Long warranties helped Hyundai and Kia boost sales by convincing consumers that they didn't need to fear the quality of less-expensive vehicles built in Korea. It ought to help build confidence in GM and Ford products, too.