DETROIT -- Since launching its money-back-guarantee program, General Motors Co. has had one customer return a vehicle, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said today.
GM has sold about 150,000 vehicles since the program began. Of that, just over 100 customers have opted to take a 60-day money-back guarantee, Lutz said. The rest turned down that option and instead took a $500 cash incentive.
“Out of hundreds of thousands, the people who've selected the 60-day guarantee were in the hundreds,” GM's marketing chief said during a media event here today. “We have had one substantiated return of a vehicle.”
From manual to automatic
That return involved a man who had bought a Chevrolet Corvette with a manual transmission. After driving it for a month, the man found shifting gears to be inconvenient. So he exchanged it for an automatic transmission, Lutz said.
“He brought it back because he had made a mistake,” Lutz said.
GM launched its 60-day money-back program Sept. 14. It runs through November.
Lutz also touted GM's improved average transaction prices. According J.D. Power data, GM's average transaction price (including Saturn, Hummer and Saab) in September was up $8,000 to $35,069 compared with September 2008. The average industry transaction price was up $3,613 to $30,327.
GM's U.S. market share, meanwhile, fell to 20.9 percent in September compared with 29.3 percent in September 2008, according to the Automotive News data center.
Aggressive marketing plans
Lutz said GM will spend aggressively and competitively to market its vehicles until “we see a substantial change” in consumers' attitudes toward GM products. The new advertising campaign, “May the Best Car Win,” is intended to compare GM vehicles against the best of the competition to show that the automaker's products are better in all areas and value-priced, he said.
“We now can comfortably encourage the public to come take a close look at our products,” Lutz said. “It's to shock Americans into the reality of GM's products.”