• Jul 19, 2007
Giving buyers an incentive to test drive a car is an old tactic, but usually these were limited to small gifts or vouchers of nominal value. With competition in the high-end luxury market heating up, automakers are now moving to more elaborate ways to attract the well-heeled.

Take Maserati for example. The exotic Italian brand offers potential buyers who take a new Quattroporte for a spin a pair of Bose headphones valued at around $179. Lexus doesn't even bother with a gift -- its dealers straight up offer you a $100 American Express gift card for taking the new IS 350 for a spin. Bentley is a little more subtle in its giving by offering to donate money to the Breast Cancer Alliance if you try their car.

Of course, such deals aren't exactly available for the average Joe, and the old trick of turning up to the dealer wearing a suit probably won't work either. You'll have to be on a mailing list targeted towards "high net worth" individuals or receive a private invite from the dealership.

[Source: New York Times - Sub. Req'd via Automobiles Deluxe]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      i got $20 gift card to best buy for driving mazda CX-7
      • 7 Years Ago
      Better go check where my nearest Maserati dealer is then...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Or check out your nearest Audi dealer, like mine...which is apparently in cahoots with Maserati to sell their wares.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i have those headphones!! for the same reason, i thought it was just the dealership sending those out not maserati, whats funny is that they offered us cocktails before the test drive!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I got a VERY nice Kenneth Cole courier bag for driving a Nissan Altima. About $100 retail (but if they bought out old ones, they might have paid $10 each or so).
      • 7 Years Ago
      In 1998, when Chrysler introduced the LHS, I was given a set of two Baccarat high ball glasses and sterling silver shot glass for test driving that car. At the time, I didn't think anything of it but it turns out those glasses were worth about $100. I didn't by an LHS, though a year alter I did by a 300M.

      Since that time, I've gotten $50 and $100 certificates for dinner, a $75 debit card, a TaylorMade driver and PING putter for test drives. I'm just waiting for someone to give me a CAR for test driving it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Volvo sent me various things AFTER I bought an S60 but nothing more than totebags, hats, etc.

      Chrysler sent me a container of touch up paint and a keychain after I bought a Pacifica Limited from them.

      Mazda sent me a shitty (broke in a week) keychain after I bought a Protege5.

      Honda gave me nothing for buying an Insight.

      The rest of my cars were used, so I wouldn't expect anything of course. I've also never got something for a test drive, but I've been offered.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I got a Palm M100 - worth $100 - for test driving an Infiniti I30... actually, my Mom test drove it and I got the Palm. This was about 6 years ago I'd say.

      Too bad I lost the Palm - I actually got fairly good at writing on it, plus the weeks of battery life off of a couple AAA batteries.
      • 7 Years Ago
      -Dodge/Chrysler gave my son a coloring book and 4 crayons.... and he can't even drive.
      -Hyundai guy asked me once if i wanted a soda when i started coughing..... not actually sure he was offering his dollar for it though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maserati has a good concept, silly gift though.

      If someone can afford the $100K+ car, $200 free Bose headphones probably isn't good enough to get the exclusive customer to come in.

      They'd better up their ante if they want a more positive response.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I would say that is a very targeted gift. You have to think that the people that buy those luxo cars are going to be well off. Probably not well off enough to buy their own plane though. Those headphones drown out noise like no ones business, and are perfect for rich people who travel in first class a lot. They aren't meant to get people to go in solely to get the headphones if they are not in the market, but if someone is going for a test drive in an S600 and they receive that email that their nice maser dealer next door will give them these perfect headphones just for taking the car out, it may get a few customers who wouldn't have bought the maser otherwise.

        Yes it may not be worth that much in relation to the car, but it fits the audience very well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      meh...

      I was offered a FREE, yes, FREE coffee (or "ko-hi" as referred to by the Japanese). An exotic beverage which all astronaut drinks at some point in their career and carefully diluted and overheated to perfection at my local Dodge dealership every single time I when there for a overpriced oil change.

      Take that Maserati!

      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw the gift, they can keep the headphones just let me take the Maserati out for a spin!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I got "crabs" from test driving a Yaris.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Okay, that's just funny.
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