When General Motors announced its 60-day money back guarantee, we were a bit surprised. The marketing scheme seemed like a pretty big gamble for the fresh out of bankruptcy automaker, but it would seem that the program isn't as risky as it first appeared. According to Automotive News, Bob Lutz, GM's Vice Chairman of marketing and communications, told members of the media yesterday that only 100 of the 150,000 buyers have opted for the program, and of the customers eligible, only one customer has returned his vehicle. Interestingly, Lutz reportedly said that the customer in question had purchased a Chevrolet Corvette equipped with a manual gearbox. What was wrong with it? Well, laziness, apparently, as the buyer returned it 30 days later in exchange for an automatic-equipped car. That may be a crime in the Court of Autoblog, but given that rowing wasn't his thing, we're sure said buyer was thrilled to have the option to switch.
So why aren't customers getting in on the 60 day offer? Because the General is giving them the chance of either participating in the 60 day offer or instead opting for a $500 rebate. And since the 60 Day Guarantee offer began one month ago, those 100 participants have another month to change their minds. Even if all 100 eventually decide to return their Chevy, GMC, Buick or Cadillac, we're thinking that's actually a pretty low number. The money back guarantee program runs through the end of November.
During that same media event, Lutz also took time to brag about GM's dramatically improved transaction prices, as the bombastic vice chairman pointed to new J.D. Power data that reportedly shows that average purchase of a GM vehicle jumped to $35,069 – up $8,000 from September of last year. The massive jump in transaction prices also outpaces by a sizable margin the industry at large, as AN quotes the industry average at $30,327. While the car market's average purchase price as a whole is still up $3,613, we're flat-out stunned that GM was able to raise its transaction prices by $8,000. We'd do the math ourselves, but we have no idea how.
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[Source: Automotive News - subs req'd]