• Jan 19th 2010 at 5:57PM
  • 28
When General Motors put Oldsmobile out to pasture, many owners defected from GM brands all-together. In an effort to make sure history doesn't repeat itself with soon to be displaced Pontiac owners, the General is extending an olive branch in the form of a year of free maintenance.

Automotive News reports that GM is offering four years of free service visits – including oil changes and tire rotations – to specific Buick-GMC dealerships for owners of 1999 and newer Pontiac vehicles. Brian Sweeney, general manager of Buick-GMC, told AN that the plan is to "to keep the relationship with the Buick-GMC dealer." Customers will be given specific Buick-GMC dealers to utilize for the free service in order to help the dealers develop a relationship with said customer in hopes that they will use that dealership to purchase future products.

A potential problem with the plan is that Pontiac and Buick/GMC models aren't exactly in the same price range, though (potential) future products like the Buick Excelle and the GMC Granite concept could be priced competitively enough to keep some Pontiac owners in the GM family.

With new service customers on the way, we're sure the Buick-GMC dealers are excited about this program. Many Buick-GMC dealers used to sell Pontiacs as well, so many of the brand's former customers won't even have to go to a new dealer to cash in on the free maintenance.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req. | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Buick & GMC need lower price-points and relevant product to hold on to loyal Pontiac owners. How many people who are currently driving a (fill in the blank...2004 Sunfire...2005 Grand Am...which were purchased for $17K out-the-door) are really ready to drop $26K on a new Lacrosse? The future Buick Excelle & GMC Granite, hopefully priced well under $20K, would be helpful. Additionally, I think GM needs to make a BIG advertising push (and dealer eduacational program) to coddle all the abandoned Saturn owners.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am an Olds owner, and have been so for many years. If anybody from GM reads this, I'd like to tell GM that for my next new car purchase, I will learn to speak one of the following languages: German, Japanese, and maybe Korean. Get the picture?
      And I'm sure that there are Pontiac people who are going to do likewise!
      • 5 Years Ago
      My 2008 Astra wants this deal, too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just used the first freebie this past Monday. Drove 20 miles to the dealer(where we bought the 2007 G6 sedan fall of '06). Got the service, was told that the rear main seal had a little seepage and told him we would see him by 2011 or before if we near 100k or it breaks!). Drove 20 miles home and it was leaking and steaming up a bit in the cold morning. Leaking profusely from the Dex-cool overflow tank. Drove back 20 miles and Mr Goodwrench then told me, "oops, I put a little tooo much fluid in" YA THINK? I guess I am glad I didnt pay for such grand service.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks GM, but I'm still mad about the G8. Please PLEASE bring the next gen commadore here. Call it the POS-mobile for all I care. Now that would be a good way to keep the pontiac faithful happy.

      BTW, how do we go about getting this free service? Does it have to be a one-owner or will my used 04 qualify? I never take my car to the dealer for any reason whatsoever but if they'll give me a free oil change I'm down! Better be mobil 1 though...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess this is a sign for me to finally trade in my '02 Z28 for a '99+ Trans-Am.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is ridiculous. How about giving out something worthwhile? Like, you know, fixing one of the broken things on my 3 year old, well maintained G6.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a 2008 Saturn owner, Id like to extend the finger to GM.

      Thanks for doing, you know, NOTHING to keep me "in the family."
      • 5 Years Ago
      They more than likely assume that 90% of all Saturn buyers will be buying a Honda, Toyota, or Hyundai next, so there isn't much purpose in trying. Why toss away 10 bucks in Labor and 5 bucks in oil to a customer that is looking at a new accord anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You got rid of an iconic nameplate that these Pontiac owners grew up for decades with leaving them owning a defunct nameplate which could adversely hurt their resale values, but hey, free oil changes. No hard feelings.
      That should go over well....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great! As Saturn Aura owner can I expect the same thing from GM or do they not want those of us that came from an import anymore?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually, I'm one of the people this happened to - I am 32 now - but when I was in College my 1987 Buick Park Avenue caught on fire and I lost everything I owned (I was moving back to college) - an engine mount cracked, broke and set fire to the fuel line. I was lucky to get out with my life as it actually caught fire while driving. So, after I got my insurance money - I wanted a Pontiac Grand Prix - however, this was 1997 or 1998 - I forget exactly - but in any case - GM was on strike and getting the Grand Prix I wanted was impossible. They checked 8 or 9 different states where they could pull from - none of them had the features I wanted (I wanted the GT, Black with Black leather).

      So, Instead - the sales person decided to show me an Oldsmobile Intrigue - basically the same car - but a more subdued interior but it was still 'Wide Track' - and had the same engine. I drove it and loved it. So, a few years later - I'm ready for a new and car and they discontinue Oldsmobile. At that point there was nothing in GM's stable that I liked. The Chevy's were all ugly (except for the Corvette - which I couldn't begin to afford). I'm never getting another Buick. Cadillac is out of my price range and all the saturns were plastic and all the Pontiacs look like they did back in 1998 - covered in cheap, ugly body cladding. So, in 2002 - I buy a Volkswagen Jetta 1.8 Turbo.
      I liked that car - but in 2007 it was time for another new car - and the new Jetta's I wasn't crazy about - so, I decided to look at other vehicles - like, Saturn, Nissan, Toyota, etc...Ended up buying a 2007 Saturn Aura.

      And now I'm about a year away from another new car - and I'm back in the place I was back in 2002. I won't buy a Buick. There are some nice cars from Chevy - but I already own the sister car of the Malibu (the Aura is exactly the same inside). I don't want a Cobalt. Can't afford a Cadillac and I don't want a truck (GMC). So, it looks like I'll be looking somewhere else next time.

      Way to go GM. Push the customers away as fast as you can.
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