- Oct 12, 2010
Buick, GMC may turn to loaner vehicles to help sell cars
2011 Buick Regal – Click above for high-res image gallery
Looking to get some scheduled service work done on your GMC or Buick? If so, you may want to hold off for a couple weeks. Bloomberg is reporting that General Motors is considering instituting a vehicle loaner program for customers who bring in their vehicle for warranty work. The loaner program would no doubt help elevate the overall dealer service experience, but The General is hoping that the move would drive new vehicle sales as well.
Buick GMC boss Brian Sweeney reportedly told Bloomberg that the service could start "in a couple of weeks." The hope is that service customers who own older Buick or GMC models could borrow, for example, a Buick LaCrosse and notice how much the brand's new vehicles have evolved and improved. The program could also help dealers who may, in some cases, be struggling to sell more upmarket vehicles than they're accustomed to. Mark Bowsher, co-chairman of the Buick-GMC dealer council, points out that many of the dealers he represents are former Pontiac dealers, adding "now have to learn how to handle the Lexus, Ritz-Carlton, Cadillac, Mercedes kind of crowd."
While Buick isn't yet close to reaching Lexus, Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz status, the marque's sales have increased faster than any other brand in the industry in 2010. Add the fact that the cheapest new Buick on the market is the 2011 Regal at $26,995, and the Enclave crossover can top out at over $50,000, and dealers had better be prepared to sell premium products at a premium price.