In an interview with General Motors the Chicago Tribune reports that the automaker has temporarily suspended its Auto Show In Motion program. The popular event where consumers can test-drive GM vehicles without pressure from sales folks has been halted this year due to The Drive, which opened in Las Vegas, Nevada last month. According to a GM representative, the automaker will evaluate The Drive at year's end and decide to either continue the "autotainment" with presumably a renewed Auto Show In Motion, or with other promotions.

Jim Mateja of the Tribune, though, sees cost playing a big role in the Auto Show's stoppage. Though GM does not provide official figures on how much either program costs, he calculates The Drive is easily topping two million. The amount must be significant enough, he writes, since an attendee, usually a "GM avoider", is three times as likely to buy a GM vehicle after participating in Auto Show.

And GM is not the only automaker cutting on such test drives: Ford has halted similar programs while DaimlerChrysler, whose Chrysler division made money last year, has drastically cut its test drives.

(NOTE: The article was available for free viewing at the time of this writing. May require free registration to access.]

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

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