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General Motors has announced a new incentive program that it hopes will encourage people to enter the car buying market again. Called GM Total Confidence, the program has four prongs that includes Payment Protection if you lose your job, equity assistance if you trade in your vehicle later for another one from GM, one year of OnStar and the automaker's 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. We're already familiar with the last two components of GM's Total Confidence program, so let's focus on the first two.

GM's payment protection program is much like Hyundai's Assurance Program in that the automaker will cover your payments in the event that you lose your job. GM's program covers you for 24 months and will make up to nine payments valued at up to $500/month. According to GM, if you qualify for state unemployment benefits, you'll qualify for the payment protection to kick in.

The last element of GM's Total Confidence incentive program is equity assistance, or what GM calls Vehicle Value Protection. This part of the program will cover the difference between what you owe on your vehicle and its NADA Clean Retail Value when you trade it in for another GM vehicle. The idea is to wipe out any negative equity caused by vehicle depreciation when you move on to your next car.

The GM Total Confidence incentive program begins tomorrow, April 1 and runs through April 30, 2009, though could be extended if it works and sales go up. You'll be seeing marketing for the program during the Final Four as well, so keep your eyes open.

Follow the jump for a poll and the official press release on the GM Total Confidence program.

[Source: GM Total Confidence, Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty]


General Motors Unveils Unprecedented Customer Protection Package - "GM Total Confidence"

* Payment protection for the first 24 months of ownership... lose your income and we'll make up to nine payments for up to $500 per month
* Finance a new GM vehicle we'll help protect its retail value at trade-in time on your next GM vehicle
* Safety and security of one year of OnStar standard
* Fully backed, 5 year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation ... provides the best coverage in the industry
* GMconfidence.com website launched with program details

DETROIT - General Motors today announced the most comprehensive customer protection in the industry with "GM Total Confidence," a plan that protects a customer's paycheck, investment, vehicle and family.

"Our Total Confidence plan is an unprecedented offer that reinvents the ownership experience in an extremely positive way," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "Unlike other programs out there, 'GM Total Confidence' provides comprehensive coverage for new vehicle owners - from protecting their new vehicle investment to protecting their family's income. GM Total Confidence provides customers peace of mind in uncertain times." (Note: See accompanying chart)

The 'GM Total Confidence' plan:

* Protects your Paycheck: 'Payment Protection*' provides up to nine months of payments on vehicle loans or leases ($500 max/month) if you lose your job for economic reasons. When looking for a job, you need a vehicle more than ever. 'Payment Protection' helps you get back on your feet.
* Protects your Investment: During the first two years of ownership, 'Vehicle Value Protection*' helps protect customers against uncertainty in the future used car market. Much as we've seen home prices decline in this tough market - and homeowners may owe more than the current resale value of their house - 'Vehicle Value Protection' provides peace-of-mind for customers when they want to go purchase another GM vehicle.
* Protects your Vehicle: GM's 5 year/100,000 mile transferable powertrain limited warranty (whichever comes first) plus roadside assistance and courtesy transportation. GM protects your vehicle with the best coverage in the business - so you don't have to worry. With the high quality of GM vehicles today, offering the best coverage only makes sense. See your dealer for warranty details.
* Protects your Family: One Year OnStar 'Safety and Security' Package. Knowing that OnStar is there if you should ever need them really makes a difference. With Automatic Crash Response, OnStar's cutting-edge technology that protects your family when they travel. Visit onstar.com for more details.

"By protecting a customer's payment, investment, vehicle and family, we are reinventing the customer experience," LaNeve added. "The 'GM Total Confidence' plan addresses today's most pressing concerns for new car buyers ... we asked customers what they wanted, and simply put, this package is it."

The "GM Total Confidence" plan is available for vehicles purchased April 1 through April 30, 2009. For more information, please visit gmconfidence.com.

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