General Motors feels it has a lineup stuffed with vastly improved products and it wants to get as many customers behind the wheel of a new Chevy, Cadillac, GMC or Buick to prove its point. Anyone can head over to the local dealership for a test drive, but the General is reportedly looking for even more ways to get you to evaluate a new GM product, including test drives right at your local auto show.

The Detroit News reports that GM is working with officials from COBO and the city of Detroit to set up a driving route so that consumers can test the automaker's products on-site. Vehicles likely be featured include new products such as the 2010 Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX. The test drive area at COBO is reportedly part of GM's totally revamped 85,000 sq ft exhibit space, which includes more interactive displays and plenty of areas to show off new technology like direct injection and the Voltec system. Obviously, the General needed to make some major changes, since it won't need displays for Pontiac, Saab and Saturn in 2010.

Customer test drives were piloted at the New England Auto Show earlier this year, where Cadillac reportedly put over 1,400 people behind the wheel. GM is also looking to set up drives at several other major shows, including Chicago in February, but the biggest push will take place in major metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts, where GM product consideration is weakest.

Auto show test drives make perfect sense, considering that millions of showgoers attend these events every year. People who pay $12 to look at cars in a crammed and crowded convention center are likely the exact same people to get excited about new products. Why not give them seat time and let the word-of-mouth flow?

[Source: The Detroit News]

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