GMC, Buick may offer loaner vehicles to boost brand awareness

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 13, 2010

In an effort to build awareness of General Motors Co.'s GMC and Buick products, a courtesy loaner program is being considered for customers getting warranty service on their vehicles.

Brian Sweeney, vice president of sales for Buick and GMC, said that this service may begin in the “next couple weeks.” This program would work by getting GMC Acadia owners into a Buick Enclave, for instance, and boost recognition of more GM vehicles.

Sweeney, who had recently addressed about 900 dealers that sell the two brands, said that the company is aiming to expose customers to other Buick and GMC products.

Meanwhile, Buick dealers have to change and meet the expectations customers have when shopping for a premium car, according to Mike Bowsher, co-chairman of the national dealer council for Buick-GMC and president of Carl Black Automotive Group. Bowsher, who runs dealerships in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, said that they can’t sell Buicks like they did the Pontiac.

He explained that many of these dealerships used to be Pontiac dealers and right now, they’re forced to handle the crowd usually associated with the Lexus, Ritz-Carlton, Cadillac, and Mercedes.

Bowsher said that there are already several Buick-GMC dealers that offer loaner vehicles to customers. He said that GM may make the courtesy loaner program standard for dealers.

The Automotive News data center said that Buick outpaced other brands with a 58% increase in US sales through September compared with the same period in 2009. On the other hand, GMC sales climbed by 31%. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: gmc, buick, united states

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