The service department at McGuire Chevrolet-Cadillac in Newton, N.J., in September, changed the corroding wheels on a 2003 Cadillac DeVille DTS, which has been out of warranty. However, the owner did not pay the $3,500 bill. In a gesture of goodwill to a loyal client, the dealership charged General Motors -- with blessing from GM. Dealer Michael McGuire related that the client was "speechless."
He guaranteed that the client "will not look anywhere else ever for a car after we did that for him." This action is a sample of how GM is loosening the purse strings to give service managers more latitude in providing services to clients.
This is a part of the company's wider customer-retention push under Mark Reuss, who is the president of GM North America, says Autonews. The company long has had a dealer-empowerment program that covers repair costs for the service managers who fix out-of-warranty items for loyal clients. However, dealers stated that they never felt "empowered" to use it because they are afraid of the repercussions from the plant.
Carroll Smith, who owns the Monument Chevrolet in Pasadena, Texas, stated that they were "always leery." Smith further related that now, the company is encouraging the dealers to "open the pocket book."
Smith further stated that he used the program recently to replace the door hinges on a 2001 Chevy Silverado pickup, which has 317,000 miles on it. GM's North American vice president Steve Hill of customer care and aftersales stated that the company started highlighting greater use of the empowerment program around a year ago.