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The answer to this isn’t as straightforward as one might like. The recent program numbers show that about 30% of the participants in the 60-day money-back guarantee program have returned their vehicles. Of those 30% about 10% of the returns move on to competitor vehicles. Those numbers aren’t really bad if you take them for face value. Enter the real issue.
Of the some 220,000 vehicles that have been sold since the launch of the return program only 653 customers opted-in to the return program. So if your math is up-to-snuff, that would tell you that 193 customers have returned vehicles to GM and they estimate about 65 customers have gone elsewhere. Now I am a marketing guy, as well as, a car guy and this gives me a bit of pause. The little known fact (more known now that there is more press on the subject) is that GM was offering $500 cash back OR the ability to return the car.
In this economy, most people that have committed to buying a car probably aren't worried about returning it, at least that is what the numbers seem to support. There is also the question as to how educated consumers were on their options, but in the end only one thing matter; the majority of GM cars are being kept by their purchasers and that is a good sign for the struggling giant. So, even though the program has been extended into January of 2010, I doubt if you will see a lot of takers.
Bottom line—the “May the best car win” campaign isn’t the first of its kind, just ask Chrysler. The good news is that like back in the ‘80s with Chrysler more people are choosing to by the company’s cars than are not.