Many consumers do not test-drive a vehicle prior to a purchase, but Cadillac is giving them a good reason to take its 2014 autos out for a spin. The reason? $100.
General Motors Co.’s luxury brand is paying people $100 to take their vehicles on the road as part of a campaign to get new customers and increase sales. The national promotion, which started in March and will run through until the end of April, has been successful so far. According to Bill Peffer, U.S. Vice President of Sales and Service for Cadillac, thousands of individuals have come in to test drive their vehicles due to the promo.
“This is our way of trying to reach out and get people,” Peffer said in an interview. “The way to conquest in that super competitive market is to get people’s seats in seats.”
Those who are eligible for the $100 offer are qualified drivers with registered vehicles. In order to get the test-drive payout, the driver must be 21 or older, have a valid driver’s license, as well as proof of insurance. The motorist must also own a 2004 or newer non-GM vehicle to qualify.
The payout comes in the form of a Visa prepaid gift card and is offered at selected dealerships.
According to Peffer, Cadillac will give an additional $1,500 incentive if the test drivers choose to purchase a new Caddy and they do not lease or own a GM vehicle.
Test drive promotions that offer money are not new, but they are effective. Analysts point out that this move, which is rather inexpensive for the brand, can successfully bring in sales for carmakers.
This proved to be a good move for Cadillac, which really needs a boost in sales for April. The brand suffered a 6.3 percent sales decline in March and its fleet sales plunged 50 percent because of a failed rental agreement.
Cadillac may have posted impressive U.S. sales gains of almost 22 percent in 2013, but 2014 is not looking to be a good year for the brand so far. First quarter sales were lower by 7.3 percent year-over-year, and sales for the ATS and XTS sedans are much lower in the first three months compared to the same period last year.
Peffer is hoping the new Escalade will help the brand reach its sales targets. Caddy’s premium full-size SUV, which was last redesigned for the 2007 model year, has been revamped for the 2015 model year. GM started shipping the first batch of the revamped 2015 Cadillac Escalades to dealers last week. Peffer claimed that dealerships have a lot of unfulfilled orders.
The ads for the new model will start airing in May. The Escalade usually sells 1,000 to 1,500 units per month.
Aside from the Escalade, the brand will also introduce the 2015 ATS coupe this summer. Officials have said that an ATS V-Series performance sedan will arrive this year and will be included in its 2015 lineup.
Peffer said that the goal was not only to keep a loyal consumer base or add to it. It is also necessary for them to encourage current customers to consider sharing their garages with another vehicle from the brand.
Photo credit: cadillac.com