Over the last few years, GM has been hard at work making its product line-up more competitive. In fact, its latest goal is to be the leader in every segment that its products compete. So it would only make sense that The General would want to show the pubic the fruits of its efforts and convince consumers that they should indeed buy GM’s vehicles rather than those from the competition. And that’s exactly what it’s planning on doing at the upcoming North American International Auto Show: The Detroit News is reporting that The General is working with COBO hall officials and the city of Detroit on setting up an area for consumers to test drive its vehicles.
The test drive course is reportedly part of GM’s completely revamped 85,000 square-foot floor space that contains a plethora of interactive display areas to show off GM’s latest technology (such as the Voltec powertrain) and vehicles. Since Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab are no longer part of GM’s brand stable, the General will need to make some major changes to its exhibit for the upcoming show come January 2010.
Expect GM to only make the best (and most-recent) vehicles available for the test-drive. We’re thinking of products from its four core brands, such the LaCrosse, Enclave, and Regal from Buick, the entire CTS range and the SRX from Caddy, the Terrain and Acadia from GMC, and – last but definitely not least – Chevrolet’s Malibu, Camaro, Cruze, Spark, Aveo, Equinox, and Traverse. At the 2009 NAIAS, GM was giving consumers rides in certain vehicles such as the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. By giving consumers the reigns to its vehicles would be a huge step up from that in terms of the experience as well as responsibility.
GM first began allowing customers to test drive its vehicles at the New England Auto Show earlier in 2009 – where it put over 1,400 people behind the wheel of various Cadillac models. The drive at the 2010 NAIAS is The General’s most wide-scale effort so far, but the automaker won’t be stopping there, as it’s planning to set up similar drives at several other major shows, including Chicago in February 2010.
The GM Authority Take
Barring the aging Impala and the absence of the ATS and XTS from Cadillac’s line-up, GM already has the product it needs to compete in the marketplace. Its biggest task now is to change consumer perception of its brands and products. Giving people wheel time is the best way to show the car-buying public exactly how great its products are. And what better venue to do it than an auto show filled with people who are truly interested in automotive products and who have already payed a $12 admission fee to get in?
Lastly, GM will make the biggest test-drive push in major metropolitan areas where its product consideration is weakest. We applaud this effort and say put ’em behind the wheel and let word-of-mouth do the rest![Source: The Detroit News]