Picture this scenario: you’re about to launch a (mostly) unknown product in a certain market for the very first time. Besides focusing on delivering on your brand’s and product’s core promises, you should also aim to create trust and confidence in your offerings… right? Right. And that’s exactly what GM’s European subsidiary Opel did before commencing sales in Australia in September of 2012 by announcing two customer care programs for buyers of new Opels.
The first program is called Opel Service Plus, and the second is Opel Assist Plus — and both are included with the purchase of each and every new Opel in the land of the Oz.
Opel Service Plus
Opel Service Plus is a capped price servicing program that covers the scheduled servicing of the vehicle for the first three years, or 45,000 km of travel — whichever occurs first. The program guarantees (read: places a cap on) the price that a customer will pay at each scheduled service interval.
The plan is applicable to the entire Opel Australia range, and is as follows:
- Opel Corsa – $249 per service
- Opel Astra (including diesel and GTC – $299 per service
- Opel Insignia (including diesel) – $349 per service
According to Opel Australia, all of the prices include GST and “are the maximum retail price customers will pay for standard scheduled services in the first three years of ownership” — therefore “offering guaranteed peace-of-mind and transparency”.
As one would expect, Opel pointed out that:
- Additional repairs or items outside the standard scheduled service as per Opel’s Service and warranty booklet will not be covered by the capped price service rates, and
- Each service must occur within three months or 3,500 km of the scheduled service date
Opel Assist Plus
Opel buyers in Australia will also get the peace of mind offered by 24-hour, 365-day roadside assistance in Opel Assist Plus. The program is enabled by Assist Australia, is standard on all Opel new vehicles, and works for the first three years from the time of registration.
In effect, both programs aim to build strong and open relationships with customers, according to Opel Australia managing director Bill Mott. Opel’s Australian entrance coincides with the brand’s 150th anniversary in Europe.
The GM Authority Take
We can see how both programs would be welcome by the buyer… but in the case of Opel Service Plus, we wonder why Opel didn’t simply include the cost of scheduled service visits in the price of its vehicles — thereby making the standard scheduled service intervals free of charge. VW, for instance, recently introduced such a plan — called VW Carefree Maintenance — in the United States; the program is standard with every new VW vehicle purchase.