General Motors is hoping to attract more conquest buyers to the Cadillac brand with a promotion that pays drivers $100 to take a test drive. The nationwide campaign began in March and runs until the end of the month.
Bill Peffer, U.S. vice president for Cadillac sales and service, told The Detroit News thousands of people have come in to take a new Cadillac for a spin and receive their $100.
“This is our way of way of trying to reach out and get people,” he said. “The way to conquest in that super competitive market is to get people’s seats in seats.”
To be eligible for the payout, which comes in the form of a $100 pre-paid Visa card, motorists must be 21 or older, have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance and own a 2004 or newer non-GM vehicle. Additionally, if consumers opt to buy a new Cadillac and they don’t own or lease a GM vehicle, they will receive an extra $1,500 incentive toward the vehicle.
Last year Cadillac posted U.S. sales gains of nearly 22 percent, but sales have slid 7.3-percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014. The brand is looking for the promotion to help get more customers in showrooms, particularly those that have not driven or owned a Cadillac before.
Giving away $100 for a test drive may seem costly and a little risky, but industry analysts say it is a relatively affordable promotion.
“It’s actually a pretty inexpensive marketing campaign,” said Larry Dominique, president of ALG, an automotive consulting firm.
The first shipments of the 2015 Escalade left GM’s assembly plant in Arlington, Texas last week. Peffer said they have thousands of unfulfilled orders for the SUV. Ads for the redesigned and overhauled SUV will begin to air next month.
“As a brand that’s growing, we know we have to do a job of maintaining our loyal owner base,” Peffer told Detroit News. “But, frankly, we have to (win buyers who currently drive other brands) at a higher rate in order to achieve our sales goals. This car will help us do that.”