Now that the proverbial axe has freed General Motors from the financial obligations of too many brands, the company has to face the other side of the double-edged sword (all about the proverbs today). The negative end of the equation, among other things, is the potential loss of customers and market share that comes with having less brands. In order to combat this, GM is offering strong incentives to current Saturn customers.
How strong? Between February 2nd and the end of March, current Saturn owners are being offered $2,000 in cash to stick with another GM vehicle.
The catches are few and mild. Owners are required to have owned or leased their Saturn vehicle for at least 6 months. Besides that, GM is not requiring anything; customers do not even need to trade in their Saturn vehicle. In addition, the $2,000 offer is on top of any other currently running incentives. This could amount to serious cash on the hood for some GM vehicles.
General Motors needs to take any customer retention it can get, especially with Saturn owners. In fact, research shows that Saturn buyers are the least loyal to the parent GM, which is quiet logical as Saturn was always intended to be a “Japanese auto maker within GM” – a unique brand compared to other GM products. As such, Saturn customers are (were?) not you average GM buyer (if such a profile exists).
As of the end of January 31, 2010, Saturn inventory was at an all-time low of 405 vehicles (compared to 32,647 at the end of May 2009).