In its first major marketing initiative since emerging from bankruptcy, General Motors Co is advertising a 60-day refund guarantee, which means that if customers don't like their new Chevrolet, GMC, Buick or Cadillac, they can return it within 60 days for a full refund.
The marketing effort that starts on Monday is called `May the Best Car Win', and aims to win back customers who have been wary of GM since it filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. The nation's largest automaker needs to improve sales so it can repay billions in government loans and stay in business.
In the spotlight is GM's new chairman Edward Whitacre Jr, who will appear in the initial burst of ads. Whitacre, a 67-year-old former AT&T chief, was recruited by the federal government to lead GM's reconstituted board.
The ads will feature him telling viewers that he too had doubts about the company when he joined this summer. Now, he likes the cars he's seen, and consumers should, too. If they don't, they can have their money back, he will say in what has been described as a folksy Texan accent.
Running through 30 November, GM will allow buyers of new vehicles to return them, no questions asked, for a full refund within 31 to 60 days. The vehicles must not have more than 4,000 miles on them and the drivers must be current on their payments. However, the Pontiac brand, which GM is phasing out, is not eligible. Leased vehicles are also ineligible.
The campaign will also pit GM's four brands directly against foreign competitors, focusing on quality, performance, fuel economy and design. GM must show that its cars and trucks are better than competitors' offerings, GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told reporters in a conference call on Thursday.