Interview: We talk with GM VP of Marketing Chris Perry about insurance incentive.
DETROIT (WWJ) – GM is making an interesting offer to car buyers in Oregon and Washington. But a car, get a years worth of free insurance.
“Y’know the west coast has been a bit of a challenge for us. We’ve been under-represented in those two states” said Chris Perry, U.S. vice president of General Motors Marketing. “This is a pilot for us that we’re going to test between now and September 6th.”
Perry said if the program is a success, they could decide to extend it in Washington and Oregon, expand it to other states, or expand it nationwide.
The auto insurance includes both liability and physical damage coverage and Perry says it exceeds requirements in the two states.
Domestic automakers have been looking for ways to make inroads in western states, where buyers tend to be more interested in imports.
GM is working with MetLife on the program, which begins immediatly run through September 6th.
“This offer enhances the vehicle’s value proposition because our policy is considered one of the most comprehensive in the industry,” said Bill Moore, president of MetLife Auto & Home, in a statement. “Our new car replacement feature is a benefit not found in most auto policies.”
A release from General Motors says the policy covers the vehicle and anyone who drives it with the owner’s permission for a full year from the date of purchase, as long as the original purchaser continues to own or lease the vehicle. The policy is not available on vehicles purchased or leased for certain commercial or fleet purposes.
The insurance is considered “standard equipment” on the vehicles, and not a traditional incentive. That means buyers who decline the coverage, will not be able to choose another deal to make up for it.
The policy is good for one year or 15 thousand miles. After that, owners can choose to renew or find another insurer.
Car companies have been looking for offers, other than traditional cash incentives, to attract buyers. General Motors has a number of new products in the marketplace, and this is a way to get the attention of people who might not have considered a Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac brand product.
“We always try to take it from the consumer standpoint,” said Perry in an interview with WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert. “That’s why we focused on this issue. We know for a certain number of consumers, cost is an issue for auto insurance. Just getting, obtaining auto insurance can be difficult.”
Follow Jeff Gilbert on Twitter @jefferygilbert