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GM Announces Overnight Test Drives

Detroit, Michigan April 8, 2003  -  In an effort to boost slow sales, General Motors announced it will let consumers take most of its cars and trucks home for overnight test drives.

The program will be the most extensive test-drive offer in company history, said Bill Mistele, director of retail strategy, and will run between April 15th and July 22nd, 2003.  Consumers will not be allowed to put more than 100 miles on the vehicles, or drive them out of state.  

"Incentives alone aren't going to be enough," Mistele said. "If we can get them in to drive the vehicle and experience it, we know we're going to increase our likelihood of selling them a vehicle."  The new program will target the 60 percent of consumers who dont consider GM brands when they buy a new car or truck.

The program covers models offered at GMs 7400 dealerships, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saab and Saturn.  It excludes the Chevrolet Corvette, and two models due out later this year, the Chevrolet XLR and the Chevrolet SSR.

GM will continue to offer rebates and no-interest loans to car buyers in an effort to bolster slumping sales, which dropped by 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2003. 

Officials at Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler indicated those companies have no plans to introduce similar test-drive programs.



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