Grand news for owners of 1999 model year and later Pontiacs! Buick-GMC GM Brian Sweeney tells Automotive News [sub] that “one of our most important tasks is keeping [Pontiac owners] in the database and keeping them as service customers until such a time that the Buick portfolio has developed fully.” The plan: send owners of 1999 model-year and later Pontiacs coupons for free tire rotations and oil changes. GM sales boss Susan Docherty has spoken about the importance of these “free agents,” or GM buyers orphaned by the cutting of their brands. As well she should: it’s more cost effective for any business to keep existing buyers than win over new ones. But is it free oil change easy? If GM thinks it can make Buick believers out of the jilted Pontiac faithful, what does it say about the cynicism with which it approaches branding? Once again, GM’s need to build lost Pontiac volume for the Buick-GMC dealer net leads to the willful suspension of common sense.
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