By on October 28, 2018

Chevrolet Silverado purchase GM dealer - Image: GM

For the most part, the major benefit of brand loyalty is not getting into an argument with your family members at the dinner table. Grandpa worked for General Motors, Dad buys Chevy exclusively, and you decided not to buck the trend. You even bragged about Aunt Beth helping you get a sweet deal on that new Malibu, while everyone nodded in approval between bites of turkey.

However, there are more tangible rewards for sticking with a singular auto brand. Now that the Western market has surpassed peak growth, manufacturers know that it’s going to be a lot harder to reel in new customers. They’ve decided to shift tactics by offering incentives to existing customers in the hopes that they won’t leave them the next time they need a fresh vehicle. 

Earlier this year, General Motors launched its My GM Rewards loyalty program. The points-based program rewards customers for signing up, using OnStar’s new services, purchasing a new vehicle, or servicing an older one. These points can then be used similarly to Chuck E. Cheese’s arcade tokens, an Amazon Rewards, or Dave & Buster’s Power Card, as they are not redeemable anywhere else.

Rewards can go towards repairs and servicing or even the purchase of a new vehicle. For example, 100,000 points translates into a $500 allowance toward a new vehicle. The hope is that by having customers to earn them through continuing to use GM’s services, the company can earn some extra scratch while simultaneously setting up modest incentives on a new car.

“We are in the post-record time for vehicle sales,” Michelle Krebs, Autotrader executive analyst told Automotive News. “The pie is not growing, it’s shrinking. So it is critically important for brands to hold onto their loyal buyers rather than going after new ones.”

How well this is working for GM is unclear, as corporate isn’t sharing specifics on the new program. However, dealerships (who are charged a small percentage of the customer revenue) are being encouraged to sign customers up and Mike Bowsher, chairman of the Chevrolet National Dealer Council, said the program has been successful thus far. “It’s a great tool to drive traffic back to the stores,” he said. “For the most part, the dealers like it — especially in the service, parts and accessories area … We’re going to continue to grow this.”

Meanwhile, Ford is launching a program of its own via its FordPass app. While it may or may not function identically to GM’s points, the reasoning is identical. Ford realized that it was cheaper to hold onto existing customers than chase down new ones. Automotive News even cited data from Harvard Business Review that claimed acquiring a new customer would cost automakers anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one.

“When we did all the data analytics, it became really clear: A loyal owner is so much easier for us to do business with than trying to get a customer from someone else,” Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, told dealers during a meet in Las Vegas this month. “It was a big ‘aha’ moment for us.”

Ford’s still working on it as part of its restructuring program. However, when it rolls out in earnest, FordPass customers can expect to see perks resulting from brand-based purchases and adherence to the automaker.

[Image: General Motors]

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70 Comments on “The New Benefits of Brand Loyalty...”


  • avatar
    MerlinV12

    >Ford realized that it was cheaper to hold onto existing customers than chase down new one

    HAHAHA! Ford already told me I am an idiot for wanting a 4 door sedan like the Fusion I have now. I guess I’m going to have to learn to like a Mazda 6 or a Camry or an Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Did you tell them “I’d be an idiot if I paid a penny over invoice and didn’t get enough in rebates to cover all the option boxes plus a hefty allowance on my trade in!”?

      Maybe not but all the same Ford wasnt making enough scratch on its sedans and hatches to justify keeping them going in the US and I doubt they could profitably exceed the class leaders in quality and content at typical Ford sedan transaction prices for very long if at all given the company’s relatively poor standing with Wall Street or its inherent organizaitonal problems that exist currently.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        If they don’t have the engineering chops to make a competitive car screw them I’ll take my business elsewhere.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          They likely have the engineering chops to put a man on the moon. Except that doesn’t mean their cars don’t have to undergo extreme cost-cutting before concepts hit the showroom for it all to make sense, profit-wise.

          Ford could build everyday sedans to embarrass Toyota and Honda but how much would they have to sell for, after rebates, especially without substantial volume sales?

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Yea, Ford has a perception problem and faces double standards that make it impossible for them to sell cars in the US profitably. People dump on Ford for keeping the Focus/Fiesta/Fusion around “so long”, but up until recently the Camry/Corolla were riding on platforms going back nearly 15 years. Even without the Powershift disaster I think Ford would have been in big trouble. I’m amazed people still don’t get it and are rehashing the same tired disproven arguments.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            The problem with Ford sedans goes back years before this current crop. For the most part, they’ve always been mediocre and have held less of a following than the Japanese brands.

            Fast forward to today and it’s tough for the blue oval to compete in that market. We’re looking at the tree but the seeds were sown decades ago.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Here’s an idea, build a car that customers like so well because of years of hassle-free ownership that they’ll want to buy another from you. I know, keep dreamin’

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      No way bro, you gotta rack up those sweet My GM Rewards every time you go in for your Chinesium power door lock actuators. It’s totally great for building brand loyalty.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Way over simplifying.

      Let’s say I’m Mazda. Let’s say I look around and go, “good idea, easier to keep customers than get new ones we should do a loyalty program.”

      Let’s say I’m John R. Consumer. I’ve driven my Mazda6 sedan that I love for 1/4 million miles. A couple of issues but nothing to make me go, “I’ll never own a Mazda again!”

      Now I need to go buy a pickup truck, because my life situation changed. Simple I just go to Mazda and….oh….problem.

      ======================

      Let’s say I own a Jeep Cherokee. Love the thing, live in the snowbelt, use the 4WD, it’s great. Love it! Now I got transferred to San Francisco for my job. The Cherokee is too big for parking in tight San Fran and 4WD is overkill. No problem, I’ll just buy a compact sedan and…oh wait…

      =====================

      I’m a loyal GM customer. Have been for years. Silverado until I die. We’ve got 3 kids so it’s a little tight in the back seat but with the DVD player and all they keep quiet. Oh man, my wife just told me she’s pregnant. Well we didn’t expect that. Ya, and SUV with a third-row might cut it for 4 kids, but I hear a minivan is the way to go. Wait a minute….

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        GM is the largest of the full line manufacturers by quite a bit over Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        1. If John R. Consumer said “I’ll never buy a Mazda again!” why would he go back to them for a pickup truck?

        2. Why would Cherokee driver look at a sedan? There are plenty of subcompact crossovers that work great in cities. Jeep makes one.

        3. The # of 6+ people households is shrinking fast in the US. In the 70s such households represented ~6% of the population. In the 80s they dropped down to 3%. Now it’s holding steady at about 2%. I’m certain many of those families are choosing 3 row crossovers and SUVs- enough to warrant dropping minivans entirely.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        APaGttH nailed it. I am buying the best vehicle for my needs. Would I like to stay with a brand I trust? Sure but if that brand doesn’t make the product I am seeking I gotta move on. For example I was a big Honda fan years ago (bought 3 of them in a row) but needed a truck back when they didn’t build one. Out of all the major players the only brand I’ve yet to own is a Mazda and I think they make a great products. Heck I currently own a GM after swearing to never buy their junk but figured it was worth the gamble (C7 ‘Vette = amazing so far).

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    My Lexus dealer is doing a good job keeping me. My car is 18-years old, I bought used from an Acura dealer. But, they treat me like I bought it new from them last week. I get free loaner car, breakfast and car washed when I take mine in for service. I’ll happily buy another used Lexus, and get it serviced at the dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      This is what I’m talking about, why dealers and manufacturers don’t “get it” when it comes making a good product followed up by good customer service I’ll never understand

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      So TM made their money when they sold the vehicle to the first buyer.

      TM made nothing on the second sale, nor did a Lexus or Toyota dealer.

      You’re dealer makes a small margin on parts and larger on labor on an 18 year old Lexus.

      You’re paying full dealer costs on an 18 year old car.

      Your logic is perfect.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The margin on parts is very good.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          What parts would a Lexus need? They never break I’m told. So overpaying for an oil filter when you could get equal or better quality???

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Did you read the part about the loaner car, the breakfast, and the car wash? That’s worth a forty dollar upcharge for the convenience alone. And you’re worried about how much an oil filter costs. You should work for one of the Detroit Two…

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Oh I did – and I get a loaner car, a full Starbucks grade coffee shop and a free car wash with any service at the dealer I go to.

            They are a Chevy – Mazda – Kia dealer.

            Lee Johnson – Kirkland, WA – look it up.

            Lexus doesn’t hold a stranglehold on good service. Oh, and I don’t need to make an appointment for an oil change, they have a Quicklube and I still get my latte and car wash — don’t need a loaner car for waiting around for 30 to 45 minutes.

            Oh and the oil change part of the dealer does my wife’s Subbie, the Ford Probe, and the JR Impulse.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            @APaGttH

            Lee Johnson Chev in Kirkland. My son got his s/o her Silverado there. Solid dealer, great service. Unfortunately, they live on Orcas Island, so they don’t get to take advantage of the service amenities often. We use Vancouver Toyota- great service, Toyota has a solid loyalty program, lounge mirrors a Lexus store.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        And he’s absolutely happy with the service he’s receiving. Oh that’s right, dealers are all rip-offs, and should starve, roll over and die.

        Sorry, but I don’t mind paying a bit more for the service if I’m well cared for, the vehicle is fixed properly the first time, every time, and the service outlet treats me like an appreciated customer rather than someone to be fleeced. And if that paragon of service just happens to be the dealer, well terrific. He’s getting my business.

        Right now I’ve got the opposite problem: The local chain that had the Kia dealership (absolutely excellent, the last time I was treated this good I was driving BMWs) sold the franchise to another local dealer group, who I don’t think so much of. So, it’s off to find a local independent shop near me – think I’ve found a good one, but time will tell. They’re still going to have to push with how the dealer did it, though.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      If I’m paying $89 for 5 quarts of non-synthetic and filter, it’d better include breakfast (maybe lunch too), eggs overeasy, and it better be really good.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @Lightspeed, the Lexus dealer will gladly fawn over when you drive with your 18yo car. Over 220,00 miles? Not a problem at your Lexus dealer. GM dealerships used to absolutely service anything with more than 100,000 miles on it. Service writers would turn into the cowardly lion and go, not no how! not no way! Unlike many of the B&B; waiting for my car to get worked on is not fun time for El Scotto. I demand either a loaner cars or a good shuttle service.

      • 0 avatar
        Lightspeed

        Where I am the difference between dealer prices and independent shop prices is miniscule. So, happy to get treated like a human being at the Lexus dealership. Before the Lexus I drove a Malibu and wondered why I was paying so much to fix a crappy car, and with middling service from a dealership I worked at for 15years. Driving an old Lexus has solved both those problems.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Most on here know I’m a Chevy guy – almost always have been.

    For over two years, I have been inundated with mailings from my Chevy store and GM trying to get me to buy another new vehicle!

    I’d love to, but being retired and considering my continual eye problems, my driving career may be coming to an end, not to mention my financial status.

    Wish all this happened years ago, for I would be driving either a nice, new Impala or a nice Silverado!

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      I don’t think your in the minority. I’m about to hit 14 years till retirement and the GT350 is the last new car I’ll probably get until retirement if at all (not even considering health issues).

      My retirement savings are decent enough since I’ve passed the major milestones companies typically benchmark but given expected and future costs for healthcare and cost of living plus whatever other non medical related surprises the world wants to throw a person’s way it makes little sense to keep throwing yourself in debt every half decade to decade or so if your at retirement age or nearing retirement age like me.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @Zack & raph ..Me too ..Being a GM retiree ,I’m also inundated with all these “employee price deals”..With my Mustang now its 4th year the Ford people are all over me. Points for service, points for loyalty, $1000 off for Costco members etc etc,.

        The Mustang has 37000 KLM’s on the odo (23000 miles) I still have nearly 2 years of power train warranty. .I know that the best they’ll offer with taxes and all, is half of what I paid for it.

        I see nothing in the GM or Ford line up that sparks my interest . I’ve bought enough cars in my lifetime . At my stage of life you think long and hard before signing that cheque, or committing to the next 5 years.

        Frankly I don’t care what they’re giving away..
        .

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    As Lightspeed said, the proper way to retain customers is by offering a good product and maintaining good after-sale service.

    After the Honda dealer acted as though they didn’t want her business, my ex started having her Accord serviced by the local Acura dealer. They were more than happy to help her and had all the parts/tools/training to service her car. It was no more expensive than the Honda dealer, and she was treated like royalty. So much so that her next purchase was an Acura.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    > manufacturers know that it’s going to be a lot
    > harder to reel in new customers. They’ve decided
    > to shift tactics by offering incentives to
    > existing customers in the hopes that they won’t
    > leave them the next time they need a fresh
    > vehicle.

    Too late, Honda. Back in 2009 when the economy crashed, you chose to pull ALL the way back on your goodwill warranty program–while you were still in the middle of dealing with your 4 and 5 speed transmission woes.

    You took a very very very loyal customer that you had cultivated over 30 years, an active brand champion and evangelist, and chose to throw him away.

    9 years later I’m still telling the story. I am now an evangelist *against* buying Honda. If I’m going to buy a van and have transmission problems (or similar) along with a manufacturer who doesn’t care, I might as well spend less money and buy a Chrysler product.

    And last year, when I chose to buy something very much like the Civic Si or Type R? I figured, if I’m going to get screwed by a manufacturer, the entire world is open to me. There’s zero benefit in buying Honda. And there’s plenty of benefit, relatively speaking, in buying another storied brand.

    It’s a little late for the loyalty game, guys. We know you’ll pull back on it immediately and dump those frequent buyer miles at any moment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Anti-Honda? Careful dude, they may send a couple of guys over to have a little “chat” with you

    • 0 avatar

      I was refused test driving Accord in Honda dealership and I never considered Honda since then.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Ha, ha, I had a Honda salesman refuse to let me drive an S2000. I was serious and not a “tire-kicker” looking to kill time. I laughed and told him what he could do with his Honda. I too never went back to Honda

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          The S2000 is a wonderful car. Tactile, responsive, and full of theater. It’s a shame you allowed a dealership employee to deter you from a car you not only wanted to drive but to own.

          Honda dealerships and plentiful. If one won’t allow something, in my experience, another will.

          Not really a reason to walk away from a car you’re interested in. At least for me.

          Did I mention that the S2000 is a wonderful car?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The Toronto Dominion Bank GM Visa Card burned thousands of Canadians. A cardholder could earn 3% back applicable to the purchase of a new GM vehicle. I was up to $3,500 when GM pulled the plug. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Loyalty programs get hosed up everywhere. Look at United Airlines frequent flyer program. Sounds great right? Sine United has merged with so many airlines it now takes 100 flights a year to have status and/or you have to use their CC. So, it is not just GM that screwed their customer base….

  • avatar
    redgolf

    when I leased my Buick in 2016 after having been a loyal GM customer for years, having bought/leased 8 new vehicles, I was told that at the end of my current lease if I turned it in and bought or leased a competitors car I would have to pay a $500 penalty! WHAT! you gotta be kidding!

  • avatar
    Mackie

    To make me a loyal customer, they first have to gain my trust. They can start with cracking down on shady dealers who try to up-sell me on unnecessary repairs when I take my car in for scheduled maintenance. Incentives mean nothing if I’m just gonna get gouged in the long run.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      To your point on the shady dealers… I use a big name Chevy dealership in my town for routine oil changes. They used to price their Fastlane oil changes just above the Quik Lube shops, but they used top of the line oil and factory filters. They also had a loyalty card, once you had 9 oil changes, your 10th was free.

      Recently, they started the hard sell on BG additives in the Fastlane. I politely decline them, as my owner’s manual does not specify any extra additives for my car. Then they stopped the loyalty card, but replaced it with an email coupon. OK, no problem, I can show them my coupon on my phone. All the while this is happening, we went from a price just above the Quik Lube shops to a solid $10 increase in price in less than a year.

      More recently, the email coupon has been discontinued and there will be no replacement. The BG sales pitches are coming from all sides. I have to laugh, the 22 year old kid is trying to sell me about the long term benefits of using the additives, while attempting to tell me my normal 130K mile motor’s light amount of varnish is sludge. I politely decline, as I see the other attendant bringing me my bill and the price has gone up AGAIN, from last time by another $10 (I keep my receipts).

      So now I’m up to $55 for a regular (nope, not synthetic) oil change on a regular car engine, 5 quarts and one filter. Refilling my windshield washer bottle and adding air to my tires must be mighty expensive these days.

      If that pimply fsck tries to tell me one more time that the light varnish on a 10 year old, 130K+ mile motor is sludge (especially as I have serviced it to the factory recommended maintenance schedule), I may respond like this: If your company will pay to dismantle my engine and show me where this sludge is, I will gladly pay for the additive…

      Eventually, we will need another car. But it’s less and less likely I want to deal with them. They may have lost a sale even before the was a chance to make one…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’m always amazed with how many people out there are clamoring for my 5 year old 120k mile Outback (based on excited mailers I get from various dealers….).

    That said, I do want a truck for my future retirement for getting things done around the house, but we recently got burned by a not-so-reliable Ford Edge. I really like the F-150, but i’ll probably go with the Tundra…

    I’ve never been a loyalist – I buy a car that fits my needs for that time. My new cars have been Pontiac, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, and Subaru. Toyota May be my first repeat.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    There are 235 million people in the US over the age of 21, and it seems we’re on track to sell roughly 16 million new cars this year. The average vehicle here is just over 11 years old. Saying that this market can’t grow any further is just another way of saying that we give up on the idea of moving large numbers of those 235 million adults into the middle- and upper-middle-class so that they can afford to buy those new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jfb43

      What it really means is the car industry is at peak financing. Who will be the first to mainstream a 10-year loan option? All cars are affordable with the right financing terms.

      I also contend that “class” has nothing to do with sales. The younger generations – my generation – generally consider cars an appliance. A 2004 Honda Civic is no more or less appealing to them than a brand new Accord, so there’s no interest in purchasing until it becomes a necessity.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      Or it means most cars are reliable enough to last 10-15 years. And large numbers of people live in cities and thus don’t need cars at all.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “And large numbers of people live in cities and thus don’t need cars at all.”

        From what I’ve observed most people who live in cities actually do need cars. Most cities don’t have an extensive and timely public transportation network the way that like New York or San Francisco.

        If you live in LA. You’ll most likely need a car. Same with Houston, Tampa, Miami, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, St. Louis and a host of other cities.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The average age of cars on the road has been increasing pretty steadily. Cars are better built and more reliable than they used to be. Why should people buy more cars they don’t need?

    • 0 avatar
      CarShark

      As a 32-year-old, I would like to have a new car, but I have almost 20% of my monthly salary (after taxes) dedicated to paying student loans. I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future. That alone is the difference between me getting a new midsize car on a 5-year loan and probably getting a used compact instead. Multiply that same calculus by hundreds of thousands (millions?) in the same situation, and I think that’s where the ‘millennials don’t like cars’ mindset comes from.

  • avatar

    It sounds like this is as much about encouraging owners to get their cars serviced at the dealership as it is about selling cars. Which makes sense since that tends to be more profitable than selling cars.

    Unless that’s just to get dealers to buy into it.

  • avatar
    Funky D

    Looking back, I have never really had brand loyalty. When it comes to new vehicles, I have my specifications and then find the one that meets them best. When it came time to buy a truck, the Avalanche was the most versatile and useful one out there. When I am back in that market, it looks like a Tundra for me unless something changes, which it very well could. My next vehicle, though, will be the successor to the GTO, and right now, that list only has 1 model on it: Ford Mustang GT.

    While incentives and gimmicks might work to a point, nothing would build customer loyalty like reliability, dependability, and honest, quality parts and service. So far, Benny the RAV4 and the local Toyota dealer is ticking all these check boxes.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The pickup equation is easy. When the F150 dies I’ll get a new one and I will look at Ford first because they have been the best trucks for me throughout my adult life.

    But how, pray tell does Ford plan to keep me loyal when the Fiesta ST’s lease is up. If the recent rumors are to be believed a Golf R based something or another ST or SHO maybe but short of that I’ll probably be looking at a GTI.

    • 0 avatar
      jfb43

      That’s easy – they don’t care about you. As an owner of anything “ST,” you’re on the fringe of the margin. They figure you’ll get an Edge ST or a Mustang or an F-150 when you “grow up,” and if not, oh well.

      It’s a bit tougher to reconcile the very mainstream Focus and Fiesta owners who have nowhere to go within Ford to get a new version of what they drive. They could upgrade to Lincoln (doubtful), buy a Ford SUV (maybe), or go to another brand that meets their needs (probably).

      I also wonder what’s more prevalent among consumers – brand loyalty, or the “never-buy” people who will never buy a certain brand? I’d say I fall into the latter part. I’ll consider most brands except for a small few.

  • avatar

    I am signed to Ford Pass. Recently I got two emails that I earned points.And almost immediately other two e-mails that points expired. So I do not care.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    This thread reminds me of that scene in The Office, when Ryan asks Michael whether it is more expensive to gain a new customer or retain an existing one (“gain,” by x7), and Dwight turns out to know but not our dummy dumdum.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Good luck is all I can say

    I’ve spent more with GM than I care to remember, I even (fairly) recently bought a new SS sedan on top of the multiple Hummers and other trucks throughout the years. But GM has a grand total sum of 0 (zero) vehicles that interest me today. A Suburban seems like a good vehicle but there are no wow.
    How is GM going to get me to come into a showroom to replace any of my Hummers (which I still get tons of offers from dealerships trying to buy them)? GM has no products to replace these vehicles, nothing. Similarly what product does GM sell that could possibly replace my SS sedan? CTS-V maybe, but $90k for a midsize is laughable at best.

    Dodge is the only brand selling anything that could even come close to replacing my SS, and the lone vehicle in the entire industry that might be able to replace my Hummers is a Ram PowerWagon.

    You can’t expect to have loyal customers when there’s no products on the shelves except for canned tuna and lemon lime selzer water.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Guangzhou Guadalajara Motors.

    SSDD (last D is for day or decade).

    GM is the builder of absolute sh!t (with xtremely few exceptions), cobbled together of absolute lowest-bidder garbage parts (see “One World” parts procurement policy which essentially tells suppliers that if they can’t match absolute lowest RFP price from lowest bidder in China or SE Asia, don’t bother bidding) at ridiculous MSRP (for what one receives, that is later slashed in price by 20% or more during inevitable fire sales), with one of the worst run dealership networks to ever exist among any volume automaker in human history.

    There are exactly two people I know who are still GM loyalists, and even they concede they really can’t rationally defend sticking with these roling dumpster fire vehicles from GGM, except for the employee pricing that they get and/or ability to buy very lightly used PEP vehicles at a massive discount.

    I know literally many dozens of people who made the switch from Garbage Motors during the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, and who would never, ever, under any circumstance go back to Guangzhou Guadalajara Motors under ANY circumstance, for the rest of their and their families’ vehicle purchasing/leasing lives.

    p.s. The new Cadillac XT4 is a laughably overpriced, decidely non-premium vehicle, that’s going to be blown out at $239/$0 down lease deals before EOY.

    p.s. X2 – For sh!ts and giggles, go to Cadillac Owner’s Forums and look at the XTS and CT6 subforums to see an ongoing discussion about how the Cadillac XTS is a clearly superior, more comfortable, quieter, better vehicle, at approx a real world ATP of $45,000 – $48,000 new, than the POS CT6, that has a MSRP of $64,000 an insanely laughable $88,000.

    • 0 avatar

      Scanning forum posts for my next car, I’m amazed at the level of repair discussions on the CTS and ATS boards. Cars four years old shouldn’t be having these issues. Service Stabilitrak Soon shows up on the dash of the new cars too….Reduced Engine Power is also a frequent message. Wow.

      • 0 avatar
        jfb43

        GM just happens to be one of those “never-buy” brands for me. For these stated reasons and others.

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          I am with you brother. The day I returned my leased 97 Chevy was one of the happiest of my life. I left the Chevy dealer on foot…walked across the street to the Toyota store, and drove away in a new Tundra…which gave NO trouble. The two ownership experiences could not have been more different.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Branding is the lazy man’s pre-purchase research.

  • avatar
    jschuma3

    For at least the last 35 years I was in the “car business”, every manufacturer preached it is easier, cheaper, and more profitable to retain an existing customer than to obtain a new one. Carl Sewell wrote “Customers For Life”, which is practically an industry bible, almost 30 years ago! Manufacturers spent billions on dealer programs to promote owner satisfaction and loyalty; remember “Blue Oval”? And now, in the year 2018, Jim Farley has done “all the data analytics” and had “a big ‘aha’ moment”? Earth to Jim: NOT NEWS!

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Re: Smartascii

    1973 was, up to then, the best sales year in the US, with about 15.5 million vehicles.

    America’s TOTAL population then was around 210 million. And the median age was younger than today.

    Does that mean that with 315 million people, 23 million vehicles will be sold?

    NO. Cars last longer. People have more “want to haves” now than they did then competing for their money.

    And middle America is poorer. For the middle class, housing costs more now. TAXES are higher. Car insurance is higher. HEALTH CARE is much higher (though it is a lot better). And thanks to outsourcing, the decline of unions, and just plain old progress/automation, wages are lower.

    The traffic is worst too. And the roads and bridges are in worst shape.

  • avatar
    S197GT

    the main reason ford keeps getting me as a customer (three new vehicles from them) is because they consistently have the cheapest vehicle in the class i am looking at; all other things (trim/content) being equal . the vehicle is rarely the best (though i loved my ’06 Mustang GT) but for the price they couldn’t be beat. after i took a bath on my first new ford at resale (’03 Explorer Eddie Bauer) i learned to keep them a little longer (11 years with the Mustang).

    so, yeah, no surprise to me they make very little profit outside of their trucks. which is why i’ll only ever buy those used (like my ’01 ranger, which, i love!).

  • avatar
    hubcap

    ” Ford realized that it was cheaper to hold onto existing customers than chase down new ones.”

    Hasn’t that been true for centuries?

  • avatar
    mikedt

    “When we did all the data analytics, it became really clear: A loyal owner is so much easier for us to do business with than trying to get a customer from someone else,” Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, told dealers during a meet in Las Vegas this month. “It was a big ‘aha’ moment for us.”

    Well DUH. Isn’t that the first lesson in Marketing 101? Holding a customer is cheaper than acquiring a customer!?!? Why the hell are they paying these execs more than Walmart checker salaries?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them. W. Edwards Deming

    Wasn’t ford supposed to have been one of the early adopters of Deming’s philosophy of Continuous Improvement?

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I am not the kind of enthusiast who has much brand loyalty. Each time I am looking for a vehicle, my criteria are VERY objective, and I will shop until I find the vehicle that best fits that criteria. The only brand issues I have are a complete allergy to GM products. My last experience with them (a 1997 Chevy) was so awful, I promised myself to NEVER subject myself to such torture again.


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