24-Hour Test Drive Program is Go at Buick

Buick Cascada 1 photo
Photo: Buick
Have you ever been on a test drive? Aren’t you sick of over-sensitive salesmen that cringe when you shift into second? Isn’t it silly to buy a new car after spending 10 minutes in it with the most rigid man in the universe sitting next you? A few more questions can be asked here, but fret not - Buick brings back the 24-hour test drive to address these issues.
Well, not these exact issues, but its own problem. The GM-owned brand isn’t doing so good in terms of US sales. The overnight test drive should be regarded as a sales booster then, but Buick is on to something here, something the rest of the industry and dealerships simply cannot understand.

By offering a potential customer the keys of a car for 24 hours, you offer him the possibility of getting the know a vehicle he or she is interested in. 24 hours are enough to get acquainted with the finest of details, including quality, how the engine pulls on the highway, and how it drives.

After a day of driving, the potential customer will come back to the dealer to give the car back and pay in cash for his or her future means of personal transport. Simple as that. The “24 Hours of Happiness” promotion isn't an all-new concept though. General Motors ran a similar promotion across its automotive brands back in the early Naughties. Moreover, GM offered $250 to anyone who test-drove a GM car but ended up acquiring anything outside the GM spectrum.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Buick is at the firing end of the barrel of a gun. With Q1 and Q2 sales of 106,314 vehicles in the United States, the brand moves 6.3 percent fewer cars compared to the same period of 2014. So, with courtesy vehicles ready to go and willing dealers, will Buick bounce back in terms of sales? Maybe or maybe not. But we’re thankful for the initiative, and we sure hope other brands will follow the 24-hour test drive trend.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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