Jennifer Costabile, General Director, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, conducted an email interview about the new Buick, Chevrolet, GMC certified pre-owned programs with About.Com.
She provides some good information about the new program, such as what happens if a new owner doesn't follow the maintenance program, and was, not surprisingly, oblique on some issues, such as how much the new program will end up costing customers.
Just to get you up to speed, GM has launched Owner Care for the Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC certified pre-owned programs. It includes a two-year/30,000-mile standard vehicle maintenance program, will cover oil changes based on each vehicle's Oil Life Monitor system, tire rotations, and multi-point vehicle inspections at no charge to the customer.
Q. What was behind the decision to grant two years/30,000 miles of standard maintenance on every purchase of a Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle? It's understandable why a company does this with new cars but why with certified pre-owned?
A: In an effort to create the best certified pre-owned program in the industry, we've been listening to our customers and dealers regarding the value they're seeking. New benefits such as Owner Care, which includes the first-in-class standard vehicle maintenance plan, will provide consumers with the security and hassle-free experience they want and need.
Q. What are the consequences of not following the maintenance program? For example, if a customer waits too long to get the oil changed are there no more free oil changes? Will this regular maintenance be a stipulation of the 12-month/12,000 mile warranty?
A: Because the maintenance schedule is based on each vehicle's Oil Life Monitor system, it would be in each customer's best interest to visit their dealer for oil changes and tire rotations according to the schedule. However, customers will not be denied their Owner Care maintenance as long as they request it within two years or 30,000 miles of their vehicle purchase.
Q. What does a change like this do to the bottom line of a certified pre-owned Chevrolet, Buick or GMC? How much more can customers expect to pay because of this new program?
A: Although prices of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles are set by dealers, and not by GM, customers should not expect any significant impact on vehicle prices as a result of the implementation of Owner Care. However, customers can expect their Certified Pre-Owned Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle to be a superior value compared to any mass brand on the market, because of Owner Care.
Q. Does offering this on certified pre-owned vehicles enhance the value of these used cars when they get traded in for the dealer? After all, they will have more complete service records.
A: Owner Care is a win-win for both customers and dealers. It will provide customers with more value and will positively affect dealers by leading to higher residual values and increased dealer participation and customer loyalty.
Q. Typically, a fee is charged by a manufacturer for a vehicle to be certified. Has GM increased this fee because of the new maintenance offering?
A: GM does not disclose fees that are charged to dealers who participate in the Chevrolet / Buick / GMC Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles program.Q. Onto a more technical question: the 117-point inspection has been increased to 172 points. What new has been added to the inspection process? Has anything been taken off the inspection process?
A: GM has developed a more comprehensive inspection process in an effort to provide more value to customers and ensure the highest product quality possible. Several new points of inspection were added to the process, such as listing and inspecting each tire and each brake separately. The new 172-point inspection also includes advanced processes for Certified Pre-Owned hybrid vehicles. In addition, GM has created a new, easy-to-read form that is completed by service technicians and provided to customers, making the process easier to understand.