The marketing spin: If you don’t love your new Chevy, you can return it.
Be sure to pay close attention to the fine print in the offer: the return policy only applies to those “Summer Lovers” who purchase a Chevy between July 10th and September 4th, 2012. Buyers must keep the vehicle for at least 30 days before filing a return claim, then have only an additional 30 days to file; once 60 days pass, time’s up, you’re married. To file a claim, heartbroken buyers must provide Chevrolet with the original bill of sale, driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Strangely, Chevy allows cars to be returned with up to 4000 miles—that’s a lot of driving in a month! And very important to note, the return policy only refunds the purchase price less any rebates, incentives, registration and title costs, and sales tax. If you finance the car, you’re on the hook for those costs too. So, if you’re thinking this is your opportunity to have a consequence-free, “one-night stand” with that Torch-red Corvette ZR-1 you’ve always wanted – think again.
So why is GM doing this? The TopRight view is that Chevy marketers are trying to kill two birds with one promotional stone: depleting 2012 dealer inventory while simultaneously garnering new customers for the 2013s. It’s a clever promotion, and it will be interesting to see how it resonates in the marketplace. One thing is certain: GM’s “Super-Hot” Global Marketing Chief, Joel Ewanick, won’t be around to see how it plays out. GM sacked him earlier this month. As many CMOs know so well: “The hottest love has the coldest end” – Socrates.