While the economic climate isn’t as bad as it was last year, car sales still aren’t up to par with “the good old times” when people bought or leased new vehicles like there was no tomorrow.
As such, carmakers are now employing various offers, consisting of discounts, incentives or even zero-percent financing on new models, just to make them more attractive in the eyes of the few consumers that are still shopping around.
Ford’s Lincoln and GM’s Cadillac are the latest to join this merry little group, as the two premium-oriented brands have both unveiled their own takes on the free scheduled maintenance offer.
First off, let’s start, in an alphabetical order, with Cadillac, shall we?
The GM brand, while achieving pretty solid earnings during 2010 up until now, still isn’t up to the standard set by last year’s sales figures. As such, in order to further augment the importance of the new 2011 model year vehicles, the company has announced that all new cars will be getting the Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance package.
For all new models, the luxury brand is offering to take care of things like scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, the replacement of air and engine filters as well as the regular vehicle inspection.
“Cadillac is adding Premium Care Maintenance as a way to extend customer service beyond the sale,” Kurt McNeil, vice president of Cadillac sales and service, said in a prepared statement. “The program is designed to raise satisfaction for owners by ensuring access to expert service. It should lead to higher loyalty rates for dealers by establishing them as a valued resource for our customers.”
As such, cars like the new 2011 CTS Coupe, the SRX or the CTS sedan, as well as performance models from the V Series, will benefit from this rather attractive offer, good for the first 50,000 miles or the first four years of ownership.
Moving to the Blue Oval’s Lincoln brand, we deal with a more limited offer. The premium carmaker is offering its free maintenance program to anyone who purchases or leases a new car from now to September 7.
But while the time frame is much shorter than Cadillac’s, the offer does extend to more issues. Lincoln pledges to take care of oil changes, tire rotations, vehicle inspections, as well replacing the engine belts, brake pads or windshield wipers, which aren’t covered by GM’s brand.
“Our commitment is to further grow the Lincoln brand and offer our luxury customers the premium experience they deserve and expect,” said Ken Czubay, Ford Motor Company’s vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Our free scheduled maintenance offer marks only the first step in our plans to further upgrade the Lincoln experience.”
Lincoln’s offer comes as an effort to solidify the company, after Ford announced that it will be shutting down the Mercury brand, which shared a lot of dealerships with Lincoln. The offer will be good for either three years or 45,000 miles.
So, while you would think that premium carmakers aren’t as affected by the recession and economic downturn, Cadillac and Lincoln prove otherwise. Hopefully, for fans of both brands, things will look up.