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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 02 2011, 2:15 PM

You’ve probably heard of Costco members getting  incentives to buy new vehicles  at dealers on your local radio. However, one automaker; General Motors is taking things a step further, teaming up with the wholesale giant to sell select Chevy/GMC pickups and SUVs through a number of authorized retailers for a no haggle “preferred price.”

In addition, eligible buyers will also receive a $500 Costco Cash Card for further savings on the price of a new truck. As part of the program, GM will display vehicles at Costco outlets across the country, which according to a company spokesman for the General; Jim Cain, enables the automaker to “reach people in a unique setting outside of a dealership.”

The “preferred” price actually varies from vehicle to vehicle, though according to Cain, will be similar to incentives  offered to employees of GM suppliers, who currently receive discounts on new cars and trucks.

Eligible vehicles in the Costco program include  the 2011/2012 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Surburan as well as the Traverse, plus their GMC equivalents, Sierra; Yukon, Yukon XL and Acadia.

In order to participate, Costco members have to register online with the Costco Auto Program or call a special phone number. They must also complete surveys and redemption forms after purchasing a vehicle in order to receive the $500 Cash Card.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Oct 27 2010, 7:42 PM

In the old days, fierce brand loyalty was a given when it came to car sales and it was often handed down through generations – i.e. your grandfather drove a GM product, your dad drove a GM product and so did you.

Not any more. According to a recent survey by Morpace, these days, when it comes to shopping for vehicles it’s all about the deal. Out of 1,000 people surveyed, approximately 74 percent said they’d choose a vehicle based on price and incentives. Not only that but research shows they’re often willing to travel to get the best deal on a car or truck, so even much talked about elements such as customer service and dealer location don’t appear to be hugely important.

In fact, the survey illustrated that although many vehicle purchases might begin with referrals from family and friends, along with prior experiences and dealer marketing programs, when it comes to the actual purchase consumers “are willing to travel for a good deal on the product they really want, ” according to Morpace Vice President Karen Gaule.

As a result, when GM and Chrysler terminated more than 2,000 dealerships last year, there was little mourning, at least from consumers.

“The fact is, the American consumer buys products that are convenient, predictable and affordable. It’s the same for cars. The most important factors for a car buyer are overall price and monthly payment,” said Ed Tonkin chairman of the National Automobile Dealer’s Association at a conference in Detroit last week.

And with that kind of statement coming from the horse’s mouth, one question we have to ask ourselves now is, when will Walmart start selling cars?

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jul 09 2010, 11:48 AM

Building on the concept of its bold ‘Minivan Pledge’ program, Chrysler has announced that it will be offering a Risk-Free purchase plan for most new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles. The program, which began on July 8; will essentially allow those customers not happy with their new vehicle to return it back within 60 days, plus Chrysler will make the first two monthly payments on behalf of the consumer up to $500 per month or $1000 in total.

However, like any such incentive, there are strings attached. Buyers who elect to return their vehicle won’t be reimbursed for taxes, licensing costs or other fees and although normal wear and tear is acceptable, damage cost to the vehicle cannot total more than $200. If it does, the vehicle won’t be accepted back. Also like many lease agreements there are mileage restrictions and the new Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle cannot be driven more than 4000 miles from the delivery date in order to qualify for the program. Also only one vehicle return is allowed per customer and those that do won’t be able to get their original trade-in back.

Alongside this program, Chrysler is offering other incentives in July to help clear existing stock for the upcoming 2011 models, including more ‘traditional’ programs such as zero percent financing for 60 months and up to $3000 cash back on selected models.

With all these incentives on the table, if you’re looking to buy a new Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle, there’s no better time to do it than during the summer.

 |  May 20 2010, 7:21 AM

2009 Suzuki Equator

In an effort to boost sales of it’s Nissan derived mid-size pickup, the Equator, as well as other U.S. models; American Suzuki Motor Corporation is offering a new incentive: free gasoline for the summer. Customers who purchase a new 2010 Equator, will be eligible to receive a stored-value debit card for fuel. The cards will range in value from $280 to $442 in total. The amount will depend on the national average price of a gallon of gas at the time of issue, the calculated EPA fuel mileage for the vehicle in question (Equators are available with 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 4.0-liter V6 engines, both of which have managed more than 20 highway mpg in testing); plus the Federal Highway Administration’s calculation of approximately 1000 miles driven per month. The cards will be issued through August 31 2010.

Free gas incentives have been done before and are highly popular in Europe, where petrol regularly sells for $6-8 a gallon. Introducing such a program, just as North America starts gearing up for the summer driving season is a shrewd move, but whether Suzuki is able to shift significantly more Equators during the warmer months remains to be seen. I guess we’ll soon find out.

[Source: Suzuki]

 |  May 17 2010, 10:45 AM

Nissan Titan

It’s been around what seems like forever, but the venerable Nissan Titan is proving that there’s still some life left in it yet. After plans to offer a badge engineered version of the Ram were canceled last year, the original 2003-vintage truck has been soldiering on. Production of the Canton, Mississippi built full-size truck bottomed out last year, but so far, in 2010, sales have been on a rebound. Through the end of last week, Nissan has built 10,886 Titans for the model year, versus 1,256 over the same period in 2009, when overall Titan sales totals stood at a dismal 19,042 units in a generally bad year for the automotive industry.

According to John Schilling, a spokesman for Nissan North America Inc., “the general overall improving economy seems to be driving sales, which are trending higher. We’re seeing more demand for Titan.” No doubt helping are a number of incentives, including zero percent financing for 60 months and $5000 cash back on selected Titan models.