For many Americans, buying a used car has long been an affordable alternative to purchasing a brand-new vehicle. In an announcement the other day, General Motors said it wants to make the buying process even easier for online shoppers. The used car market is huge, and with a younger generation of car buyers preferring to shop in their pajamas on the couch, GM has taken initiative in order to beat everyone else to the punch.
If you are looking for a gently used Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac, and don’t want to hit the local used car lot, GM’s forthcoming program is just for you. The Detroit-based giant says this online system will allow shoppers “access to a national inventory of low-mileage former General Motors lease, daily rental, and company-owned vehicles never before available to the public in one easy-to-navigate place.” This Factory Pre-Owned Collection serves as yet another example of GM’s renewed interest in earning customers for life, a fact that GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra stressed in a press release.
“We know that many of our customers who are shopping for a used car want to complete more of the process online, and that number is growing,” Barra said. “GM is already a leader in online new car shopping with our Shop-Click-Drive service, and we are expanding it with the Factory Pre-Owned Collection, making GM the first automaker to offer this choice to consumers.”
The program is slated to feature an inventory that advertises more than 30,000 automobiles on any given day, with all vehicles sporting fewer than 37,000 miles, and includes an extended factory bumper-to-bumper limited warranty for peace of mind.
To keep it a fair market, consumers can also compare suggested prices on the site to what’s being sold in their area via the Kelley Blue Book Fair Market Range, which shows what people are typically paying in a certain area for similar vehicles. Carfax Vehicle History Reports are also available for the vehicles that GM will be offering, with even more perks to be announced on the website when it goes live early next month.
GM says that online shoppers who use the Factory Pre-Owned Collection only need to follow three simple steps in order to get going:
- Browse the inventory to find the vehicle of their choice.
- Choose a participating GM dealer and reserve their vehicle using the Shop-Click-Drive experience.
- Finalize their purchase and take delivery of their vehicle from their selected dealer.
One nice feature that’s illustrated in the video seen here is that once a vehicle has been purchased from the Factory Pre-Owned Collection, buyers have a three-day/150-mile exchange opportunity, so if they are not completely satisfied with a vehicle they can exchange it for something else, no questions asked. A three-month trial of the OnStar Guidance Plan will also be included with each purchase, along with a Sirius/XM Satellite Radio All-Access Package, and a handful of other perks. Roadside assistance and courtesy transportation also come standard during this warranty period, and being that a vehicle’s purchase can be made online and picked-up at a local dealership, the need to haggle with salesmen is now officially a thing of the past.
“Technology and consumer demands are disrupting the used car marketplace, and GM is leading the way in transforming the way used cars are sold,” says Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “The Factory Pre-Owned Collection creates a simpler, easier experience for our customers and offers them more choices, less hassle, and greater peace of mind. It’s also great for our dealers and GM because it introduces new buyers to our brands and increases residual values. Everybody wins.”
The Factory Pre-Owned Collection website is set to go live in early February, and while it may not offer something for everyone, being able to get a low-mileage GM vehicle for the right price from the most reputable resource around is a strong step in the right direction. Maybe it’s time for us to start looking for a gently abused Cadillac CTS-V after all.