GM Lets Consumers Test Drive Competitor Vehicles
General Motors’ latest installment of its AutoShow In Motion ride-and-drive increased consideration across the entire GM portfolio by 204 percent. The event, which allowed GM to display all of its North American brands to current GM owners and prospective buyers, gave consumers a side-by-side view of GM cars and its competitors—so they could form impressions about an array of vehicles without having to go to each marque’s individual dealers for test drives.
“AutoShow in Motion is all about product experience, building consideration, and breaking down misconception barriers for those in the middle of the sales funnel,” says Steve Tihanyi, GM’s general director-marketing and entertainment alliances.
Twenty-eight low-sell, no-pressure events were set up across the country; venues included parking lots at major sports arenas. The event footprint was massive: roughly four million square feet of terrain, including a custom on- and off-road track for Hummer and performance tracks for Corvette. The setup allowed consumers to take test drives in vehicles of their choice—GM offered more than 200 cars and trucks, including competitors’ vehicles.
Built into the mix were tents where guests could grab free food and drinks, a play area for children and displays for GM sister brands and partners such as OnStar, the GM Card, and XM Satellite Radio. Plus, there was a “hot products” display showcasing GM products of the future.
To participate, consumers could simply register on-site; those who met the driving requirements were able to take a spin in any car they desired—vehicles were grouped by class, with separate tents for SUVs, mid-sized rides and so on.
Tihanyi says consumers who attend AutoShow In Motion are three times more likely to purchase a GM vehicle than consumers who don’t.
Average attendance was 7,500 per event, with drivers driving an average of more than eight laps. In total, the entire program drew 215,008 people who completed more than 1.7 million drives—10 percent more than in previous years.