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GM cuts warranty on Chevrolet, GMC vehicles from 100K to 60K miles

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(Read caption) The Chevrolet Bolt EV electric concept vehicle is driven onto the stage at a presentation during the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit. GM will cut warranties on Chevy and GMC brand vehicles from 100,000 to 60,000 miles.

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Is a 100,000-mile warranty enough to steer you from one vehicle to another? According to Detroit News, General Motors thinks the answer is "no".

GM polled customers and discovered that warranties alone weren't that important to shoppers -- at least not important enough to make or break a sale. And that's why 2016 Chevrolet and GMC vehicles will come with a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty instead of the 100,000-mile warranty that this year's models have. 

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You know what else is changing? The brands' complimentary service offers. Chevy and GMC vehicles will still come with two years of free scheduled maintenance, but starting in model-year 2016, owners will receive just two complimentary visits per year instead of the current four. As with warranties, GM found that today's Chevy and GMC maintenance programs weren't especially strong selling points.

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GM launched its 100,000-mile warranty program just eight years ago, in 2007, to promote the quality of its vehicles. The outgoing maintenance plan debuted much more recently, in model-year 2014. That's hardly enough time for folks to have grown attached to either.

But this policy change isn't about our affection -- or lack thereof -- for particularcar care programs. In fact, while we agree with GM that such offerings probably aren't enough to sway a shopper who's on the fence, this change likely has more to do with the repair habits of younger vehicle owners.

As we've discussed before, older motorists tend to take their vehicles to dealerships for service, but consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 are more likely to visit local garages and aftermarket chains. We're guessing that GM simply read the writing on the wall and realized that it could take the money it currently spends on complimentary maintenance and put it somewhere else.

GM even went so far to confirm that in a statement, saying that it would spend the difference developing more highly valued features, like infotainment systems and vehicle-to-vehicle technology. Given recent surveys that show high-tech toys among the most popular with consumers, that may be a pretty good investment on GM's part.


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