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$3,500 cash back!
by Greg Wilson
Hefty rebates and low interest financing boost Oldsmobile sales
When General Motors announced last December that the Oldsmobile brand would be discontinued in a few years, many observers expected Oldsmobile sales to peter out. Instead, Oldsmobile sales have increased – up by 11.2% from October to May, 2001. Generous rebates, low interest financing, and a new five year powertrain warranty are all contributing to the sales surge at Oldsmobile.
At the time of the announcement, existing Oldsmobile owners were given certificates by GM of Canada: $2,000 towards the purchase of a new Oldsmobile vehicle or $1250 towards the purchase of another GM vehicle. These continue to be honoured by dealers subject to availability of vehicles.
Right now, anyone shopping for an Oldsmobile can receive a rebate – GM calls it a ‘retail delivery credit’ – of between $1,750 and $3,500 on most Oldsmobile models. The only exception is the new 2002 Bravada SUV.
As well, Oldsmobile purchasers can opt for special low interest financing terms of between 0.9% and 4.9% on terms between 36 month and 60 months – again the exception is the Bravada with interest rates ranging from 6.9% and 7.8%. In addition to the low financing interest rates, Alero models come with $500 cash back and Silhouette minivans come with $1,000 cash back.
Special low leasing rates are also in effect on Oldsmobiles – they vary widely from a low of 1.9% for 48 months on Silhouette minivans to 7.9% for 60 months on Bravada SUV’s. In addition, the Aurora offers a $2,000 rebate when leasing.
GM of Canada Assistant Manager for Public Relations, Lynn Smith, says these rates are in effect until September 30, 2001.
Another tempting carrot designed to lure consumers into the Olds showrooms is a new five year/100,000 km powertrain warranty on all 2001 and 2002 Oldsmobiles. Most other GM automobiles just have the standard 3 yr/60,000 km warranty.
Georges Iny of the Automotive Protection Association recommends buying an Oldsmobile, “..if you’re going to hang on to it.”
“We do think residual values will take a bit of a dive, particularly the models that are discontinued.” For that reason Iny says consumers should lease rather than buy. “Lease it and get the lowest monthly payment,” he says. “Where the concern would be is if you purchase it (at the end of the lease) because it’s your vehicle at the end of the deal.”
However, Iny points out that some Oldsmobile models may be rebadged as other GM cars in the future in which case their used values may be higher. “Maybe the Aurora will be rebadged as a Buick or something..” he says.
Another factor in the renewed interest in Oldsmobiles is that the current model lineup is one of newest and best that GM offers, says Iny.
“The irony is that Oldsmobile has the best models in each segment from GM – you can argue that the Alero is a more pleasing overall package than the (Pontiac) Grand Am – and the Aurora is also one of the better intermediate cars.”
Though the mid-size Oldsmobile Intrigue will be discontinued in 2002, models like the new Bravada SUV and Alero compact car are recent designs that Oldsmobile will continue to offer for another few years.
“We will continue to produce the current Oldsmobile models for the duration of the product lifecycle or as long as it is economically viable to do so,” says Lynn Smith. “Many of these products are relatively new models so we anticipate that there will be continued market interest in these products for some time.”
Smith says that GM will ensure continued availability of parts and service for Oldsmobiles. This is relatively easy because most Oldsmobile vehicles share parts with other GM vehicles. For example, the Alero has the same platform and powertrain as the Pontiac Grand Am; the Bravada has the same mechanicals as the Chevy Trailblazer and GMC Envoy; the Silhouette minivan is a version of the Chevy Venture and Pontiac Montana, and the Aurora shares parts with the Pontiac Grand Prix.
Some Oldsmobile features, such as the 3.5 litre V6 engine are unique to Oldsmobile, but parts for these will be kept in stock. Bodywork, however, is another matter. Oldsmobile styling is unique, and a crumpled hood may be harder to find ten years from now.
Availability of Oldsmobile parts and service in Canada is expected to be less of a problem than in the U.S. So called ‘stand-alone’ Oldsmobile dealers are permitted in the U.S., but not in Canada. These dealers will eventually have to close or change to another auto brand. In Canada, Oldsmobile dealers share dealership facilities with at least one other GM brand: Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Pontiac, or Cadillac – and sometimes all five. Canadian GM dealers who lose their Oldsmobile franchise will still have the other brands to depend on and a common parts and service department to service Oldsmobile customers.
Oldsmobile Rebates and Low Interest Financing until September 30, 2001
Rebate: $1750 ($2750 in BC)
Financing: $500 cash and 0.9% 36/48 months; 2.9% on 60 months
Lease: 1.9% 12/24/36 mos; 2.9% 48 mos
Financing: $750 cash and 0.9% 36/48 mos; 2.9% 60 months
Lease: 4.4% 12/24/36 mos; 5.4% 48 mos
Financing: 0.9% 36/48/60 mos
Lease: $2000 cash and 3.9% for 12/24/36 mos; 4.9% for 48 mos
Financing: $1000 cash and 0.9% for 36/48 mos; 1.9% for 60 mos
Lease: 1.9% up to 48 months
Source: GM of Canada