A new study, reported by USA Today, found that one in ten drivers never test drive a car before buying. It may sound shocking to some, but it’s the new reality. With internet research and the prevalence of word-of-mouth recommendations, consumers are repeatedly refusing to yield to traditional sales tactics, especially from car dealers.
With this new research, our Ride and Drive experiences are now more important than ever. Ride and Drives offer vehicle test drives without a salesman. Instead, trained product specialists provide a detailed and relevant introduction to the vehicle and answer any questions the consumer may have with zero sales pressure. But, what really makes a Ride and Drive successful is when it works in conjunction with another event. Take a Camaro on a joy ride before the MLB All-Star game, driving up in style just like the players; stuff your tennis gear in the trunk of a Cadillac CTS after a free tennis clinic. No pressure to buy, no extra effort on the consumer’s part, just a chance to fully experience the features and benefits of a new vehicle at an event they’re already participating in.
Even if a weary consumer considers a casual Ride and Drive too pushy, we can still put seats in seats for our clients — 58,000 and counting, actually. The Catch-A-Chevy program is a free shuttle service around town during big events. The consumer doesn’t drive the car, but by just getting them in a Chevy, they can experience the comfort, the ride, and the technology for themselves first hand.
Want proof that Ride and Drives work? One woman who participated in the Cadillac Taste and Tennis tour said “This car is so smooth and fast, I am telling my husband I want one. I would have never thought about buying a Cadillac until this event.” This year at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, we had a couple approach our Ride and Drive booth and told us their experience the previous year influenced their decision 100%: “Last year we saw the Chevy Cruze here for the first time and I went home and bought one in July.” This year, the same thing, as one of our brand ambassadors bought a Chevy Malibu after he was a driver for Catch-A-Chevy. Check out the infographic below for more.