Sources: Saturn to Discontinue Vehicle Exchange Program in the New Year
SaturnFans.com has learned from several reliable sources that Saturn will discontinue its Vehicle Exchange Program (VEP) on December 31, 2008 in an effort to cut costs and help create a more profitable business model for the company in the future. The program will reportedly continue to be offered on new Saturn vehicles sold and delivered through the end of the month.
The change will be the first of many to be announced in the coming days, weeks, and months by General Motors and Saturn now that President Bush has offered emergency loans to both GM and Chrysler.
The cancellation of VEP was likely one of the topics discussed and approved by the Saturn Franchise Operations Team earlier this month. Saturn met with their retailers last week as part of GM's charge to "explore alternatives" for the brand. Details about the topics discussed or the outcome of the meeting have not yet been released. VEP was originally a 30-day/1500 mile money-back or exchange offer launched when the company first began selling vehicles in 1990. After several years it evolved into just an exchange program due to reported abuse of the buy-back portion of the offer.
Based on feedback from SaturnFans.com visitors, the program offered peace of mind when buying a new Saturn, but it was rarely used. No other vehicle manufacturer currently offers an exchange or buy-back program.
Below is a description of the Vehicle Exchange Program from Saturn.com.
If you aren't completely satisfied with your new Saturn vehicle, you'll have 30 days or 1500 miles after delivery, whichever comes first, to exchange it for another Saturn vehicle of the same model year. Obviously, the vehicle must be returned in the condition in which it was delivered. Any vehicle returned will be inspected for damage and excessive wear and tear. If non-warranty repairs equal or greater than $300 have been performed or are necessary, the vehicle is not eligible to be returned. If less than $300, the damage repair estimate will be deducted from the refund/credit.
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General Motors announced earlier today that the Buick compact sport-utility, which the company announced and revealed just two weeks ago, has been canceled. The model was to be a near identical clone of the current Saturn Vue. It was generally panned by a select group of news media and bloggers who were given a sneak peak of the vehicle at a GM event in Detroit earlier this month (see teaser photo above). One reporter even went as far as dubbing the Saturn crossover with a Buick-inspired waterfall grill as the new "Vue-ick."