General Motors has extended its plan to allow customers to test vehicles overnight until January 2004 after sales increased due to the project.

General Motors has extended its plan to allow customers to test vehicles overnight until January 2004 after sales increased due to the project.

CARtoday.com reported recently that the American manufacturer was hoping to counteract the nine per cent drop in sales in the United States. The overnight test drive plan was originally to end on July 22. It was extended until September 2 and now it will continue until January 2 2004.

reported that since May, there have been 257 000 test drives, which resulted in about 81 000 sales. "The original idea is to get people into the cars," GM spokeswoman Marcia McGee said. "We want to be on people's consideration lists and consideration is increasing."

She said consideration of GM products is 50 per cent higher once a customer takes home a vehicle for a test drive.

The test drives are limited to 24 hours and 100 miles (160 km), but vehicles may not be taken out of state. Customers must leave their own vehicles with the dealer and have valid driver's licences and insurance. The dealers will cover insurance on the vehicle. It does not include the Hummer H1, Cadillac XLR, Chevrolet SSR and Chevrolet Corvette.

The plan targets consumers who would not consider a GM product. "We need to get people to try our vehicles, and I think the test drive obviously is a different kind of approach," GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said in May.

The said Jim Storrer of Farmington Hills was attracted by the 24-hour test-drive offer and took a Chevrolet TrailBlazer. "It gave me the opportunity to take it on the highway and across town, stop and go, test pretty much everything I wanted," said Storrer.

Original article from Car