Is this a good idea? What else could Chevrolet do?

By Brian Ro

Last week, Chevrolet reached out to a group of people in select markets offering delivery of a new 2016 Volt for a 30-minute test drive.

The e-mail from Chevrolet’s “Drive My Way” program came to an undetermined number of prospects and offered the 2016 Volt for them to check out at a destination of their choice.

According to the email, a “vehicle specialist” would “bring the test-drive to you” and ride along for the 30-minute drive.

The fine print however says the customer must agree to let GM collect driver behavior data such as speed, braking, and acceleration, along with vehicle location.

RedCap Valet is identified as the company supplying the vehicle specialist.

New Direction

With this initiative, Chevrolet may be following its own tagline of “Find New Roads.”

Bringing the Volt to the customer contrasts highly with usual test drives conducted by traditional Chevy dealers. One bit of flak Chevrolet has received the past few years is the hit-or-miss care its dealers – independent franchises – may give the Volt.

Dealers must first opt in with Chevrolet to sell the Volt, and though many have done so, some have still shown ambivalence toward the car and stories have gone forth of them not being knowledgeable or motivated enough to sell it.

Without violating any contractual agreements with its dealers, Chevrolet appears to be bypassing them to a point, making up for potential gaps in the Volt’s marketing. The move appears far more customer centric and undoubtedly the specialist will know a Volt from a Cruze.

In a interview in January with Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of car marketing, Majoros said that marketing for the 2016 Volt would be different from the first generation.

At the time Majoros said GM would take a partnering role with dealers, and seek to train and empower them to effectively communicate the Volt to prospective buyers.

He and others at Chevrolet and parent company General Motors have otherwise reiterated a message that they have learned a lot about how they need to refine communications going forward.

Also indicating Chevy’s latest marketing strategy, the automaker published two internet video ads taking aim at two of the Volt’s competitors, the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius hybrid.

This article appears also at .