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Finance analysis: Chevvy scheme pays off

Chevrolet’s 3 and Easy new car-buying initiative has struck a chord with customers of the Korean-built, American brand, 35% of whom are opting for the novel financing package.

As a result GM’s “value” division is extending the scheme at least until the end of this year. Rob Smettem, Chevrolet UK’s marketing director, describes the GMAC-backed programme as “ideal for generating incremental volume and showroom traffic”.

Imported from Chevrolet (formerly Daewoo) counterparts in Austria, it involves paying one third of the list price when ordering the car, one third after one year and the final third at the end of the second year.

Smettem says 3 and Easy has linked a distinctive selling proposition to the new brand in a straightforward, easy to grasp programme for customers and sales staff alike with no charges, interest or monthly payments.Substituting annual instalments for monthly withdrawals from building society and bank accounts has particular appeal among the Chevrolet clientele, Smettem adds.

“Some higher interest deposit accounts have restrictions on withdrawal frequencies,” he says. “By taking money out once a year people are not losing bonus interest payments. While not being penalised in that direction they are also not paying interest within the 3 and Easy system.”

He claims the package appeals across age groups, from those with ready cash to customers preferring conventional trade-ins, which can pay for or offset the initial payment.

Chevrolet has also extended the range of cars covered to eight models, from the new Matiz 1.0 SE to a 1.8-litre Lacetti CDX.

The UK custodians of GM’s nominal entry brand are confident they can exceed last year’s Daewoo sales (17,560 units), with 3 and Easy playing a significant role in that growth.

Another finance/marketing ploy considered for establishing the Chevrolet golden bow tie logo was a “bundling” deal, covering finance, insurance and maintenance in one monthly budget. It has been put to one side.

Smettem concedes: “It was one of several ways to get people to drive our cars and establish the brand. But the inclusive monthly payments might have frightened some consumers off, however logical this approach was.”

He adds: “I am sure other manufacturers are looking at 3 and Easy. It would be nice to keep it a beneficial secret between our customers and us, but that’s probably wishful thinking.”

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