Giving customers money for buying a car? Everybody does that; it's called a rebate. But giving shoppers money for not buying?
Brian Allan, general manager of Galpin Jaguar in Los Angeles, came up with an unusual promotion: Test drive any Jaguar at Galpin. If, within 10 days, you buy or lease a model that's a direct competitor, Galpin gives you a $1,000 American Express gift card.
Allan says he did it because many shoppers think Jags are long on price and short on quality when compared with the competition.
"They go straight to BMW, Audi, Lexus, Mercedes and Porsche," he said.
He said he took some ribbing from a local Mercedes dealer who promised to send all of his customers to Galpin for a quick $1,000. But since the promotion started on March 24, Allan said, he hasn't coughed up a single gift card.
Sales are up and showroom traffic has quadrupled, he said. "I budgeted to give away some of these, and we have yet to give one away. People are buying the Jags."