Remember what happened in 2008?
According to Car and Driver, General Motors has reduced the amount of time buyers will receive free maintenance plans for new 2019 vehicles. Instead of the previous two or three visits, brand depending, these buyers will now only receive one. That single maintenance visit will consist of the typical tire rotation, oil change, and general vehicle inspection. This offer must be redeemed during the first year of ownership.
Up until the outgoing 2018 models, Chevrolet and GMC offered two free service visits while Buick and Cadillac offered three. Only five years ago, these GM brands had four years of complimentary maintenance. Each brand confirmed the news to Car and Driver, and a Cadillac spokesperson even said the decision was done to better align the brand against its main rivals. Well, perhaps two main rivals.
Audi and Lexus also offer just one year of free maintenance, but BMW has three and Jaguar includes up to five years. Above all, the reduced free maintenance programs will not affect any of the vehicles' warranties. Chevy and GMC, for example, offer three years or 36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Buick and Cadillac provide owners four years or 50,000 miles of coverage, and a six-year or 70,000-mile powertrain guarantee. The latter guarantee is still one of the best in the industry. It's also important to note that GM vehicle buyers can still buy an additional two years of warranty coverage.
So the question is why is GM reducing the amount of free maintenance time? Although the automaker did not provide an answer to Car and Driver, its reasoning is obvious: cost reduction. Remember, GM previously announced factory and management layoffs as well as the closure of some manufacturing facilities in order to curb expenses. It also previously sold its Opel and Vauxhall divisions to the PSA Group.
The American automaker is financially healthy at the moment, but it's clearly taking advanced action in order to avoid what happened to it back in 2008, bankruptcy. Cut unnecessary expenses now and take criticism, but in the long-run, the automaker's survival is the number one priority.