Cadillac Free Maintenance: What's It Worth?

June 23, 2010

Cadillac has announced the roll out of their Premium Care Maintenance program to coincide with the appearance of the 2011 models. The first of which will be the 2011 Cadillac CTS which will for the first time include the CTS Coupe.

So what is Premium Care Maintenance and what will it do for Cadillac owners? For owners buying 2011 model year vehicles, Cadillac will perform oil changes, tire rotations, replacement of the engine air filter and the cabin air filter with no charge. A multi point vehicle check is also included. These no fee services must be meant to augment the bumper to bumper warranty since they both share the same time and mileage parameters – 4 years and 50,000 miles.

There’s some one-upmanship at play as well since the Cadillac splash comes on the heels of a Lincoln limited program with similar service for free features. Lincoln’s largesse is limited to 2010 and 2011 models purchased between now and September 7.

Here is a lowball estimate of what the Premium Care Maintenance program is worth. We’re assuming that you will be changing your oil with a premium grade conventional motor oil at 3,000 mile intervals and rotating the tires every 8 to 10,000 miles. The cabin air and engine air filters will be changed every 15,000 miles. No value has been assigned to the multi point checks since their real worth beyond marketing future services is questionable.

These services have a realistic value of $1200. This however does not calculate the value of having your vehicle serviced by a factory trained technician and what that means to the Cadillac owner in terms of peace of mind. The other element is that since the free service period coincides with the bumper to bumper warranty there is the perception that the well being of the car is completely on Cadillac.

The idea is that for 4 years and 50,000 miles Cadillac will repair anything that fails under the bumper to bumper warranty and also maintain the car to the manufacturer’s specifications as far as oil changes are concerned and do it free of charge.

It’s hard to say whether taking vehicle maintenance to this new level will translate into increased sales or greater customer loyalty. In 2009 Cadillac was rated “among the best” in five of six categories in J.D. Power’s Sales Satisfaction Index and was only bested by the Jaguar brand. So the Premium Care Maintenance can only add another arrow to their customer satisfaction quiver.

[J.D. Power]   

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