In addition to airbags, satellite radio, and OnStar, some new GM vehicles will also come with free auto insurance for one year.
GM vehicle sales increased dramatically this year, but they're still sluggish in Washington and Oregon. To give sales in the Pacific Northwest a boost, the auto manufacturer is offering a year's worth of free auto insurance from MetLife Auto & Home as an incentive to car buyers in Washington and Oregon.
The new offer will apply to any new 2010, 2011, or 2012 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac car, truck, or crossover purchased or leased between now and September 6 in those two states. The insurance coverage exceeds Washington and Oregon's collision and liability minimums, and covers the car owner and any driver given permission to drive the vehicle. That includes notoriously expensive-to-insure teen drivers.
The average annual policy in Washington is $1,584 and $1,306 in Oregon, according to Insure.com. The insurance incentive is optional, but that savings could help offset the cost of upgrades, and make some of the vehicles that are more expensive to insure, such as the Corvette or Escalade, more appealing. For shoppers eyeing the Chevrolet Volt, the offer makes the low operating cost of the car even more affordable. The only downside of this incentive is that it might end before the first vehicles that offer the MyLink and IntelliLink infotainment system hit the market.
The 2012 Buick LaCrosse will be the first of the GM products to get the new IntelliLink system, which integrates smart phone apps. IntelliLink will become the new standard electronics system used in the 2012 LaCrosse, but the manufacturing plant that builds the vehicle isn't scheduled to switch to the new head unit until later this summer, making it difficult to confirm if a LaCrosse purchased before then would be equipped with the new technology, according to a GM spokesperson.
This isn't the first time GM has used insurance as a way to move product. GM's insurance company GMAC Insurance offers its customers who use OnStar the option of using mileage-based premiums. The savings policy holders realize through this "pay as you go" program can offset the cost of the OnStar subscription. However, recent changes to insurance regulations in some states have allowed other insurance companies to offer mileage-based policies without using OnStar.
Updated: GM retracted its statement that IntelliLink will be available in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse at the end of the summer. The new system will be available in the vehicle by the end of 2012, says a GM spokesperson, and would not provide specific manufacturing dates.