Stretching Your Dollars

Getting Personal

Looking to buy a company car? Check out these tips.

Buying vehicles for your company is getting easier and more efficient, thanks to General Motors' Business Vehicle Services (BVS) program. Now, instead of having to spend your valuable time at an automobile dealership, a representative will come to you with a complete package that includes not only the vehicle but also financing options, extras such as fuel programs, and even special deals for your employees when they purchase cars for their personal use.

It's a program that's long overdue, says Jack Griffin, manager of national fleet sales for General Motors' Oldsmobile Division in Lansing, Michigan. Small-business owners participating in GM focus groups were virtually unanimous in their desire to have a single contact person at a dealership with whom they could build a long-term relationship.

GM tested BVS with pilot programs in three major cities last year and has begun a national rollout that should be completed by fall. Dealers that opt to participate in the program will have a commercial manager who is thoroughly trained on the vehicles, lease and purchase programs, maintenance and repair, and related services; has a strong working knowledge of small business in general; and takes the time to get to know the operations of each customer to be able to offer customized service.

For business owners purchasing vehicles, Griffin offers this advice:

  • Look for an established dealer with a strong track record in your community.
  • Check out the dealer's customer satisfaction index (CSI). The dealer will tell you what its CSI is and will be able to document it.
  • Choose a dealer that has demonstrated a commitment to small businesses by establishing a commercial department or at least hiring a commercial manager to take care of your special needs.

To find out more about the BVS program, call (800) 521-0656 or visit http://www.gmbvs.com

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Stretching Your Dollars.

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