DETROIT, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 900 of more than 1,000 Buick and GMC dealers invited from across the United States are going behind the scenes to see how the products they sell are built and to do their own test drives.
In a first for General Motors, the dealers are test driving Buick and GMC vehicles at GM's Milford Proving Ground and touring the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant to get a firsthand look at where the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia are assembled. The dealers are paying their own way to participate.
"We have never brought our dealers this close to our business. This program was created to give them a unique behind-the-scenes look," said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Buick & GMC Sales and Service. "We want to empower our dealers to take what they learned here and share their experience with their customers and dealerships."
The program, consisting of three waves, began Oct. 5. During each wave, approximately 300 dealers participate in vehicle test drives at GM's Milford Proving Ground, a tour of Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant and a business meeting.
"This is a great time to be a Buick & GMC dealer," said Bobby Cavender of Cavender Buick GMC in San Antonio. "GM dealers are excited about the future and the next generation of vehicles."
While at the proving ground, participants are behind the wheel of the newest Buick and GMC cars, trucks and crossovers, including the 2011 Buick LaCrosse, 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo, 2011 GMC Sierra HD and 2011 GMC Acadia Denali. Four unique test tracks were set up to highlight vehicle performance, capabilities, ride and handling. At each test drive, dealers were able to drive competitive products for a head-to-head comparison.
The highlight for many dealers at the proving ground was driving the Regal CXL Turbo through an "autocross" course to evaluate vehicle handling at higher speeds; and using the 2011 Sierra 3500HD to tow a 10,000 lb. trailer up a 7 percent hill against the 2011 Ford F-350 Diesel and the 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel.
At Lansing Delta Township, attendees toured the Stamping Plant, Body Shop and General Assembly operations. The plant recently started production for the 2011 GMC Acadia Denali, and the award-winning facility is the first and only manufacturing facility to be a Gold Certified Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
After touring Lansing plant, Brad Brotherton of Brotherton, Cadillac, Buick, GMC in Renton, Wash., said, "You can see there's a real focus on the quality of the products and a real pride in what they are putting out."
Buick is a modern brand with premium, high-quality vehicles characterized by sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with personal technologies, and responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning vehicles, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan and Regal sport sedan. A new compact sedan and small crossover will join the portfolio in the next few years. Buick's sales continue to increase in North America, and it remains a best-selling brand in China, with continuing record growth. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.
GMC has built trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry's healthiest brands. Today GMC is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. The new GMC Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market. Innovation and engineering excellence are woven into all GMCs, including the Yukon and Yukon XL and full line of Sierra pickups. Today GMC is the only manufacturer offering three full-size hybrid trucks. Details on all GMC models are available at www.gmc.com, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at www.facebook.com/gmc.
SOURCE General Motors