Costco just cemented its status as America's new favorite place to buy a car
Costco is trying a new tactic to become America's favorite place to buy a car.
The discount retailer has teamed up with Chevrolet for an exclusive special edition of the 2016 Silverado, available only to Costco members.
Costs are way down, with the truck being sold at GM preferred supplier pricing. On top of all qualifying rebates and incentives, Costco is providing a $1,000 allowance and a $1,000 Costco cash card with your purchase, if you complete a survey after the sale.
"It has the Costco value, and it's the top most requested truck, with all the requirements that members have shown us they preferred," Costco Auto Program CEO Jeff Skeen said in a press event unveiling the vehicle on Tuesday.
The trucks will only be available through factory order from April 1 to May 31, or until the 5,000 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cabs are sold out. Features include limited-edition 22-inch chrome wheels, which are hitting the market for the first time as part of the exclusive Costco package, as well as heated and cooled seats, a navigation system, and Bose premium audio.
While this is the first time that Costco is offering an exclusive package with an auto manufacturer, the Costco Auto Program has grown into one of the biggest car sellers in America over the last 25 years. In 2015, the program sold 465,000 vehicles, up 17% from the prior year, making it the second biggest auto retailer in the US.
Costco's auto program has gained loyal customers thanks to one major perk that traditional car dealerships lack: fixed prices. That means customers can skip the bargaining and upselling that is the norm at most auto dealers.
"Costco's mission is to really find quality products to bring to members at great value, and also to have them have a great experience when buying and enjoying those products," says Skeen.
The company sells cars through 3,000 dealership across the US.
The retailer's power sports vehicle business is on the rise, with a current promotion with Polaris up 300% from last year in its first weeks. Recently, the company launched a mobility program, for physically disabled customers.
According to executives, the Chevrolet partnership is just the beginning of things to come.
"We all believe that this is more than 5,000 factory order trucks," says Skeen. "This is the beginning of a path we're going down that will be a new way of marketing products very efficiently that are exactly what the members are looking for."
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