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Test drive a Cadillac, get $100

by Drew Johnson

Cadillac will give you $100 to test drive a new car.

General Motors' Cadillac brand is hoping to lure more buyers to showrooms by offering a $100 gift card to qualified shoppers that take a test drive.

Launched last month, Cadillac is hopeful the $100 test drive offer will help reverse slipping sales at the luxury division. Following a healthy 21 percent sales growth in 2013, Cadillac's U.S. sales have dipped 6.3 percent during the early part of 2014.

"This is our way of way of trying to reach out and get people,” Bill Peffer, U.S. vice president for Cadillac sales and service, told The Detroit News. "The way to conquest in that super competitive market is to get people's seats in seats.”

The Visa prepaid gift card offer is open to anyone 21 years of age or older that currently owns a 2004 or newer non-GM vehicle. The person must also have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. If shoppers sign the dotted line for a new Cadillac, the automaker will throw in a $1,500 incentive.

Although the promotion might seem a little gimmicky, analysts say test drive offers can be an effective way to drive sales.

"It's actually a pretty inexpensive marketing campaign,” said Larry Dominique, president of ALG.

Peffer notes that Cadillac's lineup has changed dramatically since some shoppers may have last stopped by a showroom. In the last few years Cadillac has launched the all-new ATS and CTS sports sedans, and is currently in the midst of rolling out the new 2015 Escalade SUV and ATS coupe.

Photo by Nat Shirley.

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