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Buick is bringing back the 24-hour test drive

Car brand says the promotion is about building confidence

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Buick is reviving the 24-hour test drive, offering would-be buyers the chance to leave their car at select dealers and exchange it for a Buick for a day. The company says it's not trying to boost flagging sales with the promotion, but instead wants to restore confidence in the automaker's brand. "It's more of an image builder," Henry Brown, a Buick dealer involved in the pilot for the promotion, told AutoNews. "Some people can't believe that Buick has the confidence to send them out in a car without a salesperson sitting next to them to tell them how great the car is."

This isn't the first time US carmakers have used 24-hour test drives to attract customers. GM, which owns the Buick brand, offered a similar promotion in the early 2000s, and even offered to pay drivers $250 if they took the 24-hour test and still bought a competitor's car, according to AutoNews. This reportedly resulted in almost 190,000 additional sales, and although Buick may claim it's not thinking about new customers, the brand could do with a boost. In 2015, Buick's total sales fell 6.3 percent year-on-year, while figures for June fell 18.1 percent compared to 2014.