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Manufacturers May Insure Vehicles to Attract Buyers

April 17, 2005

Following Volkswagen’s example, other automakers may start including a year of car insurance with the purchase of a vehicle.

Volkswagen just ended a pilot program in Illinois and Wisconsin that provided a year of coverage through Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. for every new Golf, Beetle and Beetle Convertible purchased or leased, reported the Detroit Free Press.

Bob Wallach, managing member of Creative Innovators Associates LLC, an intellectual-property company based in Bethpage, N.Y., invented the program and now says he is in talks with two automakers to possibly adopt the program. He plans to work with only one of the automakers.

During the first three months of 2005 while Volkswagen conducted its pilot program, national sales of its three vehicles included in the program declined 15 percent. But in Wisconsin and Illinois, sales rose 23 percent and two-thirds of buyers said the insurance package influenced their purchase decision.

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