$0 for all BMW maintenance and $0 for Cadillac. Volvo might have the best coverage.

Cadillac announced today that it would provide owners of all 2011 models with required maintenance services for the first four years or 50,000 miles.

The latest marketing move follows an announcement yesterday that Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, would offer free maintenance, but only as a sales promotion for a limited time.

As is typical of the programs, Lincoln will cover oil changes, tire rotations, vehicle inspections, engine belts and hoses for three years or 45,000 miles, as well as wear items, including brake pads and wiper blades on models purchased through September 7. (Personally, I don’t see how Lincoln cannot get in the game for a longer period of time now.)

Both moves emulate BMW’s existing plan, which it calls the most comprehensive maintenance programs in its class, covering all factory-recommended maintenance services during the New Vehicle Limited Warranty Coverage Period, which is four years or 50,000 miles. BMW estimates that owners of competitive luxury cars can spend more than $1,000 during the same period, excluding replacement tire costs.

However, Volvo has a claim for best since its Safe + Secure Coverage Plan is for five years or 60,000 miles, which ever comes first, and is transferable to the next owner. It includes 5 years/60,000 miles of new car warranty; 5 years/60,000 miles of complimentary factory scheduled maintenance; 5 years/60,000 miles of wear and tear coverage; 5 years/unlimited miles of roadside assistance.

It’s now clear a free-maintenance contest is underway. Look for more such offers. Curiously absent are Audi, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, all of whom once offered free maintenance in the U.S., but the expense and what they claim was negligible buyer interest led to their  demise.

Cadillac’s so called Premium Care Maintenance, covers scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, replacement of engine and cabin air filters and a multi-point vehicle inspection.  

“The program is designed to raise satisfaction for owners by ensuring access to expert service,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of Cadillac sales and service. “It should lead to higher loyalty rates for dealers by establishing them as a valued resource for our customers.”

Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance launches with the arrival of the 2011 model Cadillacs. The CTS family, which is being expanded this year to include the all-new CTS Coupe, will be the first of the 2011 models to arrive at U.S. dealerships in late summer.

Other Cadillac customer service and ownership benefits include:

  • Five-year, 100,000-mile Powertrain warranty along with standard 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation.
  • Four-year, 50,000-mile vehicle bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage.
  • Standard one-year OnStar Directions and Connections plan, which includes Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Vehicle Diagnostics and Stolen Vehicle Assistance.
  • Standard XM Radio with a three-month trial.
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