Thursday, July 3, 2014 by
The domestic OEMs have lagged behind their Asian competitors in the
U.S. new car market for many years. From 2009 through 2012 the
domestic OEMs’ combined share of the retail car market was below
28%. Last year it inched up to 28.2%, and through the first four
months of 2014 it stands at 28.7% (based on IHS Automotive analysis
of Polk new vehicle registration data). Although the current car
offerings from GM, Ford and Chrysler are clearly superior to their
predecessors in many perspectives,...
Thursday, May 8, 2014 by
There is a scene in the movie, “The Right Stuff” (about the Project
Mercury program in the early 1960s to send an American into space)
in which the astronaut candidates are undergoing endurance testing.
One of the tests involves blowing into a tube for as long as
possible with just one breath. The camera zeroes in on two of the
participants, the presumed front-runners, who are frantically
competing with one another, watching each other every second and
seemingly about to burst at the seams to...R...
Thursday, February 20, 2014 by
In “Twilight of the Brands” in the February 17/24 issue of “The New
Yorker,” James Surowiecki discusses the challenges facing
brands in today’s information-rich U.S. economy. Surowiecki focuses
on Lululemon Athletica, a yoga apparel company that quickly became
the darling of the industry and then tumbled almost overnight
because of negative customer feedback. Such instantaneous
customer reaction can propel a company to new heights or spell its
doom in the blink of an eye, according to...Read...
Friday, January 3, 2014 by
Given the complexities of the global and U.S. economies, inevitably
there are going to be economic and/or industrial trends that run
counter to one another, but it seems to me that we are now
experiencing two movements that are particularly inconsistent. Last
month, The New York Times ran a story about the surge in U.S.
oil production, saying local oil output will increase by 800,000
barrels a day annually for at least the next three years (Dec. 17
page B1). Imported oil's share of total... Read...
Monday, January 30, 2012 by
There is no denying the fact that the internet has changed the
shopping process for consumers as they're influenced by online
search, display advertising, social media and online reviews to
more easily make buying decisions about the brands, companies and
products they want to purchase. This has always been the case in
the automotive world; people often went to the library to pick up
an issue of Consumer Reports to check out what kind of car they
should buy before schlepping to multiple...Read...
Friday, August 19, 2011 by
Polk just released the June registrations, so this is a good time
to take a look at how the industry is doing for the first half of
the year compared to the similar period last year.Top level, it is
good news for the industry. Total registrations are up 12.6% and
retail registrations are up 17.3% – it's nice to see stronger
growth in retail registrations. That means real people are buying
more cars. However, June was before the now infamous debt debate
and the growing malaise about the...
Thursday, July 21, 2011 by
After seeing the domestic share of the retail light vehicle market
continue to lose ground to Asian brands over the past five years,
we are beginning to see an uptick in 2011. The bankruptcies of GM
and Chrysler coupled with the collapse of the automotive market
exacerbated the decline for the domestic OEMs in 2009 and 2010.
Ford was the only domestic to buck the trend and increase its share
in 2009 and 2010, but not enough to offset the loss in share of GM
and Chrysler. Overall domestic...
Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by
As the social media world continues to evolve and become more
prevalent in marketing, it has become commonplace for dealerships
to try and determine how they want to participate and support their
brand using this medium.The feedback I hear in the dealer world is,
"I need to have a social media strategy." But as with any strategy,
I think this statement is much too general and dealers need to take
a step back and evaluate the concept of social media and really
understand that it is in essence...
Friday, April 8, 2011 by
It has been published recently that women influence about 85% of
vehicle purchases in the U.S. I can testify this is true in my
house and I definitely have some opinions. So if you haven't
purchased or leased a new vehicle in the last couple of years you
are going to be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of
available features. We're not just talking about expensive luxury
models, even the economy segment is all over it. There are too many
to list but here are a few standouts from a...Read
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by
I have a 16-year old daughter that "needed" a car. I'm sure there
are plenty of you out there in my predicament. Because we are an
active family of four with two working parents, a car is not
readily available for her personal use which includes school,
practice, work, the mall, the movies. You get the picture.
According to her, we are purposely holding back her freedom and are
simply the worst parents in the world.What influenced my decision
to help accommodate this situation is her academic...R...
Friday, January 28, 2011 by
Imagine your closing ratio if you could communicate individually
via email, postal, phone, or SMS using a targeted approach or
message to fit the lifecycle of the customer. This is the essence
of relationship marketing – the ability to have a one-on-one
conversation with current and future customers to develop a unique
relationship and regularly engage them with timely, relevant
messages. If a dealer is not engaging their key customers then they
are losing out on potential opportunities for... Re...
Monday, November 22, 2010 by
Tracking automotive advertising costs for ROI and lead conversion
performance is a new requirement for OEMs, agencies and dealers.
Many aspects of digital marketing create accountability and
transparency for advertisers and the activities tied to campaigns.
In addition to Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and lead
costs, the industry is now able to merge online and offline vehicle
purchase activity for an actual cost per sale.Tying together
digital targeting, messaging, lead scoring...Rea...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by
Imagine you have two email marketing campaigns deployed for your
dealer customer. In campaign #1 the creative has excellent
graphics, content and layout with a wonderful message about the
product. In campaign #2 you have the same features; however, there
is a hyperlink for the prospect to provide personal information to
receive special new car sales or service offers as well as learn
more about the product via the dealer's website. While both
campaigns have the ability to perform well wouldn’t...
Friday, July 9, 2010 by
I recently attended a communications seminar offered by Inforum and
Centric Strategies called "Say
It Like You Mean It
!" The seminar was highly informative and
there were several good take-aways for me to apply in my day-to-day
personal and professional communications.As an example, did you
know that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and
7% words according to Kristina Evey, our seminar leader? Body
language is especially important. Kristina spoke about the
Thursday, February 18, 2010 by
I asked the question, "What will be the buzz at
NADA 2010?" Now that the show is over, I have some observations to
share. NADA 2010 was a combination of "sizzle and steak." The show
included new technologies, and beautiful vehicle models. There were
brick and mortar enhancements for dealers to compete on a retail
level. Aftermarket Row provided ways to ramp up fixed operations
and used vehicle sales for gaining the dealership "orphaned
owners." The atmosphere was more...Read...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 by
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention in
Orlando, FL, is next week and customers, colleagues and industry
suppliers seem less cautious and more optimistic about the industry
trends for 2010. And why shouldn’t we? New vehicle sales forecasts
have continued to inch up to the mid and high 11 million ranges.
New vehicle models have been launched with enthusiastic responses
and early indications are a good start for January.The word from
dealers and dealer groups in 2010 is...
Thursday, December 3, 2009 by
With the market tsunamis of 2008 and 2009, dealers and OEMs who
have weathered the storm are viewing their business and markets
differently than the earlier "roaring 2000s." When new vehicle
sales shrink from 17 million new units to 10.5 million, the overall
cost structure of the retail channel and consumer spending
compresses at the same rate. Dealerships, agencies, lead providers
and CRM companies must adjust their automotive marketing efforts
and budgets to address the new volumes of new...