Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by
For those of you like me who have been in the automotive
aftermarket industry for a number of years, you understand the
common challenge that all of us have been facing for over a decade
– how do you determine if parts being sold in the U.S. or Europe
have applications that can generate revenue in other parts of the
world? And how do you identify vehicles that are more likely to
have the same components as those on the road in different
countries? I've never found these questions to be easy...
Monday, May 20, 2013 by
Just as the U.S. new vehicle market continues to fragment into
dozens of segments and hundreds upon hundreds of models, the
commercial van segment is splitting into two distinct categories,
each with a wide range of models. Back in 2008, the commercial van
customer had five models from which to choose, but by next year
there will be 11 models on the market. Prior to 2009, there
was one commercial van segment and it was perennially dominated by
Ford's E-Series (Econoline and Club Wagon). In...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 by
There is a lot of buzz about the Audi plant that will be built in
San José Chiapa, Mexico. The press refers to it as "Audi's first
car plant in the Americas," but this is not correct. Audi produced
the A3 in São José dos Pinhais, Brazil between 1999 and 2006, in a
factory now totally owned by Audi's parent company, Volkswagen.
Golf (still in its fourth generation), Fox and SpaceFox are
produced there. It was a joint venture between Audi and Volkswagen
– Audi had 25% of the factory.The A3...
Thursday, February 2, 2012 by
The Super Bowl always garners gaudy numbers for their ad campaigns.
Now, we're getting prequel ad hype by some automotive brands,
intending to move customers' attention from digital video to the
large screen with teasers and themed commercials. They're utilizing
their own properties and YouTube to increase "watches" and
subsequent anticipation of their ad campaigns. It seems to be
paying off for Acura, with this ad boasting guest spots from Jerry
Seinfeld and and Jay Leno competing to be...Read...
Friday, April 15, 2011 by
First, I want to acknowledge the fact that my previous blog
titled, "When the Car Market Dipped - Motorcycle Demand Soared and
Remained High" was totally incorrect regarding the motorcycle
trend. As a blogger with privileged access to the best automotive
industry data available, I pride myself on staying objective and
reporting the facts. To rectify this situation, I have
re-written the blog correctly as follows: Between 2007 and 2009
when the car and light truck market plummeted, the...Read...
Monday, February 28, 2011 by
I've blogged before about my excitement for the Indian auto market
and wanted to give you a little closer look at the vehicle mix.
India's light vehicle forecast for 2011 is just under 3 million
vehicles. This 3 million includes passenger vehicles and light
commercial vehicles. But passenger and commercial vehicles make up
only 20% of the
2009-2010 vehicle market mix
for 2009/2010 according to the
Society of Indian Automotive Manufactures. Two wheelers are the top
selling vehicle segment in...Rea...
Friday, February 4, 2011 by
Stuart Elliott recently reported in the New York Times that the
automotive industry could be buying the most commercial time of any
advertiser category during this Sunday's Super Bowl, vying with
beverages and movies for the top spot. There may be as many as nine
car brands, from economy makes like Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia to
luxury market vehicles like BMW
and Mercedes-Benz, peddling their wares
during what is typically the most-watched television program of the
year.For the Chevrolet...
Friday, January 28, 2011 by
At the 2011 Heavy
Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW)
Frost & Sullivan presented
very compelling research
about the "start" of a global low cost
truck for the U.S. and the world.I'm sure some people in the
audience were skeptical to say the least. Personally, I have heard
rumblings of "global" trucks that will utilize efficiencies across
the supply chain to help reduce the cost of heavy trucks around the
world. Still nothing. So, with this in mind I can see where people
would be skeptical....Read More...
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 by
I have to admit, I have recently become fascinated by the
opportunities retargeting represents. If you're not familiar with
it, retargeting is the process by which an advertiser can make your
display ads (re)appear to a web surfer that has visited your online
location but failed to make a purchase decision. For instance, if I
visit the Reebok website and surf around - without leaving my info
or making a purchase - then decide I want to read a blog, I might
end up seeing a retargeted Reebok ad...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by
If you regularly check the tech blogosphere, then you'll notice
that there has been an increased focus on the value of Facebook
Fans to businesses. The catalyst to much of this discussion is a
report from Syncapse, entitled
"Value of a Facebook Fan."
I'm intrigued by the dollar value
study of a tool that should be used mainly for PR purposes, so I
delved into the 18 page report and scrutinized it for you.The
fundamental question is, whether any of this information can help
change behavior to...R...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by
In a recent interview about how scrappage and other vehicle trends
are affecting the independent aftermarket and dealer service
marketing, I was asked "What is the new normal?
" Well, of course
working for Polk, I instantly talked about the new "normal" as
being new vehicle sales in the neighborhood of 11 to 13-million per
year. And how the normal is not the 15 to 16 million units that the
industry thought it was as recently as two years ago.
However, recently at the Global Automotive... Read...
Friday, May 28, 2010 by
Usually you hear of athletes being in the zone and they say phrases
like, "the goal looked like an ocean," and "the game seemed to slow
down." Well, ever since breaking away from Dodge and becoming their
own brand, Ram Trucks has been in the zone - literally and
figuratively. Their aptly named blog, "The Ram
represents the engagement centerpiece of the Ram
Trucks Integrated Marketing Communications strategy. This along
with an excellent product will surely make for brand resonance...
Friday, June 4, 2010 by
This post symbolizes the equivalent of the proverbial 'grasping at
straws'. Much like the overall economy, it is still difficult to
see any major improvements in the commercial vehicle market. Q1
2010 did realize a 2.4% increase in year-over-year sales in Class
8's, though.When broken down, I noticed that the higher volume
tractor segment carried the bulk of the growth with nearly 2,500
more registrations than Q1 2009. The biggest decline was realized
in the Class 8 straight truck market with...R...
Thursday, April 29, 2010 by
At the American Truck Dealers Conference (ATD) there is revelry,
exhibiting and palm pushing in an exhaustive 4-day event that
covers all things a truck dealer could possibly be concerned with.
This offshoot of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
event boasts 'make' meetings, industry workshops and transportation
industry banter. This year, we found ourselves in sunny Orlando
where the weather was hot, and so was the competition for truck of
. All entrants were worthy...Rea...
Thursday, April 1, 2010 by
Is it just me, or was there one large, yet unofficial theme at the
show this year? Whether you were visiting the show's famous
pork sandwich stand or at one of the booths, a certain
subject seemed to work itself into every conversation. Of
course, there were the events we expect from the commercial vehicle
market's leading trade show. The product unveilings were just as
dramatic as ever with Kenworth's aerodynamic T700 taking center
stage. The overwhelming breadth and depth of the
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 by
I think there's some good news based on our annual
of the U.S. vehicle population. "For whom and
why?", you ask? Read on.
- The U.S. light vehicle forecast is expected to be 11.5 million
units for 2010. That's up from 2009's 10.4 million... we'll take
any gains possible. Good news for dealers and automakers.
- The average age of light vehicles on the road has been creeping
up as well. It's just north of 10 years as of September 2009. A
decade ago it was 8.8 years. This means vehicle...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010 by
Last week, I was proud to introduce William C. Diggory as the
recipient of this year’s Heavy Duty Industry Aftermarket Hall of
Fame Award. Bill is the retired Vice President and General Manager
Vehicle Service Market
in North America. In addition to his
wealth of industry experience, Bill also served as chairman of the
(HDMA) from 2005 to 2006. His
leadership in planning and promoting Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week
(HDAW) led to the tremendous success...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 by
If you're like me, you're probably wondering why Ford has come out
with a new product in the Medium Duty Commercial Vehicle Market
segment this fiscal year, when industry sales are expected to be
weaker than original forecasts. If you did wonder, then you haven't
seen the Ford Transit Connect. An unabashed, small (don't dare call
it mini) van that promises to be the vehicle version of a
multi-tasking child that is watching television, playing a computer
game, and text messaging their friends...
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by
Everywhere you look, you'll find blogs and articles buzzing about
the topic of Social Media. Meanwhile the topic of "email" is
getting pushed into the digital marketing archives. Yet, many of my
customers keep asking me about emails. "What do you see as some of
the best practices for email marketing?" "Is email better than
social media for direct marketing?" "Why are so many of my emails
not going through to the intended recipient?" It sounds to me that
email isn't anywhere near dead. I think...R...
Monday, October 19, 2009 by
Join me and my colleagues from Polk on November 3rd-5th at AAPEX
2009, located in the Sands Expo Center at the Venetian Hotel in Las
Vegas, NV. On November 3rd, Uwe Biastoch and I will present: "The
New Global Automotive Outlook—What Will the Recovery in Global
Volumes Mean to You?" The global automotive aftermarket industry is
at a crossroads. Challenges of the global economy, reductions in
global vehicle demand, the contrast between saturated and emerging
vehicle markets, changes to the... Read...