Lead Management

Which Vehicles do Canadians Love to Buy?

Seeing the Signs Every new vehicle sold is a signal to OEMs that customers want more of that type of car or truck. In essence, customers are voting with their wallets and with business interests ever focused on customer loyalty and customer retention, an OEM should be seeing the market signs. National Trend: Consumers Continue to Buy New Through the second quarter of this year (2013 Q2), new vehicle sales are once again on the rise in Canada. New vehicle registrations indicate that...
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Automotive Customer Loyalty - Who's Winning and How?

It's not always about who has the largest market share or the broadest product line. Sometimes repeat sales for OEMs and dealers are fruitful when you're a small player, too. Yesterday, Polk issued a press release of customer loyalty on automakers who beat the industry average by looking at first quarter results.  What did we find?
  • Thirteen brands exceeded the average industry increase for make loyalty when we compared buyer behavior from Q1 2012 and Q1 2013. The first three months of the...
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Automotive Brand Loyalty Winners/Losers – 2012 Year End

The automotive industry achieved nearly 14.5 million new vehicle sales in 2012, which resulted in a sales improvement of 13.4% versus 2011. There are many contributing factors to this sales achievement. The following all played a part in the industry resurgence:
  • Stabilized inventory levels from the Japanese automakers
  • Several new product introductions from all OEMs
  • Strengthening consumer confidence in the U.S. economy and
  • Lower unemployment rates
Also in 2012, we began to witness OEMs placing...
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2013 Looks Bright for U.S. New Vehicle Sales

January 2013 U.S. new light vehicle sales climbed 14% from a year ago and sales for the rest of the year are expected to climb as well, though at a more modest rate. There are several drivers of this growth, both at the macroeconomic level and within the industry itself. Consider the following:
  • Interest rates remain exceptionally low, and with the Fed promising to keep them there until unemployment declines to 6.5%, we can expect to see low rates for quite awhile. This means that OEMs and...
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Is the End of the Year the Best Time to Buy a Select Vehicle?

If your current car or truck is getting long in the tooth and you've been thinking about trading it in, you may want to drop by your local dealership before year-end. While some people believe the fall is the best time to buy a new car because the dealers want to clear out their inventory to make room for the new models, in fact the end of the calendar year is just as good a time, if not better. Here's why:
  • Dealership employees and vehicle manufacturer employees, including retail salespeople,...
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Two Hyundais, One Market

At this point in automotive history, nobody denies the importance of Hyundai. According to Polk data, the Korean OEM produced almost 3 million light vehicles worldwide in 2003 and we forecast that its output will reach 8.3 million in 2016. That's a growth of 183%, while on the other hand, GM's production is rather stable during the same period. Part of this growth will come from a brand new factory in Brazil. With an investment of $600 million, Hyundai will start producing a hatchback on... Read...
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Presidential Candidates: Support the Economy by Making Automotive a Priority

It is a presidential election year, which is creating a flood of advertisements along with politicians pounding on podiums to convince voters they are the best candidate for the job. Politicians present their plans to turn the United States economy around and create jobs. Both parties discuss plans to invest in small companies and sexy high tech companies such as Facebook, and mobile devices including phones and tablets. Too often, they fail to discuss plans to attract and retain...
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Asian Automotive Advertising Excellence Celebrated at 3AF Marketing Summit

The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas served as host to the 3AF (Asian American Advertising Federation) The 2012 Annual Asian Marketing Summit on May 16-17. The goal of the annual summit was to share marketing best practices and celebrate the leaders in Asian marketing. With Asian Americans representing one out of every 20 new vehicles purchased in the U.S., it's easy to see why automotive market leaders including Toyota, Honda and Nissan were well represented at the conference.
  • Nissan-Admerasia...
Rea...
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New York International Auto Show Hosts First Annual NAMAD Diversity Luncheon

This month, the Jacob Javits Center in New York is the focal point for the automotive industry as it hosts the 2012 New York International Auto Show from April 4 to April 15. Each year, automotive executives, dealers, suppliers, media, automotive consumers and simply the curious descend upon New York to check out the new cars, trucks, crossovers, hybrids, electrics and futuristic concepts. On April 4, part of the Jacob Javits Center served as a launching pad for the first Annual NAMAD (North... R...
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By the Numbers – 2011 Ethnic Automotive Loyalty

Engaging diverse markets has become an increasingly important initiative for the automotive industry. The contributions of these consumers have been widely documented by automotive analysts including my colleague, Marc Bland. In an effort to further quantify the value of diversity marketing, I thought I’d look back at 2011 from an ethnic loyalty perspective. In 2011, 1,033,097 African-American, Asian and Hispanic new vehicle owners returned to market to buy a new vehicle. Of these owners, 47%......
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Audi versus BMW, Mercedes-Benz

Recently some friends and I were talking about the fact that Mercedes-Benz and BMW are fierce competitors, and I mentioned that Audi was making progress and should also be included in any discussion about leading luxury makes.  One of my friends responded, “I’ve been hearing that for twenty years.” His skepticism and sarcasm took me by surprise. I decided to look at the registration data and see if Audi was in fact getting closer to MB and BMW in this country, or not. Over the past five...
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Responsibility and Accountability: Automotive Dealer Loyalty

Last month, I had the opportunity to speak at the Digital Market Strategies Conference, an event hosted by First Class Educators. If you are focused on the retail side of the automotive industry and haven’t attended an event hosted by First Class Educators, I highly recommend it. The staff, venue and speakers are top notch. I co-presented during the afternoon keynote address with Matt Murray from Dealer.com. Our session focused on the impact of social media on initial vehicle purchase and... Read...
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Facebook Weighs the Annoyance Threshold of Mobile Ads

Everyone's favorite social network, Facebook, is looking to diversify revenue streams. As Facebook has been more recently known to do, they're trying to be prudent around their strategy by assessing the amount of ads they can serve and limit user dissonance. It's a difficult balance because Facebook has never served mobile ads, until recently. Also, according to the Vancouver Sun, customers aren't particularly keen to mobile advertising messages on their social networks. Serving ads into this...R...
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What You Won't See in a New Vehicle Forecast

Polk forecasts that 2012 U.S. light vehicle sales will reach 13.7 million, a 7% increase versus 2011. Other forecasting firms have weighed in with similar predictions, ranging from 13.4 million to 14 million units. What is not included in any new vehicle forecast, from any company, is a forecast of a traumatic event that would profoundly impact the industry. The reason why such an event is not included is because, by definition, such an event cannot be anticipated. But, that is not to say...
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The Electric Vehicle Story Continues

According to my friends at Auto Week (@AutoweekUSA on Twitter), Honda is working with Google, the City of Torrance, CA and Stanford University to conduct tests on a fleet of Honda Fit EVs. In what is being dubbed the "Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program," it sounds as if the goal is to conduct research to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with advancing the Electric Vehicle market. (Image source: Auto Week.) In a recent blog post The Road is a Vehicle Charger,...
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Buyer Preferences: Red States vs. Blue States

With more than eight months to go in the 2012 Presidential election campaigns, we will probably hear a lot more about red, blue and purple states. Wikipedia defines red states (22) as those that have voted overwhelmingly republican in the last five presidential elections. Blue states (22) generally voted democratic in the same elections, and purple states (7) have also been named swing states because, as the name implies, they could go either way (there are a total of 51 because the District...
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Why Auto Dealers Should Care About Pinterest

Have you heard of the next new social media phenomenon, Pinterest? No? Well that's why I'm here, to keep you updated on the latest, greatest and potentially profitable ideas in social media. Pinterest is a two-year old social media site, still in beta, that allows users to find things (pictures, videos, infographics, etc) on the web that they like and pin them to their own page, which contains boards that they can name. Usually these boards center around hobbies or aspirational items....
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Where was the General? More on Polk's 16th Annual Automotive Loyalty Awards...

On January 10, 2012, Polk announced the winners of the 16th Annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards and one question has been asked over and over again, where was General Motors? GM did not win an award this year, but finished second in the Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer category. Similarly, the Chevrolet Silverado finished second in the Mid/Full-Size Pickup Truck category. To some it might appear as though GM has poor owner loyalty, but nothing could be further from the truth since General...
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Consumer Choices For Fuel Efficiency

Dependence on foreign oil, increasing fuel costs and concerns for the environment have forced OEMs to develop solutions to improve the efficiency of new vehicles and their response could be seen at the North American International Auto Show which was held in Detroit from January 9 - January 22, 2012. For those consumers wishing to stick with gasoline engines, Mazda's Skyactiv technology is something worth considering. Skyactiv is the combination of an efficient high compression gasoline engine,...
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Polk Supports 2011 MAAX Awards (Marketing to African Americans with Excellence)

On Monday, August 1, I was honored to be asked by Ken Smikle, President and founder of Target Market News to participate on a panel titled, "The African-American Auto Market: what we're buying." I was further honored to be joined on this panel by some of the sharpest minds in automotive marketing today, including: Don Butler (Vice President, Cadillac Marketing), Ayana Jordan (Chevrolet Diversity Advertising Manager), Tim O'Neill (National Advertising Manager Buick and GMC), Deborah Gray...Read...
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