Network Planning

Nissan Targets 5% of Brazil Auto Market Share with New Facility in Brazil

Nissan just opened a new plant in Brazil, with capacity to make 200,000 light vehicles per year. Nissan has built the Livina/Grand Livina MPVs and the Frontier pick-up in a plant owned by Renault in the southern part of the country. With the new facility, they will make the March and Versa in Brazil. Previously, they were imported from Mexico, but when Brazil set limits on vehicle imports from Mexico in 2012, they had to change their strategy. The new factory, which was built in 36 months,...
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Will Automotive Luxury Brands Succeed in Brazil?

Do you have the impression that the Brazilian president meets the CEO of an automaker daily? Lately there have been a lot of announcements that OEMs will start – or resume – production in Brazil. This year, Honda and Mercedes-Benz announced new plants, while Audi stated it is coming back to Brazil and making cars in a VW plant where it built the A3 some years ago. VW confirmed it is finally updating the locally made Golf (currently still in its fourth generation). Last year, BMW announced its......
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Sao Paulo Auto Show: Becoming More Global

The presence of Dan Akerson, General Motors' CEO, Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, Takanobu Ito, Honda's CEO and President, and Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's CEO, shows how international the 2012 Sao Paulo auto show has become. Brazil has always been a key market for many OEMs – for example, it is the second main market for Chevrolet and Renault – but it has been closed, with many products only offered in the country and in neighboring Argentina....
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Audi's Second Factory in the Americas

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...
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TV Advertising Enters the Age of Databases

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in an automotive panel at Rentrak's 4th Annual Industry Insights Forum in New York. Their audience – mostly senior TV network and affiliate executives, agency media planners, analytics and data providers – agreed that TV is becoming more metrics-rich than ever before, which is good news for a mature, entrenched advertising ecosystem that finds itself in the throes of disruptive technology.The concept of "best available screen" is changing the...
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Why Online Sentiment Analysis is the New Focus Group

Starting back in the mid-90's the popularity of internet chat rooms was obvious, as internet users have eagerly taken to the digital airwaves to tell the world a thing or two about their feelings. At first, there were a bunch of (mostly) kids going in to complain or engage in very immature conversations. Not long after that, forums developed so internet users of a certain interest could speak with people all over the world that shared that same interest. Along with blogs, forums and fledgling...R...
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Audience Derived Text Targeting

I figured it would happen sooner rather than later, so I say 'finally.' Search is converging with a larger data ecosystem to strengthen both text and display advertising for advertisers and digital marketers. There isn't a whole lot of detail yet, but according to my sources, Google has code named a service "DDP" that is using their rich Google Audience Network click data with their Adwords data to serve targeted non-contextual site specific text ads.I'm assuming their running this through...Read...
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What? I am not Allowed to Drive Today? (A Story on Beijing's Driving Limitation Regulation)

I am planning a trip to the NE of China to visit my parents. I usually fly to Beijing and then take a train during the next day to arrive at their home. After booking my flights, I called my official chauffeur, a retired uncle living in Beijing, to arrange for my usual pick-up. This time, he asked a lot of questions about my flight arrival time and when my train will leave the next day. It seems his car is not allowed to be on the road from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m....
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Do You Click Through?

One of the greatest things about online advertising is its measurability, right? Where else can a marketer get so much data to assess campaign success? After all, there are impressions, click-throughs, view-throughs, page views, time spent, and many more data points from which to derive unique formulae for determining ad effectiveness. But blessings can also be curses, and sometimes the abundance of data points can create analysis paralysis. How are marketers supposed to know which metrics...Read...
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Changing Television Viewing Habits: What Does it Mean?

Recently, I was at MediaPost's ReVision Conference about targeted television advertising. The day was interesting and informative. We've come a long way from your old cathode ray tube TV or the little TV sitting on top of the big TV from yesteryear. I'm talking web-enabled televisions, set-top boxes synthesizing digital data, and of course, streaming television/video services online. With all of this new technology it became very apparent that television viewing habits are...
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Autopia! Utopia?

While North America and Europe likewise are affected by dealer bankruptcies and network downsizing, Turkey strives for new growth superlatives. Istanbul is building a new mega dealership whose concept completely contradicts the general trends in automotive retail networks. With more than 200 shops on 117.000 sqm (and even an 800-metre test track on the roof of the building!), "Autopia Europia" (opening in 2011) will probably become the largest Auto Mall in the world. Autopia was designed to... Re...
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NACE 2010 - The World's Collision Repair Event

NACE, the International Autobody Congress & Exposition, which takes place October 10-13, is the world's collision repair event! This year celebrates the 28th annual NACE event. Created to provide buyers and sellers of the collision repair community with a place to network, NACE is the only professional event dedicated to the industry. With more than 80 educational sessions planned, unmatched networking opportunities, and a world class show floor, NACE is a unique marketplace to see all the...Read...
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Does the Automotive Marketing Discipline Lack Focus?

I would like to throw a question out to this community – does the automotive marketing "discipline" lack focus? Let me give you some background for my question... Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend and also speak at the Thought Leadership Summit (TLS) 2010 Automotive Customer Centricity Summit. The topics included:
  • The Near Term Future in the Auto Space (Thilo Koslowski, Gartner)
  • Integration of CRM Data and Transactional Information (Chris Cawston, SCI)
  • Hyundai Motor America...
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Electric Vehicles: Eye Witness at Tesla Motors

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, CA with a couple of colleagues. Personally, it was the highlight of my week-long business trip in California. To see individuals talking about and planning for the emergence of electric vehicles was very motivating and stimulating. The team we met was engaging, smart, and well-read on the market. Tesla, for those who don't know much about them, is about building electric vehicles for today and tomorrow. And not golf... Re...
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Retail Throughput for U.S. Dealerships is Key Issue in OEM Network Consolidation Efforts

Retail throughput (new vehicle sales per franchise outlet) is arguably the most important issue in the controversy about the recent dealer count reduction by Chrysler and the planned reduction by GM. The huge disparities in throughput between the domestics and Asians have not been highlighted in discussions of the dealer count reductions, but maybe they should since they are the crux of the problem. In 2008, the typical Toyota dealer sold 1,589 new cars and light trucks, the highest average...Rea...
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Polk EuroCar Seminar – Network Planning Questions & Answers

After the EuroCar Seminar on 20 January 2010, we posted the top ten questions asked by OEM and OES delegates in attendance. Today I will be answering the last few questions. I hope you have found all of our answers helpful. If you missed the answers to the previous questions, don’t forget to read the answers posted by Norm Marks regarding marketing and Thomas Mawick regarding hybrids. Can you share with us where or from whom dealer network planning can be most improved?All manufacturers in...R...
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Polk EuroCar Seminar – Hybrid Questions & Answers

After the EuroCar Seminar on 20 January 2010, we posted the top ten questions asked by OEM and OES delegates in attendance. Today I will be answering questions pertaining to hybrids. If you missed Norm Marks answers to the Marketing questions, you can find them here. Tanja Linken will be answering questions aboout Network Planning in the next blog entry.With regard to CO2 emissions, hybrids and zero emission vehicles, do you have any insight into vehicle whole life costs?This question...
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The Polk EuroCar Seminar – Marketing Questions & Answers

After the EuroCar Seminar on 20 January 2010, we posted the top ten questions asked by OEM and OES delegates in attendance. Today I will answer the three marketing questions. The remaining questions will be answered by Tanja Linken and Thomas Mawick.1. If you could only do one thing with respect to marketing in this environment, what would it be or in what area would you focus?We must optimize automotive marketing both for new vehicle sales and aftersales. That said, aftersales marketing has...Re...
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Polk EuroCar Seminar – Top 10 Questions

What were the top 10 questions from the OEM and OES delegates attending the Polk EuroCar Seminar in the UK on 20 January 2010?
  1. If you could only do one thing with respect to marketing in this environment, what would it be or in what area would you focus?
  2. You have covered a great deal of ground, what type of marketing has been most effective / impactful?
  3. Are there any other challenges that 'keep you awake at night'?
  4. Can you share with us where or from whom dealer network planning can be most...
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Has GM Turned the Corner?

My major take-away from last night's World Congress presentation was the sharp role reversal between guest speakers Yoshimi Inaba, President and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., and Mark Reuss, President of GM North America. Mr. Inaba spoke first about Toyota's recent successes and challenges. He calmly and confidently highlighted their current and future products, large R & D investment and employee charitable volunteer activities. The audience was left with an impression of a bright......
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