Parts And Service

Americans are Holding their Vehicles Longer...is it Good for Loyalty?

As someone who works in the auto industry, knowing how long Amercians hold onto their car or truck gives me a sense of what future sales demand may look like--"demand" in terms of selling replacement parts and service as well as understanding factors that impact new vehicle sales. We're all looking for "demand signals," right? Polk's research shows that as of the second quarter of 2012, the average number of months that both new and used vehicle owners hold onto their vehicles is climbing....
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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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Are You Holding Your Vehicle Longer?

Americans continue to hold on to their cars and trucks longer than ever before. Nearly six years (71 months) among new vehicle owners is the latest trend. New Polk consumer research shows the opportunities for professionals managing OEM aftersales and the automotive aftermarket operations should have a lot to look forward to given this trend. It's about parts and service business, folks. Two years ago, I posted a blog on the same behavior and when we started to see a real incline in the...
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"Heels & Wheels" Puts Women in the Driver’s Seat

My business associate, Marc Bland, has provided insightful blogs on the female automotive market over the last several months. During the holiday break, I came across coverage of this topic that peaked my interest. I was intrigued by the first annual two day "2011 Heels & Wheels" event in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. It is a gathering of female automotive bloggers, engineers, journalists and other automotive professionals who get together to discuss subject matter and issues as they relate to...Re...
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Women-Focused Auto Sales and Service - A Growth Opportunity

While reading the Detroit News recently, I came across the following article: "Women-Focused Auto Shop a Reaction to Disdainful Mechanics." The article confirmed that at least some portion of the industry can see the growing impact women are having on the automotive industry and are not only just taking note, but are actually taking action to support this growing market. The article focuses on Mae de la Calzada, who opened LadyParts Auto Services, a full service auto shop in Redwood City, CA....R...
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Dealers and Customer Loyalty

A lot of what we do for our clients is about helping them measure, coach and improve customer loyalty. Over the last three years, we have seen an incredible level of interest among our OEM clients to try to aggressively help their dealers succeed in this area. Dealer loyalty is an objective rivaling, yet complementing, customer satisfaction scores. It's a big deal if a retail operation is successfully, with hard science to back it, bringing owners back to their store. And OEMs want them to...Read...
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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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Is There Such a Thing as a Spending State of Mind?

As you probably know, it is generally easier to sell new products to existing customers than it is to find entirely new customers for your products. It logically follows that when companies are attempting to increase sales, they go to their existing customer base first.While this sounds easy enough, companies must have a sound approach to efficiently and effectively embark on a cross-sell effort. An overly aggressive "shotgun" approach, using untargeted communications on numerous products to...
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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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Creepy Crawly Car Guests

The news that Mazda is recalling certain Mazda6 vehicles because a type of spider likes to take up residence in the fuel system first had me checking to make sure that today is not April 1, 'cause it sure sounded like an April Fool's prank.Then I had a good laugh remembering my own experiences with "guests" taking up residence in my engine. Too many years ago, I was a graduate student living in a tiny apartment and driving a Plymouth Reliant. I had an assigned parking spot at the edge of...Read...
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Watson, Jeopardy and Selling Cars

As a confirmed geek, the three-part Jeopardy challenge with champion human players competing against IBM's computer Watson was "must-see TV." In grossly simplified terms, Watson uses algorithms that compare the words and phrases in the Jeopardy clue to a mass of stored documents and looks for strength of association between the clue and external words and phrases. The stronger the association, the more likely that external word or phrase is the right answer. Watson was programmed only to...
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Where You At? Proximity Marketing Hits the Web

In the last 'Where You At?' installment, we discussed the growing social networks based on geo-location technology mixed with social media sharing, and how it's changing the conversation for businesses. The latest iteration of the proximity phenomenon finds itself on the web. This is curious to me, because web users are supposedly concerned about data privacy, deleting cookies, and generally keeping their click habits to themselves.There are a number of sites and programs that blow the above...Re...
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Customer Loyalty Comes from the Heart and Mind

I love it when other professionals support a similar point of view. Take a look at Liz Glagowski's post on automotive loyalty. Liz, a member of 1to1 Media was kind enough to notice our loyalty awards from last month. More importantly, she takes note of how "loyalty" is NOT only based on repurchase behavior, despite that's what our awards are primarily based upon. So Liz, I concur! People need to have a personal affinity - an emotional link to a brand. And when it comes to cars, boy do we...
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Where You At? Geo-Location Services Change the Conversation

Companies like Yelp, Foursquare, and Gowalla have forever changed the digital marketing landscape with their proximity check-in and geo-location "friend spotting" services. For whatever reason, some people like their friends (and some random strangers) to know exactly where they've been, where they are, and possibly create charts about where they will be in the future. Alright, maybe that last one was going a little far but still, the digital marketing landscape will be forever changed by what...
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Cultivating Automotive Loyalty Even with Low Volumes - Part II

Identifying with a brand and adopting it is critical for loyal behavior. Moreover, a customer that feels rewarded for their loyalty is more likely to continue patronizing that business.So what are car companies doing to reward their loyal customers? What are they doing beyond interactive websites listing brand news, upcoming events and products? How are they building relationships outside of the dealership? Reaching beyond the service experience and entering into their customers’ everyday...Read...
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Cultivating Automotive Loyalty Even with Low Volumes - Part I

On January 11, 2011 at the World Auto Congress, Polk honored those manufacturers with the highest loyalty for Model Year 2010. For more information about the winners of these loyalty awards, please click here. I had the distinct pleasure of sitting with gentlemen who received half of the model to model loyalty awards. And guess where they are from? I will give you a hint ... you have to travel to the Garden State. Yep! New Jersey showed up strong this year.Do you think it is easier to...
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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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Automotive Loyalty Event Hits Homerun with Long Beach Attendees

Wow, what a turnout for the Automotive Loyalty Summit held in Long Beach! If you didn’t attend, you missed a terrific event. Below are just a few comments I heard from my customers:"All the presenters were very informative and knowledgeable about their areas" "My take away was 'Listen to the customer Talk with them' and 50% of customers are loyal to the brand but only 30% are loyal to the dealer. You only have ONE opportunity to make an impression so use it wisely."  "Very nice meeting."Over...
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Lost and Not Sure Where to Go . . .

I am a loyal GM owner having purchased six new GM vehicles over the last 10+ years with the last three purchases being Saturns. The Saturns were all purchased from the same sales consultant at the same dealership, but now that store sits empty and my sales consultant resides in parts unknown as I return to market for my next purchase.  My wife's Saturn Outlook is due to come off lease in a little over 2 months (December 2010), but she is at her mileage limit and I am interested in getting her......
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