car marketing

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Car sales were reported yesterday and they were quite good.  Year over year for the month of September there was a 13% increase.  The New York Times lead story in the business section announced “the best results in 4 years.”  I’ve been blogging about the automobile industry since the beginning of What’s the Idea? mostly because I’ve been so angered by what’s been happening.

People need cars.  People need money. People need to be more responsible to the planet.  These observations drive my points of view.

I have a suggestion for the auto industry, especially GM and Ford the two companies that performed most poorly. Spin off your truck divisions. Divest completely. They need their own leaders, R&D (design with a capital D), manufacturing and marketing. Most times when there is a divestiture it’s government encouraged.  But time it should be market driven.

My second suggestion relates to advertising. Volkswagen, Kia and Audi are doing good work. The brands themselves are strong enough (4Ps-wise) to allow for advertising to work. The marketing officers and executive teams of these companies are on board with investing and pushing ad boundaries. Using good ad shops. (So is Chrysler.)

During the bail-out meetings a couple of years ago, in the picture of with Ford and GM executives sitting around the table with president Obama, had not a smart phone was to be seen. The Q-Tips were running the show (insider car target reference).  We need to drop the leash here too. Peace.

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Chicken or egg?  What comes first, consumer demand or product building intended to create demand?  Most media socialists would say the former.  I favor the latter.  Case in point: For as long as I’ve been blogging I’ve railed about the American car business, its focus on gas guzzlers and how that focus has driven Detroit into the ground. It took a national melt down and a global economic recession for De-twah to find the new smaller car path.

Chrysler has a neat new European-sized car (beep beep) called the Fiat 500 which will be in the States soon. You can see it driven by a professional driver on Owen Mack’s site. Owen is a whazoo videographer, by the way.  Fiat has been building this type of car for years. Small, economical and with a more reasonable environmental footprint.  Short of the VW Beetle and Mini Cooper few companies in the states made an effort to play in this market space.  It was a mondo opportunity zone.

Customers weren’t demanding the cars, but automobile makers should have been creating that demand. They didn’t like the margins. The oil companies bought them too many dinners. The designs were funky.  May all three.  What I do know is this — had a car company gone all egg and seen beyond the dashboard, they would have known small cars were going to be a growth market.  That’s why I like the Chrysler-Fiat combination.  Fiat will help Chrysler step up to this current market need.  A few years too late, but it will happen and off we go. Egg it up. Peace!

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