Automotive 2013: Mixed Market Messages
In 2013, the US auto industry enjoyed the highest sales in years and this year is poised for growth as well. But not all brands enjoyed success, and some enjoyed success on only one of the two primary levers needed to drive sales (demand and conversion—Millward Brown Digital’s hallmark metrics). Demand is measured by the number of in-market shoppers. These data are drawn from the sweet spot in the
17 Million Auto Sales in 2014? Yes, it’s Possible!
US light vehicle sales have steadily improved since bottoming out in 2009 at 10.6 million units. 2013 sales reached 15.6 million light vehicles, their highest since 2007 (16.1 million) through still below 16.5+ million in the middle of that decade. However, many of those levels were the result of the industry over-producing and then being forced to use high incentives to clear excess inventories. There was also rich use of fleet sales in some cases. In contrast, in 2013 automakers better aligned production with demand, meaning that recent gains have been “healthier,” and that’s driving optimism for the industry in general. But what can we expect in 2014? If the market continues to improve can we approach 17 million? Let’s see what it would take to reach that level.
Chevrolet Colorado: Everything a Launch Should Be
Chevrolet is preparing to boldly return to the mid-size pickup truck market with the Chevrolet Colorado (and related GMC Canyon), with the motto “Everything a Truck Should Be.” From one perspective adding Colorado gives the larger Silverado more leeway to move upmarket. From another, sales of Colorado will help GM meet more stringent fleet fuel economy requirements. Either way, the strategy emulates that of Toyota and Nissan (each offering both full-size and mid-size pickups) more than Ford and Ram (full-size only).
Why Ron Burgundy is as Good of a Car Salesman as an Anchorman
“I’d like an ad that works and a tasty BLT.” So might say Ron Burgundy if he was a CMO of a major corporation, including an automaker. In fact, Ron Burgundy (actor Will Ferrell) is staring in several shorts for the Dodge Durango designed to boost interest in “Anchorman 2,” the sequel to the 2004 cinema hit – both starring Ferrell, and generate awareness of and interest in Durango.
Using Data to Assess the Ad Effectiveness in the Auto Industry
Automakers want their advertising to be effective but often find themselves torn between trying to build awareness and consideration long-term vs. driving sales right now, today. For the former, they often use Tier I advertising to highlight the features, specifications, and value of a specific model, with the biggest push typically at launch. In contrast, Tier II sales event advertising focuses on the event’s theme, typically presented at the brand level and often feature multiple models.
Identifying the Consumer’s Path to Purchase in the Automotive Industry
Consumers can access automobile manufacturer websites, third party websites, dealer sites, review sites, the automotive sections of general media sites, and countless social media channels. For vehicles, they can check pricing, specifications, standard & option features, fuel efficiency, MPG and data on warranties and recalls. The variety of information sources is what drives the complexity of the process.
Brand Tweets Drive Automotive Shopping Action
Following the exciting automotive year-end shopping season, Compete and Twitter partnered together to understand the impact that Tweets posted by automotive companies have on the consumers who see them. Specifically, we wanted to know whether Tweets influence consumer behavior; are people exposed to an automotive Tweet more likely to visit the manufacturer’s website and take action…
Will Mazda’s new “Game Changers” give them some “Zoom-Zoom”?
Mazda’s first new brand effort in over a decade, notable for its digital focus, paired with a weaker yen sets Mazda up for an opportunity to drive more profitable North American operations. Compete analyzed shopper metrics to define Mazda’s opportunities and risks in a competitive automotive marketplace.
One Year Later: Insights into Nissan’s 10% Market Share Goal
In Q4 2011, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn proclaimed that the automaker wants 10% of U.S. sales within three years (i.e., by Q4 2014). In this analysis, Compete assesses Nissan’s progress through March 2013 to reveal successes and shortfalls, as well as opportunities to improve sales.
Fresh Tracks: Tire Website Success Stories
Given the importance in tire websites on influencing a tire shopper’s path to purchase, Compete looked at best in class site performance measured by Locate a Dealer tool engagement and calculated potential ROI. In this analysis, Compete leveraged its survey capabilities, site analytics and patented ability to track, normalize, and count unique visitors (UVs), which avoids double-counting consumers who perform the same activity more than once in a period.
Look Out for Lexus
Image from: Lexus / automotive.com Recently, Lexus announced plans for its first ever global branding campaign set to kick off in May 2013. The objective is to generate interest and appeal among younger people who may not have considered Lexus in the past. Globally, Lexus sales trail the German brands – BMW, Audi and Mercedes – by a considerable margin. However, here in the US it’s a different story. Lexus