May 27, 2011
Many consumers that did not take advantage of end of the year sales have been waiting to purchase that new or used vehicle Memorial Day. The holiday is one of the most popular weekends for potential car buyers, expecting to come across deal-breaking specials and incentives.
Memorial Day is also important for gauging the state of the economy, as it marks the unofficial start of summer and begins a shift in priorities and activities in American day to day life.
Sellers of new and used vehicles have always thrown plenty of promotional muscle behind their Memorial Day sales. This year, however, the stakes are higher. “While many motorists will be hitting the road on vacation, this Memorial Day weekend, it’s also a great time to buy a new car,” according to Consumer Reports. “There are a number of discounts available, and dealers may be more willing to negotiate since it’s also the end of the month and they want to meet their quotas. ” J.D. Power expects nearly 13 million vehicles to be sold in the U.S. in 2011, up 7% from 2010.
May was the first month of 2011 when automotive sales started to lose momentum. Fewer incentives and vehicle availability have been a factor. Most hope sales will take an upward turn again with the holiday, but there is some speculation that rising gas prices might deter some buyers, especially over this high-volume travel weekend.
Make sure your specials are well-promoted and dynamic to bring in Memorial Day customers, and good luck with your holiday sales!
March 14, 2011
What Drove February Sales?
It is no secret that February was a successful sales month for the automotive industry, though some experts are still questioning why.
Hybrid car sales in particular were up, especially for Toyota who has now surpassed 3 million units sold worldwide on their Prius models. Modest but still high numbers were reported from Ford and Honda, even with Honda phasing out their current Civic Hybrid model to prepare for the revamped 2012 version.
Auto Observer had an interesting graphic of where the manufacturers fell for February sales on hybrid models.
February 7, 2011
Which Car Ad Was Most Successful?
The excitement over this year’s Super Bowl commercials is hardly something that comes and goes over the span of the actual game, but continues weeks after, often longer, as those who missed a commercial here or there take the time to catch up, and those who saw them all enjoy seeing them all over again.
All of the Super Bowl commercials from this year can be viewed and voted on at the Ad Blitz YouTube Channel until Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
The car ads that came across as the most successful this year, some generating buzz even before they officially aired, are clear in most viewers’ minds, but there is some debate over the #1 spot. Some of the most memorable range from being humorous, to serious pro-American themed, to timely integration with social media, and in some cases simply showing how much the brand in question is better than its competition.
The top commercials on most lists are the “Imported from Detroit” Chrysler 200 spot, the small costumed Darth Vader using “The Force” on a VW Passat, and the Chevrolet Cruze “Status” update. These ads are not only heading the lists for best car related ads, but best ads overall.
Others that stuck out were the Volkswagen “Black Beetle” ad, promoting the newly redesigned Beetle in the form of an actual black beetle impressing all of its insect friends. The new model was not clearly shown and won’t be available until fall.
Audi’s “Release The Hounds” ad talked down to its competition by playing up the idea that luxury has changed and shouldn’t determine loyalty, while Mercedes went the very opposite route with their “Welcome To The Family” ad, tugging at the heartstrings of car buyers who have owned the brand through generations.
The Chevrolet Camaro “Dude” ad deserved higher than last place on Autoblog’s top 10 list, I thought, and for the exact reason it was praised—hearing two guys discussing their perfect commercial while the real thing played out in front of us directly relates back to how viewers talk about Super Bowl commercials during and well after the game. It’s an ad for the everyman consumer.
But having seen all of the commercials and enjoying many, I have to tip my hat to the simplicity of the “Status” update ad for the Chevrolet Cruze.
In 30 seconds that commercial connects with something important to almost every viewer, and frankly, most Americans. The word on Facebook. When comparing that to the mini-Vader ad for Volkswagen, you can really see how being the brand that spends the most money does not guarantee the most successful ad. Both of those ads were simple, with no big names, and no crazy special effects, and they are among the most memorable.
Everyone is asking, “Which Super Bowl ad was your favorite?” Just remember not to ask yourself that question without also asking “Why?”
October 25, 2010
Consumer Trends in the Chat Center
As a leading automotive digital marketing services firm, the hub of activity at Outsell is in the Chat Center dealing directly with our dealerships’ customers.
Some of the trends over the past year have been typical, such as customers looking to confirm availability on certain models, especially new models, and to get the best deal on pricing. The third most common question coming into chat is whether or not the dealership will assist a customer with poor or no credit, and if so, what types of programs are offered.
“Even if customers are doubtful they will receive help due to a poor financial situation, those chatters are the most likely to offer their information as potential leads in hopes of whatever assistance might be given,” said Customer Interaction Specialist, Sarah Tyler. Many people new to the Chat Center find this trend odd, but it is becoming a more and more common occurrence.
Economic times may still be difficult for many consumers, but financial lenders are finding other ways to assist with bad credit car loans. A recent article by Free Press Release Distribution said:
“With bad credit car loans, the financial lenders would not [always] evaluate the credit status of borrowers. However, the lenders might demand a collateral for the money offered as loan. This is a good way to secure the loan as the newly bought car itself can act as collateral.”
Customers consistently enter chat in the hopes that something similar can be worked out for them, and that they can avoid the usual large down payment or substantial APR associated with a bad credit car loan.
General Motors’ recent acquisition of the Texas-based subprime lender AmeriCredit on September 30th, now known as GM Financial as of October 1st, may make it even easier for some financially strapped car buyers to qualify for the loans they need.
GM’s chief financial officer, Chris Liddell, explained that:
“With AmeriCredit providing us niche capabilities in leasing and non-prime financing, along with the continued strong support of Ally Financial and others for prime retail and dealer financing, we’ve set up a very competitive solution for our financing needs…”
The automotive market may not be as closed to customers with poor credit as once believed, and Outsell anticipates that customers seeking bad credit car loan assistance will continue to be a large presence in our daily chats.