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The marketing gap between the car manufacturers and dealers is simply an observation of mine. For the car dealers who are proactively participating in the digital space I congratulate you. For those who haven’t then take what you want from my ramblings and all the best.

That question gets at the crux of the whole matter. If it’s based on brand, then the hurdle of the dealership doesn’t matter. If it’s a type of car (say, you’re looking for a gas-saving sedan), then the dealership poses a larger problem.

Does your dealership have the capacity to be the #1 store in town? Maybe…maybe not… You can grow your market share, though, and advertising budgets should be based on realistic expectations of how much market share you can gobble up from your competitors.

Many successful dealerships have these pages, as they’re a great way to tell consumers “Hey! We’re just like you!” A page stating “We’ve been family owned for 20+ years and customer service has always been our #1 priority!” lets consumers know that they’re going to be cared for.

Truth? Sell your vehicle privately. You’ll make about 10% more. The trade is a way for you to offset the cost of the new car. It is calculated AFTER your taxes, tag, dealer prep, and all the rest. Most of the time, the value of the car barely offsets those things. Sad reality, unfortunately.

A study from Bazaarvoice showed that 7 out of 10 customers who left a negative review felt differently about a business after receiving a response to their review. And those are the people who had the poor experience; not just the ones who are reading about it online, so it’s very likely this small change in handling reviews can make a big difference in how people perceive your business at first glance.

But be mindful, prospects won’t be ready to read sales-oriented pages during those early moments in the buying journey. Focus on educating them in a helpful manner by creating blog posts written by knowledgeable staff within your organisation.

Forget about the high failure rates, pressures to sell, and potential debts to their employers. Car salespeople also have to endure brutal tactics used by fellow salespeople. For example: It’s your day off? Opportunistic coworkers might tell your loyal customers that you’ve been fired, sell the car themselves, and keep the commission. “Some people would step over their own mothers to get that car sale,” McDonald says. They also risk life and limb whenever buyers take them out on a test drive. “I once went for a ride with a drug dealer in Oakland who took me on a test drive to collect drug money,” Teves recalls. “Any test drive when you come back alive is a successful test drive.”

While automobile manufacturers like Kia and MINI use social channels to blast out branding and awareness campaigns for a national audience, more intimate and direct efforts occur at local levels, typically among auto retailers and dealerships. Toronto-based auto retailer Pfaff Automotive Partners used a high-tech spin for its latest marketing campaign by ad agency Lowe Roche without relying on social media. Pfaff placed white Porsche 911s in the driveways of 50 Toronto residences in tony neighborhoods as part of an innovative direct mail marketing campaign. to select the residences, Pfaff reviewed its customers’ purchasing trends and then narrowed down its list to those living in homes in the $2 million range.

20. Don’t overbuy. The most expensive model in the line isn’t necessarily the best one for you. I once worked with a retired couple who wanted a top-of-the-line car. They insisted on all the available bells and whistles. But they weren’t particularly tech-savvy and never really got the hang of the navigation system, which they didn’t really need, but which controlled both the air-conditioning and radio. They spent endless hours with me at the dealership trying to master the thing. I was happy to help them, but I think if they had skipped the pricey navigation system, they would have enjoyed the car much more.

37. Knowing how long a used car has been on the lot can help you get a better price. Here’s how to find that information. Dealerships run vehicle history reports from Carfax or AutoCheck when cars come in as trades. Ask to see the car’s report, and make a mental note of when the report was printed. If the date is recent, then the car is likely new to the lot and there’s not much bargaining opportunity. But if the report is more than 60 days old, that’s a good indication the dealership is willing to move on the price.

Car manufacturers have traditionally relied on flashy television advertisements to promote their brands. But with the ever-changing media landscape shifting into social media, this all looks set to change.

Most consumer-durable industries have undergone substantial distribution-channel evolution resulting from changes in economics, regulations or technologies. Each one has unique circumstances, but we can see three relatively common, distinct stages in these channel restructurings:

(1) Start with a great product – Tesla would be dead today if they didn’t build the best car available today. There are too many obstacles — range, lack of road trips, and buyer confusion to name a few. Tesla used electric technology to build a car that can’t be reproduced with a combustion engine. It’s as fast as a Porsche and gets the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon. It has very few moving parts. It is the most aerodynamic car made and has the most cargo space of any car in its class. It’s a sports car that seats seven.

49. It’s common to trade in a car that has a loan or lease balance. As a rule, the dealership should pay off the trade-in within 10 days. Call the lender about two weeks after making your new deal to ensure that the car has been paid off. If it hasn’t, get in touch with the dealership to find out about the delay.

There aren’t many automotive direct mail marketing companies out there who have the experience and knowledge that Paxton brings to the table. Every month they surprise us with professionally-designed unique auto mailers that speak directly to our customers and bring them right into our showroom with cash in hand—most of these pieces have eye-catching scratch-offs or pull-tab games, and are actually fun for the customer to interact with. They are even venturing into the automotive digital marketing field, and that’s somewhere our dealership wants to be. It’s refreshing to pick up the phone and talk directly with the team at Paxton and not have to deal with a switchboard or call center. They stand behind their work and I simply would not do business with any other automotive direct mail company out there.

Technical reasons have also impeded NEV development. As part of the country’s development scheme, China has designated 88 cities as NEV demonstration areas, in order to ramp up investment into the industry. The resulting effect, however, was different cities ended up using different charging standards for NEV infrastructure, which is a crucial area of industry development; while NEV charging standard often differ on a global scale, inter-operability between cities such Beijing and Shanghai have dented the attractiveness of these purchases. In February 2017 China announced that it would build a further 800,000 NEV charging points for electric vehicles and that development plans for a unified national standard are underway, but without this crucial area of standardisation, NEV growth will remain muted.

Until the automobile market begins to find the emotional cues of the target audience and become honest with themselves about where they stand, the automotive brands will continue to watch cars sit idly in lots.

– Pictures are great visual aids, but won’t be enough to capture your audience’s interest. You want online video. Video consumption is skyrocketing and will be a great asset in your ability to positively influence potential car buyers.

Want to make sure those eager buyers with fresh tax returns come to your dealership? One of the more popular dealership marketing strategies is offering to double someone’s tax return for a down payment—up to a certain point, of course. So, if someone walks in with $2,500 for a down payment, you’d throw in another $2,500, so they have a total down payment of $5,000. Again, the exact terms are up to you and what your dealership can swing financially.

I haven’t seen you mention much about Hondas, but I’d like to get your take of the brand, and the Fit model if you have any experience. I did a lot of research before I bought the car, and am pretty happy with it (it’s paid off next month, and I’m going to save up for a seat extended – damn these long legs!).

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