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Social media in the automotive media – did you choose your car through Facebook

Social media seems to be the darling (well at least currently) in automotive sales and marketing.

Ford claims a most successful introduction of its Fiesta product due to a contest , and is now attempting to follow up on this successful launch of the 2014 Ford Fiesta as well.

Yet  what of measurement and “ROI”  that is “Return on Investment.”    More than one experienced auto seller or dealership owner have insisted that  its salespeople who sell cars – not those things that  “kids do on the computer”, and that salesmen don’t get a lot for all the work of selling  a car – and all in all they should get the boost not social media campaigns.

Still an industry has been created on this.

Contests can be run in any of a number of ways.  How many people of you heard tell you that they chose their new truck / SUV or car based on Facebook / Twitter  etc etc etc.   Have you even heard color choice of said vehicle based on Facebook or other social media websites online.

Yet numbers and importance of these social media sites may be overstated indeed.  Just as kids have many free hotmail /gmail /yahoo emails that the eventually deactivate over time – each person may have many many Facebook accounts – a good number of which are of little importance or credibility yet have donated “likes”  and “Favorites.”

Good  questions indeed.   Ultimately its all about value.

More on the topic of the successful Ford Fiesta social media platform campaigns and the methods and philosophies behind them at this link:

http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/how-ford-became-a-leader-in-social-media/

2015 Subaru WRX vs 2014 Ford Focus ST! Head 2 Head

People go for reviews now.  Whether its Amazon for reviews by “real people“  or old time consumer reports  for cars or in “auto mags”  its not the old closed shop it used to be.   Yet certain products – such as the  2015 aluminum F-150 are major updates coming on the market and as they say – time and miles / km will tell .

Years ago an automobile industry exec was asked by a “reporter”  “What does Consumer Reports”  say of the model in question.  The answer startled the news person who just gulped .  We don’t pay attention to those …. they don’t hold much water or credence with us”.

Yet now reports and seemingly objective reporting rules the day and automotive markets.

Never mind social media Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest etc al.  What about though your panther or powerful lion on the road.

Here is a long YouTube style review of the 2014 Ford Focus ST versus another vehicle in the same market niche -  the Subaru WRX.  

Onwards to the Focus ST evaluations .

What is surprising is how much the evaluator is just having great fun and the conclusion as well.

Enjoy and enjoy more once you are behind the wheel of either extreme performance production vehicles.

Often Forgotten styling of base Ford Focus models

Its interesting that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  Or in this case marketing attention.

When one looks at the Ford Focus models range – the more upscale fancier versions  such as the Ford-Focus-ST  which gets the light shined on it.   Yet even in this motoring day and age with all the EPA MPG and autosafety demands by governmental agencies “not all cars look alike “.

Yet one should not forget the base – and higher volume models for the Ford Dearborn which actually are the bread and butter that pay the bills.  Yet on should remain in-focus or in a Ford-Focus .

In the model year of 2014 the non -ST versions of the line were up scaled with Ford-Fusion product styling and markings.  Its sort of like GM automotive Cadillac styling working its way down to more mundane Chevrolet and at the time Pontiac runnings.

Hence for those out car shopping and wishing for a more upscale , trendy appearing set of wheels look at and don’t rule out as a matter of course the full range of the Ford Focus model series.

 

Used Car Truck Prices Offer Good Value in Current Automobile Sales Market

New car truck and SUV sales are off the map at most progressive new car manufacture’s outlet  stores.   Some people insist “I like new” , others prefer the reliability of new  along with factory warranties .  Starting a vehicle in fourty below zero Winnipeg winters and having ensured a new and reliable battery and starter sure is nice.   On top of that add in all the incentives currently being offered both by the makers and the dealers and the financing monthly payment terms as well.   Yet its choices , choices ,choices and what do you pick and drive home ?

Yet there is a flip side to these high volumes out the doors and wheels hitting the pavement.  Time , car models and pricing changes  over the years km or miles.

Economics  is by its nature  essentially supply and demand.   More demand , for the good rational reasons above means ,  for new trucks and assorted vehicles means less people want or need automobiles that are not factory newThus you can dicker better on that used set of wheels than you could previously. 

Yet its not boxing day sales being held throughout the year.

Pre-owned with lower costs , means better dealing and a host of good deals and more inventory  to shop around for.  Lots of fun and good luck shopping.    On top of that with your local stores having more robust easy to navigate websites , mobile sites as well and the regular newspaper , classified sites as well life is easy.

More on the subject summary form here:

http://dealer-communications.com/news/rising-new-car-sales-have-led-to-cheaper-used-car-prices/

and you can click through to read the full and complete article here at this link at wheels blog of the New York Times:

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/wheelies-the-cheaper-used-cars-edition/

Innovative American made cars – The of Tests of Time

Here is an interesting test of time.

it seems that the Chevrolet Corvair - America’s premier division of the largest car maker of the time - the  designers at the Chevrolet Division of  General Motors attempted to be radically innovative at the time to counter an intruder German VW VolkswagenBug” with  a rear engined ( aluminum power plant)  Corvair project.

The problem at the time was that American drivers and Winnipeg drivers on ice did simply not know how to drive or steer this rear-engined car come emergency situations especially on ice.  Lots of accidents and collisions that needed specialized dealer provided auto collision shop repairs.   The auto-insurance  providers &  companies were not too thrilled.  Yet in the process a whole line got shelved and a classic was decommissioned or perhaps created.

The car got a  bum rap – especially  in the hands of a young – out to-promote make a name for himself – lawyer named “Ralph Nader“.    It was a novelty and even a threat to G.M.  Its a far cry from consumer groups and their tactics and  procedures today in 2014.

GM  went to the extent of hiring private investigators to investigate the attorney and even chase him around.  The young attorney sued for damages, won and since has been on the move.

In the process the nameplate  was destroyed and the whole innovative car development process was stifled. What a shame as there were yet more innovative designs in the pipeline upcoming.

Pinterest innovative Chev Corvair prototypes Innovative  American made cars   The of Tests of Time

 

interestingly  two things .  The  suspension / steering system was revamped for  safety reasons.  Yet the reputation of said vehicle never recovered.   Secondly the VW  product essentially had the same workings yet , as having a  cult following , never  came under the same level of concern nor criticism.

Secondly while the automobile  came under the classification of  “small’   or “compact “  then.   Not so today when it seems a fair  reasonable size vehicle  in comparison to standard sized  economy , compact and even mid-sized domestically  made current models in 2015 .  Adios  Chevrolet-Corvair -  though the whole event lives on in the aficionados who favor the automobile.

Here is an interesting story – Jay Leno revisits Chevy Corvair legacy with 1966 Yenko Stinger at the following link:

 

Vehicle to Vehicle Communication – Will or Can it Reduce Auto Insurance Rates

You can bet two things in life .

One is taxes – both property and sales taxes  ( federal VAT/ GST  or retail state / provincial )  will never go down.  Secondly is no matter what they tell you – that your auto insurance premiums and /or rate surcharges will  decrease.

Yet just try making a claim and drive into your local auto body collision shop at the Waverley and you will find out what the real stories and bottom line of the invoices are.

Hence its interesting with all the high technology out there , and all the concerns of the N.S.A. monitoring us / RFID chips  to read the following headline “Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Could Revolutionize Car Insurance”.

Will we all save ready cash and fees or is this just one more form of surveillance and 1984 “Big Brother”  at hand ?   Who knows and what is the next  revelation to be found at hand  ?   Security cameras on-board the vehicle having ET call back home in coordination with highest tech auto entertainment systems ?

A good question in this regard  Will all of this high tech allow my car or truck to be inactivated if stolen  not unlike services and programs one can install on their smart phones ?

The quote in the article is “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that this technology could help avoid or mitigate 70% to 80% of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers. The technology only includes information about safety, but does not include exchanging or recording personal information, tracking the movements of the vehicle and its parts and components ,and does not identify them.”   Yet who knows ???  Do you believe in the tooth fairy , or your truck insurance premiums being reduced in the near future.  You can bet that it will all come out in the wash – with little input or choices to be had at your end .

link:  http://dealer-communications.com/news/vehicle-to-vehicle-communication-could-revolutionize-car-insurance/

Interesting – Ford Fusion Reviews Yet Sales

Its interesting on the auto market always.  Things are not always as they seem.  Again its the perceptions of auto buyers, their needs and perceptions not only rank facts and perceptions.   One might say its similar to the stock market being driven by emotions rather than sheer logic and the dynamics of the automotive / transportation marketplace.  Its not always like “Boxing Day” sales it seems.

Take as an example in point  the Ford “Fusion product.

Its a well designed vehicle , well appointed for an established market segment and meant to be a complement to the well entrenched Toyota market leader.  Overall Ford has done well in the marketplace though its overall percentage ranking against market leader Toyota is overall stable yet slipping a bit .   Ford has come a long way from the old days and old products it offered it seems.

Reviews of the Fusion and Fusions are overall  good.   Good specs , great value.   Automakers it seems in 2014 plan well and go after markets driven and established by other factories – and then move in for the kill.   Look at the Chevrolet Reaper going after the target market both identified , cultured and developed by the Ford F-150 Raptor “  set of high performance off-road trucks.

Yet Ford dealer inventories seem to be on the high side.   Promotion of said vehicle seems to be  more than aggressive .  Local dealerships  seem to have no shortage of Ford Fusion products in lots and on hand and are more than willing , it appears   to “do the deal”.

This is corroborated by headlines online,  and in print – “Ford Raises Incentives To Clear Growing Fusion Inventories”.

It appears that Ford dealerships are offering “substantial discounts”  of up to $ 1000 cash,  as well as very enticing 5 year “zero percentage rate financing”.   ( Yet don’t ignore fees and documentation fees etc).   All very enticing.  Again don’t ignore either the specs or the reviews of this reliable yet trendy and attractive form of transportation , either for yourself  , your family or overall budget.

Yet this is no old model to be cleared off the lot and dealer’s  inventories.   The second generation line-up includes a gasoline and EcoBoost engine options, a next-generation hybrid model, and a plug-in hybrid version, the Ford Fusion Energi, making the Ford Fusion the first production sedan to offer these four options.

You might want to read the article online , and do some additional research,  seek price quotes either online or in person and perhaps schedule a convenient test drive:

You can start here at this online url reference:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/ford-raises-incentives-to-clear-growing-fusion-inventories/

 

 

 

Concept of Best Value Buying Cars Trucks yet Relates resale Values

There is an old saying that goes like- if its good its not cheap , if its fast its not good etc etc etc.

Yet when it comes to trucks and cars and especially first time buyers many get waylaid in terms of real value.   On top of  that there are no shortage of sales  and incentive programs.

in the automotive market a major component of pricing involves perception and perceptions.  included in this is the concept of desirability in relation to said product when it comes time for sale of that car or truck and essentially who wants it.  After all economics boils down to the intersection of the demand and supply curves.  On to of that don’t ignore the desire ability of what automakers offer in terms of “one-time rebates”  and other incentives in the sales and marketing mix .

Thus oddball vehicles such  Ladas or Skodas may have had  low sticker price as a new vehicle yet presented with poor value overall as when it came time for that trade in or resale in the private market few ,if any wanted that lemon and the sale price would of been very low.

Domestic made cars , such as Ford , GM or Chrysler Dodge  used to price higher than “imports” , with General Motors GM products such as Chevrolet , Pontiac, Buick and top Cadillac having the lead.

Those days are gone now.

It seems that imports such as Toyota, Nissan etc have the highest brand perceptions and command the highest resale values.  This may be perceived in the minds of the automotive buying public.

Its a perception and not necessarily backed up by stats, documentation nor the wishes  of the automakers their factories, nor the managements.

Yet  its a self continuing , supporting and sustaining flow of information that feeds back on itself .

You can read more  of  the current stats ,testing  and figures  on this link:

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140225/RETAIL03/140229927/japanese-stay-atop-consumer-reports-rankings-as-detroit-struggles

 

And now one more – A Toyota Reaper Wanttobee

Marketing and sales  in 2014 is an amazing process.

its a matter of management by numbers and don’t rock the boat / get the boss /committee’s attention .  You would think major corporations are run by civil servants.

There are numbers and tools,  yet just look out the window to see the weather.

At a certain vehicle sales threshold the auto design crews are told to spring to action – pronto.

Toyota it seems , in addition to the Ford Raptor market segment copy – the Chevrolet “Reaper’  will soonmake its entry into the North American / Mexican NAFTA retail  sales markets.

The brand name of the product will be the “Toyota Tundra TRD Por”

You can read more in detail in this comprehensive article below:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/toyota-tundra-trd-supercharged-first-drive-review

 


Chevrolet Reaper Truck marketing response to Ford Raptor Supertruck

Its said that both in life  and in the automotive field marketplace that imitation is the best form of flattery.  Its often the case now that big companies , with all their corporate structure /red tape and committees don’t innovate -  they copy.  Just look at ad copy on-line and in print newspapers and trade publications , to get the trend lines.  Yet the Ford Motor Company and its design engineers and staff  are out the chute again with the aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 truck set.

True it might be said that its a case of let the other guys do the work and take the heat and hits yet its both the smaller , more nimble firms that innovate and set trends.  Look at upstarts  like the original Apple  vs IBM or or any of a number of examples for cases in point.  The funny , or ironic part is that often the large companies buy these innovative upstarts and then stifle their creativity in the process .  In the end what goes around comes around.  There is only one lead dog and they are in the front looking forwards.

Interestingly enough with the success , and even flagship status of the Ford Raptor SVT F-150 truck project other truck manufacturers / distributors are coming out with similar branded products in this highly lucrative market segmentFord with its highly successful  “F-Series” truck line,was not caught napping.  Even though the Ford product is ranked as the highest selling vehicle in North America innovation won.  And the success shows .  One wonders if these vehicles will be built in the Neuvo Laredo Mexico  area or in Canadian & US NAFTA GM plants ?

Yet is a copy as good as the original ? Or is a misguided attempt to put a loyal customer base into their version of the product to cash in- and keep their clientele in their lineup of company branded product.  Think of the Cadillac Cimarron & the Chrysler Crossfire  ( re-branded Mercedes-Benz )  as two previous tests.

Time and Chevrolet truck sales will tell.   One question will there be a GMC truck version as well ?   Also what will the bi-weekly or monthly car payments be ?  We  shall see if the Chevrolet Reaper beats out FordSVTRaptors

A good discussion and photos on the project of the Chevrolet Reaper Trucks can be found on this link:

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/01/southern-comfort-automotive-teases-chevrolet-silverado-reaper-pickup-aims-to-rival-f-150-raptor/

Pinterest photos  & Chevy Reaper Pinterest-online-photo-board-collection  on hand as well:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/446841594250285392/

http://www.pinterest.com/GMCChevFanatics/chevrolet-silverado-reaper/