Friday, November 2, 2007

The car you have ignored.

The October sales of the heavily advertised--blitzed, even--Chevrolet Impala are down 5.4% from October '06. Meanwhile sales of the Toyota Camry are up 17.1% and the Honda Accord's sales are up 26.3%.

As much as I hate the Impala's advertising, bad ads alone aren't the reason for Chevy's continuing decline, just as good ads aren't the impetus behind the continuing surge of Japanese manufacturers. The essential point is this: for Chevy advertising is not the problem. The problem is a deeper one. One of trust and credibility destroyed. If the resurrection of Chevy and other GM brands is ever to take place, it must be accompanied by a radically different approach to getting their message out. Gags and puffery about the un-ignorability of a sedan ain't going to ameliorate literally decades of bad product, bad service and over-hyped sell.

Some have said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and again and expecting a different result. Chevy expecting a boost from a couple of :30s just might fall into the insanity camp.

Even if it doesn't, if I had $5 billion to spend on marketing (as GM does) I would apportion some of it to doing something different.


Tore Claesson said...

the car industry may go the way of the ship building industry.
Most western wharfs are gone, kaput, bankrupt, out-competed by the East.
Price, sure. So this shift may be different. Toyota and honda make their cars in the US after all. But somehow there are parallels. And it's called adjusting.

MSCOTT said...

Truth is, consumers are getting smart, around the world. Many, even located overseas, read "Consumer Reports" as I do. Result: I purchased a new Infiniti G 35 four-door sedan this past March. And guess what???Much to no one's surprise, that new Infiniti just knocked any and all competition "Galley West". And it rates an A Plus for "Fun to Drive". And I used to buy American many years ago (1966 Buick Skylark Gran Sport, new; plus a loaded Pontiac, new 1969 model, vertical grille, red-wall tires etc.) Like a large section of the American public, auto buying and yes, auto advertising is something like winning the Olympics: Be the best, or be prepared to lose.