Archive for July, 2009

“GM must change perception to halt decline”

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009


This bit of understatement came from Steven Rattner and was quoted in a July 6th article in Automotive News.  He went on to say that “There’s often a lag between perception and reality.”  He was referring to the “fact” that GM’s products  and product quality would surprise many people.  Based on JD Power’s most recent IQS study where both Cadillac (#3) and Chevy (#9) were well above industry average, he seems to have point.  GMC and Buick were just a couple of notches below average.  By the way, the GM brands are ahead of many well respected marques like Audi, Volvo, Subaru, Jeep and Mini.

So, as the new GM comes out of its speedy bankruptcy there seems to be general acknowledgement that it needs to deal with this “perception problem” which means that the marketers are going to get their chance to help change the fortunes of GM.

Another Automotive News article declared:  “The New GM needs marketing blitz, experts say.”  The question that comes to mind is what is the “marketing blitz” going to consist of.  There’s a body of opinion that says that GM should lower its prices to get people in the showroom where they will see the quality of the products and be compelled to buy.  Some folks are suggesting that the message should be “Come give us a chance and see what we’ve got, because we’re going to grow.”  Others are saying that GM needs to take advantage of a growing “new nationalism” and Americans’ willingness to buy American.

This sounds to me like Detroit pulling pages from its traditional playbook.  What happened to “re-invention.”


Mini shows us the power of “Brand”

Monday, July 6th, 2009

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It seems the automotive industry does a better job of “talking the talk” of branding than it does of “walking the walk.”  Of course there are exceptions, and Mini is a great example.  When introduced a few years ago the creative work for Mini was widely lauded (see link below) and it set the marque on a path that led to the events of last couple of weeks.


Kudos to Audi of America for taking on Americans’ perception of diesel.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

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Audi of America has stepped up and taken on America’s negative perception of diesel technology.

Take a look at this video:

Then the commercial:

Changing American’s perception of diesel is a monumental task but one that will yield remarkable benefits.  Diesel offers the opportunity to immediately reduce our consumption of oil, reduce emission of CO2 and get better mileage.  Diesel can help manufacturers satisfy the new CAFE standards.  All this from a proven technology that is well understood and available today.