No-haggle pricing! It’s kind of the zombie of the auto industry. How, you ask? Well:
Touching it makes your dealership sick
It periodically comes back from the dead
The nerd/geek crowd loves to talk about it
It doesn’t actually exist
It’s also typically something that’s embraced by losers, whether the “loser” in question is a troubled dealership trying to remake its image after a complete decapitation of the leadership/ownership, a troubled brand trying to differentiate itself (Scion), or a troubled automaker clutching at straws in the face of overwhelming competition (General Motors, with Saturn). But Lexus, the latest brand to give it a shot, doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loser”. Its lineup is bulletproof, both in terms of durability and customer perception. Its dealers are obscenely profitable and generally immune to the worst of the customer-abuse excesses for which mainline Toyota stores are justifiably famous.
So why jump on a strategy that has never, ever worked for any brand that doesn’t own the majority of its retail outlets? Perhaps the answer has something to do with Ellen Pao.
A recent study by iSeeCars.com shows men prefer brighter, bolder car colors — orange, brown and yellow — compared to women, who preferred more neutral colors such as gold, silver and beige. The study analyzed more than 25 million used cars and 200,000 shoppers.
Orange was the big polarizer for 2014; men were 25 percent more likely to pick that color than women. Last year’s popular picks for men, red and black, fell out of the top three this year in favor of brown and yellow.
Women’s picks of gold, silver and beige may have more to do with the segment in which females traditionally shop. iSeeCars said men’s interest in muscle cars can help explain the palette preferences.
A woman and her horse: the pairing that GM hopes will persuade female consumers to consider the Chevrolet line of trucks. At a time when truck ads are pushing masculinity to absurd heights, it’s a bold move. Even so, it’s a fundamentally conservative approach to a difficult marketing problem.
While I was working for the German auto industry (and that wasn’t that long ago), I used to call it the last outpost of unabashed male chauvinism. From dealers (where female customers are treated with disdain) to the boardroom (where women serve coffee), the business remains a man’s world. BMW wants to do something about it. Come on, BMW? (Read More…)
Is good old machismo dying in Brazil? On the eve of Women’s International Day (May 8), women are now held responsible for buying up to 40 percent of brand new cars in Brazil, and are said to influence over 80 percent of purchases. According to well-known Brazilian news site Globo, those are the numbers. But what motivates a woman to buy a car in Brazil? (Read More…)
“The Krom Rogue will look a little more masculine,” [Patrick Steiner, director of sales and marketing for Nissan North America’s Specialty Vehicles and Accessories unit] said while standing alongside a prototype black Krom model at Nissan’s North American headquarters here. “We think it will attract a higher percentage of male buyers.”
Manly men can expect to pay $2,000-$4,000 over base for the Krom Edition Rogue’s masculinity defining “entirely new front end with a mesh grille, fog lights, rear spoiler, tinted glass, center exhaust pipes and 17-inch alloy wheels.” [Autoweek, via MSN]