If you review market share among import brands you probably will notice Hyundai’s numbers are climbing. This recession has taught a lot of people in our industry not only how to survive but how to steal market share from others. Hyundai is no exception and has done a very admirable job at this in 2009.
In talking with our import clients, it seems Toyota dealers are being told by Toyota Motor Sales and its Distributors to adjust their image and financial programs to be more like Honda. Toyota is lusting after the lease programs and penetration that has kept Honda owners returning to the new car buying cycle every 36-48 months. Toyota is lessening its dealer cash on some models and driving lease payments and re-teaching its dealers about lease penetration. Toyota as a whole has definitely been watching Honda, and with this turn in the market, now wants what its competitor has.
Honda dealers, however, are different. This turn in the market left many Honda dealers light on inventory, especially after “Cash for Clunkers.” Honda dealers are now restocking their lots at what for them generally is a slow time of year (prior to their year-end clearance) and now Honda dealers are wanting what Toyota dealers have always had and that is dealer cash / and big rebate programs. Honda dealers want to be more competitive price wise against Camry & Corolla and think they need money on the hood to be able to compete It seems to me that Honda dealers want everything Toyota dealer have always had except for Scion and a full size pickup truck.
Nissan dealers are not as envious but still have points of contention. Most Nissan dealers have wrapped their mind around the fact that Titan is not going to be a volume leader, so they are ordering and selling what they can – holding excellent gross on the hard to find, not plentiful units. Nissan dealers seem to have decent inventory levels and ‘09 product left that can be price advertised aggressively. Nissan has a weaker performer in Sentra (and no markup in Cube and Versa), so it relies on Altima, Murano, Rogue and Maxima for its volume and gross. Nissan wants a better van product and better SUV brands like Toyota has.
So that brings us to Hyundai – with its import competition all chasing after what the other has, Hyundai has focused solely on the Hyundai Advantage this year and adding additional rebates on top of the Government ‘Cash for Clunker’ money. Hyundai dealers have looked more at their brand and their marketing, without as much regard for others, and it clearly has made a positive impact. Hyundai doesn’t compete in trucks and not really the SUV segment (Santa Fe just never appears to dent its Toyota, Nissan and Honda counterparts). Hyundai has solely worked its advertising plan with the premise of what is best for Hyundai. The programs it has run that surely led to this award are very different and do not slant its competitors in quite the negative light. Hyundai has focused on looking out for what is best for Hyundai and spent millions of dollars to tell a compelling story.
All advertising, especially automotive is subjective to a persons thoughts and opinions. Some people claim Hondas ads are too boring, Nissans are too loud and bold, Toyotas are always selling the deal – but the proof is in the pudding – or in this case the Marketer of the Year Award.
A spectacular car chase can turn a run-of-the- mill action adventure-flick into an instant classic, revered by moviegoing gearheads around the globe. Here are ten of the best car chase scenes.
The French Connection (1971)
In pursuit of a drug suspect, grubby New York detective Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) appropriates a civilian car and chases an elevated subway train, barreling beneath the tracks at 90 mph.
YouTube Video Clip of The French Connection
Steve McQueen steers a Mustang fastback through what many consider to the standard-setter for all car chase scenes. Hard-boiled cop Frank Bullitt (McQueen) races the bad guys’ Dodge Charger up and down the streets of San Francisco at speeds up to 110 mph in a sequence that helped earn the movie an Oscar for its innovative editing.
YouTube Video Clip of Bullitt
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
In his attempts to babysit impetuous John Connor (Edward Furlong), The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) must avoid having his motorcycle run over by an 18-wheeler piloted by the metal-melding T-1000 (Robert Patrick).
YouTube Video Clip of Terminator 2: Judgment Day
This multi-car chase through the narrow, steep streets of Nice, France, in this Robert De Niro spy thriller is one-upped only by the sheer lunacy of an against-the-traffic pursuit through tunnels under the Seine in Paris.
YouTube Video Clip of Ronin
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
A band of punk-biker pirates pursues a tribal convoy, led by Mel Gibson’s Mad Max, that’s escorting a precious fuel tanker to safety. Fighters clad in studded leather spar atop moving cars, motorcycles and trucks, picking each other off with shotguns and crossbows.
YouTube Video Clip of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Jake Blues (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) leave a 106-mile path of destruction as they speed toward downtown Chicago in the Bluesmobile (a converted Dodge Monaco police cruiser).
YouTube Video Clip of The Blues Brothers
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
Obsessive sheriff (Vic Morrow) in a Bell Helicopter pursues a ’69 Dodge Charger driven by bad guys. The chase takes them through a citrus orchard and ends with the Charger colliding with a locomotive.
YouTube Video Clip of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
Vanishing Point (1971)
The movie opens with Kowalski (Barry Newman) in a white 1970 Dodge Challenger sparring with the California Highway Patrol. And the excitement keeps building, crossing median strips while just missing cross traffic, sliding along dirt roads, and running at what are obviously true high speeds.
YouTube Video Clip of Vanishing Point
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
A South American drug lord pays Maindrian Pace (Toby Halicki) $400,000 to steal 48 specific cars for him, and all but one — a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with a code name of “Eleanor” — are successfully stolen by Pace and his associates. The film is famous for having wrecked and destroyed 93 cars in a 40-minute car chase scene.
YouTube Video Clip of Gone in 60 Seconds
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
As the life of a Secret Service agent (played by CSI star and legit car enthusiast William Petersen) slides into anarchy, he takes greater and greater chances with his own life and the lives of those around him, including pursuit with Petersen piloting a Chevrolet the wrong way down the freeway.
YouTube Video Clip of To Live and Die in L.A.
Are you keeping up with the Joneses based on what resides in your driveway?
For most Americans, the adage “you are what you eat” could easily be replaced these days with “you are what you drive.” Our cars have become an extension of our personality — or the one we’re hoping to project to the world. Sporty and sassy, says the MINI Cooper; practical and spacious, screams the Honda Odyssey minivan; strong and intimidating, exudes the Ford F-150. Just as cars can reflect their owners’ personalities, they can also reflect the local culture in a particular ZIP code. What are the most popular cars by ZIP code — and what does that say about the city and its population? Read on.
“Most Appealing Midsize Sporty Car,” according to J.D. Power and Associates.*
Happy as always to say, “I told you so,” I chose the 2009 Dodge Challenger RT as my personal vehicle in May of 2009. Dodge has definitely caught the attention of those at J.D. Power and Associates. *
*The Dodge Challenger received the highest numerical score among midsize sporty cars in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study. (SM) Study based on responses from 80,930 new-vehicle owners, measuring 245 models and measures opinions after 90 days of ownership. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed in February-May 2009. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
Ford reports a surprise $1 billion profit AND the automaker now expects to be solidly profitable in 2011. Does this mean their decision not to take any bailout money was the right thing to do? If you ask any of the Ford Dealers, they will say with overwhelming enthusiasm that “yes” the decision not to take any bailout money was a big factor in its recent success.
When you look at the products and how well the Ford Focus did during ‘Cash for Clunkers’ and the increasing sales of both Fusion and Fusion Hybrid, you also see that they have taken more domestic car market share away from other manufacturers with these products.
Ford Dealers are now doing something that they haven’t done in quite a while: making a solid merchandising plan to promote cars (Focus and Fusion) in addition to F150 and the SUVs.