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PLEASE NOTE: The acronym “ADM” on this website stands for Automotive Digital Marketing. Automotive Digital Marketing is in no way associated with Archer-Daniels-Midland Company. Use of the "ADM" abbreviation on this site refers to the "Automotive Digital Marketing" registered trademark of Automotive Media Partners, LLC

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Cuts counteract U.S. sales drop; a spark for BMW EV sales; Camry Hybrid recall sought; Snyder: Cars and techno-skeptics.

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Cultural problems worse than managers realized, former CEO tells paper; Nissan net income rises 37%; safety 'firsts' for Volvo.

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Relationship Centered Marketing (RCM) for Auto Dealerships

by Manny Luna http://www.archer-profit.com/ Relationship Centered Marketing is primarily dedicated to strengthening the buyer’s image of the seller’s understanding, likeability and honesty. “People do business with those they know, they like and they trust.”

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by Manny Luna Everyone Remain Calm I'm a Salesman

NSX prototype burnt to crisp at Nurburgring

by Big Tom LaPointe It's always sad to see a supercar go up in smoke. This Acura NSX test car apparently burned to the ground during testing. The driver was ok and Acura is investigating. see article at http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/acura-nsx-prototype-burns-nurburgring

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GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers

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The invitation to come out and sample product at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI is rarely dull, and after spending this morning driving preproduction versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon all we can say is... under strict embargo. Sorry, America, we were as excited as many of you are to learn more about GM's new midsize truck range and take note of how they go down the road, but it's going to be September before we're allowed to share that with all of you. Here's to sweet suspense.

While we might not be able to talk about refinement or handling yet, we did find some of the product positioning and marketing statements from GMC and Chevy officials on hand at the program to be pretty interesting.

Of course, we all know that the literal competitive set for Canyon and Colorado is comprised of two comparatively ancient Japanese midsize trucks: the Toyota Tacoma (which currently owns this segment) and the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier's bones are as old as the 2005 model year, with 2009 marking the last time the truck was updated. The Taco was also launched in 2005, though it did see a freshening for 2012. The point remains that, in every facet from powertrain to dash plastics, the GM midsize truck twins are going to look positively space age by comparison when they hit the market for MY 2015.

Interestingly though, The General isn't simply shooting for its aged, small-truck competitors when it comes to the planned conquest of customers. The automaker believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting alternative to small-crossover shoppers as well. In fact, the engineering and marketing teams were possessed of this notion enough to bring along a Ford Escape as one of the competitive drives for our test day in Milford.

GM believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting proposition to small-CUV shoppers.

Certainly, images of the Canyon and Colorado interiors that we've seen indicate that these two trucks will have cabins worthy of suburban tastemakers; full of the available comfort and convenience amenities that CUV shoppers are so keen on. Just as in their fullsize brothers, we expect these smaller trucks to be comfy places in which to pass your daily commute. We'd argue that the exterior styling of the trucks is a fit with the CUV ethos, as well.

Looking deeper, we can also see that the new trucks will probably offer reasonable tradeoffs in terms of utility, performance, mileage, space and price. Just comparing base models, the Chevy Canyon's 2.5-liter four-cylinder, rated at 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, is slightly stronger than the average output of four-bangers from Ford, Honda and Toyota small crossovers. Now, the Canyon is likely to be somewhat thirstier than the 26 combined miles per gallon that those three offer, but it'll do so will the decided boost in tow/haul utility is the most obvious pickup strong suit.

And, of course, while we don't yet have pricing, sticking around the low $20k starting MSRPs of the best-selling small crossovers seems quite doable. Bare bones Tacoma and Frontier trucks start at $18,125 and $20,510, respectively, leaving a good gap to appropriately price the content-plus new trucks, and still stay in-budget for a typical CUV shopper.

Those tradeoffs won't work for a lot of CUV buyers, but the argument on paper is quite a bit more compelling than we would have initially thought. GM apparently believes it, as it's jumping with two feet into a segment that most automakers have abandoned or at least let wither on the vine. What say you? Would a more livable, frugal pickup make sense to you as a cross-shop with a smaller crossover? Let us know in Comments.

GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

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Screencap from Toyota's Japanese

A new Japanese Toyota ad featuring crisply suited businessmen driving into the jungle only to segue into a Psy-style music-video dance-off with a gorilla and natives is the latest car commercial to go viral. Jungle Wakudoki is the newest installment in a grand tradition of bizarre ads from the island nation that are by turns hilarious, head-scratching and occasionally even frightening.

Let's face it: My people are weird.

I'm half-Japanese and take suitable pride in my Asian roots, but even I can't figure out what's been slipped into the water coolers of the country's ad agencies much of the time - or the nation at large, for that matter. From Japan's ubiquitous obsession with all things adorable (kawaii) to its offbeat sense of humor and its bizarrely perverse and violent tentacle porn, it's clear there's a lot going on in the culture, and only some of it bubbles up to the surface in its marketing efforts. Much of the strangest and most amazing ads are for non-transportation products (e.g. laundry soap, snacks, energy drinks), but the automotive space has its fair share. This latest Toyota ad had me trawling YouTube for a common theme, trying to make sense of why these spots are the way they are. Scroll down to watch the Toyota ad in question as well as a bunch of other examples of Japan's most bizarre car-related ads and see if you can't find the thread that runs between them. Is it just that something's being lost in translation? Have your say in Comments.

Continue reading Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Trio of cheesy classic VW buses stolen, recovered

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Cheese Vans Stolen

Three customized Volkswagen Buses (pictured above) made to look like blocks of Tillamook cheddar cheese are safe again after being stolen on July 12, and two men are in police custody for the alleged theft.

The cheesy cadre of VWs, their custom trailer and a Ford F-350 to haul them were on a promotional tour when they were stolen from a hotel parking lot in Manteca, California. Police began searching for them, and the group of bright orange Volkswagens wasn't too hard to sniff out. The three vans with an estimated value of $100,000 each were recovered undamaged on July 14 from a storage center in California about 50 miles away from where they were taken, according to Oregon Live. It reports that one of the men arrested rented a space there.

Unfortunately, the trailer and pickup used to haul the classic VWs weren't so lucky. Prior to finding the vans, police discovered the other vehicles burned out. It appears the alleged thieves tried to turn them into grilled cheese...

Trio of cheesy classic VW buses stolen, recovered originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Past, Present, and Future of Automotive Marketing with Ralph Paglia

"Ralph, what a fascinating and remarkable journey. I knew parts of it already but in this video, I discovered even more.  Your passion for what you've done and what you are doing reminds me of why you are a visionary, a trailblazer and an…"
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SEO & Microsites for Car Dealers | Geotargeting | What Is Search Engine Optimization?

 Microsites are typically used in web design to add a specialized group of information either editorial or commercial. Such sites may be linked in to a main site or not or taken completely off a site's server when the site is used for a temporary purpose. The main distinction of a microsite versus its parent site is its purpose and specific…See More
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Tom Gorham commented on Tom Gorham's blog post From the Trenches - The Decline of Email Leads
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Mike Maggs commented on Tom Gorham's blog post From the Trenches - The Decline of Email Leads
"I agree with you Steve.  Now imagine if that customer clicked a button on the dealer's inventory page and received a text quote with all the vehicle's details, including images, sent directly to their phone in seconds.  In…"
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Steve Davern commented on Tom Gorham's blog post From the Trenches - The Decline of Email Leads
"Great article Tom. If I'm a dealer and my email leads are down and my phone calls are up, I like it. Just short of a buyer walking into the dealership, I want him to call. If he calls, he is way more serious than someone who sent an email. "
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Mike Warwick commented on Mike Warwick's blog post Did Alan Ram Really Post About Having the Sales Floor Handle Leads Instead of the BDC and Close the Comment Section?
"Great stuff Tom!  One of my favorite tools when training is to hand out a blank Road to the Sale to the experienced "pros." I've had people with 9 years experience who can't fill out beyond the Meet and Greet. I don't…"
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AutoCon 2014 Announces "Best Practices" Focus and Format

Posted by Ralph Paglia on July 28, 2014 at 4:30pm 1 Comment

AutoCon Launches “Your” Best Practices

Las Vegas, NV – The Third Annual AutoCon reinvents the automotive conference with a new and innovative format unlike any other industry event, which is attendee driven. 

The majority of AutoCon’s speakers and trainers are actual dealer principals and general managers from some of the nation’s top dealerships. The concept was created from the need to provide dealers the opportunity to learn from the best of the best in the industry and have an open forum to ask questions specifically related to their dealership. 

“The feedback we had received from dealers was that they wanted a smaller venue with more in-depth training. One common complaint was that the training was done…

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Did Alan Ram Really Post About Having the Sales Floor Handle Leads Instead of the BDC and Close the Comment Section?

Posted by Mike Warwick on July 26, 2014 at 7:30am 19 Comments

Alan, let me begin by saying that you are one of my favorite trainers and I highly recommend your training to any dealership.  Your training is exceptional. However....the vast majority of salespeople are not effective at handling Internet leads or phone calls. In fact, they are horrible at it. The average turnover of the salesforce in the car business is extraordinarily high and the main reason for this high turnover is the lack of training that new salespeople get.  They are set up to fail from the start. Is it any wonder that when a new salesperson fails over and over in the beginning of their careers that they start to look at other options?  As an industry, we are not even training new salespeople how to sell cars. What makes you think that we are going to do a good job training…

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Dealers' phones ring again ~ Rise in calls spurs more sales training!

Posted by Manny Luna on July 27, 2014 at 10:30pm 0 Comments

It's back to the future for car shoppers, who now much prefer to contact dealerships with an old-fashioned phone call rather than via the Internet.

Two years ago, Internet sales leads were gaining on phone leads, dealers and digital marketing vendors say. But ubiquitous smartphones changed all that.

"Our phone calls are going through the roof," said Mark Holian, general manager of Gulf Coast Auto Park's Ford, Nissan and Toyota stores 40 minutes from Houston.

Today, most car buyers carry smartphones. And it's easier to use a click-to-call phone link in a dealership ad than fill out a Web site information form or send an e-mail, said Holian, whose stores sold 304 new and used…

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Why quality live chat? Why have a quality website?

Posted by Big Tom LaPointe on July 26, 2014 at 10:02pm 0 Comments

The answer for the question of whether or not to have a top-notch live chat on your dealership is the same as having a sharp website: to convey information to your prospects in a manner that generates quality leads and ultimately sells more cars. It's really that simple. In the mid 90's, you could get away with a cut-rate website and impress your 20 Group with it when the technology was new. At that point, putting inventory online was cutting edge, and having actual inventory photos was akin to traveling to the moon. Nowadays you wouldn't think of using a website designed by the neighbor kid or skipping inventory photos.

The same is true with live chat. If you just want to say you have chat and occasionally capture some contact information, by all means grab the free or cheap service. If you want to engage your buyers in a manner that starts them on the path to a purchase, shop for the one that will generate…

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3 KPIs to Hold Your SEO Accountable

Posted by Paul Accinno on July 25, 2014 at 2:46pm 3 Comments

The bad part about search engine optimization in the automotive industry is that there are so many companies that report on what they do for SEO rather than what they're accomplishing with their efforts. We've seen this hundreds of times when bringing on new clients and it's time to set the record straight.

It isn't hard to track the key performance metrics through which to hold your SEO or website vendor accountable. The most important thing to remember as the client is that you should have control over the data that you want to receive in reporting. That's the whole point. Letting them show you what they want you to see is not as effective as letting them know what you want to see.

There are plenty of things that go into SEO that a dealer could ask for in reporting, but I've broken…

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The Top Ten Auto News Stories of the Week: July 19 - 25

Posted by Rebecca Kon on July 25, 2014 at 7:10am 0 Comments

We love bringing you the top news stories and blogs for the auto industry each week! Staying up with the trends and changes in the industry and car buyer behavior makes our business better, and we know it can really revolutionize yours too! So enjoy these articles and pat yourself on the back for realizing that the world isn’t standing still. Keep moving forward and keep learning!

10. What Can Car Dealers Learn from Billy Beane?

DS News’ Dave Martinson delivers a great analogy between Billy Beane’s strategy for making a better baseball team and how dealerships can use big data to bring their dealerships to a whole new level in the game against their…

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How Your Dealership Can Use Schema.Org Markup to Stay Ahead of the SEO Curve

Posted by Cobalt on July 24, 2014 at 9:30am 16 Comments



Ben Brockhaus-Hall, Cobalt SEO Specialist
by Ben Brockhaus-Hall, Cobalt SEO Specialist

More and more businesses are incorporating SEO into their marketing budgets every day and car dealerships are a big part of this emerging trend. In this new world where people Google everything before they buy, it is more important than ever to adapt with new strategies that set your dealership apart from the competition.

The million dollar question is: how do you do this?

There are only so many mentions of your brand and hometown you can put on your website. There are only so many backlinks you can get to your site. Let’s face it, Google and Bing have gotten smarter and continue to do so.

To everyone’s surprise, Google overhauled their entire algorithm for ranking websites…

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Sometimes It’s Better To Cut Your Losses

Posted by Richard Holland on July 24, 2014 at 6:30am 4 Comments

I am sure many of you have heard about the recent customer service debacle involving Comcast over the past week.

In case you aren’t familiar with what happened, a customer called into their service center attempting to cancel his service after almost a decade. He was transferred to a customer retention department and, unfortunately, was connected with a person who did the exact opposite. The customer’s patience during this call is amazing. The Comcast representative hounds him for almost 18 minutes (only 8 of which were recorded) repeatedly asking the same questions in his efforts to either keep the customer or understand why the customer was leaving. The customer eventually succeeded in…

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Is Your BDC The Result of a Failure in Training?

Posted by Alan Ram on July 24, 2014 at 9:30am 2 Comments

Here’s a question for you –

Is your BDC the result of a failure in training?

 

That should have your attention.  If I’ve ever written an article that will be misconstrued, this will be the one! As I’ve talked to dealers over the years, I’ve seen many BDC’s spring up out of knee-jerk…

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GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers

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The invitation to come out and sample product at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI is rarely dull, and after spending this morning driving preproduction versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon all we can say is... under strict embargo. Sorry, America, we were as excited as many of you are to learn more about GM's new midsize truck range and take note of how they go down the road, but it's going to be September before we're allowed to share that with all of you. Here's to sweet suspense.

While we might not be able to talk about refinement or handling yet, we did find some of the product positioning and marketing statements from GMC and Chevy officials on hand at the program to be pretty interesting.

Of course, we all know that the literal competitive set for Canyon and Colorado is comprised of two comparatively ancient Japanese midsize trucks: the Toyota Tacoma (which currently owns this segment) and the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier's bones are as old as the 2005 model year, with 2009 marking the last time the truck was updated. The Taco was also launched in 2005, though it did see a freshening for 2012. The point remains that, in every facet from powertrain to dash plastics, the GM midsize truck twins are going to look positively space age by comparison when they hit the market for MY 2015.

Interestingly though, The General isn't simply shooting for its aged, small-truck competitors when it comes to the planned conquest of customers. The automaker believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting alternative to small-crossover shoppers as well. In fact, the engineering and marketing teams were possessed of this notion enough to bring along a Ford Escape as one of the competitive drives for our test day in Milford.

GM believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting proposition to small-CUV shoppers.

Certainly, images of the Canyon and Colorado interiors that we've seen indicate that these two trucks will have cabins worthy of suburban tastemakers; full of the available comfort and convenience amenities that CUV shoppers are so keen on. Just as in their fullsize brothers, we expect these smaller trucks to be comfy places in which to pass your daily commute. We'd argue that the exterior styling of the trucks is a fit with the CUV ethos, as well.

Looking deeper, we can also see that the new trucks will probably offer reasonable tradeoffs in terms of utility, performance, mileage, space and price. Just comparing base models, the Chevy Canyon's 2.5-liter four-cylinder, rated at 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, is slightly stronger than the average output of four-bangers from Ford, Honda and Toyota small crossovers. Now, the Canyon is likely to be somewhat thirstier than the 26 combined miles per gallon that those three offer, but it'll do so will the decided boost in tow/haul utility is the most obvious pickup strong suit.

And, of course, while we don't yet have pricing, sticking around the low $20k starting MSRPs of the best-selling small crossovers seems quite doable. Bare bones Tacoma and Frontier trucks start at $18,125 and $20,510, respectively, leaving a good gap to appropriately price the content-plus new trucks, and still stay in-budget for a typical CUV shopper.

Those tradeoffs won't work for a lot of CUV buyers, but the argument on paper is quite a bit more compelling than we would have initially thought. GM apparently believes it, as it's jumping with two feet into a segment that most automakers have abandoned or at least let wither on the vine. What say you? Would a more livable, frugal pickup make sense to you as a cross-shop with a smaller crossover? Let us know in Comments.

GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Blog Articles, News and More

Through the Google lens: search trends July 18-24

Based on search, it seems like a lot of you spent the last seven days slurping ice cream cones, jamming to pop parodies and starting the countdown to a certain February flick. Could be worse. Here’s a look at what people were searching for last week:

Fifty shades of search
Searchers were “Crazy in Love” with the new trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, set to a special Beyonce recording of her 2003 hit. There were more than a million searches this week for the ….ahem… hotly anticipated movie, which comes out next Valentine’s Day. In addition to the trailer, people were also looking for information on stars [jamie dornan] and [dakota johnson]. Beyonce was in the spotlight for other reasons too, following rumors that her marriage to Jay-Z was on the rocks.
“Mandatory” and musical marriages
After three decades in the biz, Weird Al has finally made his way into the Billboard No. 1 spot with his latest album, “Mandatory Fun.” Though his shtick hasn’t changed, when it comes to promoting his parodies, the artist has adapted to the Internet era, releasing eight new videos in as many days to generate buzz—and more search volume than at any other point in the past five years. As an editor, of course, I’m partial to “Word Crimes” (which has more than 10 million views on YouTube), but it’s just one of the many “breakout” titles searchers are looking for, along with [tacky], [foil] and [first world problems].

In other musical news, Adam Levine’s bride [behati prinsloo] was trending this week after the two got married in Cabo San Lucas. And another Mexico wedding had people searching for information on [ryan dorsey], the new husband (after a surprise ceremony) of Glee star Naya Rivera.

Foodie ups and downs
A national fruit recall at stores like Costco and Whole Foods led people to the web to learn more about [listeria]. For many, the possible contamination may have been an extra incentive to celebrate several less than healthful food holidays: Last Sunday (or should we say sundae?) marked National Ice Cream Day, and people were searching for their favorite flavor. National Hot Dog Day took place just a few days later, though sausage searches paled in comparison. And just in case all that junk food made you thirsty, yesterday’s National Tequila Day had searchers looking for the perfect margarita recipe.
Tip of the week
Overindulged on ice cream last weekend? It’s easy to get back on the healthy eating train with a quick search. Just ask Google “how many calories in hummus?” or “compare coleslaw and potato salad” to get nutrition info on your favorite summer foods.
Posted by Emily Wood, Google Blog Editor, who searched this week for [coming of age in samoa] and [how old is weird al]

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Automotive Marketing News

Another hole-in-one gives California dealer a second chance

For eight years, Folsom Lake Kia and Folsom Lake Ford near Sacramento have sponsored charity golf tournaments without anyone ever hitting a hole-in-one. Yet for the second time this year, a golfer has put it in the cup, winning a new car.

Tesla's Musk to portray himself on 'The Simpsons'

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk will be providing the voice for himself in an episode in the 26th season of 'The Simpsons,' the show's executive producer, Al Jean, said at a recent Comic-Con panel.

Honda's summer clearance makes an impression

Honda's promotion for its summer sales clearance offered the only new video on our viral video list this week, but three videos from Toyota, Jaguar and Ford broke back into the top 10.

Consumer Reports presses Toyota to recall some 177,500 Camry hybrids

Consumer Reports called on Toyota to recall about 177,500 older Camry hybrid sedans to address potential power brake defects.

Ford hikes revamped F-150 pickup prices as much as $3,615

Ford is raising prices on the new 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup by $360 to $3,615, or 1 percent to 8 percent, and has trimmed the number of models to five from 11.

J. D. Power Online Automotive Review Articles on Internet Sales and Management Research and Insights for Car Dealers, Internet Sales Managers and OEM Executives

Even used-vehicle buyers are going online

This past year we saw a massive increase used automotive Internet usage (AIU) rate, as 68% of all used-vehicle buyers went online during the vehicle shopping process versus 63% in 2009.  The dramatic rise has narrowed the gap between used- and new- AIU rates. There are many fac tors at work.  One is the poor […]

Automotive iPad apps

This week I decided to check out automotive iPad apps.  These first-generation entries are at times engaging, but ultimately I often found than frustrating and rather limited. Let’s start with one of my favorite usability rants: hot spots.  They’re quick, which is probably why three OEM iPad apps incorporate them.  They’re also dirty – pretty […]

Some reliability perceptions are changing (and that’s not a good thing for Toyota)

It’s no secret that auto manufacturers are creating better vehicles than ever before – safer, more feature-rich, higher quality, and more reliable.  Data from our Vehicle Dependability Study, which surveys owners of three-year-old vehicles regarding the number of problems experienced in the prior twelve months, backs the assertion of improved reliability.  As illustrated below, these […]

The Future of Satellite Radio

As more in-vehicle audio and entertainment options become available to consumers, the question of satellite radio’s relevance has become more prominent. Most vehicle sold today have satellite radio at least as an option, if not standard, and most new car buyers are given a trial subscription, usually anywhere from one to six months. This gives […]

Bringing in younger buyers

The average age of new-vehicle buyers increased dramatically from 46.5 in 2008 to 53.4 in 2010 (Source: 2010 Auto Offline Media Report – Summer) as lower income buyers – who are often younger – were forced out of the market due to the poor economic environment.  This shift has impacted almost every automotive brand, including […]

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