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Cash For Clunkers Bill - Are YOU Ready?


In today's economy, there is not much interest in "what-if" marketing. If a marketing idea is not "a sure thing", allocating resources can be very difficult. I get that completely, but I think that ADM members who allocate a little time and preparation for the Cash for Clunkers bill could be rewarded. First responders will have an advantage.

With Automotive SEO strategies being the first to act can often be tipping point for success. This is one of those times where automotive dealers who act now, may be rewarded this summer with greater organic search traffic.

If you have not been reading about the Cash for Clunkers legislation that is being considered in Washington, you should start. You can visit www.cashforclunkersfacts.com and read the news posts on the website for a quick briefing. In fact Hyundai Motors is keeping dealers up to date with all the activities in Washington and they have been encouraging their dealers to be ready.

So the question is: Are you ready?

Since the bill is not assured of passing, you have to decide if you want to invest a little time to start to optimize your website for the eventual searches that will take place if the bill passes. If the bill passes, it is estimated that there will be a surge of new car sales ; 1.4 million cars are some estimates being tossed around.

Survey of Consumer Interest


From the chart below, Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chevy dealers already have a considerable edge in consumer interest. The Toyota and Honda rankings did not surprise me but I was pleased to see that Ford and Chevy are the 3rd and 4th most popular brands consumers are interested in if the bill passes.
cash-for-clunkers

If you are one of these four dealers, there are many clear reasons why your website should start talking about this legislation. You can use the data on this chart to start a content marketing campaign that says that consumers are acknowledging your brand's success in creating fuel efficient cars that people want to buy.

If you are not selling one of the top four manufacturers consumers are considering, if they will get a $4,500 cash voucher, then your attack plan is different. The real question is that if you have 30-60 days in advance of the bill being signed, what will you do to educate consumers that your brand sells fuel efficient cars that qualify for this voucher.

Cash For Clunkers Badge


cash-clunker-dealers-largeConsumer interest is high so I thought that I would share this insight with my blog readers so at least a group of car dealers would be prepared, if the bill is signed. I have created a Cash for Clunkers Participating Dealer badge which you can add to your website and blog to start to create an awareness with consumers who visit your website.

To get the code to add the badge to your website, follow this link:

http://www.cashforclunkersfacts.com/bill/dealer-cash-for-clunkers-b...

This badge can be linked to a page that you create that outlines your support of the bill and that consumers who want assistance with purchasing a new fuel efficient car should contact you.

Your dealership should be the FIRST in your area to call yourself a "Participating Dealer" which will start to raise questions about the bill and how you can help.

The Over and Under

If the bill never passes, you will still be capturing new leads from consumer searches about the bill in your state if your content is optimized properly.

If the bill passes, a flood of new cars sales will be up for grabs and who is going to get the most sales, depends on your readiness.

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Tags: badge, bill, cashforclunkers, legislation, voucher

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Comment by karen campese on June 10, 2009 at 4:55pm
Most vehicles that are currently donated to charity will now be eligible for a voucher of $3500 to $4500. This amount far exceeds the tax deduction of $500 or what the car sells for, whichever is greater. As a result, the "cash for clunkers" legislation will end charity car donation. A much simpler approach would be to change the tax deduction back to the blue book value. This approach would stimulate car sales and provide some much needed money to charities and it won't cost $4 million.
Comment by Brian Pasch on June 8, 2009 at 7:06am
I apologize for not following your intent. The coordination of how the cars will be scrapped is not yet clear so we will have to wait and see how it would work.

My only thought is that charities may not be equipped to handle the coordination and financial liability involved. How would a local car dealer choose which local charity to give the cars to scrap?

This program is different from a consumer giving a car to charity to get whatever they can for it without any ties. The potential for abuse is high so I am sure there will be some extra paperwork and liability involved for dealers and scrap yards.

Since the transaction will happen at the dealer level, coordinating which charity gets the car's scrap money will be tricky. Let's see how it plays out..
Comment by karen campese on June 8, 2009 at 6:50am
You mis-undertood my comments. The person would not get a tax deduction, they would get the $4500 voucher to use towards the purchase of a new car. The charity would scrap the old car and use the proceeds.
Comment by Brian Pasch on June 7, 2009 at 4:06pm
Thank you for your suggestion. I'm not sure of all the ramifications of that suggestion because a gift to any charity is not equal to 100% cash. Also the benefit is not realized until tax time. The Cash for Clunkers voucher is immediate cash credit to the consumer via the dealer.

If someone is in the 30% tax bracket, a $4,500 receipt issued from a charity, would not translate into $4,500 of free cash. Gifts to charity are out of pocket expenses still to consumers. So, the consumer would save only $1,500 off their taxes.

I'm not sure if this would put charity car donation programs out of business, but I do understand your concern. We'll see how the final bill is worded because there are other concerns shared by other thoughtful consumers.
Comment by karen campese on June 7, 2009 at 12:52pm
The passage of "Cash for Clunkers" will put every charity car donation program in the nation out of business since the amount of the voucher would be much greater than the tax deduction. The solution is to simply allow the charity to issue the voucher in lieu of the tax deduction. The charity would then junk the car in accordance with the bill. This way, everyone wins, the car dealer, car maker, car buyer and the charity.

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