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Strategy For Brands Impacted By Japan Nuclear Crisis

The May 9th issue Automotive News opens with a story about the reversal of fortunes for the Detroit 3 compared to the state of US automotive manufacturers five years ago.  According to Automotive News :

 

"Toyota and Nissan expect to lose money for the next 6 months.  Honda says it will suspend June and July dealer orders for vehicles built in Japan."

 

The impact of the Tsunami on critical car components and factories has created a major impact on new car deliveries for many brands. 

 

This story is not new.  However, more ugly details on how this tragedy will be impacting new car sales will emerge in the months ahead.  So what do Honda, Toyota, and Nissan franchise dealers for example do today when the visibility for new car production is so unclear?

 

From my perspective dealers need to focus on increasing used car profits and fixed operations revenue which are more under their control for now. 

 

In regards to used car sales, I would suggest that dealers read a book called "What would Google Do?" to spark a discussion about how used cars are marketed today.

 

Dealers Need To Decentralize Their Inventory


Without giving away the impact of the book, my takeaway is that car dealers are still advertising their cars using a "tiring" marketing model.  Their cars are chained to their website along with a few marketing partners that have the same centralized model. 

The author, Jeff Jarvis has many stories to show that the decentralization of information is the future for online commerce and communications.  Think of what WikiPedia did to the Encyclopedia Britannica book business.

 

Inventory In Chains


 

Car dealers need to release their inventory from the chains of a destination website that they do not control. Dealers need to syndicate their cars to increase the intersections of a consumer shopper and what they have that matches the shoppers interests. 

 

By syndicating their inventory, cars no longer have to sit on their website or a fixed destination like Cars.com or Autotrader.com. 

 

The dealer's main website is vital and important as well as these two sites previously mentioned but it is NOT a model that can fully unlock the potential of the Internet.

 

Syndicating their inventory means that they can include their live thumbnails and details in blog posts, social media websites, press releases, and in rich content.  Content syndication releases car dealers from the chains of a single website and leverages distributed information models.

 

Content syndication also applies to Fixed Operations marketing; the most profitable area of your dealership.

Syndication Increases Social Relevance and SEO


 

When dealers understand the power of content syndication, they will also come to understand that content syndication with live vehicle inventory can increase content relevance and inbound links. These benefits will continue to play an important role in search marketing visibility for car dealers.

 

So if you are impacted by this recent tragedy and are predicting a reduction in new car sales, you better be thinking out of the box for making up that revenue in other places.  

 

If you need a primer on content syndication and inventory syndication opportunities, I would be pleased to setup a webinar for ADM members.

 

 

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