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Automotive Market Highlights


Automotive Market Trends


This is an excerpt from a full report for a VTG client.  Some statements may be incomplete because of this.


Overall Market Highlights


Overall market growth is subtle, but provides visible signs of recovery.   Traditionally growth was detected by increases in consumer spending, housing and construction.  The new economy has turned those signs around and growth is being seen and maintained by the production side with manufacturing and business investments leading the way driving down unemployment numbers.  Retail, transportation and insurance grew for the 25th month in a row and if manufacturing continues along its growth curve, we should see an impact in consumer spending.  While employment has seen a ver slow increase, in Florida we have seen a decline with emphasis on South Florida with most decline.  Consumer confidence has however increased over the recent months.  In sum, the market is expanding which we needed to confirm prior to presenting this proposal.


Automotive Industry Highlights


Ford sales grew by 10% in December from a year earlier and Chrysler sales in December 2011 were 37% higher than in 2010.  The industry has seen a slowdown to sales of 10 million cars in 2010 down from 17 million in 2000 and 13 million in 2008.  With new Gen Z entering the drive markets however, industry CEOs predict an increase to 14 million in sales by 2014.


Car costs have increased, only being offset by very high incentives.  The industry appears to be training consumers to look for high incentives as part of their shopping process, reducing the effects of branding and drives traffic to dealers of consumers with no room in their shopping cycle for on site negotiation.  A specific price is requested and consumers do not move off that price.


Credit is also creating a barrier to sales. Standard consumer credit is low and its availability is reduced.  This means that even with line 5 approval there is little space left for the sale of Driveit.  According to the dealers, there is little room for even traditional added amenities such as GAP insurance.


According to Toyota of Hollywood and Kendall Toyota, the markets are tight and consumers arrive asking for the specials not interested in hearing about any added offers.


While there is no style of car that is linked to demand of Driveit units it does coincide the sale of the most popular vehicles such as the Camry.


Companies like Toyota are making continuous investments in new models such as the Prius,


About Consumers


According to the dealers, the average age for consumers who buy Driveit earn about $40,000 and are 40 years in age.


Traffic comes from the entire South Florida terrain based more on where the dealer ads are placed.  Kendall Toyota farms south into south Dade and Homestead and Toyota of Kendall farms in the entire South Florida terrain pulling a large percentage of their clients from Boca Raton.


While the demographic is different in each area, there was some similarities.  First, a good percentage of consumers are Spanish speaking,  If this follows Miami Dade statistics, 65% of consumers are Spanish speaking with 52% not having been born in this country.  secondly most are connected to the internet via their cell phones as smart phones have become an essential for even the poorest of customers.


For the first time in the automotive industry there are 5 generations that will be buying cars during between 2010 and 2015.


Estimates from Toyota are that 2.5 million new drivers from Gen. Z will be buying cars annually. Born between 1995 and 2000 there are 23 million Gen. Z generation targets.  Gen. Z grew up on iPods, text messaging, Facebook, smart phones and YouTube. They are coming of age publicly on the web, are true multi-taskers and have a no-holds-barred attitude about blogging and digital publishing.


They enjoy instant gratification are good at processing information that they will open doors we can only knock on today,


We will research to clarify the current positioning of GPS products and insights from target segments to build a marketing strategy for communications that will put a company on the “shopping list” for all target segments.


Data From OnStar Studies


According to a Forester Research study, 40% of consumers would pay more for emergency and roadside assistance services.


Willingness to pay diminished for all categories of in-vehicle technologies by 25% to 50% when consumers were asked to pay for the services separately instead of as part of the vehicle purchase price.


Women were 26% more likely to want in-car navigation systems than men, and they were also more interested in hands- free cell phone options.


The same survey revealed that while the affluent certainly purchased luxury vehicles, on balance they planned to buy more Fords (26%), Chevrolets (18%), and Toyotas (12%) than Mercedes-Benzes (7%), Lexuses (5%), and BMWs (4%) in the years to come.


Still, interest in vehicle tracking devices tended to be higher on a percentage basis among those who purchased more expensive cars, though not universally so. For example, of the 5% of affluent car owners who purchased a Lexus, approximately 75% were interested in paying more for a vehicle with GPS. In contrast, about 45% of Toyota, Chrysler, and Oldsmobile buyers said they would pay more for that option.


Want to know the solution to improving your strategic position for after market products?  Contact Victor Bao at


About The Contributing Author:  Victor Bao is a seasoned marketing strategist with decades of experience in the automotive, hospitality, retail and consumer goods industries.  He has lived and consulted in several countries including U.S., Spain, France, England, Italy, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, China and India.  He has also taught Marketing Strategy and Market Research for 12 years at Florida International University and the University of Miami.