Marketing Exec Leads Internet Site Panel in Discussing Price Transparency

Price negotiation for most consumers is often described as one of the most arduous parts of the purchase process, according to Joel Ewanick, managing partner of Global Automotive Systems, Inc. The former GM chief marketing officer led a panel discussion about “Vehicle Price Transparency” with four third-party website executives at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV. Excerpts from the panel discussion are highlighted in this post.

Moderator: Joel Ewanick, managing partner, Global Auto Systems, Inc.

 Panel Members:

Seth Berkowitz, president and COO, Edmunds.com

Larry Dominique, executive vice president, TrueCar, Inc.

Jared Rowe, President, Kelley Blue Book

Alex Vetter, senior vice president, Cars.com

Third-Party Website Leaders Define Business Models

Joel: I see that companies like yours are trying to help the consumer through the process. Can you explain what you do, what your business model is, and then we’ll start to compare and contrast?

Seth (Edmunds): “At Edmunds, we’re working through a major transition. For years, we’ve been an information and pricing authority. We probably have the largest repository of automotive information on the Internet with somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 million pages of content. We’ve decided that being this comprehensive encyclopedia of automotive information isn’t enough. . . We’ve decided to make car buying easier. We are going to do this by fostering trust—which is at an all-time low— between consumers and dealers.” Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Expert Profiles U.S. Auto Market Sales Trends

 J.D. Power’s Deirdre Borrego, vice president, U.S. Client Services, spoke to industry participants at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV. about the U.S. auto market’s recovery and the fundamentals in the market that are driving strong demand.

Highlights from her talk include analysis from the Power Information Network® (PIN) and J.D. Power’s strategic partner LMC Automotive:

• Retail sales to individual consumers in 2013 are expected to reach 12.8 million units which is back to pre-recession levels.

• The real story isn’t just about sales growth. It’s also about transaction price growth. We’ve seen exceptional performance with prices (consumer facing prices net incentives) increasing by about $3,000. Continue reading ›

Demand Rises in US for Smaller, More Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

Higher prices at the gas pump definitely increased buyer demand in the US market for compact models as well as for models with more fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines and hybrid powertrains in February 2011, compared to the same month a year ago. Our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data reveals that nearly half (49.8%) of the vehicles purchased or leased in February in the United States were powered by 4-cylinder engines, up 4 percentage points from February a year ago (45.8%).

Mike Omotoso

At the manufacturer level, we expect new model offerings from General Motors, Ford, Hyundai and Honda to not only stabilize the compact vehicle market, but also to help the market grow. The ninth-generation Honda Civic will be launched this summer, and the newly redesigned 2012 Ford Focus will arrive before the Civic. We expect US light-vehicle sales to grow from 11.6 million units in 2010 to 13.0 million in 2011. This growth is also due to a steadily improving economy, stock market gains, and increased consumer confidence. Continue reading ›

China: Promise for Growth of “Green” Vehicles

More than a year ago, China’s President Hu Jintao said his country would intensify efforts to conserve and improve energy efficiency, noting, “We will endeavor to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020,” according to a citation in a special report from J.D. Power and Associates, “Drive . . . Continue Reading China: Promise for Growth of “Green” Vehicles

China’s Road to an Economy of Consumer Consumption

A simple policy decision made a decade ago in China aimed at giving the country’s workers more leisure time could serve as a blueprint for transitioning China’s economy from investment- and export-based, to a more consumption-driven economy, according to Tim Dunne, director of global automotive coordination at J.D. Power and Associates. He discusses the . . . Continue Reading China’s Road to an Economy of Consumer Consumption