Microblogs in China a Popular Auto Marketing Tool

 

Jeremy Detgen

In China, a microblog site called Sina Weibo has become one of the most popular social media platforms in the country, according to Yuong Su, editor-in-chief of the Auto Channel, which is the host site for Weibo on China’s major Chinese-language portal Sina.com. The microblog site has 200 million registered users.

During the recent 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV, Yuong Su talked about the benefits and value of Weibo—which is similar to Twitter, but with Chinese characteristics—to the country’s passenger-vehicle buyers in addition to automakers and dealers who want to promote and market new vehicles in this burgeoning market. Continue reading ›

Demand for 4-Cylinder Engines in Cars, Large Pickups Rises

Mike Omotoso

Through most of April, more than one-third of Ford F-150 vehicles sold were equipped with a more fuel-efficient powertrain, a Ford marketing official told Automotive News. In addition, Ford reported that 40% of its latest large pickup truck orders included the EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Demand for the smaller, more fuel-efficient powertrains has surpassed the company’s forecasts, in part due to higher fuel prices.

In addition, we also expect other OEMs to offer more efficient engines in their cars and some trucks. It won’t be just in response to Ford, but mainly due to the 2016 CAFE requirement of 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) fleet average.

General Motors unveiled the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the Shanghai Auto Show in mid April without a V-6 engine option. The current Malibu has a standard 4-cylinder engine and offers a V-6 option, but the next-generation Malibu will follow the example of the Hyundai Sonata and only be equipped with a 4-cylinder engine (plus a hybrid) for improved fuel economy. In addition, GM effectively replaced the Northstar V-8 engine in its Cadillac cars with a direct-injection, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Continue reading ›

Shanghai GM Broadens Product Portfolio in China Market

Tim Dunne

Shanghai GM* reports that first-quarter sales of Buick, Chevy and Cadillac vehicles in China increased more than 33% from the same period in 2010, to 313,651 unit sales. GM’s sales in China in the first quarter still outdistanced its first-quarter sales in the United States, even though it was not as lofty a figure this year. What’s interesting is that GM sales were up much more than the market (33% vs 12%), according to our research. The new Buick Excelle XT/GT did very well in the first quarter, as did the LaCrosse and new Regal. In addition, the Chevrolet Cruze has been averaging 20,000 unit sales a month, and the New Sail is averaging almost 15,000 unit sales a month.

Looking ahead, GM has indicated that it is planning the global launch of the latest version of its Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan at the Shanghai Auto Show later this month. The Malibu is an important model for Chevrolet in China. The midsize segment in China accounts for about 12% of passenger-vehicle sales (more than 1.4 million unit sales annually). Currently, the volume leaders in this segment are the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Teanna. Continue reading ›