Archive for February, 2010

40 Meter Tsunami Wave Hits Juan Fernandez Island

February 27, 2010

Saturday morning’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile has prompted tsunami warnings in Hawaii, Russia, Philippines, and among many other places, California. According to several unconfirmed reports, Juan Fernandez Island was hit with a 40 meter tsunami wave. The extent of the tsunami’s ferocity is not yet known, but it has already reached the southern Juan Fernandez Islands, about 400 miles off the coast of Chile, where it was reported to have caused “serious damage”.

One may wonder why an automotive marketing blog is commenting on this topic, but it is only because we often use the term “tsunami” as slang to describe the sudden rush of customers our marketing brings into dealerships. Having said all that, we’re very concerned with the recovery of Chile having received a big blow only hours after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Okinawa, Japan, and shortly after the tragedy in Haiti. May the relief efforts be swift.

February Temperatures Heat Up As Auto Dealers Capitalize on Toyota’s Woes

February 4, 2010

As a direct marketing professional, I keep track of the causes behind the peaks and valleys of the automotive industry. For example, since my livelihood depends on the advertising dollars dealers spend on a monthly basis, I generally “feel” the impact in a personal and unique way. When the economy began to spiral downward, I noticed a sharp decrease in my orders for credit-related mailers. Dealers complained that their lenders were turning down many of the sub-prime loan applications they normally would approve, and because of that they were not able to justify paying me to send credit offers to bankruptcy lists, low credit score lists, etc. Well, in a similar way, I “feel” it when things turn the other way too!

Most recently, in light of the national negative publicity Toyota has received, many auto dealers (non-Toyota) have seized on their opportunity to capitalize and are winning as their gamble is paying high dividends. Here’s what’s going on:

Non-Toyota dealers are ordering all of the Toyota owners in their market from our Title List. They are sending them buyback letters and other offers, and local Toyota owners are flocking in to trade out of their Toyotas because they no longer want to drive them! In fact, just yesterday (2/3/10) Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood uttered the non nationally-broadcasted statement that received the highest level of media blitz:

At a congressional hearing, LaHood said his advice to an owner of a recalled Toyota would be to “stop driving it. Take it to a Toyota dealer because they believe they have a fix for it.” His comments prompted new questions and rattled Toyota stockholders, causing shares to plunge 8 percent before they recovered, declining 6 percent for the day.

Then, just this morning (2/4/10), a suspected problem with the brakes on the Toyota Prius (not included in original recall) has led to a national recall too! My intention is not to kick a man when he’s down, but do you realize the potential this brings to ANY non-Toyota store?

If you are intelligent enough to put two and two together, then let’s get rollin’ and put together a serious mailer and send it to all the Toyota owners in your market. You may not ever have another chance at this type of business again. It’s literally a plug-n-play market right now – mail them your offer and they’ll come in and buy. It doesn’t get any simpler!

Use our contact form, call, or email me at jgreenleaf@hillmarketing.com

And please, non-Toyota franchised dealers only. Thanks.