14. Cars on Cars on Cars

13 Nov

My 2001 Saab sedan is going downhill fast. Last week, the window just decided to break off. My seat adjuster clicks. The sun roof clicks. Things in the hood, for which I know no name, click nonstop. As a result, I’m in the market for a new car whether I want to be or not. I found a New York Times article, published on Friday, that discusses a new trend in auto purchasing. People aren’t test driving their vehicles!

“But that’s the best part,” you say? My first reaction to this news was spirited as well. How would a prospective buyer know that he or she likes the car before even stepping foot in it? The article argues that car magazines, online rating sites, and the car brand’s site itself are enough to educate a new car buyer.

The article doesn’t discuss the potential repercussions of such a revolutionary trend in the buying experience. This is bad news for dealerships (the actual point-of-purchase) because on-site closes are considered minimal. It also doesn’t give the brand marketing credit for promoting cars. Instead, a buyer’s decision rides on what he or she learns from a third party (or multiple). As Ad Team starts grinding more and more on our challenge, delivered by Nissan, the brand has been on my mind.

So how does a car brand ensure that its vehicles are receiving positive attention from the media? Be the best.

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