Tag Archives: Chevrolet

Chrysler 200

Pricing In The Automotive World Is All Wrong

Chrysler 200

The Chrysler 200 at the New England International Auto Show

This weekend the New England International Auto Show came to Boston, which if you haven’t attended, make a note of it for next year because it’s great for the entire family and well worth the experience. Auto shows give the consumer access to cars from an array of different brands so they can compare them in terms of price, comfort, and options in real time and in person instead of comparing them online. As a student of business and marketing, and also being financially aware, I took notes on the prices of some of the cars and their brands. Needless to say I was stunned at the findings.

When it comes to buying a Hi-Definition television, you’re already aware of the fact that you’ll be spending more when you look at bigger screens. With furniture, you know that leather seats will cost more than other materials. You also know that if you want a powerful gaming computer or laptop, you’ll be spending top dollar as opposed to the typical laptop that comes with standard specifications and options. So then why can’t the auto industry be like the rest of the product related markets?

High quality brands sell, that’s just fact. People are going to buy cars from Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW before others. So why is a fully loaded Chrysler 200 the same price as Mercedes Benz CLA or well equipped Audi A3? We can argue that some consumers have certain preferences and tastes, but to buy a car that’s priced as a luxury car that really isn’t will undercut sales for these companies in the long run. I’m sorry, but Chrysler and Buick are just not going to compete with the Germans, they can’t. The sales figures are overwhelmingly pointing to consumers choosing foreign cars over domestics, but still American brands continue to fight an uphill battle.

While there are companies like Chrysler and Buick who are trying to be something they’re not, Infiniti and Lexus are paving their own path that separate themselves from the Mercedes Benz’s of the world and continue to march to the beat of their own drum. While their prices are in the range of Audi and BMW, their cars don’t resemble what’s coming out of Germany.

In the hatchback market, Volkswagen continues to thrive off their Golf and GTI line, but consumers have other choices that are more affordable and practical. A fully equipped GTI will set you back close to $32,000, while a fully loaded Kia Forte Hatchback is priced at $25,000. Most consumers will buy based off horsepower and performance, but when it comes to legroom and comfort, the Forte gets the point.

The last observation from the car show is GM’s brands competing against each other, which is something Buick is trying to end by introducing cars made by the German automaker Opel. Chevrolet always seems to take a model from Buick or had taken similar concepts from other GM’s subsidiaries and sold them cheaper, undercutting Buick’s, Pontiac’s, GMC’s and Saturn’s sales. Cadillac is moving in their own direction, and by moving headquarters to New York they’ve separated themselves from Detroit and GM.

In the final analysis, all the car companies are manufacturing top quality cars for every type of consumer. Unfortunately because of that, most car brands are all competing for the same market instead of dominating a market that they’re good at and can sell many cars without much competition.

How Did Chevrolet Go From “Like A Rock” to “The Dollar Menu”?

14 Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo & Spark
DVS1mn / Foter / CC BY

Chevrolet has been launching campaigns to attract an assortment of consumers for years by offering cheap prices for those who have poor credit or can’t afford buying a new car due to their financial situation. While that is a noble cause, one that has probably been successful, there are major implications the auto manufacturer faces by making such offers. After the launching of their latest marketing campaign, “Chevrolet’s Dollar Menu”, they’ve unofficially solidified their fate as being the McDonald’s of the automotive world.

The deal is one dollar down payment in a lease offer for the Chevy Cruze and Chevy Silvarado, making them the cheapest lease offers on the market today. Forgetting about the incentives, limited mileage because of a lease, and the deal itself, let’s take a step back for a minute and let this sink in. A dollar menu for an auto brand, not a fast food restaurant, but an American auto manufacturer.

With all the recalls Chevy has had to endure, and now offering some of their lineup for a dollar, they’ve now opened themselves up to the perception of being the car equivalent of McDonald’s. When it comes to the food McDonald’s offers, you could say, “It’s cheap, but in the long wrong could cause obesity”. Chevys are now cheap, but could break down 2,000 miles later. This is not the best approach for a struggling auto maker and completely makes the brand look bad by subliminally saying, “Our cars are lemons and no longer of good quality”.

Chevrolet was once a proud American auto maker, the Camaro and Corvette were highly coveted by young adults, the Silverado was a very popular and durable pickup truck, and the Impala and Malibu were decent four door sedans that could hold their own against their American counterparts. Even the commercials sent better messages by going with the slogan “Like a rock”. In a matter of 15 years, Chevrolet has gone from being a respected manufacturer, to being the prime example of not buying American when it comes to cars.

Instead of the dollar menu approach and sounding like a fast food restaurant, Chevy should try a strategy similar to Honda. The Honda Fit is being marketed as an affordable, yet fun and efficient compact hatchback that fills every need for young adults, as they’ve been the target of this recent advertising effort. Chevy has the Spark, Sonic, and Cruze, all with starting prices under $20,000, and this should be the basis of a marketing campaign. Honda isn’t playing the Chevy game by being a Burger King or Wendy’s, and instead has a sound marketing strategy to a specific audience who are in the market for the hatchback.

The Sonic is a fun, hot, little hatchback for Chevy, and they should roll with it as being the backbone of affordable cars in their lineup. In all honestly, if a Cruze is only $1 down, I don’t think I’d be willing to pay the $169 a month as it doesn’t seem worth it, and would then think that the Sonic or Spark should be offered for $.50 or $.75 down on a lease offer.

When it comes to the automotive world, there should never be a dollar menu. ‘Like a rock” was a better slogan as it promoted a durable and quality vehicle lineup by an American automaker. Chevy has a lot of work to do when it comes to brand image after the countless number of recalls, but if they really want to be respected again, they need to drop the dollar menu immediately.