Desperate Times Call For Desperate Tactics: Auto Marketing

Buy 1 car, get 1 for 99 cents!


In the auto industry, right now, the sky is falling. US Auto sales fell 18%, GM had its worst year in nearly a half-century and Toyota had its first operating loss in 70 years.

It’s a buyer’s market and now is the perfect time to buy a new car. It’s very interesting to see what marketers come up with in these desperate times…

  • Hyundai Motor America, is trying to woo skittish buyers by promising to let them return cars for up to a year if they lose their jobs and can’t make the payments.
  • In Arizona, a Chrysler dealership is offering an incentive to buy a Ram Truck: Get either a PT Cruiser or Dodge Calliber for just 99 cents.
  • The over-priced and under-marketed (or shall I say un-marketed) Honda Accord Hybrid has just been discontinued for obvious reasons
  • Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Infiniti, and Kia are offering 0% financing for many of their new cars
  • VolksWagen is offering up to $12,000 off MSRP
  • Online auto listings are poised to change from simple listing to a complete sales vehicle. Take for example,, which enables new car shoppers to negotiate by making anonymous offers to local dealerships.
  • Ride & Drives: Potential buyers drive the featured vehicle as well as its competition. They get goodie bags of products emblazoned with company logos. It’s like a touring rock concert, and considering the financial investment, becoming rarer in this economy.

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