Automotive Marketing Insights: Dealing with Inventory Concerns

When the earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, it was a disaster that took its toll not only on the physical landscape and people of the small country, but also drastically affected a number of global industries.  One of the biggest industries affected by the destruction was the automotive industry.  According to Automotive News, the tsunami wiped out over 2,000 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles that were destined for showrooms in both Japan and the United States.  It was also reported that Toyota, who held the top spot as the world’s largest carmaker, would lose its rank (which it has held since 2008) due to the tsunami’s impact on their production.  Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, other carmakers…including American carmakers that merely rely on parts from Japan…are feeling the effects.

While the immediate destruction of the tsunami has passed, automakers that suffered drastic losses and/or disruptions in production report that the summer months will see a big impact in terms of available inventory.

Do you have a strategy to overcome tight supply over the months ahead?  Do you have enough cars to get you through the summer…the hottest selling months of the year?

Here are a few automotive marketing tips to help you with your inventory concerns:

  1. Get aggressive on trade-ins!
  2. Implement a Vehicle Buy Back Program.
  3. Using your database, identify customers who have the car you want and CALL THEM!
  4. Don’t advertise the lowest price.  Instead, consider:
  • “More for Your Trade!”
  • “Free Gas For A Year”
  • “Best Selection”
  1. If you own a multi-franchise store, stock up on the other automakers’ vehicles.
  2. Hit the auctions and buy late models of your best selling vehicles.

One other thing to consider is spending smarter with your marketing and advertising dollars.  During the upcoming months, it may be a good business decision to cut back on your television and print advertising and reallocate to digital based and direct marketing campaigns where there is a low cost to high ROI ratio.

What is your dealership doing to get inventory for the upcoming busy selling months?

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at and check her out on LinkedIn.

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