They could become annoying in their sameness and frequency, but those holiday-sales advertising campaigns run by most automotive brands in late December — with the big red bows and snowflakes falling — may have helped set the stage for a bright beginning to a new year for the US auto industry.
“The sales data we have seen looks very strong” for December sales, Jessica Caldwell, a top analyst for Edmunds.com, told brandchannel. “The stability is even better news as it signifies that the worst is over.” J.D. Power’s view is that December new-vehicle sales are expected to come in for the month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.2 million units, up about one million units from the pace of a year ago.[more]
There was a time when the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was a retail wasteland for automakers because consumers tend to be tapped out or sluggish on egg nog. December has always been important, but only over the last several years have automotive brands pulled out all the stops with holiday-themed promotions that have offered strong incentives — enough to entice many more Americans out of their loungers and into showrooms.
The latest wave was started by luxury brands such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, with marketing aimed at teasing at least a few upscale consumers into buying or leasing their vehicles as Christmas presents for loved ones. But almost all brands now participate in one way or another in the winter-holidays incentive onslaught.
Hyundai began its holiday-themed blitz in 2008 and the ascendant brand made an even bigger deal of it last December. “The end of the year is important for Hyundai to close out 2009 successfully and continue our momentum into 2010,” Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor told brandchannel.