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How To Market Your Car Dealership After A Major Recall

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

How To Market Your Car Dealership After A Major Recall

Jimmy Vee/Travis Miller
February 10, 2010

Jimmy Vee

The auto industry can't catch a break. Just as the the automotive industry begins to climb out of it's nearly by another major catastrophe. This time in the form of a 2.3 million dollar vehicle recall by industry darling and reigning champ Toyota. Dealers are bracing for the financial loss and long-term ramifications.

The recall, which included many of Toyota's top selling models such as Camry and Corolla, has also prompted the manufacturer to halt production until the potentially fatal issue of sticking gas pedals is resolved.

While Toyota dealers are understandably panicked and bracing for a big hit following the recall, dealers still have a limited window of opportunity to mitigate financial loss in their local stores.

We've created five instantly actionable steps automotive dealers can take to weather aftermath of Toyota's recall problem:

1. Keep Marketing: It's a natural reaction to halt marketing when things look bad. However, this can open the door for more financial problems. Dealers that halt marketing create more fear and uncertainty in the mind of the consumer. One thing you want to make sure you do is to appear active and busy even though you may not be at the moment. With other manufactures waiting to pounce it's important to keep a dominating presence.

2. Become the "go to" expert for Toyota customers by writing, speaking and keeping people up to date on the latest developments: "Whether it's in the form of a free report, a toll-free hotline or videos posted on the dealer website, it's critical to give out free information addressing consumer fears and concerns regarding the product. Easing fear and providing value in the form of information will create a higher level of confidence in the mind's of past and potential customers. This additional confidence will translate into sales and service business.

3. Be available for the local press. Positioning yourself as a resource and advisor for the local media outlets and the local community so everyone can fully understand the situation. This will help take some heat off Toyota and give you the spotlight.

4. Dealers can use their influence to hold local informational seminars for the local residents to get their questions answered: We feel open communication is critical in helping consumers feel safe with the brand--and your store--once the issues that prompted the recall are resolved.

5. Use social media platforms to communicate and educate your community: Facebook, Twitter, blogs and video are a great way to open dialogue and engage consumers on their own turf. Social media is the cheapest, easiest and fastest way for dealers to stay on top of questions from the community and become a trusted resource in the face of Toyota's current storm."

Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the preeminent marketing consultants to the automotive industry and the authors of the best selling book Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers. They are the founders of the Rich Dealers Institute a Done-For-The-Dealer marketing company that helps car dealers attract customers, increase sales & boost net profit. http://www.AutoMarketingAdvice.com

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