California is the largest minivan market in the U.S.! Who would have thought? That is one reason FCA has developed a California-specific marketing campaign for its Chrysler Pacifica (Plug-in Electric) Hybrid. I recently spoke with Bruce Velisek, director of retail marketing for the Chrysler brand, about the campaign.
What sparked my interest is that the Pacifica is being marketed as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle here in California, but just as a hybrid in the rest of the U.S. That’s because people here in California are early adopters of new technology, Velisek told me. And the words “plug-in” scare consumers elsewhere, he didn’t add but is the sub-text.
As for the California-specific campaign, “It is a unique approach to position the Pacifica as the official family vehicle for California,” he says. The campaign, which is spread across traditional as well as social media, points out that not only does a Pacific seat seven, but “you can put a full surf board in the back,” says Velisek. Dealers are getting point of sale kits, banners, and the like to tie in with the campaign, he says.
FCA, which manufacturers Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram brand vehicles, was only the fourth largest auto company by sales in the U.S. in 2016. In Canada, however, it was number one. Canadians like their Jeep and Ram trucks.
I have noticed a good number of Chrysler Jeep Ram dealerships changing hands in Canada, but the buyers are always Canadian. Though it might seem like a good fit, you don’t see the U.S. auto groups shopping for franchises in Canada much. In this issue, Farid Ahmad, president of Dealer Solutions North America, discusses why that is and what might make the Canadian market more attractive for U.S. buyers.
A few weeks ago, we ran a column from Terri Harris of DHG Dealerships looking at proper accounting for demo and used vehicles. That column was only half of the piece that Harris originally sent me.
I thought that the other half should be expanded on as I think you will find the added info in this week’s column, which looks at factory facility programs and cash reporting, useful as well. Nice clean books are always a plus in a buy sell deal, as I’m sure some of my CPA contributors would agree.
And as always we have Transaction News.