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Today’s FirstUp

July 22, 2014 

Targeted Digital Video Ads Deliver Preferred Car Colors

A New York digital marketing company is harnessing the power of the palette, reports Automotive News. Say, for instance, a car shopper builds a shiny red SUV in an automaker’s online configurator. Eyeview says its technology can deliver an online video advertisement of that shiny red SUV directly to that customer. Or – using postproduction tricks – a video of the same SUV in black, white, blue, or whatever color that customer desires. Eyeview can tailor TV spots from ad agencies using color along with geographic targeting to maximize their impact online to lead people into dealerships. Eyeview is betting that its color-morphing capabilities will trigger an emotional reaction from consumers who spent time researching a vehicle and likely visualized themselves in it. And research shows that vehicle color is a crucial part of the shopping experience. Cobalt, a provider of dealer Web sites and digital services, studied in-market shoppers and found that each one considered color a top priority. Such personalization adds relevancy to online videos that are often lifted from TV but not optimized for online audiences. For more on Eyeview’s innovative digital ads, click here

Foxx: No NHTSA Officials Fired, Disciplined in GM Probe
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says no one has been disciplined or fired as a result of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) handling of complaints related to GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million vehicles linked to at least 13 deaths. The Detroit News reports that at an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday, Foxx defended the work of the auto safety agency and noted that he ordered a review of NHTSA’s handling of the Chevrolet Cobalt recall and other complaints. “We and I are willing to check our own math here. I’ve asked our inspector general to go through and do an after-action on this GM situation to see if there is anything we didn’t do that we should have done,” Foxx said. “We will learn from that report, and until that time we have our team intact.” In late 2007, NHTSA declined to open a formal probe into hundreds of thousands of now-recalled GM cars despite the fact that a senior agency official notified superiors that at least four fatal crashes had been linked to air bag failures. For more on Foxx’s belief that no NHTSA employees are at fault in the agency’s handling of GM’s recalls, click here

Leases Entice Drivers to Upgrade Cars as Often as iPhones
Bloomberg reports that auto leasing is back in a big way as automakers including Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. pull back on discounts and rebates and entice Americans with ads promising cheap leases instead. So far this year, leases have accounted for about 27.7 percent of new-auto sales, according to, the highest rate in years. Buyers like Gilgis shun long-term loans associated with outright purchases because increasingly they see cars as smartphone-like gadgets to be upgraded every few years. “Like an iPhone, one can get a new vehicle with all the new technology and have a similar payment as before,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for auto researcher The recent surge in leasing is helping power U.S. auto sales, which are headed for the biggest year since 2007, when 16.15 million vehicles were sold. Drivers often weigh the cost of leasing versus taking out a loan and buying a car. With a 20-percent down payment on a Toyota Camry SE priced at $23,740, a 60-month loan costs an average of $341 per month compared with $207 for a 36-month lease, according to a TrueCar analysis.Read about why car shoppers are turning to leasing more often here

How Short Are Your Customers' Recall Memories?
CBT News reports that a new study shows that price is trumping safety record when it comes to choosing the next car. When asked which factors were important to them when choosing a new or pre-owned car, car owners and leasers put the safety record of a particular make of car behind price, fuel efficiency, and mileage as their most important consideration. Price is the key driver for 96 percent of car owners and leasers with 75 percent considering it a very important. Although the safety record of the brand is of some consideration to the majority of Americans (89 percent), only 59 percent believe it is very important. Women appear to be more concerned about the brand safety record than men, with 64 percent of women drivers finding it very important compared to 43 percent of men. The factors, which seem to have a secondary impact on choice, are luxury features (52 percent), brand loyalty (51 percent), and "the image it projects of me" (34 percent). Millennials are far more likely to be conscious of image, with over half (54 percent) admitting it was important and one quarter (25 percent) thinking it a very important factor. For more on what factors are important to car buyers, click here

First Six Months of 2014 U.S. EV Sales Show 33% Year-Over-Year Gain
Recent sales numbers from indicate that U.S. EV sales continue to grow steadily. For the first half of 2014, over 54,000 vehicles moved off the lot, compared with almost 41,000 in the first six months of 2013. While the winter and early spring remained relatively calm, sales soared in May and June, and showed over a 50 percent gain (almost 24,000 vs. less than 16,000) over last year. Last year, just under 60 percent of the sales occurred during the last six months, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the remainder of this year. According to Forbes, the leading contender is the Nissan Leaf, with over 12,700 vehicles to date, followed by the Toyota Prius at 9,300 and the Chevy Volt at 8,600. The Tesla Model S trails closely behind at 7,400 (the second quarter numbers are estimates). The most interesting trends for the first six months are the strength of the Leaf, which has taken pole position from the Volt, and the slowdown in Tesla Model S sales. Click here for more on how EV sales have jumped this year

Around the Web
BMW 5 Series Wagon Makes Incognito Grocery Run by Way of the 'Ring [Autoblog]
Subaru Ad Blitz Aims to Boost Legacy Sales [Automotive News]
Meet Jaguar's Tour de France F-Type [TopGear]
How to Balance Cost & Profit in Recon [Auto Remarketing]


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