February 17, 2017
Border Tax Conundrum: Good for Made-in-America, Bad for Americans?
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday defended the controversial border adjustment tax, which he called “good manufacturing policy,” during his weekly press conference with the media. According to Fox Business, his comments come one day after retail executives, including AutoZone president and CEO Bill Rhodes, JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison and Target CEO Brian Cornell, huddled with President Trump at the White House to voice their concerns over the divisive tax. The industry leaders later met with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) of the Senate Finance Committee. In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) echoed concerns that it would seriously cripple the average American. AIADA and its dealers strongly oppose the border adjustment tax proposal, which will drive up the cost of every vehicle on dealer lots. If you’re a dealer, join AIADA in Washington, D.C., March 8-9 to meet with your legislators and let them know how the tax would impact you and your business. For the latest coverage on the tax proposal, click here.
50 Years of Subaru Ads
Subaru's "Love" campaign is among the most recognizable and enduring marketing efforts in the automobile category, reports Automotive News. In the 1990s alone, Subaru cycled through various taglines, including "What to Drive," "The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive," "Driven by What's Inside," and "Think, Feel, Drive." These are among the advertising tidbits Subaru of America shared this week as it prepares a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary. The celebration culminates on Feb. 15, 2018, when it will mark its founding on that date by American businessmen Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm. The first Subaru to reach the U.S. was called the 360 and it cost just $1,290 -- which was then $300 cheaper than the competing Volkswagen Beetle, according to Subaru. With its early advertising, Subaru of America's sought to differentiate its vehicles from other foreign car brands, leading to one of its first ads declaring that "Subaru is not a Japanese Beetle." For more on Subaru’s 50thanniversary, click here.
UAW Considering 'Buy American' Ad Campaign
United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said Thursday the union is looking to seize a growing “Buy American” mentality and is considering launching an advertising campaign aimed at supporting American-made products and manufacturing. According to The Detroit News, Williams, who met with reporters in Detroit, said the American public could help push the case for more investment and manufacturing in the United States. “We’re seeing a trend in this country that boycott may be coming back,” which could change the way businesses operate, he said. He said Thursday he was happy with Trump’s decision “to scrap” the proposed trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “First and foremost, I want them to buy union vehicles,” Williams said in response to a question about whether a consumer should buy a Mexican-made Ford Fusion or an American-made Toyota Camry. “Secondary, I’d rather have them buy made in U.S.A.” For more on the UAW’s plans for a “Buy American” campaign, click here.
Loyalty Isn't What It Used to Be
A cynic once said, “If you want loyalty, buy a dog.” According to WardsAuto, it isn’t quite that bad for auto dealers, but they and the auto industry in general face a new generation of consumers with their own definition of loyalty. That definition can defy conventional wisdom, according to a study, “Life After Loyalty – Learning to Embrace Customer Engagement,” commissioned by AutoLoop, a marketing and customer-relationship management company. It surveyed a national sample of 1,000 auto consumers and analyzed the purchase behavior of more than 4 million customers. Increased competition and online pricing are partly to blame for a decline in loyal consumers, says Doug Van Sach, AutoLoop’s vice president-analytics and data services. “The hard truth for dealers is most consumers have redefined what it means to be loyal in the digital age,” he says, citing a need for auto retailers to stay engaged with sales and service customers. For more on the study’s findings about auto consumer loyalty, click here.
Auto Fatalities Are Rising at an Alarming Rate
Driving in America is getting deadlier. Despite an abundance of technologies designed to warn drivers of safety threats, the country last year recorded its steepest two-year increase in motor vehicle deaths in more than 50 years, reports CNBC. According to new estimates from the nonprofit National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. last year, marking a 14 percent increase over 2014. That increase represents a 6 percent lift over 2015. "Those numbers are going up really rapidly," said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council. In a new survey of more than 800 drivers whose vehicles include safety features 18 percent told the NSC they would prefer to shut off some of those technologies because they are confusing, irritating or give "false positives." For more on rising auto fatalities, click here.
Driver Distractions: Are They Worth Dying For?
Join AIADA and its Affinity Partner, Federated Insurance, on Tuesday, February 21, with online sessions held at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST, for an online webinar focusing on the dangers distracted driving pose to dealerships and their employees. Learn more about the distracted driving epidemic, its potential impact on dealerships, and what dealers and their employees can do to prevent the problem in this webinar titled, "Driver Distractions – Are They Worth Dying For?"
To register for the 10:00 a.m. EST session, click here.
To register for the 4:00 p.m. EST session, click here.
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