Pre-Reporting: Is it Lying?

  A post on one of my LinkedIn groups highlighted a concern that I have long held with pre-reporting units. Over the years I have struggled to understand the benefit to anyone for doing so. I remember as a Sales Manager for one of the OEM’s we would dread month end because it usually entailed phoning dealers to put pressure on them to capture sales cards on unsold vehicles in their stock. One...

Manufacturer Alliances: Good or bad?

  The recent announcement by PSA and GM of their intended strategic alliance is one of many such alliances between various manufacturers. But when do these alliances start diluting brand equity?

Peugeot South Africa: Go big, or go home.

  Peugeot South Africa has announced its intention to grow its sales in South Africa by 40%. The number sounds high, but the brand, like its sibling Citroen, battles to sell even 200 cars a month and therefore has a very low base to start with. When Peugeot re-entered the local market ten years ago, it was a hit with consumers who bought the funky French cars in droves. Many had fond memories...

Act Like You Are in an Economic Crisis!

  There is no doubt that we are in for a very lengthy economic downturn with any green shoots immediately eradicated by the very effective weed killer – the financial sector. We have almost resigned ourselves to the fact that if our currency depreciates or the gold price drops (amongst others) we are in for more tough times. We throw our hands up in defeat when we hear about the Euro zone...

The Economics of Deadly Cars

  You would think that in our modern society where as consumers we have some of the best legal protection and recourse in history, that OEM’s would think twice about either launching (or continuing a product) with known defects that could lead to serious injury or even death. OEM’s spend vast fortunes on developing vehicles to comply with various safety testing requirements such as Euro NCAP...

The Emperor Has No Clothes!

  The way the OEM’s operate their franchises leaves a lot to debate about. Having worked for both OEM’s and retail outlets, I have formed some strong opinions about how the OEM’s are conducting themselves of late. The relationship between the two used to be relatively simple: the manufacture designed and built cars and the retailer sold and serviced them. The control that the OEM had over...

Time for net pricing?

  I once asked a successful businessman what he thought his secret to success was. The answer was not what I had expected. Most of us would attribute business success to careful management of costs, correct pricing, customer service or marketing to name a few. While these are no doubt important factors his answer hit the nail on the head: get rid of as many uncontrollables as possible and concentrate...

Choose your customers carefully!

One of my favourite characters is Bill Cosby, not only because he is a legendary comic, but because he is also a serious academic in his own right. He once stated (paraphrasing) “I’m not too sure what the key to success is, but I’m convinced that the key to failure is trying to be all things to all people”. Too much of something can kill you – even water. Everything should be done in moderation...
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