More Lessons from the Dumb Car Industry…

Filed under: Business,Florida News,Just For Fun |

Every week I send out an email newsletter to a bunch of other small business owners and this week’s article has brought me a big reaction. I thought I’d share it with you. If you like it or have a viewpoint …or if you’d like to see more just let me know:

More Lessons from the Dumb Car Industry…


Last week we talked about the cheapest car on earth the Tata Nino and why being cheap isn’t a good business strategy and this week we’re going to stay on a similar theme exploring more reasons why the car industry is on its knees and the lessons we can all learn.


Yesterday it was announced that Rick Wagoner, chief executive of General Motors, was ordered to step down by US President Barack Obama and that he will leave immediately. This comes on the back of GM and fellow auto maker Chrysler having already received $17.4 billion in bail outs and now both are back asking for more. In GM’s case $16.7 billion more. Incredible.


Obama has apparently told both manufacturers that their turnaround plans are unrealistic and he wants to see the car industry “much more lean, mean and competitive than it currently is”. 


Well Obama if you really want to understand why these companies are failing you need do no more than spend an hour in front of your TV. I was feeling unwell yesterday so I spent most of the day in bed watching the golf at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill club. Naturally every so often the action was interrupted as we went to a commercial break and it was during the commercial breaks that I really began to understand where the car giants have got it so horribly wrong.


Let me give you an idea; in their ads Ford focused on 0% financing over 72 months for “well qualified” applicants, Chrysler/Jeep gave us “employee pricing”, Acura gave us “what happens in a collision and why our cars are so strong” and then we had the local dealers with their cringe worthy kids enticing us with “See ya in a Kia”, “The other dealers won’t but we will” not to mention the earth shattering slogans “great choices, great service” and “the way car buying should be”.


Brilliant. Makes you want to rush out and buy a vehicle now doesn’t it?


Why is it that the whole industry is so pathetically dumb? Why is it that the people who create this garbage think this is what the driving public wants?


I don’t know about you but when I’m considering getting a new car I want to have an experience. I rarely go into a car showroom any more simply because I know full well how they are going to try to sell me and while I appreciate that they have a system, it’s just out of date with the real world and it doesn’t deliver what I need.


I don’t want to be a prospect or an “UP” as they call us. . I want to be treated as if I’m special and I want to be treated like a human being who might just want to buy a car based on how it makes me feel. I want to see ad campaigns that appeal to the heart and that engage my senses. Currently none of the car makers deliver that with their crummy ads and that’s “a” if not “the” major reason they are in trouble today.

Instead of asking themselves “How can we make it easier, simpler and more fun to do business with us?” these morons want even more public money to go about repeating the same mistakes they have already made.


The real point though is how does anyone win when they’re playing the same game? If everybody is selling the same thing, what’s the tie breaker?


Of all the car commercials I saw yesterday, Lexus came the closest to making me feel I might want to learn more about driving their vehicle. It was a clumsy advert which showed the viewer how a car was built and while it contained the somewhat nauseating slogan “reinventing the car” it at least gave me an idea of what it might feel like to be sitting behind the wheel.


There are real lessons in this for all of us and applying them to our businesses is what we must consider. If you can make a customer feel, smell, taste, see and touch what you have to sell then you can make a connection. And this is the real point…I don’t care about 0% financing, employee discounts, what’s going to happen to me in a crash (I ask you…is this realy the way to sell a car…based on how it’s going to make me feel in a crash!), or about “great choices, great service” until I can imagine myself driving the vehicle, i.e., connected to it.


Oh how I yearn for the days when cars were sold by touching the human emotions. Ads like “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock” that was created in the 60’s by the Ogilvy & Mather agency. This is the stuff that makes you feel, smell, taste and imagine what it would be like to drive such a vehicle and that’s ultimately what makes people decide to make a purchase.


So, how are you applying this to your business? Are you playing the same game as everyone else in your industry or are you going to be different and make real connections with your customers? The choice is yours but remember, in small business the Government doesn’t bail you out.


Until next week



About Nigel Worrall:
Nigel Worrall is President / CEO of Florida Leisure Vacation Homes. He is also a Past President of Central Florida Property Manager’s Association, now called Central Florida Vacation Rental Manager’s Association, a National Real Estate Investment Coach with Real Mentor, and the President / CEO of Property Management Mastery, LLC., the leading coaching institute for vacation rental managers. Nigel has also served as President of Sunset Lakes HOA and is the current President of Cumbrian Lakes HOA. He can be contacted by email :

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