On 11/2/11, Spots n Dots reported "Sales Up 1.9%; Industry Up 8%" in their lead story on Automotive car sales in October. It was a modest, but positive, indicator for the Auto category.
But…there is more to this story.
During the course of 2011, varying economic conditions and natural disasters had a huge impact on the automotive industry. When compared with 2010, first quarter 2011 unit sales were up +19.5%, dropped to +5.8% in second quarter and leveled off at +5.7% in third quarter. However, within those broad aggregations were significant gains – and losses – and a remarkable correlation to spot TV advertising levels.
A TVB analysis of spot television spending and unit sales during the first 9 months of 2011, revealed that 57% of the 14 manufacturers studied sold more, or less, cars when they altered their spot TV advertising spend.
Here are some examples:
· Hyundai steadily increased its local TV spending by +19% in Q1, +25% in Q2 and +22% in Q3. In the first 9 months of 2011, sales grew +27%.
· In Q3, as the Japanese manufacturers were returning to the US market, Honda reduced its local TV ad spending by -32% and unit sales fell -20.8%; and Toyota cut its local TV dollars -23% and sales dropped -17.9%.
· By contrast, Mazda increased spot dollars +82% in Q3 and saw a +17% rise in car sales.
· Domestics Ford and General Motors, seized the opportunity by increasing their spot spending +15% and +24% in Q2 and Q3, respectively, and realized +7% and +13% unit sales growth from April through September.
Despite marketplace disruptions, the long-established relationship of local TV advertising and automobile sales appears to prevail.
Abby Auerbach is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at TVB, where she has direct responsibility for Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Marketing Research and Creative Services and works with TVB’s CEO on strategic direction and overall management of the company. Abby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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