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Reader: Jims doesn’t sell cars

2013-10-28 08:52


A WASTE OF MONEY? Wheels24 reader SHAIKH believes that money could be better spent on TV ads than a stand at the Johannesburg motor show. Image: QUICKPIC

I work in marketing within the automotive industry and have worked at the Johannesburg motor show representing an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). I also love the show purely because I am a fan of cars.

It’s great opportunity to sit in a BMW i3, Mercedes-Benz SLS or see the Lexus LFA up close.


In my experience, Jims doesn't really help sell cars. I was bombarded with complaints about the brand I represented and asked to take pictures of fans with cars, more than anything else.

Not a single manufacturer present at the 2013 motor show will disclose budgets, nor will they disclose who is paying for the display (local or head office).

Furthermore they cannot provided any data showing sales generated from Jims. Even the Customer relationship management  (CRM) data, collected from potential customers that could results in sales, is no better than those achieved using traditional methods. Ask an OEM for this data and they'll very quickly shy away.

Marketing "101" maintains that it’s easier to keep a customer that you already have than trying to conquer new ones. With that in mind all OEM CEO's should be concentrating on improving their CRM processes and aftersales services.

As for 250 000 people going through Jims, how many of them are "ready to buy"? 10%? 20%? Has any OEM bothered to poll these people?


How many of those 250 000 potential customers are going to be ogling the SA market favorites like the Polo Vivo, Toyota Etios and Ford Figo? Chances are, they are going to be camped out BMW, Audi, Merc and Jaguar stands, lusting over models that most of the public cannot really afford. It's just car fantasy!

I think placing a good few TV ads during a prime time soapie, would net you 250 000 views for a lot cheaper than a stand at Jims and that's what everybody seems to be missing here. It's not a question of not having money, it’s a question of "is this the best way to be spending money?"

It seems Chrysler SA CEO Trent Barcroft's statement has not been countered with facts by any other OEM. Make's you think, doesn't it?


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