General Motors is banking on the on the latest installment of the Transformers to help jump-start sales of six new Chevrolet models in China. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" – the fourth in the series --opened in theaters in China and the United States on June 27, 2014, and features GM vehicles like the Chevrolet Camaro sports car and Trax small SUV.
The movie – called TF4 by many of its fans -- provides GM a wide-ranging yet effective marketing tool when it rolls out six Chevrolets models in China this year. Tim Mahoney, the global chief marketing officer for the Chevrolet brand, remarked that TF4 will be a springboard for launching new products.
In 2013, Chevrolet posted a nine-percent surge in sales to 652,077 in a China market that grew 16 percent. GM's relationship with Transformers dates back in 2007, when the first of the series hit theaters around the world.
The 2007 Transformers featured a bright yellow Chevrolet Camaro that transforms into an Autobot named Bumblebee.
According to Mahoney, he himself has observed the effect of the movie in China -- more than 70 percent of Camaro sports cars are bought in the same color as the character. In contrast, only five percent of Camaros sold in the sold had the same color as Bumblebee.
Mahoney quipped that yellow is well associated with Chevrolet, thanks to the role that Bumblebee played in the Transformers series. GM is planning to use Chevrolet as it penetrates into smaller cities in China and its western region.
Bill Russo, president of Synergistics Ltd., remarked that Chevrolet’s slower growth in 2013 came "from not having the freshest product in the highest growth segments."