U.S. dealers altering their local advertising plans due to earthquake in Japan

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 19, 2011

Amid shrinking inventories, some dealers in the U.S. are modifying their plans for local advertising. The March 11 disaster in Japan had resulted to parts shortages and cuts in production. Some dealers of Toyota, Honda and Nissan have decided to continue with their ad campaigns while there are others who chose to throw out their planned campaigns and instead, moved to reduce or shift resources so as to handle the falling number of cars in their lots.

According to Allen Foster, Smart Toyota’s general manager, the Madison, Wis.-based dealership would lessen by about 25% its call-to-action marketing and use its resources to advertise cars that have adequate inventory.

Foster said that its stock of Priuses has run out and very few Corollas are left. According to Tom Rudnai, president of Longo Toyota in suburban Los Angeles (the world’s largest Toyota dealership), it will run a different campaign compared to what it ran during the busy summer seasons in the past.

This dealership is owned by Penske Automotive Group Inc. Rundai said instead of focusing its campaign on the deal, the dealership will play up its ‘why buy at Longo’ drive. President Mickey Anderson said that Performance Automotive Group, which runs 15 dealerships in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, said that there will likely be more cars available in late summer so it may postpone a portion of its media buys until then.

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