Analyst claims 4x4s need to be marketed differently
Car dealers and manufacturers should market SUVs differently to account for the sales threat posed by rising fuel costs and environmental concerns, according to Network Automotive.
The industry consultant said dealers and carmakers should take advantage of the strong appeal 4x4s have for core specialist fleet markets, especially the blue light sector.
Managing director Colin Bruder said: “While soft-roaders are doing reasonably well at the moment, large 4×4 sales are suffering with the latest SMMT figures showing the overall sector down by something like 18 per cent.
“The factors behind this fall – high fuel prices and growing environmental concerns – are going to go away but dealers can fight the slump by changing their sales and marketing efforts to focus on different markets.”
Network Automotive’s findings coincide with a recent survey conducted by Hitachi Capital, which said green issues are now among the top three concerns of fleet managers.
Environmental concerns were behind only duty of care and reduction of costs, according to Hitachi.
Despite the vast majority – 85 per cent – of organisations saying reducing their environmental impact was a concern, 41 per cent of respondents said they still did not include an environmental strategy in their fleet policy.
“The survey highlights how green issues have become a concern at the forefront of any business practice but people are still looking for guidance when it comes to implementing change,” said Philip Peace, director of sales at Hitachi Capital.