Even though I am a “green” urbanite without a car, I still enjoy following the automotive industry. I think the automotive industry, especially when it is moving along, is a barometer of our global economy. What I am now witnessing is the new age of migrant cars.
Have you seen the new Fiat ads from Chrysler? They worked with one of their regular Detroit agencies on a clever spot titled the “Immigrants” to spotlight three models of Fiats from the Italian automotive company that now owns a controlling interest in Chrysler. Their overall goal is to influence Americans to drive smaller cars and to make them more competitive with the Mini Cooper, Chevrolet’s Sonic and Volkswagen’s Beetle. On a car brand and consumer loyalty index compiled by the consulting firm Brand Keys, Fiat began last year at No. 20 and with its growing sales is now at No. 17 before the launch of their new campaign.
Another company that is implementing a migrant growth strategy is Volkswagen with its luxury brand Audi. They recently announced that they are going to build new Audi manufacturing facilities in Mexico and China in their quest to take a leadership position in the luxury car market. Both BMW and Mercedes already have a strong foot hold in the United States, the number two auto market after China. Audi will leverage Volkswagen’s supplier network in Mexico, protect themselves against the cost of unfavorable exchange rates and ship cars to the U.S. tariff free thanks to NAFTA (North American Free Trade agreement).
Are migrant cars the new “black” in the automotive industry?