The Sedan May Be Dead, but your PR Shouldn’t Be

How Automotive Manufacturers Can Survive the Trends

Any industry is affected by trends, but the automotive industry is in a class of its own. A car represents a huge financial commitment for most people, yet the trends seem to come and go quicker than styles of blue jeans.

Automotive designer prepares for new design rollout

And when you consider the sheer amount of time and resources it takes to design, engineer and manufacture a new vehicle, the trendy nature of the automotive industry gets even scarier. Having a new car turn into a flop can break a company.

It’s no secret that the automotive industry is in a time of upheaval. Consumers tastes are shifting to opposite ends of the spectrum — either huge utility vehicles or sporty electric or hybrid — and younger generations are simply taking a pass on buying cars.

Writing for Car and Driver, Daniel Pund reported on the latest shake-up in the automotive world — the so-called death of the sedan. Yes, American automotive manufacturers are putting that familiar car model on ice, and it’s hard to put a finger on why. Pund wrote:

The reasoning behind these moves, which are either traitorous, inspired, or sadly necessary, depending on whom you listen to, is varied. The market for small cars is weak because gas is cheap. Nobody in America wants to look poor. Regulatory statutes advantage SUVs over more conventional passenger cars. Being seen in anything that doesn’t ride high or make at least some nod toward rugged utility, no matter how transparently false, is fashion suicide. Or maybe a company doesn’t want to appear that it’s not being proactive about cutting off dying limbs.

Whatever the reason, an on-point automotive public relations strategy is key to weathering trends in this high-risk industry. Here are some tips for staying afloat.

Tell the Car’s Story

Americans feel an emotional attachment to their cars. Cars represent freedom, affluence, status, so much more than wheels and gears. So, your new vehicle needs a story that resonates with your target market.

Content marketing can tell a car’s story through blogs, social media posts, online video and more. Just be sure it’s clickable, sharable and appealing to your target audience.

Get Media Attention

The media is going to report on your new vehicle no matter what, but a great public relations strategy can help shape the message and get right kind of media attention. An automotive public relations agency knows the best journalists for your kind of vehicle and will pitch the story to them, along with key information to get the conversation started.

Partner with Experience

When you partner with a public relations agency, be sure they have the right kind of experience. The automotive industry is highly specialized. An agency with previous experience in the field won’t need to waste time learning industry lingo and market trends Ripley PR is that kind of agency. We have extensive automotive manufacturing experience, and we are committed to helping our clients succeed every day. If you want to blow the doors off your next vehicle roll-out, call us at (865) 977-1973 or contact Ripley PR online today.

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Shannon Bryant

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