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“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…” 

Let me open by saying one of 2008’s biggest disappointments was how the industry missed (in my opinion) consumer reaction to $4 a gallon gas. Will gas prices reach those heights again? It’s likely, and if you’re a Toyota or Honda dealer, my bet is you agree.

Three headlines caught my attention this morning:

  1. Israel/Palestine conflict escalating in the mid-east
    (oil flow disruption issue)
  2. Headline reading ‘Oil tops $46 as OPEC cutbacks take hold’
  3. report on vehicles most researched online.

You don’t need to hammer your market with #1 and #2 – they’re 
online more than ever and undoubtedly see this news. What your 
market doesn’t see is the report. In a quick overview, 
Hondas held positions 1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 15 out of 20; Toyotas 
came in at 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 18 – look up the poll on 
and see all the results.

Timing is everything, and for Honda or Toyota dealer advertising 
a nice ‘first touch’ this year would be an email blast informing 
your market they are not alone in researching online the quality 
and value of your product.  

No question hybrid and small size segments have fallen as gas prices dip below $2 a gallon. The question is though, how high will gas prices have to climb before these segments take off once again? I’m anxious to hear what you think the ‘magic number’ is – I believe it is $2.50 range – and headlines indicate that could happen sooner than later.

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John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 100 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising.

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