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Lexus dealer Peter Cooper on the future of OEM ad associations

Many dealers have dialed back their marketing efforts as we continue to deal with shortages and high profits in the industry. On today’s show, we’re discussing OEM ad associations and what they mean for the future. We’re pleased to welcome Peter Cooper, President, and CEO of Lexus of Lehigh Valley.

Cooper says they had good availability of products, but that changed quickly. Due to the ongoing chip shortage and countries shutting down supply chains. He says their availability dropped from 40% to 60%. Instead of customers waiting for vehicles, they’re deciding to hold off completely.

Dealers are taking advantage of the consumers, based on the marketplace says Cooper.  He doesn’t think it builds for a long-term, sustainable relationship. He also thinks it’s a lose-lose and short-sighted situation.

Cooper says they’re based on Neilsen and T.V. ratings to define their market. He believes they’ve become product advertisements. With no incentives or deals, they advertise products for the manufacturers. Cooper believes product advertisement, is the manufacturer’s responsibility and it’s their job to support it. If the ad associations, can’t see their data, it’s ineffective and they’re just throwing money away.

Related: Car dealership advertising ideas to drive success despite the pandemic

In order to get more market shares, Cooper believes you need to be more customer-centric in a business process than you do in advertising dollars. He says there’s a huge difference between marketing dollars and advertising dollars. Spending money to be customer-centric is marketing, throwing ads out there that’s advertising.

When it comes to EVs, Cooper asks the question, where is the carbon footprint for the energy it’s going to take to charge the EVs? He says it’s not going to work, because no one talks about the carbon footprint. Cooper also says we have not done a good job in building relationships with government officials. He says OEMs haven’t done a great job educating the dealers about the importance and necessity of these relationships. You have to build a relationship on a multitude of issues, to get the attention you deserve for the relationships.

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