Big 3 Value Pricing
With Chevrolet running for the hills with its "employee pricing for everyone" program, the other gruesome twosome were sure to follow close behind. Ford and DaimlerChrysler did the same, so as to not lose market share. It's the latest twist in the auto sales incentives game - or should we say, no incentives? Detroit is trying to organize a big shift to a value-priced strategy. This will hopefully make it easier for the consumer to compare direct features with pricing instead of having rebates, interests rates, and free hot dogs thrown at them. With employee pricing, buyers can feel fairly confident that they are going to find the best deal possible when they step into the showroom. Although this does work on a small level, this strategy is unsustainable for any company to continue to stay in business and grow. The philosophy here is to echo the "no-haggle" pricing strategy that helped make GM's Saturn division successful in its early years. In some cases, the price cuts are well into four figures. Furthermore, dealers, as always, will be free to sell cars and trucks for whatever price they see fit. That will probably lead to some short-term confusion for consumers, but in general, the value-price concept should hopefully bring about a more stable marketplace, be easier for buyers to understand, and lead to better resale values, too.
Amped at Audiobahn
Audiobahn's highly anticipated open house and dealer show, Amped, was held at the company's headquarters in Brea, California, on July 16, 2005. For those who attended, insane show cars, celebrities, and a Hollywood theme were the treats you were subjected to. When Amped guests weren't learning about product, they could be found roaming Audiobahn's enormous back lot filled with music, food and drink, live-action sports, virtual golf, and exhibits from today's most recognized figures in the entertainment and consumer-electronics industries. A colorful array of show cars and trucks lined the back lot, giving guests an opportunity to pose for pictures and look inside some pretty outrageous customs. If that wasn't enough, the Metal Mulisha was on hand to show off some insane motocross stunts. For more information, contact: www.audiobahn.com.
Proform Showing U.S. Pride
When First Sergeant James Hamm - of I Company, 4-159th Aviation Regiment, the largest aviation maintenance unit in Iraq - was in need of a distributor for one of the Army's work trucks, a call was made to Proform. You see, James' unit has an older Chevy flatbed truck that they use to move people, tools, and parts. The fleet is moving toward diesel, and this Chevy has more storage capacity to carry tools and test equipment than Hummers. This truck is not in the Army supply system because they inherited it from the Air Force. They were using funds collected from the mechanics of James' company to keep the vehicle rolling. The company was trying to buy the distributor so they wouldn't have to walk up and down a 2-mile flight line, where they support 152 helicopters. Proform stepped up to the plate and responded by sending a brand-new HEI distributor and banner at no charge. That's why it's great to be an American. For more information, contact: (586) 774-2500, www.proformparts.com.
* EPA fails Ford on fuel efficiency again. Activists call on Ford to break its oil addiction and phase-out the internal combustion engine.
* Toyota Motor Corp. will launch 16 new models in the United States over the next 30 months, including two gas-electric hybrids, as part of an aggressive push to boost its sales and output in North America.
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Bio Kustumz 1355 S. State St., San Jacinto, CA 92583, (951) 654-3195,www.biokustumz.com
Scrape-n Customs 1521 Airway Cir., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, 877-2SCRAPE (877-272-7273), www.2scrape.com