Ad Age reports that Chrysler’s new campaign featuring “Dr. Z” isn’t helping their sales:
The automaker won’t report July sales until later this week, but independent auto-information site Edmunds.com forecasts Chrysler Group’s U.S. sales will slide 17% vs. July 2005. The drop reflects one fewer selling day than last year.
There are other reasons why the employee-discount program, which moved tons of metal last time, isn’t cutting it now. Jesse Toprak, executive director-industry analyst at Edmunds.com, said history has shown that incentives don’t work well the second time around. He noted that consumers may have figured out that 0% financing is actually a better deal than employee discounts because of high interest rates on new-vehicle loans. Others fault rising gas prices, which are taking a toll on the entire industry.
But some of the blame must be left at the feet of the bespectacled Dr. Z. Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research, said the spots just aren’t what the doctor ordered: Fully 80% of new-car intenders thought he was a fictional character. Instead of luring buyers who intended to buy competitive brands, CNW found the employee-discount ads pulled ahead sales from people who had planned on buying a Chrysler Group product later in the year. And while the German-engineering pitch made more potential buyers consider Chrysler in the Northeast, if failed to sway them in the South and Southern California.
Hey, I got an idea: Bring back Lee Iacocca–and put him in lederhosen. Hey, sales can’t get that much worse, could they?