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Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Great Internet New Car Scams - Toyota Prius Clearance!

There are many great Internet scams...here's a good one - and so believeable.

While Toyota dealers are as much as 6 months behind on Prius consumer orders, some New Car web sites promise a solution.

Yes...some sites advertise the Toyota Prius as being overstocked...all you need to do is...fill in your name, address, city, state, zip, phone and email...and you too, can get to the front of the line...

Because, did you know?

"The Toyota Prius is Overstocked in Most Cities?"

Then...wait by your phone for your special deal.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Easier, Faster Online Car Shopping

We just launched a significant enhancement to MotorAlley, our little version of the new car shopping world...we call it... (drumroll). Take a look and then read further if you care to read a rant about Google's algorithm.

The New Car Filter

Like a good pool filter, it removes all the "impure" elements. With as many as 30 entries in every category, clutter is a problem because, realistically, who can test drive 30 sedans? For example, click on Sedan, and then you can sort out all the cars that don't fit your browsing need using price category and review grades. Want to switch to minivans? One click does it.

Right now, we're killing fleas with a howitzer, so the next generation of filter will go to more granular levels; e.g. SUVs with 7 passenger seating, Sportscars with more than 300 hp, Sedans with All Wheel Drive and over 300 hp, etc. But first, the team (Dan Terry, Todd Ridley and P.J.) need to rest and recover from the first filter.

Does any other site offer this ease of shopping? MotorAlley let's you target cars that fit your needs quickly...and then find out what, if any, best deals are being offered directly from the dealership. We even list most of the dealers in the United States along with their awards and qualifications (if they won customer satisfaction awards, for example). No other site offers the combination of those elements. Let us know how we can improve.

On a related note, we're thinking of blocking all search engine indexes of our site to prove a point. If we block Google from indexing our site, we can actually make the claim that we are the only new car site that has a database of the best dealer advertised specials -- and that you won't find our data anywhere else...including Google, Yahoo and MSN. So don't waste your time going there.

The whole, chasing Google SEO traffic has gotten extremely tiresome. Why do we have to "increase our inbound links" to prove we have unique/better data? It simply is better. What? You prefer filling out a form at SuperBargainNewCars.com to find out what the dealer has to offer? Now you've given up personal info in the hope of getting back something useful. Our site already has that information. Do your research at MotorAlley, then, fill out the form IF you want to see if a dealer can beat the best deal you can find on our site. Now that is helpful. No wonder over 95% of consumers drop out of new car forms.

The "algorithm" is forcing sites with interesting/unique data, to prove to Google they have good data by creating ever increasing inbound links. That kind of thinking is what causes some sites to commit fraud by creating inbound links. We see them everyday.

The Google algorithm rewards older sites/URLs with inbound links (and often, lots of B.S. inbound links) and punishes newer sites (like ours) with new ideas on data (best deals database, dealer awards, car review summaries) and browsing (new car filter). We don't have linkfarms nor do we own 152 machine generated sites, with b.s. content, all pointing back to motoralley.com to increase our "inbound links" and "pagerank." We have unique data and tools to help new car shoppers. We post our phone # and physical address and let consumers instant message us if they have a question. Quickly, name a new car shopping site that offers all of that?

In other words, we're a real business, trying to help consumers find the best deal, on the best car, from the best dealer.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Chrysler Inventory Rising...Incentives to the Rescue

According to Automotive News, Chrysler dealer stocks have grown to an average 80 days supply. Domestics tend to like about a 60 day supply (the Japanese seem to be much happier with 15-30 days) on the ground so this does not bode well for Chrysler's ongoing recovery. As a result, Chrysler Group is offering $1,250 in cash back for dealers who take their allocation of units.

80 days isn't necessarily a disaster except that interest rates have been rising, increasing the cost of holding larger inventories. The largest offender, unfortunately for Chrysler, is the Jeep Commander, one of their newest models, with a staggering 197 day supply, followed by the highly profitable Ram trucks.

Although many have suggested that Chrysler is the strongest of the former "Big Three" those of us living in town here have seen the overflow lots full of Rams and Commanders. What's next? According to Chrysler COO Ridenour,
"Chrysler plans to trim production over the course of this year."

Although Jeep has needed a 3 row seat vehicle for years now, it's unfortunate that they waited to launch the vehicle in the face of new GM product and $3/gallon gasoline. As noted in one of our previous columns, this vehicle was at least 10 years overdue...

We expect that Jeep Commander lease and purchase deals will get very, very attractive...

Thursday, May 04, 2006


VW Unpimp Your Ride Ads Unpimping Sales?

Recently, I've read heavy criticism from Ad experts like Rance Crain of AdAge regarding Crispin Porter's Unpimp your ride tv spots.

"VW has already started its retreat by pulling its high-priced Phaeton off the U.S. market. The Crispin Porter ads are so horrendously awful that they smooth the way for a quick and complete withdrawal, saving the company a ton of money.

In a previous column I asked if Crispin Porter has what it takes to develop a strong selling idea that cuts across all demographics.

Well, we now see it's got the villain/thug/psycho segment locked up, but that's all part of the plan for leave-the-country baddom."
Mmmm...somehow, I don't think CPB was targeting Rance with these ads. I happen to think the ads are hilarious and have received serious attention across the net by the target audience. People are actually talking about the ads. Can't say that about a single Toyota ad...but that hasn't really hurt their sales, now has it? In fact, as a former ad guy, I'd venture to say the ads have done a great job of positioning VW GTI has the original, original pocket rocket. No need for enhancements...

To blame VW's flagging fortunes on an ad, or worse, suggest that an ad agency could prevent the collapse of a brand is, frankly, laughable and one of the many reasons I left the bloated, vapid, self-important ad business. In the car business, no ad is going to save a flailing buggy whip company (or, for that matter, car company). Pray tell, oh, ad geniuses...what ads will save GM or Ford? The answer is ads about really, really good cars and trucks. But to do those...you need...ahem...really good cars and trucks. Not the other way around.

Cars aren't chiclets. You don't chew on them and then spit them out when the taste is gone. You don't buy them on a whim , like that Snickers bar winking at you at the Kroger's check out counter. Ok, so there are a few that can buy on a whim, but unless you wear an Ascot or go fox hunting and have servants that address you after bowing, $20-$30,000 purchases are rarely executed on an air of caprice (for those of you following the cliff's notes, I stole that quote from S. J. Perelman). Consumers buy them and consume them every day for 3-8 years after agonizing, desperately over blue vs. black, sunroof, no sunroof, and going dealer to dealer for as much as a month, or the gestation period of a marsupial (koala bear gestation period is 35 days).

The question, as posed by one intelligent blogger is simple. What was the point of these ads?

So, before we blame VW's market share issues on a few spots, poking fun at the competition, let's remember that VW's real problems are really around product and quality. Checked the latest quality ratings? Not much Crispin Porter can do about those...

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