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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Market and branding

How powerful is car advertising?
Product is central
Rolling the dice on the brand game board
GM ends flawed US brand management experiment
Toyota introduces new Scion youth-oriented brand in the US
Lexus and Infiniti in the US
Fascination with extreme luxury brands continues in Europe
The rise of branding centres in Europe
Japan's massive brand theme parks
Brand-oriented events take greater prominence
Incentives case study: how to avoid the weakest player's gambit

Chapter 3: The Internet: attractive but elusive

North America
The Internet remains attractive within constraints
Autobytel hangs on
CarsDirect re-engineers its business model
CarPoint stretches into new services
Other developments
The Internet sparks an information revolution
Automaker experiments continue
Internet and e-commerce initiatives gathering steam

Chapter 4: Europe: regulators in the driver's seat

Block exemption
September ruling begins retailing transition
Some restrictions removed on Internet buying services
No forced supermarket sales
Dealers will be able to sell, or service, or do both
Market trends
US public dealers: next stop Europe?
Incentives take many forms
Europe remains overdealered
Focus on build-to-order continues
OEM-owned dealerships remain the exception
Channels are likely to remain relatively fixed, though experiments continue
Britain's dealer groups continue shakeout

Chapter 5: North America: the retail revolution misfires

The United States

Surprising strength post 9/11 is fuelled by incentives
Big Three market share continues to erode
Massive business system disconnect
Consolidation trends continue incrementally, with major size shifts
OEMs abandon plans to own and operate dealers
Public dealer groups survive, some thrive
AutoNation: still the biggest, but no longer a revolutionary
UnitedAuto Group: going global
Sonic Automotive: classic approach yields results
Asbury Automotive: the new kid on the public block
Cars4U: Canada's integrated retailer
CarMax: used car success after a rough start
Experiments continue: Wal-Mart tests the used vehicle waters


A separate but changing market
Dealer population grows slightly

Chapter 6: Japan: an end to the melancholy market?

Domestic new car sales remain sluggish
Minivehicles continue market share gains
Imports gain share
New focus on used car sales
OEMs attempt restructuring moves
New ways to connect with car buyers begin to emerge
Other market trends

List of figures

Figure 1: Vehicle attribute convergence over time
Figure 2: Model proliferation: US market
Figure 3: Advertising effectiveness: US light vehicle market 1995-1998
Figure 4: OEM product line brand game board
Figure 5: Automotive Internet leverage comparison: the Triad
Figure 6: Forces at work: the US market
Figure 7: Forces at work: profit divergence


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