Edmunds.com's Comments on Cash For Clunkers Extension are "Off The Mark, as Usual" says The Auto Channel
AUTO CENTRAL - August 6, 2009: Shortly after the Senate's passage of the bill that will extend the Cash For Clunkers program by an additional $2 billion dollars, Edmunds.com's CEO Jeremy Anwyl issued a statement saying that he thinks that the government should not have approved the continuation of the program at this time, but to delay it a few months.
"When the program originally launched, traffic at dealerships surged because consumers were unsure if it would last very long," said Jeremy Anwyl. Now that additional money has been approved, the rush to make a deal will not be as urgent.
But according to Marc J. Rauch, The Auto Channel's Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Anwyl's comments are "off the mark and are just an example of someone saying something because he thinks others care, even if hes totally wrong.
I read Jeremys editorials whenever I have the chance, says Marc, in fact we often publish them on TheAutoChannel.com. Im continually amazed at how shallow his thinking and understanding is of commerce and the marketplace.
Let me offer an appropriate analogy, Marc said. If youre trying to push a broken-down vehicle to safety, or pop the clutch on a stalled car, the most effort expended is always with the first push. Once you get the car moving, the last thing you want is for someone to stomp on the brakes. Momentum is everything, whether youre getting a vehicle moving again or executing a marketing plan.
Marc, who in addition to being a Co-Publisher of TheAutoChannel.com, is a multi-award winning marketing executive with more than thirty five years of hands-on experience in creating and implementing consumer advertising programs for auto dealers, thinks that you should never intentionally kill the hype.
Theres plenty of evidence to suggest that the Cash For Clunkers program was not nearly as successful after the first official week as the media and then many politicians and industry spokesmen claimed," Marc explains. "Thats not to say that it wasnt far more successful than Congress originally projected when they gave the plan a November end date. But the reports that came out of Associated Press on July 30th were exaggerated. However, getting favorable buzz is one of the most important goals of any marketing program. If you can start a fad, or a feeding frenzy, you call sell a rock as if it were a pet as anyone over 30 can attest to. If Congress would have stopped the program now, it most likely would never have been restarted; certainly not for just $2 billion.
The reason that I believe the program has worked, is that it is government sponsored, and is in addition to any other incentives that manufacturers and dealers have added. This has never been done on a national basis before. Normally, I think that the public is wary of Tier 1 or Tier 3* promotional incentives because the perception is that the MSRP prices are intentionally inflated to allow for subsequent discounting. For the first time, a person owning a vehicle that has virtually no value could get as much as $4.500 off the price if a new vehicle. This is as real a deal as a car deal can get, and the program captured the imagination of the public. This is why its worked, not because of fear that the money wouldnt be available. The issue of money availability only really became a concern after APs questionable report was published, and by then the fire was lit in Washington to keep the only workable stimulus program (so far) alive.
* The retail automotive industry is broken into three classifications: Tier 1 is the auto manufacturers; Tier 2 is the regional dealership groups; Tier 3 is individual dealers.
Ultimately, the Cash For Clunkers program will probably be little more than a footnote when the final story is written about how the world overcame the worst financial depression ever experienced. But if it gives us all a little bit of enthusiasm to get to the next plateau, then its enough. Bob Gordon (my partner in The Auto Channel) and I deplored having to sit through the inane Senate debates Thursday afternoon over mindless proposed amendments, but in the end Congress did the right thing at the right time.
ABOUT THE AUTO CHANNEL
The Company was founded in 1987 as a traditional television network and producer of automotive TV programs. The AutoChannel.com made its official entry onto the Internet on January 25, 1996. TACH quickly became and remains the Internet's most complete and comprehensive automotive information resource, featuring over one million pages of content, thousands of on-demand video and audio programs, dozens of databases, and an entire suite of branded buyers guides. TheAutoChannel.com was the first user of streaming video on the Internet (Feb. 1996) and was the first to deploy many of the multimedia applications that have become so prevalent since the inception of the world wide web. The company continues to be privately owned and has never pissed away one dollar of an investor's hard earned money.
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