The media side of the global auto industry is getting confusing.
Any business needs to create structure in their marketing. Marketing, in this sense, is everything from concept cars to TV ads to post-sale warranty/service needs.
This is often handled by region, especially for the semi-autonomous groups in the American market – the most valuable in terms of sales by a huge margin.
But this segmentation strategy does not always work in a new age of digital media. Not only are international auto magazines available instantly via iPad editions, but they are far more affordable that way as well.
Not sure if there are any print subscribers to TopGear or Autocar among CarRevsDaily readers… but if there are, you know how pricey those magazines are. Subscribing in print from outside the UK costs more than $300 for each of the above.
This is just my example – but cross-border car news is generally awesome. It is much fresher than anything else, and interesting in ways AutoWeek simply has not been in years.
Final problem for cross-border print readers? The ads! I have a strong fondness for Seat (pronounced Say Ahht) Leons, for example, from their back-cover ad placement on Autocar for the last 100 issues (at least.)
So what is the point of all this? Well, car styles are not always popular in all markets. Honda is facing a style crisis still, with the American line dropping the crazy Honda faces preferred in China and Japan, among others. American Honda does not like the crazy face much either, it seems.
But there is a large discrepancy between seeing future Honda’s for China, versus what we have in America for Honda Design. While the BMWs, Audi and Mercedes-Benz sedans look the same in all markets, more or less, that is not Honda’s current strategy.
Honda – one of the smallest independent auto giants – appears to be developing unique models, styles and names for Japan, China, Europe, the U.S. and Other/Developing markets.
Five styles, five sets of Civic models? Mind-boggling as it is, the Civic Tourer in Europe shares barely a thread with American Civics.
2013 Shanghai Concept M
2013 Shanghai Concept Jade
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.