Friday, December 10, 2004

Halo cars are stupid -- According to Automotive News, Chevy's got a 301-day supply of SSRs. Small surprise.

Not only are SSRs poor sellers, we're willing to bet they've had no positive effect on sales of other Chevy products. If halo cars ever contributed to the sale of other models, they almost certainly do not now, the wicked cool ad with the bootleg turn, notwithstanding. Here are a few reasons why:
  • The automile

  • The Internet

  • Rolling model releases

You can imagine a sepia-tinged September day when Dad took the family (or at least the other male members) by the local dealer to see the new zippy new offering from Brand X and the salesman talked him into trading in the family wagon for the latest model. But, that ain't the way things work early in the 21st century.

Now, folks aren't dropping by the local dealer, they're trekking way out-of-town to the automile. They're making the trip when they've already decided to buy, not just to check things out during some manufacturer-invented model-year rollout, which has been made obsolete by rolling releases. They've done research on the Internet before they go to the dealer; they already have a short-list of models they are considering.

In sum, today's consumers are not going to buy one car because they were lured into the dealership by some wackadoodle, low-volume halo car.

By the way, the Corvette and the Subaru WRX don't count as wackadoodle halo cars because both are legitimate, money-makers on their own, even as low-volume models.