Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Premium Carmakers on the Move to Catch Customers

October 7, 2003

Don't have time to test drive that sleek little roadster or that smooth sedan you've had your eye on? No problem. Luxury carmakers will come to you, according to Dow Jones Newswires.This summer, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) followed customers on vacation. Lexus, the premium brand of Toyota Motor Corp., gave prospects a car for the weekend. Meanwhile, DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes invited potential car buyers to swanky Monaco for a test drive, Dow Jones Newswires reported.Although luxury carmakers have fared better than their mass-market counterparts during the ongoing slump in the auto industry, the laborious efforts to get customers to test their cars reflect the intense battle at the top end of the European market, Dow Jones Newswires reported. And with companies like Volkswagen AG pushing into the luxury market, competition is increasing, the news service noted.This puts pressure on premium carmakers to come up with innovative ways to attract customers,showing that selling cars successfully is about more than horsepower and handling, according to Dow Jones Newswires. "It's very difficult at our end of the market to get close to customers," Stuart McCullough, director of Lexus Europe, told Dow Jones Newswires. "Traditional marketing isn't enough for a brand like Lexus to break through. You need to get people to drive the car," he said.
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