Since hitting record low sales in 2008, the auto industry has surged. That’s good news for local TV says Jason Stein of Automotive News. Local dealers are spending up to six times what they did in 2009 on TV advertising, he said. And with the market so “red hot,” car manufacturers, which usually spend on national ads, are also buying more local TV.
With the auto industry “on fire,” car dealerships at the moment offer big money making opportunities for local TV “because they are the biggest game in town and they have never been bigger than now,” an industry watcher said Thursday.
“If the auto industry was asleep, it’s awake now,” said Jason Stein, publisher and editor of Automotive News.
Speaking at the annual TVB Forward conference in New York, Stein said projections call for 16 million vehicle sales this year. And the number is expected to continue to rise, reaching 18 million in two years, twice the roughly nine million sold when the industry hit a low in 2008.
“The market has doubled, balance sheets have cleared and the world is definitely a different place,” Stein said. “Dealerships are selling record numbers.”
That is translating into good news for local TV, Stein said.
Local dealers are spending up to six times what they did in 2009 on TV advertising, he said. And with the market so “red hot,” car manufacturers, which usually spend on national ads, are also buying more local TV, he said. “It’s all about the loyalty. Local is not something you can DVR.”
Car dealers also remain committed to broadcast advertising because they find other platforms just too confusing, Stein added.
“The one thing that is still constant, that is surviving all this, is that efficiency is still in local TV. And it’s a complex world right now. The American car dealer doesn’t know where to put his or her money when it comes to social media, or digital media. Primarily, they want their message to get across to television viewers.
“They want to play a role in conversation. They don’t want to be just another click,” Stein said.
Car dealers also consider TV a viable means to reach millennials, once considered non-car buyers, Stein said. In turn, they are pitching more than just their core products. They also are advertising the range of car services and maintenance offerings, he said.
“They are using local TV to advertise full-scale service. The customer is going to come back. And the customer means money.”
Read all of TVNewsCheck’s TVB Forward coverage here.