Sales reports key to carmarkers marketing plan

Dancan Muhindi, Head of Communications at Isuzu East Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Dancan Muhindi, Head of Communications at Isuzu East Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Motor Industry Association earlier this month released the first quarter car sales report in an industry analysis that evidence shows plays a key role in influencing companies’ marketing strategies.

For the three months of January, February and March, the total car sales were 3,047 with Isuzu East Africa, which dominates in the commercial vehicle category such as trucks, selling the highest number at 887 followed by Toyota Kenya at 746 vehicles and Mitsubishi with 464 car sales.

Industry sales reports identify opportunities for growth, show which category is growing or shrinking and how best companies can position themselves in the market in order appeal to their target consumers.

“Compared to last year there is at least a four per cent sales increase, which shows that the economy has recovered from the slump we experienced last year due to the elections. It indicates that there is more positivity in the market,” said Dancan Muhindi, Head of Communications at Isuzu East Africa.

Indeed, in terms of company performance, industry reports afforded them the opportunity to compare it with previous years and with their competitors.

“The performance of every segment influences a lot of decisions such as what needs to change or enhanced in order to appeal to the target consumers. It also informs on how customers are responding to different models that are on offer in the market and the next strategies to undertake that are also going to impact on how the business is to be operated in the following months,” said Muhindi.

According to a paper on the importance of industry sales reports by Sageworks, a US financial analysis and risk management company, reports help a company analyse the market by comparing themselves with others in the same industry thus benchmarking against their own past performances, or another company’s.

By gauging an industry as a whole, a report gives companies a starting point for advertising, networking and reaching out to potential clients. It also allows a company to understand their current client needs, which will, in turn, earn the company consumer loyalty and trust.

Therefore industry reports act as litmus tests that show whether a company’s marketing strategy is working or whether they need to adopt a new one in order to save it from a stagnated or a dying market.

An example of a company that changed its strategy after analysis revealed in industry reports is car manufacturer Volvo.

In July 2017, it announced that it will stop making diesel cars and will from 2019 launch electric vehicles only in different models. The decision was informed by industry reports that showed that sales of electric vehicles were rising especially in China, its largest market.

“This announcement marks the end of the sole combustion engine-powered car. This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s president and chief executive, said in a statement on its website.

“We will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.”

The report released in May 2017 by EV Obsession, an online platform that analyses electric vehicle sales showed that China had registered 351,861 electric car sales, which was 46 per cent of all electric vehicles sold globally that year with Chinese carmakers responsible for 43 per cent of all EV production in 2016.

While that only represented approximately two per cent of the total car sales in China, incentives such as tax breaks as well as availability and accessibility to charging stations which are over 200,000, could influence consumers in their future car purchases.

Volvo, which is owned by Chinese multinational automotive manufacturing company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, further stated that it plans to sell a total of one million electric vehicles by 2025.

- African Laughter