MEXICO CITY - Audi's early days in Mexico have been a challenge. The company has registered 13 sales in its first two months in Mexico. 'It has been hard work to introduce our name in Mexico,' says Carlos Fernandez, brand manager of Audi in Mexico. Customers 'do not know our products so far.' Its Mexico City showroom opened late, and the dealership in Guadalajara is behind schedule. Four should be open by year end. And the A6 arrives in October. Last week, Audi began an advertising campaign to encourage test drives. It will be followed by a marketing effort aimed at luxury hotels and posh restaurants.
NO PUBLIC DEALERS
MEXICO CITY - Public dealerships in Mexico? Not yet, say Mexican dealers who are looking at the U.S. trend. 'At this point, it's unbelievable to think about a dealer going public,' says Arturo Munoz Cano, general director of Ford's dealers association. 'Mexican dealerships are family-owned businesses,' he notes.
MARKET SHARE PUZZLE
MEXICO CITY - The new president of Ford of Mexico, Jose Manuel Machado, is shooting for 25 percent market share this year. Ford's share is about 19 percent now. That's 'almost impossible' says dealer association chief Arturo Munoz Cano. In May, dealers suffered from lack of products, mainly the Contour. Machado also wants to bring the European Ka to Mexico, but so far, nothing has been announced. Still, Machado is gaining a reputation among dealers for being open and being willing to negotiate.
Daewoo Motor Corp. executives from Korea have been in Mexico, checking out the site near Monterrey where their plant will be situated.
Mercedes-Benz Mexico expects to begin selling the M class, the Alabama-built sport-utility, in December. The company has sold 50 SLK roadsters - but delivery could take as long as two years.