Daewoo Motor America primarily uses college students to sell its cars, bypassing traditional advertising. Campus supervisors work in Daewoo-owned stores and supervise the students. They get a salary plus a bonus, based on the number of student referrals that turn into sales.
Dave Bonillas, 30, supervises 90 college students for the Daewoo store in Oakland, Calif. He chatted with Automotive Marketer Editor Kathy Jackson.
How did you get this job?
I was living in Chico in northern California and wanted to get back to the Bay area. I saw an ad in the newspaper. I had never heard of Daewoo before.
What made you take the job?
Chico is a big college town, and I had been around college kids all my life. Plus, the ad specified this was a new car company. I thought if the program works out, I'll have something good to put on my resume.
Can you really sell cars on campuses?
Not really. We do a lot of off-campus events at this store. You get better prospects off campus.
What do people say when you talk to them about Daewoo?
Most people say they've never heard of Daewoo, so it's an easy way to start a conversation.
Do you think any auto companies do a good job marketing to young people?
Volkswagen, especially with the New Beetle. And Saturn makes you feel like a family.
Do you think this marketing approach will work for Daewoo?
I think this approach is more honest. With TV, it's like you're being brainwashed. But when we're at the events, there is no high-pressure selling. It works especially well with women. That will be a strong point for us.