Former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca is back on the stump, this time promoting electric bicycles. EV Global Motors, which he founded in Los Angeles in 1997, began selling $1,000 E-bikes through 65 car dealers in February.
Iacocca, who helped change Chrysler's image using massive ad and marketing campaigns, is trying to reach the 32 million Americans over age 50. But he's trying to do a lot with a little. He's budgeting only $50 a bike for marketing. And even if the company hits the target of 1,000 bikes a week, that won't buy much media.
So how does Iacocca plan to reach his primary targets? He says the money will be used for in-house dealer promotions such as brochures. He also is encouraging dealers to mention the bike at the end of their auto ads. The company also is studying ways to use the Internet to back up dealers and is looking at home shopping as well.
Iacocca says he's trying to complement cars and trucks, not replace them. What's the bottom line? Says Iacocca: 'We know the average salesman will not concentrate on a $1,000 bike, so we say sell the vehicle and then throw the bike in the back.'