Will your ad spending be up or down in 2001, compared with 2000? By what percentage?
Our spending will definitely be up. We have a new product, the Axiom, a sport-utility that is a crossover toward the passenger car side of the market, though it has true SUV capability. We had no product launches in 2000. So I expect our spending to be up by as much as 50 percent.
What media mix do you expect for 2001? How does that compare with 2000?
We'll have a much larger media presence, including specialty broadcast - primarily TV, but we may do some radio. I don't have details now. Our television will be spot market. The Axiom goes on sale April 10. We will begin teaser print ads for it in mid-February and teaser broadcast by late March. TV is essential to introduce the product. Its design has an edginess to it. It isn't plain vanilla.
Is the Internet still a good marketing tool for you? How will you use it in 2001?
We will continue to use the Internet. Our Isuzu.com helps establish relationships with customers. Our online strategy has been to make the Internet a pathway to the dealer. The opportunity to dialogue will be reflected in our advertising. The new Axiom had its genesis on the Internet. We had a naming contest for the vehicle in November 1999. The winner was announced recently. He will get a new Axiom.
How do you expect rebates and incentives to affect your marketing budget in 2001?
We use incentives as part of our marketing mix. Our goal is to make it balance.
What is the biggest launch you have coming up for 2001? When will it be?
Our new Axiom sport-utility. It goes on sale April 10.
What is your major marketing challenge for 2001?
Launching the new Axiom. This is a big opportunity for the Isuzu brand. It's a chance to raise awareness of the brand among new buyers. We expect the Axiom to attract people who are new to Isuzu.