Will your ad spending be up or down in 2001 compared with 2000? By what percentage?
In order to establish a brand image, we will probably spend in the neighborhood of $80 million to $100 million in 2001 (up from $40 million in 2000). We will focus our efforts on national TV, since we see this as the best medium for developing a brand message. Next year will mark the first time that Daewoo will be featured on national TV networks.
What media mix do you expect for 2001? How does that compare with 2000?
As I mentioned, we will have a lot heavier TV mix. I estimate that 40 percent of our media will be national television and cable. The remaining mix will break down to 20 percent print, 10 percent direct mail, 10 to 15 percent Internet and the remaining percentage will be made up by miscellaneous marketing efforts.
Is the Internet still a good marketing tool for you? How will you use it in 2001?
Yes, it is, although I think that currently the Internet is a little oversold. Customers are using the Internet to gather information, so it doesn't lend itself to developing a brand image. Again, that's where national TV comes into play. We think that the Internet is the future, so we've designed the Daewoo Web site to link directly to our dealers' sites.
How do you expect rebates and incentives to affect your marketing budget in 2001?
We prefer dealer cash vs. rebates. We believe our dealers are best qualified to gauge their individual markets. As an industry, we have to find the perfect mix between selling cars and not losing money. You can't lose money on every vehicle and expect to make it up in volume. Wild discounts up front will hurt on the back end, when it's time to trade in the vehicle. We have to maintain our price value. The manufacturer who does the best job of blending rebates and incentives will have the best opportunity at success.
What is the biggest launch you have coming up for 2001? When will it be?
There is no new product for 2001. We are looking at a new Leganza and the U-100 (a vehicle about the size of the Ford Focus wagon that will combine attributes of a minivan and a sport-utility) in the first part of 2002. We will be introducing these vehicles at the Los Angeles and the Detroit auto shows.
What is your major marketing challenge for 2001?
Our biggest challenge will be to create a brand image. I can go to a car wash, for example, and a number of people will be impressed by the vehicle's styling, but they'll have no clue as to what it is. When you tell them that it's a Daewoo, they want to know if it's currently available. We believe we have a strong story to tell with Daewoo. A recent J.D. Power and Associates study listed Daewoo as No. 4 in CSI, making us the only Korean manufacturer to achieve the industry average. We have got to get that kind of message out.