Dealer Lou Giordano thinks the Jeep brand nailed it with both its all-new Grand Cherokee and an ad campaign that hammers home a buy-American and high-quality message forGroup LLC.
Giordano runs Croton Auto Park in Croton-on-the Hudson, NY, selling, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands. He is the current chairman of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Assn.
“The Grand Cherokee is the No.1-selling SUV in the northeast region here and the first vehicle built underAutomobile Spa ownership and Sergio Marchionne as Chrysler’s CEO,” he says. “It’s so refined and comfortable.”
Like some other dealers, Giordano is not aware that the music in the Jeep Manifesto ads is based on a Johnny Cash song called “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.”
Not included in the ads are the song’s fire-and-brimstone lyrics that some people may find objectionable. What remains are hammer-pounding industrial sounds as background music.
But if quality is back is the main message, Chrysler dealers are happy. Giordano, for one, thinks Chrysler did it right, waiting until the vehicle was perfect before bringing it to market.
Most dealers just want Chrysler’s iconic Jeep to keep bringing in customers. Giordano’s year-to-date sales are up about 10%, he says.
The ad campaign is spurring strong customer interest in the new Grand Cherokee in Montana, a strong truck and SUV market, says Kevin Smith, sales manager at Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Billings.
“It’s the best campaign they’ve run yet,” he says. “Customers are coming in saying they’ve seen the commercial and they’d like to see the vehicle.”
Overall, Cherokee targets an affluent, college-educated group, 55% males, earning more than $95,000, Jeep spokesman Todd Goyer says.
Chrysler seems happy with campaign’s response. “We touch every media aspect. We’ve gotten overwhelming response through our social-media site, letters and elsewhere to the (ads),” says Chrysler Jeep brand spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez.
Some dealers such as DCH Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Temecula, CA, are promoting the ad on their websites and urging customers to note Cherokee’s strong product message.
Aaron Allen of the W+K, the agency that did the ads, says, “While we are, of course, engaging SUV buyers – both those shopping up into European and Asian makes and those buying domestically – it is vital America at large sees and feels that Jeep, through the ’11 Grand Cherokee, is back.”