TIME TO PLUGIN!

Exploring Electrified Innovation in the Automotive Industry

Kia Niro PHEV
2020 Kia Niro PHEV
DESIGNED FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Fuel-efficient, spacious and sporty, the 2020 Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one fearless crossover.

There’s no denying it, 2020 was a great year for EV and PHEV lineups and it looks like the trend is here to stay. Companies like Nio, Tesla and Kia are making big waves in the EV industry, but the benefits can be seen across the industry as a whole. Whether it be via car sales, battery manufacturing, or charging infrastructure.

If you’re new here, EVs are electric vehicles powered by batteries or solar panels for example, while PHEVs are plug-in hybrids. Not only do they reduce pollution, but they also reduce operating costs for the driver as well. There seems to be an arms race between carmakers, government agencies and investors looking to profit from emission-free electric cars. Most brands have made it their mission to transition toward an electrified future. In a recent press release, Kia Motors announced their intention to accelerate their electric transition plan with an 11 model EV lineup and 7 dedicated EVs by 2026. General Motors aims to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035, Volkswagen Group has budgeted over €34 Billion or CAD$52 Billion for e-mobility, autonomous driving, digital connectivity and new mobility services, and that’s just for 2022!

2021 Nissan LEAF in profile showing aerodynamic design
2021 Nissan LEAF® EV
100% ELECTRIC PERFORMANCE
Electric power, instant thrills.

According to Driving.ca Ontario has welcomed almost $6 billion in investments – pickup truck production in Oshawa, Ford’s decision to build EVs in Oakville, and FCA ramping up PHEV production in Windsor. The green incentive has been injected into the Ontario economy in the midst of the worst health/financial crisis anyone can remember.  In the third quarter of 2020 alone, 18,771 new green vehicles were registered across Canada between July and September, according to data just made available by Statistics Canada. That figure doubled from Q2 to Q3 and we believe that number will continue to climb.

An elevated view of a Billet Metallic Pacifica Hybrid with an overlaid illustration of the vehicle’s 3.6L Pentastar VVT V6 Hybrid engine and 16-kWh lithium battery.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Powered by two efficient sources – gasoline and electricity – the 2021 Pacifica Hybrid seamlessly shifts between the 3.6 L Pentastar ™  VVT V6 Hybrid engine and the 16-kWH lithium battery.

So where do you fit in? This global initiative requires participation at every level. We encourage dealers to voice their commitment to a zero-emission future. The best way to engage your customer is to sell through education. Green vehicles are fairly new, and they may often be overlooked simply because consumers don’t know enough about them. Much of the hesitation in EVs is due to outdated articles that have poor information about available technologies. You can change that with in-depth, focused information on current models. Remind them that greener alternatives are relatively affordable, you don’t need a Tesla Model S to go electric! Ensure your team is aware of best practices for maintenance as well as the differences between standard and rapid charging.  We also encourage you to invest in a robust green vehicle lineup so that your staff and customers can get better acquainted. Sales are often lower when there is less selection. Additionally, don’t be afraid to offer special incentives when possible, this creates a special experience for the consumer and it’s a great way to bring more eyes to your dealership. 

Keep in mind that the sales process is often longer for EVs/PHEVs and they require great dedication from your already dedicated team. As mentioned, customers often require more detailed information and there are many nuances to the technology and the customer’s lifestyle that need to be accounted for in the buying process. There is a learning curve for these vehicles, so keep lines of communication open and coordinated after the purchase is finalized. Facebook lead ads are a great way to qualify your prospective buyer prior to them entering your dealership. 

Ask questions like:

How many kilometres do you drive in a day? 

Do you have access to charging at home or at work?

Do you need hauling or towing capacity for this vehicle?

We want you all to look at green vehicles as a booming opportunity, not a threat or an afterthought. You can also do your part in more ways than one when it comes to reducing our emissions in the future. Consider more cash for clunker programs if it applies to your dealership. Every year people are becoming more and more conscious of what they put in their bodies, minds and the environment. It’s time we go green and never look back!

Canada’s Top Sellers of 2020

The results are in!

Many of us want to put 2020 in our rearview mirror, but there’s a lot that we can learn from such a volatile year. Canadians made their needs very clear during the early stages of the pandemic and the automotive industry responded thoughtfully. Let’s take a look at how we navigated a turbulent year and utilized the gift of online selling!

According to Driving.ca, we lost out on nearly 400,000 sales across the country, yet Canada’s top eight best-selling vehicles in calendar-year 2019 returned as the top eight in 2020, with the top three returning to their exact positions. While we haven’t seen economic conditions like this since 2008-2009, some of our top sellers were still able to grow. It is promising to see that quality vehicles and consistent brand communication are bolstering the industry in times of economic constraint. 

5. GMC Sierra: 51,492 Units Sold 

2021 Sierra 1500 Denali.

Toting the title of the best-in-class heavy-duty cargo bed, the GMC Sierra’s marginal year-over-year decrease speaks to the health of Canada’s full-size pickup truck sector in 2020.

4. Chevrolet Silverado: 52,767 Units Sold 

2020 Silverado 1500 Pickup Truck Exterior Off Road View.

Chevy boasts that they have put over 100 years of truck-building know-how into the Silverado to deliver a truck that’s bigger, stronger and lighter than the previous generation, and it seems to be paying off! While the industry saw sales fall at an average of 13%, this make and model only say a 1% decrease in sales.

3. Toyota RAV4: 57,972 Units Sold 

RAV4 Family lineup

Family vehicles that can handle all terrains are important to Canadian consumers, the sales can confirm! For a fifth consecutive year, the Toyota RAV4 is Canada’s best-selling utility vehicle. On a global scale, Toyota has now surpassed VolkswagenGroup, becoming the world’s top-selling automaker in 2020. Toyota’s 2020 group sales include those of its subsidiaries Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino.

2. Ram P/U: 83,672 Units Sold 

 2021 Ram 1500 traversing a rough off-road trail.

Known for their power and agility, Ram pickup trucks offer an exceptional combination of capability, safety, security and convenience features – the pickup that raises the bar in every category that counts. AJAC has awarded the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Best Pickup in Canada for 2020. While Ram has not been able to claim the number 1 spot, the brand has contributed greatly to the production and stability of the automotive market in Canada.

1. Ford F-Series: 128,649 Units Sold 

A 2021 Ford F 1 50 Tremor being driven off road through water

No surprise here, this vehicle has been Canada’s top-selling truck for 55 years straight! In 2020, the F-Series accounted for 55 percent of all Fords sold in Canada, 54 percent of Ford Motor Company’s sales, 39 percent of full-size pickups, and 8 percent of the entire new-vehicle fleet. Now that’s impressive. 

 Honourable mentions include:

10. Nissan Rogue: 25,998 Units Sold 
9. Hyundai Kona: 26,641 Units Sold 
8. Toyota Corolla: 33,181 Units Sold 
7. Honda Civic: 42,996 Units Sold 
6. Honda CR-V: 44,495 Units Sold 

It’s interesting to compare this list of the top sellers to Canada’s most searched vehicles of 2020:

10. Toyota RAV4
9. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
8. Chevrolet Corvette
7. BMW M
6. Honda Civic
5. Porsche 911
4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
3. BMW 3 Series
2. Ford Mustang
1. Ford F-150

As we continue to move towards our new normal, operational innovation and digital integration will continue to lead the path forward. Now is the time to celebrate our resilience as we reimagine the automotive industry, offering clean, efficient and affordable vehicles for our consumers. Hindsight is 2020!

All statistics provided by Driving.ca and Automotive News Canada

Everything You Need To Know About Instagram #REELS

Facebook’s Instagram launched its answer to the hit short video app TikTok — Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to upload or record and edit 15-second videos with audio with options effects. and will let users add visual effects.

Keeping your clientele engaged on social media is becoming more and more popular, and sometimes oversaturated. Don’t let your absence from social platforms impact your sales! We urge you all to couple a social media presence with paid advertising and SEO efforts. It is important to understand that social media advertising will help you stand out in more ways than one. Not only will you reach new customers online, but you can meet customers where they are at.

Millennials (aged 24-39) are tech-reliant and often head to the internet with their questions. If they can’t find you, the likelihood of them connecting with you is slim to none. #REELS is a great way to tap into this knowledgeable and influential demographic.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of Instagram Reels:

1. Repurpose your vides

You don’t have to make a new video every time you post a Reel on Instagram. It’s a great way to reuse walk-arounds, monthly incentives and other video ads. We’re all for working smarter, not harder! 
Try adding visual and audio effects to grab your viewer’s attention.

2. Share a quick tip or a tutorial

Tips and tutorials are great for engagement purposes, users are more likely to stick around for the whole thing! Give your audiences a reason to follow you by sharing something informative or educational.

3. Maintain transparency
Keep your community and staff safe without sacrificing personal connections. #REELS can allow for behind-the-scenes insights that tell your brand story in a fun and creative way. Take your followers on a video tour around your dealership. Showcase your team and let the world know what safety precautions are in place at your dealership.

4. Take advantage of user-generated content

People love feeling included! Try using more videos and pictures of your customers, with their consent of course. Drive-up engagement rates while showcasing your inventory, services and happy customers.

5. Monitor your performance

Don’t rely on assumptions, optimize your social media strategy by staying engaged and reviewing your Instagram Insights. It’s crucial that you keep track of your performance to find out what’s working and what’s not. 

6. Engage back!

You can’t expect great engagement from others if you often go missing after you post content on Instagram. Whether it be #REELS, a story, or a post to the feed, you should always engage with others to boost your performance. Go on a liking spree and leave comments on other pages with similar content.

Shooting Vehicle Walk-Arounds

Image

Put yourself in the shoes of your next customers. The vehicle walk-around is the most important part of the sales experience, especially in times like these. Your target audience is in need of a car, take advantage of their attention and create an overwhelming desire to own the car you’re showing. The whole purpose of a walk-around is to inform and excite your client, so film every vehicle walk-around like it’s your last! A great way to start is by reassuring and rewarding your viewer, letting them know they’ve made a great choice to look at this vehicle while they research their purchase options. It won’t hurt to mention any recent awards and accolades the vehicle has received in your opening as well. Introducing yourself and your dealership along with any relevant promotions should be the anchor of every video intro.

Here’s an example:

  1. “Tony here, from ______ Kia! You’ve made a great decision to explore the (model of choice), 
  2. “It has been awarded best selling sedan for 5 years in a row!”  OR “This is the most reliable car in its class according to JD Powers!” 
  3. “Luckily for you, this model comes with a $2000 clearance bonus at our dealership!”

Now that your intro is out of the way, it’s time to start moving. We always recommend using a stabilizer for your camera or phone. Feel free to use either device to film and go for the highest quality device you can access. If you wish to complete your vehicle walk around in one continuous shot, then this diagram is for you:

Image

Based on the diagram above, you should be spending about 70% of your recording time walking backwards. Choose your key features (tires, trunk space, navigation, rear seats etc.) and map them out. Now that you know what your focus points are, use your winning personality to guide your viewer through to each spot. Remember to alternate between high and low shots as well as wide and tight shots. It should be one fluid motion, so we highly recommend a few dry runs before filming! Once all features are explained, close with a call to action and the best way to contact your team. If they have made it this far, the experience was enjoyable and your contact will be the last detail in their mind. Feel free to place your contact information via text overlay throughout your videos as well. Don’t forget to let them know what additional services or products are available for this winning vehicle if they purchase it from you.


Always remember, this might be your 150th walk around video, but this will likely be your client’s very first! You don’t need to rhyme off every feature that is included in the chosen vehicle, sell your trustworthiness, enthusiasm and commitment to safety. A great walk around will sell more cars and earn you more car sales commission.

Why Mobile First?

Why mobile-first?

In today’s modern world, we have to accept that most consumers are interacting with businesses from their mobile phones. There are exceptions to every rule, however, mobile-first functionality is undoubtedly an integral part of maximizing conversions for spend.


Mobile-first optimization simply means that we prioritize Google’s mobile algorithm over its predecessor, the desktop. Fast load times, content quality and page relevance are just a few of the factors that determine where and how you reach your next customer.


Think about it, when you are living your day to day life, what is the thing that you have by your side the most? If you need to prepare for today’s weather, there’s an app for that, if you want to see how many calories you just burned, there’s an app for that. And if you are hoping to make a large purchase, like a home, laptop or car, you’ll probably use every app you can think of to do your research. 


It’s no surprise that consumers spent 1.6 trillion hours on their mobile devices in the first half of 2020, up considerably from the same period a year earlier, according to a report from mobile data and analytics provider App Annie.


It’s understandable to think that mobile engagement has just been inflated due to stay at home orders, and that is partially true. Look at it this way, COVID-19 will be a distant memory one day, but business communications and consumer behaviour have changed forever. So many users are forming new habits, making this the optimal time to deliver a new ad or brand message. It has never been more important to ensure that your dealership doesn’t get lost in the crowd as the automotive industry moves toward e-commerce and digital advertising.

EZ-Results ensures that our client’s digital presence is optimized in every way possible. Get in touch with us to discuss further mobile engagement opportunities including Google My Business set-up and Call-Only campaigns.