Be­ware of am­bushes

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter @PaulWard­Gover

COM­PAR­ING the con­tenders has al­ways been a great way to bag a new-car bar­gain.

So you might be look­ing at a Holden Com­modore but, after watch­ing the Bathurst win last week­end by Paul Mor­ris and Chaz Mostert, de­cide in­stead a Ford Fal­con is more your style.

Or you could be con­vinced you need a new Toy­ota HiLux, un­til you check the prices for ri­vals such as the Nis­san Navara and Mit­subishi Tri­ton. But there is a new twist in the tale.

It’s all about brands stop­ping ri­vals gain ground. And steal­ing their cus­tomers. It’s called am­bush mar­ket­ing and it’s be­com­ing more common.

Ear­lier this year, on the same day BMW was rip­ping the cov­ers off its hot rod M3 sedan and M4 coupe, Mercedes-Benz boosted power and cut the price for its bel­ter C63 AMG. Since 1997, Toy­ota and Lexus have sold 7 mil­lion hy­brids, in­clud­ing: 3.3 mil­lion in Ja­pan 2.5 mil­lion in the US 770,000 in Europe 67,000 in Aus­tralia The Prius alone tal­lied 3.36 mil­lion

As Ford con­tin­ues the buildup to its FG X, which goes on sale in early De­cem­ber, Holden has just done a 2015 up­date on its ex­cel­lent VF Com­modore.

“Am­bush mar­ket­ing is all about steal­ing some­one else’s glory,” says John Star­tari, who heads Peu­geot and Citroen in Aus­tralia. They’re chal­lenger brands and he’s al­ways look­ing for a way to lure peo­ple from the

Deputy Ed­i­tor Chief Re­porter main­stream. “Re­mem­ber the Holden blimp? The day it ac­ci­den­tally got blown to­wards the MCG in a Toy­ota-spon­sored ALF game? Am­bush mar­ket­ing.

“Even Toy­ota’s AFL spon­sor­ship is a way to one-up com­pa­nies, like Mazda and Re­nault and Fiat that support in­di­vid­ual teams.”

There are no bound­aries in am­bush mar­ket­ing, with Kia do­ing a job on half-brother Hyundai in a peo­ple-mover stoush this week.

As Hyundai pre­views its up­dated 2015 seven-seater Santa Fe, Kia has done a value-added pack­age for its ri­val Sorento. Kia says the “Fam­ily Pack” is a $3400 value boost, which is sure to tickle shop­pers who put value at the top of their pri­or­i­ties.

Na­tional Mo­tor­ing Ed­i­tor Mo­tor­ing Re­porters

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