It’s a hard fact to swallow, but despite having the newest full-size pickup trucks on the market, General Motors is losing market share in the segment with the all-new K2XX-based 2014 Silverado and 2014 Sierra. And even though weather and high incentives offered by competitors could be used as reasons for The General’s slipping share, it doesn’t change the fact that more truck buyers are opting for the competition’s Ford F-Series and Ram Trucks over their Chevy and GMC counterparts. The situation is troubling for GM, especially given that its trucks are very, very good.
And therein lies the true problem: despite having an excellent truck, GM is falling behind in sales volume, and it needs to counteract the downward spiral. But how does it do that without following Ford or Ram into the high incentives rat race? We believe that the answer is excitement. Yes, excitement.
While the Silverado and Sierra are excellent pickups and are class-leading in most metrics, they lack a certain level of exhilaration, passion, interest. They lack excitement, and are missing the “wow factor”, if you will. By comparison, the trucks from Ford and Ram have it. Ford’s F-150 Platinum, F-150 SVT Raptor, and F-150 Tremor are some of the most desired pickups ever, while the Ram Runner has the industry abuzz, as well.
But does excitement sell trucks? How many Raptors and Platinums does Ford actually sell? The answer to that is twofold: even though Ford might not sell that many units of its flagship F-Series models, it sure as heck is reaping the rewards in having the most desired and respected truck in the segment (I know I’ll get booed on this one, but it’s true). Simply put, consumers want those trucks, and that want creates appeal, desire, and “magic” around the product line often referred to as “image”. Sure, consumers might not be always able to afford these flagship vehicles, but that doesn’t stop the trucks from creating a significant amount of interest, desire, and mind share. And that beats having no interest, no desire, and no mind share in the marketplace.
Our suggestion? Create serious contenders to the Raptor (Black Ops Concept) and Tremor (like the Cheyenne Concept) out of the Silverado and/or Sierra. Nurture these sub-brands, and take the competition head-on in ads and marketing material. Let the fans, enthusiasts, and aficionados fall in love with them, and tell everyone and anyone they know about them. Because at the end of the day, (really, really good) practicality just doesn’t seem to be cutting it.