Sunday, November 30, 2008

One Way Car Makers Could Go the Extra Mile

With the economy in the gutter, car sales have skidded, and automakers have begun to plead for government subsidies. It's an ugly scene out there.

That situation aside, I think that car makers should look at ways of going the extra mile to befriend consumers again. Sure, cars are safer now than ever, gas mileage is slowly improving, and the amenities inside of cars (can you say cupholders?) have increased. But perhaps it's the simple things that they're missing out on.

For instance, I just read an article in Consumer Reports about 12 things you should have in your car in case of a break down. The list they developed contains the following items: hazard triangles or flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, roadside-assistance membership, tow rope, duct tape, small shovel, bag of sand, windshield scraper, emergency blanket, and hand warmers. All simple things that people ideally should have in their cars, but how many of us really do bother to have all of it?

My feeling is that an auto maker or car dealer should set themselves apart and surprise buyers with a package containing all of these items upon purchase of a new car. Think about how little this entire package would cost (a couple hundred dollars at the very most), but how much goodwill they would be delivering to the new car buyer. Ultimately, it's a simple gesture but it shows they care about the driver.

No comments: