Francisco Garza
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
GM México, Central America and the Caribbean
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View from the Top

Seizing Opportunity in a Rising Market

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 11:37

Q: How has GM tailored its marketing approach to the local market?

A: Offering quality vehicles is not enough to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Aftersales service is vital. The Customer Experienced service is one of our global strategies, with the goal of improving our customer satisfaction metrics on service and sales. It focuses on increasing customer loyalty and understanding changing consumer dynamics. Given the daunting market conditions in Mexico, wherein 45 brands are positioning themselves in the automotive industry, we consider our growth to be a success. New generations of products in our portfolio have had positive customer feedback. Chevrolet Spark, for example, integrates technological innovations such as phone projection, boosting the vehicle’s connectivity. We are also presenting new generations of Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Camaro. The product portfolio from Chevrolet, GMC, Lincoln and Cadillac provides us with competitive market participation.

Q: What is GM’s strategy for commercializing its electric vehicles?

A: GM has a responsible stance toward the commercialization of new mobility technology. In the case of electric vehicles such as Chevrolet Volt we provide our clients with two charging stations, a portable station and another fixed at their homes. We have selected specific dealers in the most important cities of the country, prompting higher demand for our electric vehicles than expected. Our clients adopt the technology we propose and there has to be a joint effort between GM and the authorities, such as the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) or the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Ministry of Economy and the Treasury to structure a longterm plan regarding electric and hybrid vehicles.

Q: What are GM’s growth expectations for the end of 2016 and for the next five years?

A: The acceleration of the Mexican market is encouraging and GM is seeing double-digit growth. This development can be explained firstly by the decrease in used car imports from the US. The federal government made waves eliminating this condition, which was negatively affecting the domestic automotive industry. In 2015, the number of used cars imported to Mexico was reduced by almost 70 percent and we saw an additional 20 percent reduction in the first half of 2016. The second factor is the growth of financing options broadening the possibilities of acquiring new vehicles. New car loans have grown by almost 30 percent compared to 2015, while GM Financial is experiencing growth rates over 50 percent.

Domestic vehicle demand has also stabilized. The market should demand approximately 1,800,000 units and in 2016 sales should reach almost 1,600,000 commercialized units, demonstrating the remaining potential in the industry. GM attained 18.1 percent growth in sales volume by the end of 2015, resulting in a market share of 18.5 percent for the year. Combined with our continued expectations for industry growth and our planned commercial and portfolio strategies, we forecast a market share increase of at least 0.1 percent resulting in approximately 15,000 more untis.

Q: How is GM projecting a modern image versus the arrival of new car brands in the country?

A: Since 2011, our dealers have invested in modernizing their facilities, updating their workshops and implementing digital platforms. Having seen that customers are increasingly connected in the digital era we are shifting our strategy toward mobile devices. Every year, our investment in digital media increases. OnStar is an example of innovation from GM. This service is state-of-the-art technology that works by pushing a button in the rearview mirror, allowing the customer to receive personalized emergency, security, navigation and connectivity service.

Q: What is GM’s next opportunity to innovate?

A: The millennial generation represents an important percentage of global consumers who have different consumption habits and needs to previous generations. They have closer relationships with technology and we need to appeal to them, while anticipating future consumption trends. There are two different generations of consumers and we need to consider both when designing products and services.