GM and Ford spend more, sell less

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General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. last year increased spending on media advertising but sold fewer vehicles.

Collectively, the automotive industry spent $10.7 billion in U.S. measured media last year-$200 million less than in calendar year 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence. But GM laid out more in 2005 ($220 million more to $2.76 billion), as did Ford ($14 million more to $1.54 billion). Yet GM sold 4.4 million units in 2005 vs. 4.6 million the prior year, according to Automotive News, and Ford 3.1 million vehicles vs. 3.3 million in 2004.

By contrast, American Honda Motor Co. also hiked spending by some $71 million to $824 million, but showed a different result: sales gains.

DaimlerChrysler was among those to cut outlays in `05 spending, to $1.5 billion, or $206 million less than in 2004, on Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz. Nissan North America reduced its media spending by $95 million for its Nissan and Infiniti brands to $1.02 billion. Toyota Motor Sales USA shaved spending by $33 million, to $1.068 billion on Lexus, Toyota and Scion.

Detroit's full-size pickups generally got the most spending by individual models in 2005. The Ford F-Series received $156 million in measured media. Chevrolet's Silverado was supported by $153 million while Dodge Ram got $120 million. Toyota advertised the Tundra to the tune of $80 million in media, and Nissan spent $72 million on Titan. Honda launched its new Ridgeline pickup with $115 million in media, according to TNS.

Among car models with the biggest 2005 media budgets: Hyundai Motor America's Sonata sedan ($220 million); Nissan's Altima ($113 million); GM's new Pontiac G6 ($110 million) and Volkswagen of America's Jetta ($109 million). In perspective, BMW of North America spent a total of $154 million in 2005 media across its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.
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