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Re: Isuzu Corporate News Thread (Company News)
05/27/06 06:59 PM
From Automotive News, 5/16
So how do you get the most bang from your auto advertising buck? One of two ways, suggests a study by Compete Inc., a Boston marketing research firm.
Plan A: Spend a moderate amount but target potential buyers adroitly, as Mini and Scion did last year. Compete says the two brands tied for the No. 2 spot in the bang-for-the-buck race in 2005, spending just $38 in advertising per "in-market shopper." That's someone Compete has tracked on any of 30 third-party Internet sites researching that brand, says Lincoln Merrihew, managing director of Compete's automotive unit.
Plan B: Starve your ad budget and sell only a handful of vehicles.
That worked for Isuzu, the most efficient advertiser in the study. The brand sold only 12,177 trucks in the United States last year. But it spent peanuts on advertising: just $7 per shopper. (Alas, there's another side to the Isuzu success story: Its 2005 sales were down 55.2 percent from 2004.)
The industry average? $192 per in-market shopper, says Compete.
Isuzu posts record operating profit (5/16)
OKYO -- Isuzu Motors Ltd. reported a 4.0 percent rise in annual operating profit on Tuesday thanks to brisk domestic and Asian truck sales, and it projected a further rise from this year's record result.
Powered by the results, Isuzu, which ended a 35-year equity alliance with struggling U.S. auto giant General Motors last month, doubled its dividend for the year ended March 31 to about 3 cents (3 yen), and forecast 4 yen for the current business year.
Operating profit for last year came to a record $819.4 million (90.66 billion yen), roughly in line with market expectations, as revenue grew 5.9 percent to $14.35 billion.
Domestic truck demand was lifted by continued replacement to meet more stringent emissions regulations, while sales of pickups and other trucks in Thailand and neighboring countries grew. North America saw a decline in SUV sales, but firm demand for commercial vehicles helped erase losses in the region, it said.
Net profit fell 1.8 percent to $534.7 million as the Tokyo-based truck maker booked one-off losses for warranty fees, the dismantling of a former domestic factory and a rise in tax burden at overseas subsidiaries.
Isuzu's domestic rivals Hino Motors Ltd. and Nissan Diesel Motor Co. have also reported improved operating earnings and revenues for last business year, fueled by healthy Japanese truck demand.
Isuzu offered a cautious outlook for the current business year to end-March 2007, citing high crude oil prices and uncertainty in U.S. consumers' spending patterns, and it forecast a tame 2.6 percent rise in operating profit to $843.4 million.
Isuzu expects net profit to rise back to $589.5 million, up 10.3 percent.
"We expect a very tough year this year due to the strong yen and high prices of materials and oil," President Yoshinori Ida told a news conference. "But we will aim for a fourth consecutive year of record earnings by actively exploring new markets."
Under a three-year strategy through March 2008, Isuzu has targeted an operating profit of 100 billion yen as it rationalizes its business and gradually shifts the weight of its business to overseas markets.
Isuzu now makes 43 percent of its revenue in Japan, where it expects truck demand to start declining beyond this business year. Through aggressive expansion overseas, Isuzu said it expects to raise the portion of revenue earned abroad to as high as 65 percent in the next phase.
Analysts cheered the purchase last month of most of GM's 7.9 percent stake in Isuzu by Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi Corp. and Itochu Corp. -- both long-time business partners of Isuzu's -- but have said it would eventually need a strategic partner in the sector to stay competitive.
All three of Japan's other major truck makers are allied with a partner now, after Nissan Diesel's link-up with Sweden's Volvo AB in March.
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