These are among the many challenges marketers face at a time of sweeping change in the auto industry. Rapid advances in electrification and safety, along with the endless hum of the industry’s hype machines, place new burdens on marketing staffs to avoid misunderstandings that could confuse or even endanger consumers, many of whom haven’t been in the new-vehicle market for a decade or more.
Increasingly, they must be teachers and myth busters in addition to promoters, helping consumers — and dealers — sort through the distinctions among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric and fuel cell cars, for example, or between lane-keep warning and lane-keep assist.
The task often pits the interests of clarity against the marketing impulses of companies to brand and trademark their technologies with buzzwords such as “smart” and “intelligent.”
AAA, the not-for-profit group and travel agency for motorists, notes that there are 20 names for adaptive cruise control systems, for…
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