“Engage with the expected, win with the extraordinary.” So recommended Sun Tzu, and it’s proven to be a winning formula for business as well. The Japanese used it in the 1970s, when the expected was good gas mileage (for those of you under about 50, the Arab oil-exporting states shut off oil to the US in 1973 for a while and then quadrupled its price), and the unexpected was great quality and durability.
Today, the expected might be great gas mileage and quality, and the unexpected is sex appeal, as an article in Wednesday’s WSJ vividly illustrates.
“Gorgeous design costs no more than boring design,” says [head of Hyundai’s US Operations, John] Krafcik.
There have always been exciting small cars — the BMW 3-series, for example — but Krafcik is talking about a Hyundai Elantra that retails for about $22,000.
“These are vehicles people are proud to own,” [Autonation CEO Mike Jackson] says.
Apple, of course, plays this game extremely well, also.
EYES ON THE ROADMAY 25, 2011
Auto Makers Sweeten the Recipe for Small Cars
Goodbye, Hand-Crank Windows and Hello, iPod Docks; Car Buyers’ Interest in Compacts Rises Along with Gas Prices
By JOSEPH B. WHITE
The cheap-looking, cramped, “econobox” car is dead.