Auto Dealers See Black by selling Pink in Mexico, Japan and England

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Last summer, as part of a major car exhibition, Mitsubishi gave away one "Princess Kitty" automobile.

Around the same time. Volkswagen Mexico announced it would be producing 13 Special Order Pink Barbie VW Beetles.

From Gadget 4 Girls:

The car features decked-up all in pink to emphasize your feminine charm and elegance.
Every single detail of new Volkswagen Beetle Barbie is made in pink, including pink accents and inserts reflected onto leather seats, floormats, door trim, and even steering wheel. Even the lug nuts of this "Barbie Doll car" are made in pink.

This is a car for those girls who are not afraid to become the talk of the town. As for me, I am not likely to opt for this kind of car, as I'm a sport cars fan.

But it's up to you to choose your vehicle and lead the lifestyle you enjoy.
The Beetle Barbie will be sold through exclusive VW dealers for a price of $ 24,368.

In Japan, Nissan has launched the Pink Pino - sales are brisk. They anticipated selling 2500 a month. In the first month over 5000 were sold.The Associated Press report featured on CNN.com says,

...in most countries, experts tend to advise against making autos pink or adding other "cute" features to appeal to female drivers partly because that may smack of sexism and turn off women -- except in Japan.

Here, young women are extremely powerful in setting trends, and the culture of cute is so prevalent grown men aren't embarrassed about dangling little mascots from cell phones.

Also, Japanese consumers frequently use personal products to show off who they are, often buying designer-brand products to make a statement, said Kazuo Ikegami, marketing expert and professor at Rissho University.

"Product image is far more important for Japanese consumers than American consumers," Ikegami said. "There's a much bigger element of personal identity in Japanese marketing."

Even the advertising for Pino is tailored to women who are about 20 years old.

The pamphlet is like a Japanese comic book, depicting the story of three young well-dressed women going shopping together, manicuring their nails to match the star-patterns on Pino seats, using aromatherapy oils in the car. The TV ads also tell a similar story.

Nissan marketing manager Miwa Ishii says one goal for Pino is to court young drivers to the Nissan brand with hopes they'll move on to buy more expensive models in the future.

Re:Invention says the success of the Pink Pino is a reminder that when it comes to marketing to women its not about pink or not pink, it's about five things.

(1) pursuing your best opportunity target market niche (remember: one shoe size does not fit all!)
(2) listening for your target customers' stated (and latent) wants, needs, hopes and dreams and respecting their concerns and issues
(3) catering your company/product key messages to those stated (and latent) wants and needs
(4) sweeping those good folks off their feet with a product and product experience that surprises and delights them -- "taking their minds, hearts, and souls to places they've never been" and giving them "a reason to tell all their friends about you!"
(5) providing a clear call to action.

As one of the comments on the Re:Invention post observed, in the U.S. pink is considered tacky.

Not so in England, home of thePink Lady Taxis and home to many pink car accessory websites.
GB Driver has an entire pink auto accessory section.
pink_minxy_harness_set From pink seat belt and steering wheel protectors to Pink Pedals pink_pedals to pink_gear_knob_gaiter the pink gear knob gaiter.

GB Driver isn't the only site selling pink car accessories in the UK. The Pink Toolbox Co sells the Pink Car Kit(winner of the 2006 Gift of The Year.)
carkitbig

Unlike GB Driver which limits sales to Great Britain, the Pink Car Kit is available for international sales. It does have a fabulous tool that doesn't seem to have a name

glasshammer2

The steel hammer point safely shatters car windows so you can get out when a door is jammed due to impact damage, and the blade slices easily through seatbelts.

In her post,RE:Invention shares a bit of pink trivia,

What makes PINK so scary? According to the website "Gender Specific Colors," pink was considered a boy's color at the turn of the century. PINK is merely bright unsaturated RED. The color of love. The color of passion. Pink can be pale or proud or shocking. When it comes to marketing to working women, pink marketing could merely imply: "making the extra effort to court your best customers."

You can read more about pink as a boy color on the Gender Specific Color Web site. Navigation note: a authentication box pops up but when I clicked cancel a couple of times I was able to access the site.

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness

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