Car Ads Guaranteed To Make Competitors Look Like Idiots
|   Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Sometimes you have to wonder about where or whether marketing people have a brain between them and if there's only one brain, how long do they share it before they pass it along?

The reason we ask this question is that there is a new Honda Pilot ad making the rounds right now. It has Father, Mother and tykes talking with the poor bubble headed salesperson (it was the ad's view of the salesperson).

So, I think its Father asks first: "Does (the SUV the salesman has qualified them for) "have a rear or backup camera?" Mr.
Sales-bauble-head says, no "that's part of our Cubic Zirconia upgrade."

Mother in the add then asks another question guaranteed to embarrass the poor sales slob trying to make a living moving their overpriced pieces of iron (chances are the engine is a 4.60-liter V-8 with an 8/4/3 valve shutdown for highway driving that you never hear about because Mommy Dearest is asking her silly question (I think it has to do with rear entertainment/hold-down systems).

Well, Mr. Dumb-Luck sales guy says "No that's our (upgrade) package."

Finally, Daddy and Mommy asks the by-now beaten-down salesman if there is seating for eight and the salesman says something about "our Gold Upgrade Package," while Mommy and Daddy point out it's standard on the Honda Pilot across the way!!

Frustrated the poor sales guy states: "I'll bet you weren't as hard on them (the Honda dealer) were you?" The silence is deafening.

Well, here's the real scoop in the industry. There's only one Pilot, but there are about six different sales levels of the Pilot, which the Honda ad neatly fails to tell you. Further, they neatly fail to tell you that the backup camera is standard on one of the EX models (EX-L). Oh, the LX (base, front-drive) does offer seating for eight, but you're not getting much more than that.

And, since it's a Honda, you're not getting any price break either. It's amazing just how idiotic the sales industry's brain can make the competition look, now isn't it, especially when they ask about rear entertainment packages and moonroofs and the like.

Of course, each Honda doesn't have the equipment installed and it's only when you hit the leather levels of the all-wheel-drive (not SUV) version that you hit all the goodies that the "Gold Package offers." Indeed, the "Gold package" may be less costly than the 3.5-liter-ower 6/3 Honda Pilot. No one said it isn't. It's just that the poor sales slob at the second dealership, now almost reduced to tears, makes the same observation that Mommy made about just how tough they were on the Honda dealer.

For the record, there's only one real Honda Pilot combination and it is all based on variations of the base LX model. Yes, it offers seating for eight as standard and a multi-function engine. And, as you move up the scale to from LX to EX to EX with Leather to EX with all-wheel-drive, you suddenly find that the "Cubic Zirconia package" of the second dealership may be just as good as anything Honda offers. It's just that Honda is quicker at passing the brain around the marketing department. They are great at making everyone but Honda look like idiots.

That's not quite true as you find the low-end LX model with its velour-style cloth upholstery is a front-drive vehicle only and that if you want all-wheel-drive you have to move into the more expensive EX series and when you move into the EX-series you suddenly find you have moonroofs, and rear or backup cameras and heated/cooled leather seating all around.

To listen to our friends in the ad, the second dealer is the goat of the piece.

However, what Honda also fails to tell you is that when you hit their all-wheel-drive levels, it's not true SUV. Instead, if the wheel sensors sense rear slippage, the rear driveshaft comes into play and the power is split evenly between all the wheels and now, like a Sport/Utes power, sent to the wheels that need it. That Honda system is a great way to have a four-wheel-slide for more money than the "Cubic Zirconia Package" at the second dealership, anyway.

If you're looking for the maxxed out Pilot, you're probably talking the Pilot/truck configurations that will kick your payments towards $550 per month. If you can afford it and need a Pilot with a bed and little else, good luck.

Personally, we'd go for the other vehicle, ourselves.
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