Members Only For Test-Drives

It’s getting tougher for auto dealers to get the consumer into the showroom, so some automakers are trying to take the showroom to the consumer.
To promote its newly redesigned TL luxury sedan (shown here), American Honda Motor Corp.’s Acura division figured it could reach potential buyers where they play. Through a marketing effort coordinated by R&R Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., the car maker has been bringing TLs to various country clubs in Southern California, Seattle and San Francisco for demonstrations and test-drives.
“The big part of what [Acura is] trying to do is bring the product to the people,” said Russ Jones, an account director at the agency.
The effort has been under way throughout the fall and will continue through the end of the year. More than 500 potential buyers have taken test-drives, Jones said, and were given disposable cameras to take pictures of the car.
Some of the tony locations have included the Malibu Country Club in Malibu, Calif., Mountaingate in West Los Angeles and Oak Creek in Irvine, Calif.
–Angela Dawson