Automakers have always known that the best way to sell a car is to put potential buyers behind the wheel. With that in mind, savvy car manufacturers have tapped into the rental car industry to entice renters – studies show they are twice as likely to buy a new vehicle within the next six months – as potential new customers, and use them for market research.
General Motors is piloting a program with its Chevrolet brand that puts its midsize Malibu sedans in Enterprise Rent-A-Car fleets located in markets popular with that type of buyer. To nudge interested renters towards the showroom, QR Codes have been placed prominently in the vehicles. When conveniently scanned by a smartphone, the codes connect users to Chevrolet's website where they can find specifications, pricing and dealership locations.
Chrysler Group is also working with Enterprise, but taking things a step further. Its QR Codes not only send people to the automaker's website, it links them to walk-around videos and offers them discounts on vehicle purchases in a manner similar to targeted direct mail. But selling cars isn't Chrysler's only objective, as they have been working with renters to gather opinions on vehicle factors including engine power and cabin comfort. If you've got a captive audience, why not?