Image and soul

Date of publication: June 15, 1994


Our paper discusses the importance of image in the automobile industry. It begins by ascertaining how much money manufacturers typically spend in advertising, then other related communications disciplines. It is a substantial amount. We proceed to a discussion of the definition of the word image, and bring the latest perspective on the subject relevant to the late 1990's. We conclude that image as the customer perceives it, and the soul of a company, are essentially inseparable over time. A company that needs to change its image first needs to change its soul. Peugeot and Renault in Europe, and Chrysler in the U.S., are frequently discussed as helpful examples. We then provide a few guidelines about how to maintain a positive image. Looking into the future, we propose Chrysler as an example of the most advanced car company in positive image-building. We draw the lessons for Europe, which to us speak for open markets, free distribution channels, and minimal protectionism.

Philippe H. Defechereux


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