It has been my very good fortune to spend the last six months in Canada, with occasional visits to the United States of America. During this time I have noted some Canadian views on the British car which I find extremely pertinent to our export drive, if such it can be called.
It would appear that there are three very definite sales fields :— (a) The competition-proved sports car ; (b) The quality luxury car (c) The family car.
The first type of car has immense appeal to the younger generation. but is used almost exclusively for trials, rallies and stock-car racing. Probably rather more so in the USA than in Canada.
The second type of car has a limited sales appeal which is roughly equivalent the world over. But, a word of warning here, let our manufacturers be absolutely certain that Canadian climatic conditions are fully considered—they are not at present.
The third type of car is frankly considered far too small, underpowered and doesn’t impress the housewife, who, it must he admitted, is the prime sales factor in these countries. However, there is a growing demand for a second car in this field and it is here that our normal cars can be sold with considerable success. They have most that is required in this category except accessories necessary for the climatic conditions, which incidentally should be specifically designed and fitted as standard. What do I mean? Well, what good is a trafficator that freezes up for six months of the year ?
The manufacturers must also realise that only advertising sells the goods in these markets, so let them make use of the case of parking, slick through the traffic, low gas consumption properties of the British car.
Summing up, it can be said that the British car manufacturers can sell their cars in increasing quantity on the North American Continent only if they concentrate on producing models for that continent and do not export cars designed primarily for the British home market. These models must then be sold with a full advertising campaign of their real qualities and not merely their name and past record.
Incidentally, the Healey-designed Nash Metropolitan possesses each and every one of the points made, and yet practically no one over here knows that it has an Austin engine.
I am, Yours, etc,
RL Bowers, (RAF Flt Lt), Ottawa.