The Top 150 Dealer List, Honda/GM Partner on EVs, Top 5 Gen Z Brands, and Creative vs. Volume Content

April 6, 2022
Today we take a look at the latest Top 150 Dealer List published by Automotive News as well as Honda and GM’s Announced Partnership to develop affordable EV technology. We also dig into the top 5 Gen Z brands and talk about why we think they are at the top. We’ll also try to answer the question; “Which is more important; high quality creative or volume content:”
Listen On

Automotive News 2022 Top 150 List has been released, and there are some surprises, but not for us.

  • Carter Myers Automotive led by Owner / CEO Liza Borches jumped 29 spots on the list from 117 to 88
  • Other
  • Troublemakers on the list: West Herr from 22 to 17; Koons #30;

Honda and GM partner for EV Manufacturing

The Top 5 Gen Z Brands are Mostly Fashion, but More About Lifestyle

  • Nike, Vans, Apple, Adobe, Honey

Creativity vs. Content, which is most important

Honda and GM partner for EV Manufacturing

Paul Daly  0:23  

Yo, what is up? It is Tuesday, April 6, we are talking today about the top things, top dealer groups, top Gen Z brands, top partnerships. All there's kyle's head bouncing around the screen. People really want to know, I don't think it's thursday actually

Kyle Mountsier  0:41  

he knows.

Paul Daly  0:42  

I thought it was Wednesday. But I really do psych myself out now before every intro and I like look down at my date and like, What day is it because it only says that the the number and the month, so. So fair enough, that's a fair day. There's a lot of energy in the room. today. We're talking about the top things around top dealers, top brands, on top Gen Z brands to be specific strategies are for content, which we both have passionate feelings about. We actually we haven't talked about this at all. But I know we both have passionate feelings about it. And I'm interesting to see what you think about because I have thoughts. You have thoughts. What's up Larry Feldman? There's this guy, one of our favorite people. So yeah, that's the deal. Um, quick notes. Pitch tank is back today, baby.

Kyle Mountsier  1:32  

Oh, I'm excited. I'm excited. I always there's always a lot of energy around it. I think there's gonna be a particular energy around it today. Because we've been off for a month, we're gonna have some great moderators, some great companies coming in. And, yeah, I think it's good for our industry to be a part of hearing what other people are doing. So whether you're an industry partner, or you're a dealer, it doesn't matter. It's like what's going on in the world of auto tech auto partnerships? And keeping your head up? It's you never know when you're going to need something that's in the room.

Paul Daly  2:03  

Yeah, I mean, if you're not familiar with pitch tank is it's a clubhouse room, where we will have three automotive industry vendors pitching their product, they get what, two or three minutes, what is it? Yes, three, three minutes to pitch, right? audio only. And it's it's like three minutes, and you're done. And then there's a panel of brilliant dealers and industry partners who kind of just like pick apart the pitch, ask questions about the product. So you know, if you're ever in those situations where you don't really know what questions to ask or what questions you should be asking. Pitch tank is a great place to be. You can find that oh gosh, what's the URL for a clubhouse? Soda club?

Kyle Mountsier  2:40  

ASOTU? Do we have a soda? Maybe ASOTU club? I think we did that.

Paul Daly  2:48  

It's ASOTU dot club. Good morning to everybody saying good morning in the chat. Cobis Sandy Marshall, what is up good people in the house this morning. Good people in the house this morning. Okay, so let's get into the first the first bit of news that we have. Every year. Some some company I know it ends with an S. I think the rest of it was cropped out automotive news. Yes, the rest of the automotive news releases this top 150 dealer list. And it's great because they rank, you know, dealer size and performance. And you get to see like people moving up and down on the list this year, we have a little movement. Actually, we had some really significant movement. Yesterday, we talked about Lithia go from three to two, which is kind of a big move, right like that whoever's fighting for the top three spots. But I feel like I can say our very own now our very own lies and Porsches owner, CEO of Carter Myers Automotive Group, they jumped 29 spots

Kyle Mountsier  3:42  

a second biggest mover of the group, actually. So yeah, really cool to see her. And for those that know ASOTU know that she's, she's close. She's an investor. And so kudos to her the team over there. It's, you know what I love, she would be like, kudos to you, Liza. She'd be like, No, everybody else, I'm just she would not take the credit. As her we were talking to her the other day, the way that she organizes her corporate team on their org chart is at the very bottom, and they call it support staff. They don't even call it the corporate team. So it's like a reverse how they reverse pyramid.

Paul Daly  4:18  

So good reverse pyramid. So they jumped from number 117 to number 88 broke the top 100. And there's probably a lot more to come. And if you click on the link in the show notes, the automotive news story links out to the story of how she made her most frequent, free recent acquisition, which was really the result of a 20 year relationship, not like somebody on the hunt. It was really somebody coming to her and saying, We believe in your culture. We believe in how you do things. We want to take care of our people. And we think that you would be the right fit. Are you interested? And boy, is that an awesome way for it to go? Yeah, isn't it awesome? Right.

Kyle Mountsier  4:55  

It's like meeting with people instead of financials. Right? I mean, the financials will come meeting with people is dead on. So absolutely love it. And yeah, a couple other troublemakers that we know Westar from 22 to 17. Kudos to the team over there.

Paul Daly  5:09  

I mean, 30? I mean, is it the Ohio?

Kyle Mountsier  5:14  

You know, that's a great question. They're both technically out of Ohio, from what I understand is

Paul Daly  5:18  

on there, we get a lot of friends on that list. Now, a lot, a lot of friends. So yeah, check out the list to go in the show notes. And you can just click right through and read look for the people that you know, and shoot them a little congratulation message because it's a big achievement to get on the top 150 new top 150 list.

Kyle Mountsier  5:35  

You know, what was interesting, and I don't know if this is historical, but I don't remember it being I remember the top 150 Being by overall profitability. And they had a profitability list, but it was done based on new cars. So I think there was that was one of the reasons for a lot of the movement. It was, you know, the top 150 was done based on new car sales, I'd have to research to figure out if that's the way it always has been. Or whether that's kind of a new way of measuring.

Paul Daly  6:01  

Yeah, well, they actually if I remember correctly, there are several lists in the in the print edition, and it's top 150 based on this based on this based on this, we'll look at we'll investigate, we'll find those hard hitting answers for you. Got a got a partnership to talk about today.

Kyle Mountsier  6:18  

Yeah, this is really neat to see you know, we've seen historically OEMs coming together and partnering on technology. But this is really one of the first announcements that is dedicated to Eevee technology. So yesterday Honda and GM announced a partnership to to increase the capacity and Evie manufacturing and technology research. And and, you know, Mary Barra was was interviewed and quoted a lot in that and I'm actually pulling it up right now so I can pull that out. But I just love the fact that it you know, the OEMs are banding together to write good like, we know when OEMs band together. No crisis can win. We have

Paul Daly  6:59  

a great we have a great meme for this. I don't I don't think we have it loaded up in the show. But we'll we'll put it out soon. It was just in our internal slack as we're developing memes and it's got like, two arms like, yeah, like big muscly arms and one says Honda one says GM and it says operation Tesla, who is a good one. So um, you know, hey, if Honda and GM so they've worked together before on battery cell technology. You know, a lot of this development is around I think we'll end up in the Honda I think it's called the prologue coming out the Honda prologue and Acuras first all electric vehicle, which I think is 2024 is next year is going to be released. Oh, there it is. Operation Tesla who that there we go. Now we're talking. On the screen is what we were just showing that. What would I never fully understand how these partnerships work? Right. Like who gets what, who's resourcing what, but there is one thing for sure, for sure is that both of these companies take a different approach on things. And that's like, I guess any good partnership, right? You get to people that have a different approach on things that really want to accomplish a similar goal together. It's what some of the work we do here at soda,

Kyle Mountsier  8:08  

right? Just because of my history, the one that I've been closest to in recent past is a Mazda Toyota part partners go yep. And and the the idea for the partnership was not just you know, manufacturing and bringing, you know, the capacity for both to be at one plant in the US. But also the the Mazda engine technology was what Toyota was after, and the Toyota Evie technology was what Mazda was after. And so bringing both of those together to drive innovation was something I mean, this is a three four year old partnership, everyone's like, Who wants engine technology these days. But when you've got a manufacturer that meets and exceeds all of the engine technology guidelines, and and and and what's the EPA guidelines that are that are in the market? That's where Toyota was paying attention? So

Paul Daly  8:59  

yeah, it's let me ask you a question. If Honda and GM got together, and they were not going to work on automotive technology or car, what do you think they would build?

Kyle Mountsier  9:09  

Hmm. Well, you know what, I mean, Honda and GM are both very, very invested in non automotive technology already. Right. You know, I mean, Honda Honda engines on, on lawn mowers are like the, that's what everyone wants. Right. So, you know, I do think that whenever you're partnering, you know, at that, that

Paul Daly  9:32  

it makes it Yeah, that makes something that moves. Right. I was in a Home Depot or Lowe's Lowe's last night. And I saw I mean, I know there have been battery powered lawnmowers, right? That's been a thing, but now like, half of them are battery powered. And I saw a full zero turn writer and it was like, it was like blue. I was like, what's the blue about? And then yeah, it was. It was a battery powered, zero turn? No 60 amp hours. I'm like, I need to try one of these.

Kyle Mountsier  10:00  

Okay, there's nothing worse than an electric lawnmower. And that thing just could not. I'm just telling you, it could. There's tons of people that are like that thing gets the job done. I love it just isn't Yeah.

Paul Daly  10:11  

Have you ever gotten in zero to 60 in three seconds in a Tesla? Like, there's no doubt that an electric motor should be able to produce the torque required to cut some grass?

Kyle Mountsier  10:21  

It should be it should now it's not my main question what that big zero

Paul Daly  10:25  

turn lawnmower was like, how fast is this thing go?

Kyle Mountsier  10:28  

your Like flying i just cut the grass in 10 minutes.

Paul Daly  10:34  

You know, those people that do the lawn mower suit bucks. You know, I'm like, Oh, this is a whole different game, a whole nother game technology into this, like someone's gonna get hurt someone's

Kyle Mountsier  10:44  

Altium battery in a zero turn. And it's like, what it's supposed to power a truck. And here it comes. Yeah,

Paul Daly  10:51  

it's coming. It's coming. Well, okay, we digress into but maybe they would build a really fast lawnmower, and we would buy it. Umm also looking at Gen Z. Right? So Gen Z, are now buying vehicles, right? We know like Gen Z are the millennials of 20 years ago, right? So you just think not too long ago. For those of you who remember back in 2012, or 2003. I remembers the year I started my first business. There you go. We were talking about millennials, right. The conversation was just starting about millennials, right? entering the workforce, going to be a large buying segment. And now the millennials are like largely middle management and then charge you kind of are moving in that direction. Now Gen Z are the new millennials. Right? So now it's gonna we're like, okay, what are these new buying trends? What are these new buying habits? And how can we understand them better? Because now we have to contextualize what we're doing to them. Well, a brand that I follow called collective, it's fell into that real quick, to be

Kyle Mountsier  11:47  

clear, to be clear, Gen Z goes all the way up to age 25. Right now, right? So this isn't like five, I think. Yeah, so that's okay. That's apparently what Gen Z is up to now. So you got millennials. Yeah, these people are in the marketplace. Right now. They're working and buying things and not just teens.

Paul Daly  12:04  

Right. That's a good point. So Gen Z. This is an article from collective CLL, CTV, right? It took out all the fancy things, it's cool. But they're like, hey, here are the five brands that get it and they kind of the five, top five brands that Gen Z connects with? I'm not surprised. Actually, there was there's one in here that I'm it makes sense. But I'm like, oh, yeah, I didn't think of that as a brand. I thought of it as a tool. So here's the list. Nike, no surprise, right? Nike has just done an amazing job at at understanding culture, being a part of the popular conversation, and then just building out a very large gravitational pull, right? Not just with athletes, not just in fashion, but all types of things. The next brand is vans, vans

Kyle Mountsier  12:49  

wild to me

Paul Daly  12:50  

his vans owned by Nike.

Kyle Mountsier  12:52  

I don't think so. But no vans really, man. That's wild. Because 1998 was like vans on point. Everybody was like, gotta have vans gotta have that skater vibe. And it's kind of coming. It's coming full circle. Yeah,

Paul Daly  13:06  

they've been around since the 70s. You know, the the second favorite shoe brand, but also the second favorite brand. So obviously, this is telling us that style and you know, visible expression is a big part of how Gen Z is, you know, is going to react and look this, the shoes are more affordable. They're kind of timeless in their design, though. They said that's kind of like a gender neutral design. So it's like they really do flow back and forth. So there's kind of like a larger way to deploy the fashion. You know, so it's kind of like any anybody can be cool in advance. It is interesting that like their back that Vince never went the Walmart route. You know what I mean? Like, what I was like Susi and I remember champion were like the big deal. And then they went into WalMart, right? They signed the big deal. They got into Walmart, and then they just dropped off like the popular culture map. Fans never went that way. No fan events. Absolutely. Hold on. Number three brand. Here's the one that surprised me. Adobe.

Kyle Mountsier  14:01  

I know. Right? So interesting. But I get it because we're creating a generation of content creators.

Paul Daly  14:10  

So it's a creative yet. It's a it's a culture of creation.

Kyle Mountsier  14:13  

And it maps right to number four, which is Apple, right?

Paul Daly  14:18  

Is that? Did we just do a Segway in the middle of it? No, it happened

to segway in the middle of the segment. So yes, so go ahead. Kyle I interrupt you with that. So Adobe is the third highest brand about creating content right? If you're not familiar, just to give you Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop, you probably have heard the word Photoshop right now Gen Z, this these tools have become a part of their life, right? They're making content. They're using it in everyday life and then Kyle to your transition.

Kyle Mountsier  14:53  

Yeah, yeah, no. So to pit to ping that with Apple, right. And and tie that to together is really important. But I think probably Apple, which is number four is number four. But really the transition is, you know, how key is creativity around content? How much content do you need to put out? And how creative does it need to be? Or does it need to be both. And I didn't even I didn't even catch this until we started going through this, like this idea of everything needing to be a lifestyle brand. Right? That what no matter what type of brand you are to approach and Gen Z, you have to play present yourself as a lifestyle brand, something that is in the lifestyle that I want to exhibit, right that I want, that I want to put out there, right? I love the example of you know, Apple back in the day, when the apple used to be turned toward on the computer, it used to be turned toward the user as they opened it right to be upside down. Whether it be upside down when you open it, and then they turned it so that when you open it, it's it's right side up. onlooker, right. And this is what Gen Z is looking at. They're like, how am I proceed from a lifetime sale perspective, which means I need the tools and resources. So Apple, Adobe, to make myself look good when I have my vans and my Nike on, right? In the perception of the world. It all kind of loops together. And so

Paul Daly  16:16  

well, that's what brand, that's what real brand connection is about. We'll talk about the content creation. Let's get back to that for just a second. So Apple is number four on the list. The last one is honey, it's a browser extension that allows you to find discounts, right, if you're on a site, you're searching, you have the honey browser extension open, it will automatically search the internet for discounts. I mean, Mr. Beast talks about this a lot. But I mean, it also goes to show you that like Gen Z likes, likes hacking, likes hacking to get it done, right, finding the discount finding, right, something that's kind of like built into human nature. So back to the creative thing back to the brand thing back to the content thing. Let's get back to that lane. A brand connection is about being a reflection of your own values back at you. That's what I believe brand is. So when you talk about a fashion brand, right? I think fashion brands get it in the sense that they understand that what you put on your body is going to reflect literally back and express something about your personality. Gen Z is all about that in their creative mindset. And they're all about it and the products that they wear. That's why I think mugs like this early mornings are for troublemakers work, right? Because it reflects something about my values back at me. So Kyle posed the question and oh, man, we're 17 minutes in son of a

Kyle Mountsier  17:25  

gun got like 20 minutes to go on this one.

Paul Daly  17:27  

So um, we're gonna pose the question because you posed it yesterday, we didn't get to it, you posed it, we put it in today, it's so important, because we've had some situations and some of the clients we work with, where we're like, this is the time to answer this question.

Kyle Mountsier  17:41  

So you get to post the question is, is is volume of content enough? Or do you have to express some level of creativity for it to land,

Paul Daly  17:51  

but it's more so your board realize that or saying go for

Kyle Mountsier  17:55  

also, on the other side is a high level of creativity enough without the volume of content? Right? Like, which which wins will either one succeed on its own, and is the marriage of content and creative creativity necessary, in order to present brand percent present lifestyle be, you know, be a reflection of your values,

Paul Daly  18:21  

I think it's all about the desired result. But more importantly, it's about the speed of the desired result. Because if you can flood the market with volume, volume content, right, that is like, kind of ugly and not thought out, and a little abrasive and loud. And you can flood the market with it. And guess what? You can get results, right? It costs more money, right? Because you have to put more of it out there. But you can get faster results. I think when you're more intentional about the creative, and the messaging and how everything is statically looks, all of that communicates something about your brand, which takes longer to develop. Absolutely. But once that tree grows, it's going to give you shade for a really really long time. And so I'm going to leave in the camp of there is no right answer for this.

Kyle Mountsier  19:13  

I'm gonna say that is that is true. It is it's on the desired outcome, like what do we need right now? And what do we need in the future and what's the desire for our brand to be in the marketplace? But I would personally lean on moving toward the creative the creativity, reflection of your brand, instead of just like media arbitrage. Media arbitrage is good for transactions. Brand is good for retention. And so, you know, that is always the better long game. It's always the lower cost of transaction. It's always the higher retention value and the lifetime value of a customer or client. But it is it is much, much harder. And there it takes a lot of intensity and info Guess to execute well,

Paul Daly  20:01  

isn't it funny that in life something that takes more work is going to yield a longer lasting results on money? Think about love. I know, oh, if it was up to me, right, everything would be perfect. Even as we've launched a soda, right? I've had a really shut off a part of me that's just like, creatively, this isn't where I want it to be. But I do see the result of actually getting content out there that people can interact with and building the brand. There is no there is no right way to to approach it. But I and I know you and I know many of the dealers who are savvy brand, marketers understand that planting a tree is going to take longer for it to grow. But you're going to eat fruit from that tree for 50 years, versus planning something that's going to sprout out up in two months, you're going to pull it you're going to eat it and it's gone. You got to do all the work again. So I would say the more time you spend developing your brand with great creative, the less ad dollars you are going to spend in the long run. I think ad dollars are actually just a tax on your brand.

Kyle Mountsier  20:58  

So ad dollars are tax on your brand. Put that on a shirt and wear Let's go.

Paul Daly  21:03  

Well, look, we gave you all the stuff we gave you 21 minutes today of our heart and soul. We hope you turn around and give the rest of the day your heart and soul as you leave into this industry serve other people try to make it one step better today.