Autos: The indirect Sell

Detroit's Big Four auto companies spend $385 million a year advertising their cars. They also get a lot of mileage, for much less money, from hidden or indirect promotion efforts designed to keep the cars in full view of potential buyers. The firms compete hotly with each other for almost any promotion—from having their models used on TV shows to supplying cars for celebrities—but the fiercest infighting is to win a favored position with the big rent-a-car agencies. Here, some major changes are occurring. Chrysler has already won the lion's share of...

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