The long, slow death of the automotive brochure, once a staple in showrooms across the country, continues. In December, Ford of Canada became the latest automaker to scrap the medium, claiming it did so mainly for environmental reasons.
“In addition to the waste reduction and environmental benefits, more complete vehicle information is available online as well as an enhanced and dynamic consumer experience,” said Ford spokesman Josh Norton.
Ford used the New Vehicle Consumer Survey (NVCS) compiled by marketing firm Maritz to help in its decision-making process.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada and Volkswagen Canada have also all but completely abandoned printed brochures.
Hard copy print products showcasing new models, trim lines and paint schemes have been fading away for years; media kits started arriving in the form of USB drives about five years ago and automakers have turned their efforts to online marketing, through video and downloadable brochures in PDF form. Showrooms, like the “Nissan Personalization Studio,” are equipped with tablets and touchscreens so consumers can interactively build their model in two dimensions with the help of sales staff.
Most automakers moving away from paper products say they’re doing so for the environment. Ford says eliminating 800,000 printed Ford and Lincoln brochures annually will save 245 tonnes of wood, or the equivalent of 1,575 trees. A Volkswagen spokesman said the company moved away from print “a couple years ago, in the name of ‘greening’ that aspect of the business.” And Fiat Chrysler calls online brochures more “eco-friendly,” although it still offers a few hard copies.