Autocar is an international truck manufacturer headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The Autocar name plate is the oldest vehicle name plate in America. It dates all the way back to 1863 with its origins in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
The challenge was to revive the Autocar brand. The name plate had been bought and sold several times from companies such a White and General Motors. The Autocar brand was well known for building tough working trucks for several industries — most notable for over-the-road semi haulers. The brand was now going to focus on the refuse industry, which would be a struggle in a crowded marketplace of competitors.
Autocar’s greatest competition was Mack trucks. Even though Autocar was an old company, their resurgence as a new player in a competitive market would be tough — especially against one of the most established truck brands in the world. This was a monumental endeavor that required a brand strategy that would get to the core of the target audience. How would Autocar be able to compete on the same level as other major brands?
IronGate’s GateWay Methodology set the direction for the foundation of launching a brand that could compete. There were plenty of doubters within the industry and even their competitors tried to influence customers by pointing to perceived unreliability, risk and lack of servicing resources due to their size.
A SWOT analysis was conducted across the country with fleet owners, municipalities and individual owners to get to the heart of barriers that would keep customers from purchasing. Brand research was conducted to determine the personas of the target audience. It was important to make sure the branding was authentic and resonated with potential buyers.