Ad Age is reporting that Ford’s advertising agency, JWT, has fired the ad agency staffers behind a pair of offensive ads showing bound and gagged women in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback. Ford is not, however, looking to change advertising companies over the fiasco. The images were created by JWT staffers in India and then uploaded to the ad agency’s website. Such ads are often created without client approval as a way for ad designers to bolster their portfolios and were never intended to become part of Ford’s official campaign to promote the Figo.
Yesterday I shared with you dear, reader, one of my favorite games, the $5000 Craigslist Fantasy Challenge and you responded with a lot of great cars. Today I thought I would step it up just one more notch and introduce you to that game’s Japanese cousin – the “Goo Game.” Won’t you come and pray with me?
The container yard stretched out into the distance as far as the eye could see. Next to the ship, three giant cranes worked at a feverish pace, plucking the 40 foot long containers from their racks, lifting them high into the air and depositing them onto one of an endless stream of flat-bed trucks below at a rate of around one every minute. The loaded trucks raced their engines and sped off into the yard where they were met by other machines, immense forklifts, that removed the containers and piled them in stacks six or seven units high. The stacks, numbering in the tens of thousands, merged with one another to form great flat topped mesas of multicolored steel cut by valleys of cement and the industrial landscape rivaled anything that nature could create with stone and water. It was a scene I had looked upon many times and it could have been a container port anywhere in the world. Only the stench of told me it was Kaohsiung Taiwan.
Total silence is not the kind of thing you expect in Japan. Given the fact that there are almost 130 million people crammed into a country roughly the size of the State of California, only 20% of which is actually habitable, the din of human activity follows you wherever you go. It is an incredibly urban environment, filled with people, heat and activity. Yet when I turned off the engine and stepped out onto the empty road and into the cool stillness of the summer night, I felt like I was the only person in the world.
The engine quit with a sudden un-dramatic snap, and the little Golf TDI began to slough off speed. Reflexively, I bumped the gearshift lever into neutral, flicked on my signal and began moving towards the left edge of the expressway. My exit was less than a mile away and, rather than stop alongside the highway, I used my momentum to coast up the off-ramp and over the small knoll that stood between the expressway and the toll plaza. I stopped there, on the back side of the hill where the road widened on the approach to the toll booths, to avoid blocking traffic and dug out my cell phone to call for a tow truck. I didn’t know it then, but it was the last time that I would ever sit behind the wheel of the little car, never mind the fact that it would follow me again around half of the globe. Read More >
Wherever I am in the world I will always be a typical American man. Despite a lot of the stereotypes that spring to mind when I say that, I learned a long time ago that it isn’t a bad thing. I was raised right and I have solid values. When seats are limited I will stand so my elders can sit. I always hold the door open for ladies, and I keep plugging away no matter how hopeless the situation might seem. There are a few things here and there that can cause problems once in a while, too. For example, I won’t be deliberately insulted, I need my personal space and, of course, I feel like I am loser if I don’t have my own set of wheels.
Another inspiration for wet dreams of easily impressed juvenile car bloggers is dying, is bleeding to death and has a “do not resuscitate” note nailed to the head. Lotus has been given up for dead.
Blogs from autoevolution all the way to our sister pub Autoguide reprint the happy PR fluff that Lotus wants to “boost sales five times by 2015.” With sales crawling along at homeopathetic 1,043 units allegedly produced in 2012, making 5,000 by 2015 doesn’t sound like such a big deal. Trust me, it is if you want to sell them also. By 2015, the Lotus cars will still be sitting on technology that is ripe for the museum, and there is no relief in sight. Only poor car bloggers would be a target group ripe for a 20 year old Lotus – if sold used, preferably with a salvage title. Read More >
Mitsubishi, pretty much given up for dead in the U.S. and Europe, thrives in an easily overlooked part of the world: South-East Asia. Mitsubishi has three assembly plants in Thailand, and will spend around $150 million to increase output. Read More >
Malaysia pretty much gave up on the idea of having a national car and sold Proton, a brainchild of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. This does not keep neighboring Cambodia from embarking on a similar silliness. State-owned ACICA signed “a US$2 billion join venture investment” with UK’s BIW Automotive to build a factory in Preah Sihanouk province for a Cambodian-made vehicle within the next three years, says the Phnom Pen Post. Read More >
A massage parlour and a car wash outlet in the Sunway Mentari suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, engaged in a flourishing joint venture until it was disrupted by police last week. After nine car washes, customers received a free detailing – but not of the car. Read More >
In the olden days, when a Bentley was a rebadged Rolls Royce (or vice versa), it was easy to mistake one for the other. Bentley cleverly leveraged its “smart shopper” image into sales that were an order of magnitude higher than those of Rolls. Ever since Volkswagen forgot to check the trademark files, and subsequently lost Rolls to BMW while keeping Bentley (to still much bigger success), those days are over, and the respective overlords in Wolfsburg and Munich get alarmed if there is any confusion. The news still haven’t reached Indonesia, or so it seems. Read More >
In just a few short years, Myanmar has gone from Southeast Asia’s pariah state to the new darling of investors looking for the next emerging market.
Uh-oh: Our colleagues and fellow market watchers in Malaysia were waiting and waiting for market data for the month of July, but none arrived. With August about to end, they stared to ask questions. They were told there won’t be any data. No, it wasn’t because Malaysia suddenly is like Europe. In the Old Country, July data traditionally are supplied in September,because Europe is on vacation in August.
No, it was because Proton suddenly refused to supply its data. Read More >
While everybody has their eyes on China and possibly India, the car market in smaller South East Asian countries is exploding right below the RADAR screen. By themselves, car sales in a country like Vietnam don’t seem to amount to much. Now, go to the trouble and add a few South East Asian countries together. The Nikkei [sub] did and notes to its amazement that the car market in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore jumped 21 percent in the first half year to 1.6 million units.
Now why would The Nikkei be so excited about this? Read More >