Category: Marketing

By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Read More >

By on September 3, 2016


The seaside city-state of Monaco is no stranger to yachts, but in late 1973 an American barge powered by a smog-strangled V8 appeared on its shores.

Chrysler Corporation was on site to film a TV commercial for the new full-size Dodge Monaco, a conservatively styled model with terrible timing. The model’s name evoked glamour and elegance, and the automaker hoped some of the glitz would rub off on the redesigned ’74 full-sizer.

There was another reason for the location shoot. A very special guest would appear in the ad — Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly American actress Grace Kelly). And the princess would help sell the car, whether she wanted to or not. Read More >

By on August 29, 2016

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

Not since the sixth-generation Honda Civic of 1996-2000 has American Honda made a hatchback available as a conventional part of the Civic lineup.

Yes, there was the British-built Civic hatchback of 2002-2005, but it was an Si-only model with limited appeal and little connection to the broader Civic lineup.

The new 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback that’s now reaching North American shores — it’s built at the same Swindon, England, plant as the aforementioned Civic Si — is another thing altogether. It’s not merely a two-door hatchback entry into the Civic fold, as the Civic hatch so often was in the distant past. Nor is the new Civic Hatchback exclusively meant to be a performance-oriented hot hatch, though it will form the foundation of North America’s first-ever Civic Type R.

No, the new, turbo-only, four-door Civic Hatchback closely mirrors the upper-trim levels of the established tenth-generation Civic lineup. Presumably, then, the new Civic Hatchback, with all of its flexibility and practicality and tailgate possibilities, will steal sales from the regular Honda Civic sedan and coupe?

Honda says no. Read More >

By on August 25, 2016


His commercials were a sign of the times — desperate, struggling times that suddenly turned prosperous.

In the 1980s, Ronald DeLuca was the hidden face behind an instantly familiar one — Chrysler Corporation chairman Lee Iacocca, who walked into his company’s own commercials to personally pitch front-wheel-drive K-car platform products to a recession-weary America.

DeLuca, the advertising whiz hired by Iacocca to help turn around Chrysler’s late-1970s death plunge, died last week at 91, according to The New York Times. During his tenure DeLuca and Iacocca cranked out a slew of unusually frank, bold commercials that paid off in a big way. Read More >

By on August 21, 2016

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Image: Volkswagen

Updated with details on all-wheel drive being standard equipment for Alltrack.

Volkswagen of America needs a winner as it reels from the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, and its forthcoming Alltrack — a jacked-up, all-wheel-drive version of the SportWagen — is hopefully just the ticket.

As Volkswagen prepares to launch the new model on American shores, it’s all hands on deck for the German automaker as it sends representatives from its internal training department to every single dealership in the United States.

Read More >

By on August 18, 2016

2016 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon

It makes sense that an advertising blitz during the year’s most-watched event will boost your brand, but that wasn’t the case for automakers during the Rio Olympics.

According to a brand interest study, automakers who spent the most money saw no improvement in consumer perception, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on August 9, 2016

BMW ad

BMW has the plug-in sedan you want, no waiting.

That’s the message in Bimmer’s new ad for the 330e plug-in hybrid, which takes a not very subtle jab at would-be Tesla Model 3 buyers. Titled “Wait or Drive” (get it?), the television commercial plays the tiniest of violins for the 373,000 buyers who put $1,000 down on a car they might not see for a couple of years. Read More >

By on August 6, 2016


It’s hot, it’s the middle of summer, and the beach beckons from afar. But if stripping down around a bunch of muscle-bound surfer hunks causes bouts of anxiety and insecurity, fear not. Ford Motor Company has a solution.

The great thing about 1960s car commercials is the complete disregard for political correctness and subtlety when it comes to stroking a driver’s ego. It’s hard to imagine a world where manufacturers so nakedly sold a lifestyle by pumping out vast quantities of innuendo in a bid to lure buyers into dealerships. Trigger warning!

Hocking a menacing GTO or Charger is easy, but what if you had to sell a low-priced base model in the ’60s? Easy. Stick with the plan. Read More >

By on August 3, 2016


Volkswagen of America has a new head honcho in charge of product and marketing, and he’ll have his work cut out for him.

Today, Volkswagen named Dr. Hendrik Muth as the new vice-president of product marketing and strategy for its beleaguered U.S. division. His job? To sell vehicles. Ideally, lots of them. Read More >

By on June 27, 2016

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

The Cadillac ATS has a fever, and the only cure — according to Cadillac — is more value.

Hoping to reverse a sales slide that’s plagued the automaker’s smallest sedan since its debut, Cadillac plans to simplify the model’s configurations and pack each trim level with more goodies, according to a report in Automotive News. Read More >

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