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Simon Cameron, the 26th United States Secretary of War, is known for saying, “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.”
He could have said the same thing about supposed automotive journalists, too.
Wayne Gerdes, who was hired by Kia to set a Guinness World Record for fuel economy in the new Niro Hybrid, has just posted his review of the same vehicle. You know exactly how this is going to go.
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Do you remember the last Volvo commercial you saw? Or any Volvo commercial?
If the answer is “no,” you clearly haven’t seen the videos offered up by Volvo Trucks, which somehow manage to make 18-wheelers seem as alluring as a two-seat droptop. By staging stunts that compel viewers to seek out a heavy truck license, the company’s online videos have given the truck maker a strong media presence and plenty of word of mouth.
It’s too bad that Volvo Cars (long since snatched from under the Volvo Group corporate umbrella) can’t do the same thing. Read More >
Before Twitter and Facebook and all that other social media crap that complicates your life, BMW was hiring legendary (or noted) filmmakers to shoot a series of eight 10-minute short films.
The directors instilled their years of experience into the plot and cinematography of each spot, with big-name actors brought on for flashy star power. Perhaps the last time Madonna was relevant was in one of these flicks. (It was directed by Guy Ritchie — when he was last relevant, too. —Mark) And all of this happened before YouTube! Can you believe how much you’ve aged?
Well, BMW Films is back, and it’s packing a Brit. Read More >
Having your vehicles prominently featured in a big-ticket Hollywood film is any automaker’s dream, but Ram’s starring role in the upcoming movie Monster Trucks has turned into a nightmare.
Apparently, the film is so awful that Paramount Pictures has delayed its release three times and taken the odd step of booking a $115 million impairment charge, Automotive News reports. A write-down, in other words.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants the promotion, but could it end up gaining notoriety by starring in a mega-dud? Read More >
To disenfranchised voters, sitting through the first of the presidential debates tonight will be akin to laying back in a 19th century dentist’s chair. Open wide.
Politics (mostly) aside, Audi saw the potential viewership and wasn’t about to let a TV audience of that size pass it by. In its new spot for the Audi RS7, the automaker stages a John Woo-worthy valet battle that should provide some viewer relief. Read More >
New details about the Formula One purchase trickled out last night after the buyer, Liberty Media Corp., agreed a deal to take over the sport.
The U.S.-based entertainment and telecommunications giant will initially pay $4.4 billion for a controlling stake in the franchise, The Guardian reports, and a familiar white-haired figure will keep his job. Read More >
Famous for being a failed savior, a financial hound of Hades has come to the aid of Gawker Media and its many online publications.
Cerberus Capital Management L.P., the infamous private equity firm that produced headline gold — and not much else — after its ill-fated 2007 purchase of Chrysler, is now offering cash to another bankrupt company. The firm announced it will hand Gawker $22 million to keep the lights on while the media giant completes its bankruptcy proceedings and sell-off. Read More >
Reuters is reporting that Gawker Media, parent company of automotive website Jalopnik, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A judge recently ordered the company to pay $140 million in damages after it aired a 2007 sex tape featuring former wrestler Hulk Hogan, who then sued Gawker for invasion of privacy. The company had requested a stay, but was denied based on the terms they laid out.
The New York Times reports that Gawker Media will now put itself up for sale, according to a source close to the matter. The source claims the company is starting a yet-to-be announced auction, and that digital media company ZiffDavis already submitted a starting bid of $90 million to $100 million. Read More >
Human error causes most vehicle wrecks, so why is “car accident” still the go-to term?
A safety advocate-led movement is gaining steam to change the lexicon, the New York Times reports, with “crash” being the preferred word to replace “accident.”
With fatal crashes on the rise on U.S. roads, policymakers are joining the groundswell of voices calling for eradication of the word, which they say absolves blame. Read More >
Decades of feel-good corporate outreach and a hug-worthy relationships with buyers didn’t stop potential customers and veedub diehards from fleeing Volkswagen after the diesel stink bomb went off in Wolfsburg.
Like a husband of 50 years caught cheating with his wife’s sister, the intentional deception behind the diesel emissions scandal shattered the hard-earned trust between the company and its consumers. Thanks to that, Volkswagen’s sales trajectory now mimics that of a very leaky submarine.
Could Volkswagen have managed the scandal better, and can the company rebuild that lost trust?
According to the consumer opinion-tracking Reputation Institute, the answers to those questions are “you bet” and “yeah … it’s gonna take a loooong time.” Read More >
Always dreamed of becoming a YouTube sensation? Wish you could get millions of clicks and finance your life from it?
That dream is a reality for Parker Nirenstein, a 21-year-old automotive engineering student at the University of Michigan and star of YouTube’s Vehicle Virgins channel.
Young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs always draw a crowd, and the BBC is the latest to take notice of this creator of viral car videos. Filmed on his own time, featuring supercars one day or simple used car advice the next, the channel sometimes generates nearly $1,000 of revenue a day. Read More >
Where do I start?
So, Honda unveiled a shoe yesterday, and it’s the next best thing to owning and driving a 2016 Civic.
At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. The limited edition…shoe…is a collaboration between Honda (maker of 3,000 pound vehicles that can drive places and are way pricier than pants), lifestyle-oriented digital media company Thrillist and menswear company JackThreads.
Yes, it’s called the HT3 Driving Shoe, and it premiered alongside the car that inspired it at a Thrillist-hosted Los Angeles shindig. We can’t confirm rumors that rioting broke out due to shoe anticipation.
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Nissan’s U.S. sales boss delivered some Glengarry Glen Ross-style “motivation” to its ad agencies in order to pump up the brand’s weak messaging via a new campaign.
Christian Meunier, who took control of Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing in January, dressed down a roomful of agency reps a week into his new job, according to Automotive News (via Ad Age).
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When you get to a certain age, you think you know everything about Monopoly:
Children will cheat (it’s what they do), you’ll never make money off of the louse-infested Baltic Avenue, and utilities can be a cash cow — especially in real life.
But who knew there was a version of Monopoly devoted to brands? Huh? Playing a game devoted to brands means people might start talking about brands, and that’s not something you should do. Read More >
It seems Jalopnik got to this before us.
It appears Motor Trend‘s Scott Evans had a long, awkward meeting with his editors and those who control Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) member pursestrings about what constitutes fair coverage regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule clarifications.
From Motor Trend:
The EPA is not coming for your racecar. The EPA is coming for the aftermarket companies that make parts to turn your street car into a racecar.
Which is, you know, kind of the same thing, at least in the eyes of SEMA.
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