Tag: Brand

By on April 10, 2013

Over the last two years, attacking Lincoln has become tremendously “in.” This is because doing so will cause everyone to agree with you, which is sort of like when people complain about drivers in their hometown. Seriously: no matter what major city you visit, the drivers there are “the worst,” according to local residents who have obviously never visited Italy.

The latest industry observer to attack Lincoln is David Kiley, who wrote an editorial yesterday for Autoblog entitled “Lincoln needs a farewell address, not a new marketing plan.” This received a generally warm welcome, which mirrors the one Kiley will get in tomorrow’s Detroit Free Press for writing an op-ed piece called “Detroit Drivers Are The Worst.” The latter story would probably win him a Pulitzer, except the committee is in New York and they are absolutely certain Manhattan drivers are the worst.

The only problem is that all of the Lincoln doubters are wrong.

Before you say it, I’m well aware of what you’re thinking: I must be crazy. Regular readers already know this to be true, since I owned a Range Rover Classic. But for those who need more proof, here it is: I have absolutely no idea how Lincoln will come back. I won’t lay out a marketing plan as Kiley did, despite announcing in his title that Lincoln doesn’t need one. I just know they will.

(Read More…)

By on January 21, 2011

Ever since GM announced its BaoJun, ever since Nissan showed its Qi Chen and Honda launched its Li Nian, creating Chinese car brands has become all the rage. Volkswagen doesn’t want to be left out. Volkswagen, (German for “the people’s car”) plans a standalone brand for the people of the People’s Republic. (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2010

Why build the sexiest-looking “green car” to date, only to advertise it using cobbled-together promo clips and a royalty-free techno beat? Other than the fact that several production delays indicate that every available dollar should go towards actually making the Karma production-ready, of course. [via Jalopnik]

By on June 11, 2010

Thomas Olesen wrote in to request a May 2010 brand volume chart. His wish just came true. Your wildest US-market auto sales questions can be answered too, if you just send your request to editors@ttac.com.

By on March 11, 2010


When the automotive historians look back at GM they will point to many factors as to why they fell. Some might point to the Unions, some may point to their lack of reliable products, others may even point to their shoddy dealer service. But one factor which undeniably led to GM’s bankruptcy is lack of brand management. If anyone questions the harm poor brand management can do, then, may I point you in the direction of the Cadillac Cimarron? Muddled brands leave people confused and wondering why should I stay loyal to this brand? Your brand is your stamp of a promise to your customer. Safe cars? Volvo or Renault. Reliability? Toyota or Honda. Driving dynamics? BMW. Now I raise this point, because people said that this problem was endemic to GM only. It was a GM-centric problem. But is it, really? Was it really a GM-only problem? Or did GM suffer from “big company” syndrome?  Well it seem there’s evidence that poor brand management isn’t just for American auto companies.

Der Spiegel reports that Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, is utterly fuming at Skoda. What could the reason be? Profits? Well, they are down, but we’ll come to that later. No, the main reason why Herr Winterkorn is seething at Skoda is because Skoda is doing well. So, well, in fact, that their cars are now creating problems for VW cars, their main brand. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2010

It’s been a looooong wait and lots of nail biting for Saab employees and Saab enthusiasts around the world, but GM and Spyker have reached a preliminary agreement on a Saab sale. The deal includes amongst other things the rights to the Saab brand of course, the Trollhättan production facilities (which was important to Spyker – more on that in a bit), the rights to produce and sell the existing 9-3’s, the new 9-5 and 9-4x models. Former Saab CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson, who was let go when the liqudation of Saab started, will be reinstated as CEO. He, and Spykers CEO Victor Muller have been named the heroes of this deal – Jonsson for his endurance and stamina “He didn’t walk out the back-door as liquidation started – instead he started nightly negotiations, writes Aftonbladet.se in a tribute to Jonssons’ role. And Spyker’s Muller’s charm and persistence have also been mentioned as a crucial part in securing Saab from GM.
(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2010

(courtesy:Jalopnik.com)

Ok, so not every Saab owner made it to the “Save Saab” rally outside of GM’s headquarters today… but local Detroit businesses did report shortages of pipe tobacco, leather elbow patches and quirk. All kidding aside though, is there a better illustration of the blind passion that automobiles so relentlessly inspire? These folks had to know that 20-odd people with signs wouldn’t make a lick of difference to Saab’s fate, but dammit, they drove to Detroit anyway. From as far away as New Jersey, Kentucky and Iowa, no less. Somehow that makes the inevitable schadenfreude seem a little less satisfying.

By on December 21, 2009

Ho ho ho (courtesy:saabhistory.com)

Despite the flood of clumsy eulogies and “don’t worry about the Saab dealer, he owns a Porsche shop” stories making their way into the local media (usually a good sign of a sure thing), Saab may still have some kind of chance at survival (in some form). According to Spyker spokesfolks [via AFP],

Spyker has been in contact with GM today and continues to develop its proposal for the purchase of Saab. Spyker has extended the validity of its proposal therefore until further notice

Merbanco claims to have a new offer as well, as Saabsunited.com reports that they are working with a Swedish consortium that “does not wish to be identified unless they are successful in the bidding.” GM has not issued a statement about Saab today, perhaps because the release writers were too busy with the announcements of a new CFO and the Chevy Equinox’s victory in an “Urban Truck Of The Year” competition.

(Read More…)

By on December 21, 2009

Slouching to the grave?

Shares in the Dutch boutique automaker Spyker soared 23 percent today, reports Reuters, as the firm’s last-ditch bid for Saab goes down to the wire. Spyker, which sold only 43 cars last year and had a market capitalization of only €26.6m as of last Friday, will hear back from GM on its Saab bid by 5pm today. According to Reuters, Spyker has restructured its ownership structure in order to alleviate GM’s concerns about its backing from allegedly mobbed-up Russian financier Alexander Antonov. GM had previously canceled its Opel sale in part because of concerns about its latest technology landing in the hands of Russian investors. Furthermore, Spyker says it that its new offer eliminates the need for a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan approval prior to year end. “We’re very confident we have put forward a proposal that can convince GM in time,” says Spyker CEO Victor Muller. From a more sober vantage point, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt warns “we should be careful about fueling new hopes in a situation where the people in Trollhattan, and at Saab and their subcontractors are thrown between hope and despair.”

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