PSA announced their renewed brand strategy for their Peugeot and Citroen lines, and the situation has finally been clarified after frequent back and forth reports that contradicted one another. It turns out that PSA will employ a three-tier approach that is equally confusing, with Citroen as the lowest tier with Peugeot on top. But then there’s also Citroen’s DS line, which is supposed to be upscale itself. Confused? So are we.
The Chinese-Israeli co-production Qoros has not sold a single car yet, but it already finds itself in the legal hot seat. Via a temporary injunction of a court in Hamburg, Germany, Audi precluded Qoros from using – the letter Q.
While watching the Mecum auto auctions recently, a beautiful Plymouth GTX came thru on the auction block. It got me thinking about the rash of brand-icide we’ve seen these past ten or so years. As they pass, others come in. (Read More…)
Infiniti has decided to abandon its current alphanumeric strategy for…an all-new alphanumeric strategy whereby passenger cars are given the “Q” designation, and crossovers and SUVs are dubbed the “QX”.
Some of you may remember the “No Audi” signs at U.S. parking garages at the height of the unintended acceleration craze of the late 80s. In a garage in China, one can see the reverse: Only Audis, other cars go elsewhere. (Read More…)
If you want to make cars in China, you need a joint venture partner. The Chinese joint venture partners have done well. 98 percent of last year’s sales of central government-owned Dongfeng came from joint ventures with Nissan, Honda, and Peugeot. Largest Chinese automaker SAIC derives 60 percent of its sales from made-in-China GM and Volkswagen cars.
That policy “is like opium. Once you’ve had it you will get addicted forever,” said former machinery and industry minister, He Guangyuan. (Read More…)
GM has blamed Western Europe location for Opel’s woes, unions, the economy. Opel has a brand crisis, and the crisis is “a self inflicted-wound,” says Christiaan Hetzner, Reuters’ man in Frankfurt, Germany, in an article on why Opel is in so much trouble. “Reputation is seen as the problem, not cars.” The recent attempts to move the Opel brand up-market ripped those old wounds open and could kill the patient. (Read More…)
Car companies the world over get in line to spend $185,000 (for starters) to register their brands as what is called a “Top Level Domain” or TLD. Instead of, say “Chevrolet.com,” in the future, you will be able to type only “Chevrolet” to get to the site. Google allows you to do the same right now, but also gives you a long list of other choices. (Read More…)
My biggest fear with the seemingly inevitable departure of Dany Bahar was having to read the contempt and gloating of the automotive media’s self-appointed product and management experts, whereby they claim vindication for shitting on Dany Bahar’s vision to do something about Lotus and their lack of profitability and his desecration of sacred “brand values”.
“There’s only one word that’s banned in our company: brand,” Mr. Dyson said, speaking at “Disruption By Design,” a conference put on by Wired on Tuesday. “We’re only as good as our latest product. I don’t believe in brand at all.”
I agree with Dyson. Brand is an utterly obnoxious word. Brand really just means “reputation”. As we’ve seen before, “building your brand” without any substance behind it will be immediately exposed as fraudulent. But brands still matter.
With the government still waiting to see how much it will get out of its equity in General Motors, The General seems to be attracting more of the media commentary than Chrysler these days. And not without good reason: GM saw the greatest drop in market share last month of any Detroit automaker, its government-hyped Volt is flopping, Opel continues to be an open sore and it can’t help but flaunt its cluelessness about youth marketing. But interest in GM’s shortcomings seems to be driven by little more than election-year political implications, which Chrysler was able to avoid by borrowing cash and misleadingly claiming to have squared up with the American taxpayer. After all, Chrysler is facing just as many challenges as GM, if not more. And despite having formally closed the bailout chapter of its history, Chrysler’s performance still bears on the decision to rescue America’s weakest major automaker.
The other day, I walk (don’t ask why and what for) through Tokyo’s red-light district, known to connoisseurs as Kabukicho, and I spot some HUMMERs curbside. HUMMERs are not new to the neighborhood. In Japan, HUMMERs used to be popular with certain groups, known as the Yakuza, who also frequent Kabukicho.
However, they had H2s, not the HUMMERs I saw. (Read More…)
Chinese media has written for a while that Volkswagen and its Shanghai joint venture with SAIC will do a new “Chinese” brand called “Tianyue” by the Chinese, or “Tantus” by the longnoses. Only Carnewschina did some research and tells us what those names really mean. Careful, do not read on if you are offended by “mature” content, or could be fired for reading such. (Read More…)
There is nothing wrong with updating the logo of a car company once in a while. At Volkswagen, we did it about once every twelve years, to the joy and enrichment of corporate design houses and makers of backlit signage. But did you ever notice that the Volkswagen logo changed? You are not supposed to. The holy grail of logo updating is doing it while the world remains oblivious and thinks it’s the old one.
The massive wave of recalls that brought some 9 million Toyotas back to the dealers, amidst a frenzied coverage by a sometimes hysteric media, did less damage to the brand than imagined. A study from North Carolina State University shows that Toyota’s safety-related recalls that began in 2009 had little to no impact on how consumers perceived the brand. (Read More…)