By on April 1, 2019

Check your sugar bowl for salt, watch for shaving cream on the toilet seat, and take tentative steps on the linoleum. On the off chance you’ve forgotten: it’s April Fool’s Day.

Automakers reliably get in on the game, especially in this day and age of instant social media messages, creating all manner of wacky and groan-inducing marketing plays. There have been a couple of good ones over the years — but also plenty of stinkers. Do you like it when car companies trot out an April Fool’s Joke?

I will defend to the death my placement of that apostrophe, by the way.

Sure, one can view an OEM’s April Fool’s Day efforts as a cynical marketing effort designed to grab a few Likes online, but the practice predates Instagram by ages. Thirty-five years ago, BMW printed ads claiming one of its engineers, Herr Blöhn, had designed a sunroof that could be kept open even in the rain, thanks to jets of air that blasted the water away from the top of the car. Come on — in the grand scheme of corporate April Fool’s, that one’s not bad.

Likewise, Vauxhall’s announcement of the Accelerator Pedal Retarding Intervention Lump in 2006 was good for a chuckle. This detachable chunk of floor mat sat underneath the loud pedal, preventing drivers from giving it the beans. Your humble author may deploy something similar in the Charger when ankle biters get their driver’s license, come to think of it.

Are corporate April Fool’s jokes up your alley? Or do you give them the thumbs down?

[Images: Toyota, BMW, Vauxhall]

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12 Comments on “QOTD: Corporate April Fool’s Jokes – Chuckle or Chuck ‘Em?...”

  • avatar


    Reality is so much stranger than fiction I don’t care for the pranks anymore.

    You could publish a story about a Chinese brand bringing back Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth and DeSoto and in our current reality it would be believable.

    • 0 avatar

      … especially to those who want to believe it.

    • 0 avatar

      Hot Rod did a piece several years ago that claimed AMC was being resurrected, complete with concept sketches and copy that was just convincing enough you might buy it if you missed the lack of specifics…

      • 0 avatar

        In the early days of the auto bailout there was a plan that would have stitched GM and Chrysler Co together.

        That would have been close enough to American Motors Corporation to me. I’ll bet you could have even gotten a Romney to run it.

    • 0 avatar

      As long as the Oldsmobiles are big, RWD and as comfortable as possible, the Pontiacs as sporty as an (older) BMW with mainstream prices, and the Plymouths are cheap, cheerful and with plenty of spunk, it isnt the worst idea I’ve heard.

      A restyled (front clip anyway) Hongqi L5 would make a pretty sweet Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight.

    • 0 avatar

      You forgot to mention SAAB.

  • avatar

    Just announced by the VAG:
    Yet another new crossover, seats 7, optional AWD, and is available in various shades of gray, white, and black. Snoozing yet???
    But wait…
    According to the press release, it is powered by yet another 2.0L 4-cyl turbo. BUT…not just any turbo-4. This is the return of the TDI! Yes, they figured out how to make it compliant without DEF, get 45 mpg, 0-60 in under 6 seconds, 300hp, and autobahn capable for all day high-speed cruising.

    Not done yet – the release claims it seats 7 comfortably, has enough cargo space for all of your kids’ activities, including crew, ice hockey, football, underwater basket weaving, heavy metal drum practice, and Mom’s battle-to-the-death quilting kits. It also drives like a GTI, and can outbrake and out corner most of their cousins at Audi.

    It gets better! It has a new electrical system designed by the Japanese and installed with German precision (in Germany) so 50,000 miles down the road, a $5 part that no one outside of Germany can pronounce doesn’t blow up, rendering the entire new virtual cockpit and tri-screen system dark. So, we finally have quality in spades! And no one should be investigated by Interpol, the FBI, FSB, etc., in the design, engineering, marketing, and sales of this new crossover.

    All of this for under $30,000. Coming soon to a dealer near you!

    (…let me check the date on the calendar again, yup, April 1)

  • avatar

    I don’t mind something with a bit of creativity, cleverness, and wit where somebody’s clearly trying to have fun.

    The musical-variety station in Philly has replaced its normal programming with TV themes for the day. Of course it’s a stunt, but I’ve never listened to the radio all day at work in my life — but after catching that on the drive in, I’ve had my headphones on.

    The mean-spirited stuff I can do without though.

  • avatar

    The best part about the BMW April Fools’ joke (with correct apostrophe placement unless you think there’s only one eligible fool in the world) is the recipient named on the mail-in coupon.

  • avatar

    The Hyundai N roadster concept posted elsewhere is a very cruel Apeil Fool’s joke. It’s the Honda S2000 successor that Honda simply wont build.

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