By on October 7, 2020

Elon Musk went on Kara Swisher’s podcast recently and complained about the media coverage of Battery Day and I have to say, Elon, in the highly unlikely event that you’re reading this, hire a real honest-to-God comms shop.

Let me hit you, dear reader, with some inside baseball. You probably know that just about every large company, including every automaker, has some kind of communications/public relations department.

Tesla, it seems, does not.

Update: Now we know it does not, not anymore.

(Read More…)

By on October 6, 2020

Tesla Inc. has reportedly disbanded its U.S. media relations team in the United States, fitting since the only journalists that seem to have any direct contact with the company suffer from a condition where they unquestionably praise its products and business model. While access journalism appears to be on the rise in all industries, the automotive realm was relatively free of the phenomenon until fairly recently. Now its getting to a point where just finding someone in the PR department to respond to you within 48 hours is a minor miracle  and it makes little difference whether you’re one of the big boys or a smaller outfit, like ours.

While Tesla used to be wildly proactive in reaching out to authors, sometimes just to complain about articles, it’s been enacting radio silence for quite some time. Other automakers will at least provide you with a boilerplate corporate response  assuming they haven’t issued one already. But it has been complete static from Tesla for what feels like years, leaving the firm little reason to continue paying people whose sole responsibility was to totally ignore the media.

(Read More…)

By on May 20, 2020

Sometimes a commercial runs afoul of government overseers for reasons only an uptight, power-hungry bureaucrat could understand. Recall the UK giving Ford a hard time for suggesting its Mustang could go fast — perhaps even being capable of exceeding the speed limit. Worse yet, Ford implied that a driver might like it.

Over in Germany, an Instagram ad for the new Mk8 Golf took things in a more unsettling direction. We’re courting controversy ourselves just mentioning the incident, knowing that very concerned parties monitor our material regularly for the purpose of expressing online outrage over imagined word crimes. However, this occurrence is real, and it’s clearly something Volkswagen wishes had never happened. (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2018

It would be unfair to criticize Tesla Motors’ CEO without also illustrating just how important he is to the company. Were it not for Elon Musk, Tesla would have never made it this far. He was not only integral in its foundation but also the driving factor as it picked up investors. While the company was building innovative products, he has kept shareholders looking toward the horizon and keeping the faith.

Unfortunately, 2018 hasn’t been a great year for Musk. While the brand has managed to keep its exceptionally loyal fan base, bad publicity has shaken investor confidence. No automaker is free from ugly stories but Tesla has been deemed semi-miraculous for some time — making any failures that much more glaring. The bar has been set unreasonably high and unkept promises have caused issues. Tesla has itself a PR problem and, like most things, it looks like it’ll be up to Elon to fix it. But it’s going to be a monumental task, Musk is already putting out fires everywhere and the pressure is only expected to build over the next 24 months.  (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2016

2016-cadillac-ct6

Will there be black berets, obscure Russian poetry and Yoko Ono albums for sale at the door?

Fans of the General no doubt recoiled in horror at reports that Cadillac — a brand that conjures images of Elvis, Bruce Springsteen, the movie Badlands, and the hopes and aspirations of middle America — is opening a swank coffee joint in Manhattan.

Well, it true. They’re here, they’re upscale, get used to it.

If you’re really lucky, maybe one day you will find yourself drinking java from the upper slopes of a mountain you’ve never heard of while discussing designer fragrances and interpreting (wrongly) works of modern art…alongside a Cadillac. (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2015

Jeri Ward
After serving as Audi of America’s customer experience director since 2011, Jeri Ward moves on up to the roles of CCO and vice president for the subsidiary.

(Read More…)

By on February 9, 2015

 

CAM00141

Charge me…pull my finger? (photo courtesy: OP)

TTAC Commentator John R writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Hope this finds you well. I wanted to get your opinion on car sponsorships…if they still exist. I see a bunch of websites all over claiming to get a person’s car repaired or modded up on someone else’s dime. I look at these sites and they scream SCAM to me.

Maybe it’s because they look like throw backs to GeoCities…

(Read More…)

By on August 3, 2012

 

The email was pleasant enough.

I had finally become a world famous ‘blogger’ according to the lady whose job was shucking an unloved SUV to anyone who would care to write about it.

“Sure!”, I thought. “Why the hell not! Where else would the term ‘SUV Sally’ have so much acceptance?”

(Read More…)

By on February 7, 2010

Readers of the Nikkei [sub] were greeted this morning with the purported news that by the end of this month, Toyota “is expected” to recall its Sai and Lexus HS250h hybrids, which use the same braking system as the Prius hybrid. Furthermore, “the company is believed to have decided” to recall the current Prius, “and is expected” to notify the Transport Ministry of the plan early this week. (Read More…)

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