By on March 19, 2019

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

There’s no shortage of distractions coming out of Tesla to take the focus away from a smoldering legal battle between the automaker and its favorite foe, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC, however, isn’t easily led astray by retail store turmoil and the promise of a crossover with no home. The regulator has stepped up its efforts to see Tesla CEO Elon Musk held in contempt of court for violating an earlier settlement agreement. At the root of the two contempt orders, the latest filed on Monday, is the source of all evil in today’s world: social media.  (Read More…)

By on September 16, 2018

While I throughly enjoy motorsport, my NASCAR fandom has dwindled over the years. It’s not a frequency I’m perpetually tuned into anymore, but I revisit the series regularly to keep tabs on what’s happening. However, when I put on Sunday’s race, I noticed something different about the cars. Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet had a picture of his own face on the side, as did Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota. What the hell was going on?

A few minutes of investigation later, I learned that NASCAR had decided to slap emoji’s on the side of every important vehicle to celebrate the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs. Monster Energy Cup Series race teams have each unveiled customized hashtags and emojis for all 16 of the competing drivers in collaboration with the Race Team Alliance and Twitter. And it’s probably my least favorite marketing gimmick in motorsport’s history. (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

Dartmouth Dodge tweets

Late last year, I selected Jeep’s JL Wrangler as an Ace of Base once pricing for the snazzy new off-road rig was freshly announced.

That was 43 days ago, at which point I theorized that Wrangler shoppers would likely need to be weary of dealer bait-and-switch tactics, as both the new JL and the old JK are 2018 models. Specifically, I said:

Readers can be assured, then, of hearing hyper-caffeinated sales staff blaring in radio ads about ZOMG GREAT DEALZ ON 2018 WRANGLERS – only for frustrated shoppers to discover they are actually talking about the lame-duck Jeep and not the shiny new off-roader.

Well, that didn’t take long.

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2017

The internet is a black hole filled with an endless stream of stupid thoughts and bad ideas. While it’s usually best to ignore it, every so often something breaks through the obnoxious drone of social media that is so egregious, you couldn’t possibly turn a blind eye if you wanted to.

We are obligated to present to you a recent tweet from Vahid Kazemi, a software engineer for Google’s self-driving arm Waymo, and describe how it made us feel.  (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2017

computer-mouse

The internet is infamous for suspect news stories and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate reputable information from propaganda, lies, and sensationalist garbage. Credible outlets take heat as #FakeNews while less stringent journalism continues to gain traction. The automotive industry is no different, especially when it comes to online marketing.

We’ve all been cruising the internet mindlessly and seen a suspicious headline for a new car paired with a blatantly fake image. I remember seeing photoshopped fifth generation Camaros purported to be “The Next Firebird” routinely for about a year before Pontiac finally passed away in 2010. While I knew it was bunk, I clicked anyway and compounded the problem. Sadly, things have not improved in the last few years.

Dealers and manufacturers are trying to figure out a way to ensure their products are better represented in the digital landscape — but they are struggling.  (Read More…)

By on December 22, 2016

Truro Nissan storefront

There are certain inescapable truths in this world: bacon is delicious, man buns should be outlawed, and car dealerships endure a reputation of being a refuge for the ethically bankrupt.

I — like many others around here — am no stranger to witnessing the unscrupulous debauchery occurring on some showroom floors. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and a fledgling dealer in small-market rural Canada puts the lie to the claim that backwards thinking is a trait of all car dealerships. There are bright spots out there, as proven by the team at Truro Nissan.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2016

Snapchat crash

The trial has all the ingredients needed to garner a nation’s attention: a young female driver, a speeding Mercedes, a dark, rain-slicked highway, a carelessly wielded phone, a potentially dangerous social media app, and a hard-working man left permanently disabled.

The lawsuit against Snapchat and motorist Christal McGee by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the Mitsubishi Outlander rear-ended by McGee’s C230 outside of Atlanta last September, alleges the social media app’s speed filter played a role in the collision. (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2015

Jeep Czech Republic Moose Test Photo

Oops! Have you tried maneuvers like this? #Jeep

One great thing about PR and marketing is that you can often turn a massive fail into a great win — like when a Slovak PR agency for Mercedes-Benz posted a picture of the new CLA Shooting Brake next to a pool.

A random commenter said he’d like them to take the Merc for a swim. Mercedes’ PR agency replied, “If your post gets more than 1,000 likes, you can choose whether we reverse or powerslide the car into the pool.”

Naturally, the post got nearly 2,000 likes within hours. Mercedes responded with a nicely done video of CLA Shooting Brake getting drowned by a Black Stig, promising they would hire their social media manager back if more than 1,000 people shared the video. In the end, Mercedes drew a great deal attention to their new rakish wagon and lost nothing.

Unfortunately for Jeep Czech Republic, sometimes a fail is just a fail — like a few days ago when the official Czech importer of Jeep posted the photo you see above of a Grand Cherokee getting up on two wheels.

(Read More…)

By on December 4, 2015

Little Donkey in a Big Ford P71

If you ever wondered whether you could transport a donkey in the back of a Ford Crown Victoria, the Norman Police Department have your answer.

Norman, Oklahoma police Officer Kyle Canaan happened upon a miniature donkey wandering around the 8100 block of of 120th Avenue NE on the morning of December 1, following up on a report from a woman who called in the sighting, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.

Wanting to keep the donkey from being hit by traffic, Canaan used feed to lure the animal off the road, then pushed and pulled the little donkey into the back seat of his P71. As the photo from Norman PD can tell you, animals of the donkey’s size can fit comfortably in the back. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015

Periscope_Girl

Don’t look now, but “Periscope” is officially a thing.

The social-media platform allows people to broadcast live from their phones whenever they like, thus bringing the average 23-year-old American woman just that much closer to her dream of becoming a fourth-rate reality television “star” at the expense of all other potential accomplishments.

I can see Periscope being of some use in the upcoming “American Spring” populist uprising, except for the fact that Twitter and Facebook and the like have long since decided to lick the boots of our corporate Ingsoc in whatever fashion is most deferentially pleasing to Mr. Obama, Mrs. Merkel, and Xi Jinping. So when the balloon goes up and you see me and Zack de la Rocha rolling a Viper ACR loaded with grenade launchers down the street, the Twitter “fail whale” will be all you can get, because anything else would be uncivilized.

The automotive world has used Periscope for a few new-vehicle reveals and a series of vignettes in which my friend Adam uses Turtle Wax™ to get some shine on his Isuzu Impulse. But it wasn’t until Whitney Beall of Lakeland … you guessed it … Florida, started Periscoping her drunk-driving adventure that the true potential of this newest navel-gazing “app” was well and truly revealed.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

2016-bentley-continental-gt-17

After the end of the first phase of a military campaign in Yemen, one Saudi prince decided to reward the pilots with Bentleys for a job well done.

(Read More…)

By on April 17, 2015

Dieseltec Ram Diesel Burnout

What does a diesel shop in Michigan have in common with a Washingtonian florist and a Hoosier pizza hut? An owner who refuses to serve openly gay customers.

(Read More…)

By on November 10, 2014

United Auto Workers (UAW) union president Dennis Williams poses for a portrait in Detroit

With major negotiations between the Detroit Three coming up in 2015, United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams has vowed to be more open before the union’s membership and the general public in his leadership.

(Read More…)

By on July 31, 2014

jag-feel-xe-image-300714-1

Behold the face of the 2016 Jaguar XE-S. Also: Scottish recording artist Emeli Sandé.

(Read More…)

By on June 30, 2014

TTAC commentator M0L0TOV has an update for us:

Hey Sajeev,

I figured I’d send you an update so people would know what happened to my situation. Well, I went ahead and tried to contact AAMCO. First I tried contacting them via their website but almost a week had passed and no response. So I contact them via their Facebook page, the next day I got a response with a phone number, name, and e-mail address of somebody at corporate to contact. I sent them an e-mail, I got a call from the owner of the Aamco where I had originally taken my car within ten minutes. (Read More…)

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