• A Pitch For Film About Book About Korean Auto Biz
    I watched "Adaptation" last week. It's the Charlie Kaufman movie about Charlie Kaufman trying to make a movie about a book, "The Orchid Thief," by Susan Orlean. In the movie, Kaufman, played by Nicolas Cage, ends up taking Robert McKee's (played here by Brian Cox) famous screenwriting class. I took that class, too, and I'm thinking of doing something Kaufman-esque about the auto industry, the Korean auto industry.
  • Remaking A Car Brand Is Focusing On The Cars
    Auto brands are hard to revive and harder to reposition in a world of upstarts. Take Tesla, an outlier: its founder is part of the Millennial success leit motif (young, digital billionaire, iconoclastic); the engineers for its sibling brand are, literally, rocket scientists; it's an upstart, which is always sexy; and it's a niche brand with a tiny lineup and little scale and volume. Downside for them: they probably lose money with each sale.
  • Q&A: Nissan's Jeremy Tucker On 100-College Deal
    When you say "college sports" everyone in the room will probably imagine their team, favorite sport, or mascot. Houses nationwide are painted in their owners' team colors. Many have rooms that are de facto shrines to the household alma mater. Nissan is hoping to tap into that passion with its historic deal that infuses its brand, nationally and locally, into the NCAA sports experience at some 100 colleges. Jeremy Tucker, Nissan's U.S. CMO, says the company's huge new program is about connecting that national brand down to the local market, and tying both to a major passion point for students, ...
  • MacLeay Of Cox Auto Sees Dealer Opportunities, Challenges
    Auto dealers are a lot smarter about marketing now than they were a few years back. Many have social media staffers now, not just digital sales people who fished for leads and handled CRM email. But at the rate the digital universe is expanding, and consumers are darting to new channels, they might want to hire teenagers. One company that navigates this space is Dealertrack Technologies. That company has also gotten a whole lot bigger since being acquired by Atlanta-based media giant Cox for $4 billion.
  • Ford's Year-End Sales Event Is Mostly About Transparency
    October was amazing for the car business. Take Ford. The company says it is enjoying its best retail numbers in 11 years: monthly sales were up 13%, with the F-150 pickup, the key vehicle, up by about that percentage. And sales of cars are up 17%. Same drill for SUVs and crossovers. So it is fair to wonder why Ford is launching a huge, year-end sales campaign, its biggest in years. What is Ford up to? It looks a lot like a pre-emptive strike? The sinking of the Lusitania? The "Friends and Neighbors" program, according to "Automotive News," which cadged ...
  • Big Auto Needs To Rethink Big Data
    MediaPost will conduct its first automotive conference on Nov. 9. There is no shortage of topics. The industry is changing, and not only because it is about to be thrown on its head by Apple and Google, and is being disrupted by Tesla both the product and retail sides of the business. Automakers are also trying to navigate the protean world of digital marketing. As such, it is forcing marketers to filter data to evolve their tactics intelligently and efficiently.
  • Cars, Bikes And Reality In Orlando
    Warnings about cybernetic marketing insights were as ubiquitous at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing conference last week as badly designed swimming pools are in Orlando, a city that itself is a kind of hotel swimming pool, but shallower. It's Los Angeles with lakes and even less reality. If the center does not hold in L.A., the center is a black hole in Orlando, appearing around the time Disney World dropped its roots there and started sucking the entire city into its "World" view. Not the best place to talk about real people and what they really want, ...
  • Volkswagen's Near Term Is Murky; Ditto For Others?
    The latest in Diesel Gate, wherein Volkswagen faces the anger of the world and contumely of the press over its emissions deceit: could other automakers have also altered their tailpipe results? Reportage is out now that several other diesel nameplates perhaps emit more NOx in real-world driving than in test mode. Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi have, apparently, been outed by tests at a firm called Emissions Analytics. The tests seem to show some European diesel models emit up to 20 times the smog-causing oxides of nitrogen as EU rules permit.
  • Toyota Makes Tacoma Videos Fun To Watch
    I just had breakfast with an 18-year-old son of a friend of mine, a jazz musician in college at Eastman, stopping by the city to see his dad. I could tell he was a little tired of talking music theory, so his dad asked me if I'm still reviewing cars. "I don't really do that. I write about the marketing." "Really, that's pretty obscure."
  • Pope A No-Show In Brooklyn, But VW Confesses Anyway
    It was cloudy last night, the wind was blowing pretty hard, and it threatened to rain. And then there was the weather outside. Yes, Volkswagen put on its best show face in Brooklyn for the unveiling of the 2016 Passat on Monday evening, a tough act for U.S president and CEO Michael Horn. I heard one guy joke that maybe it should have been held in a St. Patrick's confession booth, with the Roman Pontiff himself behind the screen.
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