• Cadillac Is New York, And New York Is Luxury
    When Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac's CMO, spoke in December at a New York press event, he made it quite clear that siting the brand in New York would help Cadillac tap into the luxury culture outside its front door. "You can't deny the experience in New York of luxury outside of the automotive category, and how appealing it is." The new headquarters, near Google and the High Line, are in the heart of all that, and the new campaign, including four spots teasing the new CT6 sedan, launched during the Oscars on Sunday night, show just how New York-centric the brand ...
  • New Marketing Chief Puts Volvo Back On Track
    One thing Volvo has going for it is a strong loyalty base and an unimpeachable brand reputation around safety and understated elegance. Now the company is looking to make the most out of its core assets with a laser focus on its target consumer, albeit with a limited budget. What has hurt the brand more than anything is simple discontinuity.
  • Auto Ads Veer Onto Back Roads During The Super Bowl
    The Super Bowl, I'll say it, was really entertaining and tight 'til the end, and you know what that means: The advertisers who bought time in the third and fourth quarters, the fourth especially, did well. The challenge is that by then viewers are a bit desensitized, so the ads have to be that much better. Also, while a strong second half keeps people watching, it also makes ads a distraction.
  • Chevy Trax Aims For Snow Belt. Snow? What's That?
    It's blizzard time. Soon we'll see sliding cars, and hear that familiar post-blizzard sound of spinning tires and curses. What better time to talk about all-wheel-drive, and the battle for the snow belt among compact crossovers. The latest one is Chevrolet's new compact crossover, Trax, which just went on sale.
  • The Message At Cobo Hall Last Week Could Have Been 'The Truck Stop's Here'
    Honda said 2015 would be the year of Honda. Cadillac said it will be the year, or maybe the decade, of Cadillac. It was definitely the year of Cobo Hall, as everyone says it was the best Detroit show since before the recession.
  • Icons, Coupes, And Supercars Roar In Cobo Hall
    Generalize about the different auto shows, and what they represent? Makes no sense. But that doesn't mean you can't do it: The Tokyo auto show is outrageous design and auto ontology; Frankfurt is, well, just big; Los Angeles is about who has the best new technology, drivetrain advances and buttons and buzzers. And the Detroit show, the North American International Auto Show, that is, is about hype, heritage, iconography, and even a little histrionics.
  • Low Gas Prices Help Auto Sales Heat Up 2014
    Gasoline prices are incredibly low. I was upstate last week and had to do a double take: It was close to $2 a gallon. December's strong sales numbers certainly reflect that fact, as the month was driven by an appetite for crossovers, SUVs and pickups. Gasoline prices won't stay low for long, and most consumers understand the inherent volatility at the pump. So the influence of dollar-per-gallon on auto sales might have as much to do with the fuel-efficiency technology SUVs/crossovers and cars have now. It might just make it easier for a skittish consumer to consider an SUV, even ...
  • With K900, Kia Moves Up, Way Up
    I went to see the "Annie" movie with my daughter, and it kind of made me think of Kia, which has big dreams of moving into a mansion. Kia: luxury brand. Seriously. Kia's K900 is, in fact official luxury vehicle of the NBA. Great ride, gorgeous car, Jaguar-esque even. You have to see it and drive it to appreciate it, which I got to do last week.
  • From Chrysler To FCA. Make That FCA U.S. LLC
    When Fiat announced that the Chrysler corporate name is heading into the dustbin of history, to be replaced by FCA U.S. LLC, my first thought was something along the lines of, "Now that's a rebranding guaranteed to generate real passion."
  • What Does Jason Vines Drive?
    "It's simple. Whatever you do, don't blame the customer." Those were sage words of advice from Tom McDonald, Audi director of public affairs during the Audi 5000 unintended-acceleration PR maelstrom in the '90s, to PR legend/villain/crisis guy Jason Vines, who at the time was dealing with the same faux issue with Jeep. And it is a central central theme of Vine's autobiographical bumper-car ride through the auto industry, "What Did Jesus Drive: Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity."
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