• New Film, 'A Faster Horse,' Takes You Where Few Get To Go
    Before Henry Ford built the Model T, he asked people - I'm guessing it would have been over a jug of cider in the barn, rather than a polished table in a conference room - what they wanted most when it came to transportation. The answer: "A faster horse." Well, as we all know, he decided to stay out of animal husbandry, and give people something else entirely.
  • Cadillac, Chrysler, And Objectivism
    Objectivism is now basically the rhetorical hockey puck of Red State political discourse. Atlas has been shrugging so much lately he called me on my cell for my orthopedist's phone number. Republicans should just call the next Presidential campaign the "Rand and Rand Show." Hell, Ayn might as well just dig herself out of the ground and run for president.
  • Toyota's T2 Says Bye-Bye To General Market
    From the Model T to Y2K, auto ads have pretty much been monochromatic. While back in the '70s the closest thing to an Hispanic auto ad was Ricardo Montalban talking about Corinthian leather, the general market has pretty much meant Caucasian. That changed after 2000, with more urban and youth-focused auto ads.
  • New York Auto Show Will Be As Much About The Connection As Cars
    Automotive technology will be as big a star at the New York International Auto Show, which starts this week, as the cars themselves. Tesla has upped the bar again by announcing it will have something like an autonomous car this year, That would seem to put pressure on the brick-by-brick, autonomy-by-evolution approach the industry subscribes to at large.
  • Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, Once You're Owned By Someone We Already Call
    It's bad enough when I hear my daughter and her friends wondering if they can be the next Taylor Swift. When I hear a variation of that from grownups, I want to slap someone. It brings me back to the late '90s. I'm not talking about grownups thinking they want to be Taylor Swift. It's grownups thinking they can be Howard Roark.
  • Is General Motors' Warranty Roll-back Risky Business?
    General Motors sent out a memo to dealers last week, saying it planned to cut the powertrain warranty coverage. The letter, which has been reported upon in numerous places, says the roll-back reduces visits under its free maintenance program for Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles, starting with 2016 model-year vehicles. Also downgraded is the five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. It is being cut to five or 60,000 miles. GM will reduce the number of service visits under its two-year, 24,000-mile Chevrolet Complete Care, GMC Pro Grade Protection and Experience Buick Protection maintenance programs from four years to two.
  • GM And Ford Need To Talk To Us About Cars
    Ford may need to focus on Focus. And GM on Malibu. Yes, the domestic brands' trucks and SUVs are selling, but their cars are not. February auto sales weren't great overall, of course, what with the brutal winter that kept people in their caves. What did move were larger vehicles, what with gasoline prices under $2 in some places, and cake-and-eat-it-too engine improvements and weight savings that let consumers go large without sacrificing too much at the pump.
  • 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.
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