Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 06:02 PM
If you're Tim Allen, you might be hoping that your return to television comedy in ABC's Last Man Standing continues to be well-received. Because there are more hints that your long-standing and respected gig as the mellifluous voiceover for Chevrolet's "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign has reached its end.
Chevy plans to break the first TV spots under its new "Find New Roads
" tagline as early as Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, or even before. And while GM has stuck with its pledge made last spring not to place commercials during the actual Big Game itself, Chevrolet executives clearly are eager to begin to execute against the new brand positioning that is replacing the less-than-effective "Chevy Runs Deep."
"That hasn't been determined yet," Chris Perry, Chevy's CMO, told brandchannel at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company said upon unveiling the new slogan recently that creative executions would begin occurring during the first quarter, and "Find New Roads" already is appearing in Chevrolet's exhibit at the Detroit show as well as on the web site for its new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray that was unveiled several days ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2013 01:03 PM
In bringing Alfa Romeo back to the U.S. market this year, Fiat has three big goals for the move: broadening the car lineup of its joint stable with Chrysler Group; trying to re-establish an Alfa brand that long ago was tarnished in America; and boosting output at its home-market manufacturing operations in Italy.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told Reuters at the Detoit Auto Show that Fiat plans to introduce an Alfa Romeo 4C sports car to the U.S. market late this year. Marchionne said that the biggest remaining obstacle is to "make sure we hit the powertrains dead on." Still, he told the news service, "We are finalizing the car now, so it should be" in the U.S. this year.
From an American perspective, Alfa Romeo is one of the wild cards that got thrown into the deck when Fiat acquired the carcass of Chrysler from the U.S. government in 2009. It exited the U.S. market about two decades ago with a tattered quality reputation. Now, Marchionne has built the marque into one that would have a shot even in today's highly competitive U.S. market.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2013 06:55 PM
Talk all you want about German engineering, Japanese reliability and Korean ambition in the high-end automotive market. When it comes to getting the blood of car enthusiasts pumping, there's nothing quite like the Chevrolet Corvette.
Car aficionados continue to create buzz around Chevy's introduction of the seventh-generation Corvette at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, the so-called C7. GM is deliberately invoking some of the 60 years of the car's history by calling its new version the Stingray. It harkens back to a special version of the Corvette in 1963 that set the design standard for the overmuscled sports car for the last half century.
Corvette has been known as the life's aspiration of a plumber or a gym teacher — its typical buyer is a white male in his 50s. But automotive journalists this week are hailing the new Stingray as a revelation: a car that simultaneously remains worthy of the Corvette's heritage but that also introduces a sort of panache — and the kind of technology — that should broaden its appeal with other emographics that wish to buy expensive cars.Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2013 12:20 PM
It's too early to determine whether the new Cadillac ELR truly will be a game-changer in the sluggish U.S. market for plug-in hybrids. But in unveiling the new vehicle to the world's automotive press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, at least General Motors is bidding to change the dynamics of the segment in a significant way. Already, it's been deemed best production car of the show, as Cadillac proudly tweeted.
ELR isn't expected to go on sale until early 2014 ("winter" is what GM is promising) and at a price tag (before U.S.-government tax credits for a "green" car purchase) of more than $50,000. GM is relying on the same basic powertrain in Volt, a combination of powerful batteries that can take the car 25 or 30 miles on a charge and a small gasoline engine that takes over once the batteries are out of juice and provides an effective range for the vehicle of about 300 miles.Continue reading...
detroit auto show
Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2013 05:12 PM
Over the past few years, fuel economy became the predominant theme of the Detroit Auto Show, as brands battled recession, $4-a-gallon gasoline, the heavy hand of the federal government and one another to lure American buyers into their increasingly "green" machines.
But at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, one of the clearly emergent themes is a return to more substantial and practical vehicles — specifically, to utility vehicles. Fuel economy isn't being ignored; it's more that decent mileage is a given for just about every new model these days.
One after another, brands at the first of two press-preview days at the show on Monday revealed new production models of mid-sized and compact sport-utility and "crossover" utility vehicles, plans to field more of them, or both.
"We're absent from the midsize-SUV segment" in the United States, Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America, said at a press conference where the brand introduced a new concept SUV called CrossBlue. That segment has "predicted growth of more than 20 percent by 2018, the biggest predicted for any segment," he said.Continue reading...
detroit auto show
Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2013 04:01 PM
The annual North American car and truck of the year awards presented this morning at the Detroit auto show marked yet another step in the resurgence of the traditional American "Big Three" automakers.
The Cadillac ATS was named North American Car of the Year by a 49-member panel of U.S.-based journalists at the North American International Auto Show, beating out the other finalists, the Ford Fusion and Honda Accord (the latter of which also is built in the United States).
The Ram 1500 was named North American Truck/Utility of the Year, besting the new Ford C-Max and the Mazda CX-5, the other finalists. The organization of automotive journalists renamed this award for 2013 because of the dominance of sport-utility-vehicles in the segment, joining pickup trucks.
In some of the brand developments on the first day of the press preview included Chevrolet unveiling the 2014 Corvette Stinger, above, plus:Continue reading...
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Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2013 09:55 AM
The Motor City is the hub of the global auto industry once more, and the North American International Auto Show that opens with a press preview on Monday in Detroit's Cobo Center will underscore that welcome returning reality. It's also expected that the U.S. market as a whole will pick up share versus other global markets in 2013.
Over the last decade, Detroit's traditional "Big Three" automakers have been transformed. Their shares of the market collapsed; then the Great Recession whacked the U.S. car market; then the federal government bailed out two of them.
But now, arguably, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are in their best shape collectively in a very long time.
Each is selling trucks at a healthy clip again, their most profitable segment. GM will finally shed the rest of the albatross of U.S.-government ownership soon and, with a slew of new-product launches ready for 2013, should enjoy a share uptick this year. Ford will be trying to build on its gains of the last few years with solid new models including a restyled Ford Fusion sedan, the hybrid-only C-Max and the new Escape. And Chrysler, now owned by Fiat, will attempt to keep building on its remarkable turnaround story.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2013 02:14 PM
Avalon isn't one of Toyota's best-selling vehicles, and the full-size sedan has never been one of the brand's most exciting offerings. But part of the mantle of being one of the world's few full-line automakers is that you cover every segment, because your dealers want you to, and because there are still top- and bottom-line opportunities even at smaller volumes.
Cue Toyota's now-launching 2013 Toyota Avalon, which it teased last April at the New York Auto Show. It's been completely redesigned — as has one of its main competitors, the new Chevrolet Impala — and is looking to conquest buyers in the target 40- to 60-year-old market who still enjoy the virtues of a relatively full-bodied automobile.Continue reading...