techshake

Deconstruction Zone: Nissan Leaf Polar Bear Commercial
Sep14

Deconstruction Zone: Nissan Leaf Polar Bear Commercial

By Charles Krome

It’s obvious you’re in for a maudlin minute or so as soon as you hear the tinkling piano and see the melting ice drip-dropping on your screen—you know, sort of like tears. Then, after a quick shot of dirty ice falling from a calving glacier, you finally get to see the star of the show: A sad-looking polar bear alone on a shrinking ice floe, paws crossed beneath his chin like a six-year-old who’s been sent for a “timeout” for reasons he doesn’t understand.

I really feel kind of sorry for the bear, too: Not only does he have to deal with a shrinking habitat, but he’s also been stuck into one of the cheesiest commercials currently on the air today, the new spot for the Nissan Leaf.

Read More
Techshake Exclusive: Lincoln Product Plan Update
Sep10

Techshake Exclusive: Lincoln Product Plan Update

By Charles Krome

In my recent piece about the evolution of Lincoln, I fixated on what seemed to be a surprising comment from Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for global sales, service and marketing. In a in Automotive News, [sub req’d] he is indirectly quoted as follows: “Lincoln’s future products will stay in the $35,000 to $55,000 price range, Farley said.”

My basic thought here was that this would put a serious damper on Lincoln’s aspirations in the luxury segments. I mean, a fair number of those segments host vehicles that start north of $55 large, and a Lincoln price ceiling at that level would preclude competing in some important luxury spaces.

So, while I climbed up on ye olde soapbox in that piece, I also reached out to Ford for some clarification, and this morning, Lincoln’s communication manager, Christian Bokich, reached back.

Read More
Is Lincoln Abandoning the Luxury Segment?
Sep10

Is Lincoln Abandoning the Luxury Segment?

By Charles Krome

Surprisingly, the answer is “yes”—at least if you believe Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of global marketing, sales and service. Farley was providing some hints about Lincoln’s future direction in a  [sub req’d], and he had plenty to say about how the loss of Mercury will be Lincoln’s gain.

The focus will be on providing stronger differentiation between Ford and Lincoln products, a longstanding and ongoing problem exemplified today by a quick comparo between the division’s crossover cousins, the Edge and the MKX. Even with the 2011 models, with their vastly different grille treatments, there’s no disguising their shared roots. And the situation with the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ isn’t that different. (Note that in the accompanying photos, I’m showing a 2010 Fusion and a 2011 MKZ; it was oddly (?) difficult to find similar profile shots of each from the same model year.)

Read More
To Infinity and Beyond?: Tim Allen to Voice Chevy Cruze Spots
Sep07

To Infinity and Beyond?: Tim Allen to Voice Chevy Cruze Spots

By Charles Krome

Chevrolet is one of those brands that’s known nearly as much for its advertising as it is for the actual products that bear its name. Not only do its hits—like “Baseball, hotdogs, etc., etc.” or “Like a Rock”—have a tendency to become part of popular culture, but its misses get a surprisingly amount of coverage, too. Just witness the kerfuffle over the division’s move to drop the term “Chevy” from its marketing efforts and put the focus on “Chevrolet” proper.

This attention has been concentrated even further recently, since Chevrolet, as the General’s high-volume brand, bears the brunt of the responsibility for turning around General Motors as a whole. Buick, GMC and Cadillac no doubt sell some nice vehicles, but the Chevrolet Silverado alone moved more than 34,000 units in August, a number that topped total GMC sales by more than 15,000 vehicles. Looked at another way, the big pickup outsold Cadillac and Buick combined by roughly 4,000 units.

Read More
The Joy of 6: Hyundai-Kia Overtake Nissan in U.S. Sales Race
Sep03

The Joy of 6: Hyundai-Kia Overtake Nissan in U.S. Sales Race

By Charles Krome

There weren’t too many automakers celebrating the U.S. sales results for August, with Chrysler being the only high-volume automaker to see a year-over-year sales increase for the month. Even Hyundai and Kia fell on hard times, with the former seeing a sales drop for the first time since May of 2009 and the latter earning its first decline since June of last year.

But even when the South Korean brands appear to be losing, they’re still winning. Keeping in mind that Hyundai owns a controlling stake in Kia, the two combined to move 86,068 units in August, while Nissan ( Infiniti) sold 76,827. Add those results to the South Korean’s very strong sales numbers from the first seven months of the year and, at this stage in the game, the Hyundai-Kia group has displaced Nissan North America from sixth place on the list of top-selling automakers here in the U.S.

The current score: 601,445 sales for Hyundai-Kia and 599,496 for Nissan-Infiniti.

Read More
hebidoshi84.blog.fc2.com