bc q&a

Super Bowl 2015: 5 Questions with Mercedes-Benz on 'The Big Race'

Posted by Dale Buss on January 22, 2015 06:14 PM

Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl 2015 Tortoise Hare

Mercedes-Benz got dusted by BMW last year in the annual luxury sales race in the US, as well as in global sales volume competition, after Mercedes had held the US crown for two years. But both brands' US sales grew significantly, and Mercedes-Benz certainly remains focused on the future as the automaker launches a new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and GLC crossover, and the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe, this year.

The brand also is returning, after a year's absence, to the Super Bowl advertising stage along with competitors BMW and Lexus, and a handful of other automotive brands. Mercedes-Benz's Big Game ad will be its third major marketing platform in the US within a month, a run that began with a strong appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and continued with the Mercedes-Benz presentation at the ongoing Detroit auto show.

Mercedes-Benz marketers have only hinted at what we'll see in its Super Bowl ad this year, which is being built around the classic kids' tale, "The Tortoise and the Hare."Continue reading...


NAIAS 2015: Tesla's Elon Musk Makes Fans, Enemies at Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Dale Buss on January 19, 2015 02:11 PM

Tesla Elon Musk 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Elon Musk knows how to knock over a beehive. The Silicon Valley billionaire rolled into the fray of the 2015 North American International Auto Show with chest puffed, dismissing other automakers for not embracing electric vehicles the way he has with Tesla, and putting down auto dealers who challenge Tesla's direct-to-consumer sales model as "jerks."

In his first public appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in two years, the motormouth hit Motor City to make a speech at a conference close to the annual Cobo Center where the auto exhibition, not actually at NAIAS proper at Cobo Center. Even as he critiqued his auto industry peers, he wooed brand loyalists by posing for photos at Tesla's NAIAS exhibit.

His Detroit visit was all the more relevant as it capped a week of escalation in one of his ongoing battle royales: trying to knock down hydrogen fuel-cell technology as a viable alternative to the all-electric path blazed by Tesla. Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: Can Oculus Rift VR Make Teen Driver Safety Message Stick?

Posted by Dale Buss on January 16, 2015 01:11 PM

Toyota TeenDrive365 Oculus Rift VR Detroit Auto Show NAIAS 2015

More and more brands are focusing on teen driver safety, investing in public affairs campaigns with PSAs and digital and social efforts to encourage young drivers (and their elders) to put away the smartphones and keep their eyes on the road.

Everybody's all for saving the lives of teen drivers—and the people they would otherwise collide with—and it's a good way for automakers, car-insurance companies, mobile brands and others to demonstrate their corporate citizenship—and win kudos with a key market (and their parents).

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, addressing distracted driving is, naturally, a big theme. That's where Toyota, aware that over-preaching is a turn-off to teens, is bringing its TeenDrive365 platform to life with a new partnership a partnership with a teen-enticing brand: Facebook's Oculus Rift virtual reality technology.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: 5 Questions with the World's First 3D Printed Car Maker

Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2015 05:08 PM

Local Motors 3D printing printed car Strati Detroit Auto Show

Every year something captures journalists' imagination at the North American International Auto Show, and this year that thing was Local Motors and its eye-popping 3D printed car.

3D printing sparked queues at CES in Las Vegas last week, dazzled President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden a few days ago in Tennessee, and wowed attendees at the Detroit Auto Show.

The Phoenix-based Local Motors staged a live 3D printing of The Strati, which it's billing as the world's first 3D printed car. The startup printed the polymer body of a working car prototype right on the floor of the Detroit auto show, raising pulses, eyebrows and the inevitable question: So when can we start 3D printing cars for consumers?Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: RadioShack, BlackBerry, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 15, 2015 09:05 AM


RadioShack faces possible bankruptcy filing.

Samsung and BlackBerry deny they're in talks as BlackBerry is caught tweeting with an iPhone.

Target plans to pull out of Canada after racking up billions of dollars in losses.

Super Bowl ad price tag hits $4.5 millions.

Oscars nominations see Meryl Streep extend her reign as most-nominated actress.Continue reading...

bc q&a

NAIAS 2015: Chevrolet CMO Tim Mahoney on the Volt, Bolt and Beyond

Posted by Dale Buss on January 14, 2015 05:28 PM

Chevrolet Volt 2016

Tim Mahoney has been reshaping the Chevrolet brand since he took over as global CMO in early 2013, leaving the CMO post at Volkswagen US to steer one of the most iconic brands in the entire auto industry.

Having chatted wth Mahoney at CES 2015 last week, where he gave a sneak peek at the Chevy Volt, we were eager to catch up with him at the North American International Auto Show, where he could say more about the brand's 2015 (and beyond) plans.

One thing not in those plans: Super Bowl advertising, as Chevrolet plans to skip the Big Game this year, along with a handful of other automotive brands that advertised during last year's Super Bowl: Lincoln, Acura, Jaguar and Honda.Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: New Cars, From 3D Printing to Supercars, at the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2015 07:34 PM

NAIAS Detroit Auto Show 3D Printing Local Motors Strati car

Bloomberg Businessweek argues that there are five new cars that matter at the 2015 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show.

Namely, the new Acura NSX; the Toyota Tacoma; the Volkswagen SUV; the Mercedes GLE Coupe; and the Ford GT.

Check them out below, along with the other new cars making their in Detroit—along with the world's first 3D printed car:Continue reading...

detroit auto show

NAIAS 2015: Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly on Why Generation Z Matters

Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2015 05:07 PM

Ford 2015 trends report NAIAS Sheryl Connelly

Ford is the only auto company with a resident futurist on staff, and Sheryl Connelly's crystal ball certainly gets a fierce workout as her company tries to figure out how to invest billions of dollars a year in big bets on technology, features and services to better connect with consumers—and stand out in an industry that arguably has more moving pieces, and is more affected by trends, than any other.

And as she continues to advise colleagues and annually publish a trends-to-watch outlook of her considered prognostications for the year ahead, Connelly's renown outside the industry is growing. She recently brainstormed with the World Economic Forum for topics and themes for the agenda at WEF's upcoming annual meeting in Davos.

Ford looks to Connelly not only to help shape its own priorities and investments, such as the mobility vision outlined last week at CES 2015, but to share insights into trends with the industry at large.Continue reading...

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