Toyota's Rolling Aquarium Featured at Biggest SEMA Customization Show

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2013 07:27 PM

An under-appreciated aspect of the car business these days is the continued boom in customizing. Between the strong recovery of "stock" car sales in the US market and hand-wringing about Millennials taking the zing out of car ownership, it's possible to lose track of the fact that, for many Americans, customizing—or "tuning"—their rides remains a driving passion.

That fact is being restored this week at the 47th annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show and convention in Las Vegas, which show organizers have said promises to be their biggest ever. It's only open to people in the auto business, not the public—but if the customizing crowd and original-equipment auto brands didn't know there was a still-growing crowd of enthusiasts to buy the wares they're displaying, they wouldn't bother.

So Ford, for instance, is crowing about seeing its Mustang and F-Series named "Hottest Car" and "Hottest Truck" of the show. More Mustangs and F-Series are on display on the show floor than any other car or truck, the company said, leading to the award—and testifying to the popularity and appeal of each vehicle. And indeed, F-Series trucks remain America's most popular vehicle, and Ford is expected to launch a new 50th-anniversary version of the iconic Mustang sports car next year.Continue reading...

campaigns

Ron Burgundy Knew This Would Happen: Durango Sales, Consideration Soar

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 03:53 PM

Ron Burgundy always knew he was made of potent stuff. Now Dodge's marketing moves and brand metrics are affirming the self-confidence of the Will Ferrell character from Anchorman—the star of the current series of TV and video ads for the Dodge Durango SUV and the returning star of the Anchorman 2 sequel that is due out from Paramount Pictures in December.

Dodge now is breaking out two new TV ads that feature Ferrell pitching the entire Dodge auto lineup—Dart, Durango, Charger and Challenger—as well as Durango, Marketing Daily reported. That's an aspect of the campaign the brand didn't previously report. And it still has most of 70 videos in the can with the Burgundy character riffing about Dodge, Durango, horsepower and all sorts of other things.

In the new ads, Ferrell's anchorman remains clueless, at points pronouncing "Dodge" as "Yodge," for instance, the publication reported. Two new spots also have come out with Ferrell promoting Durango per se.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Apple opens Arizona plant with 2,000 workers.

Frito-Lay tests chocolate-covered potato chips.

Johnson & Johnson pays $2 billion fine for false marketing of drugs.

AOL boosts ad sales but sees profits hurt by local news services.

Allen Edmonds sells to private-equity firm.

BlackBerry abandons sale process.

Christie's starts out new auction season badly.

Coca-Cola predicts personalized beverages using genomics.

DirecTV profit rises on more subscribers.

Dodge expands Ron Burgundy campaign to entire brand lineup.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

That Escalated Quickly: Dodge Deploys 'Anchorman' Will Ferrell for Dual Promo

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 8, 2013 11:02 AM

There may be no automotive brand that's doing a better job of marrying entertainment and marketing than Dodge.

And if there is a Hollywood A-lister who's doing a better job endorsing products while avoiding the stigma of being a walking billboard than Will Ferrell, we don't know who it is. So it almost seems inevitable that they would end up together.

Coming off an extraordinary coup that saw the Dodge Charger (aka the "Bravado Buffalo") play a major role in the blockbuster new video game Grand Theft Auto 5, Dodge has released a cross-platform campaign featuring Will Ferrell that ties into the upcoming release of Anchorman 2.Continue reading...

automotive

Surprising Chevy Impala Leads Parade of Good Product, Financial News from Detroit

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2013 07:02 PM

General Motors and Ford continue to head up the stubborn sales and financial recovery of the US auto industry. And now it increasingly looks like they've got many of the best products. If only Chrysler could keep up with them on all those fronts.

On the same day that GM posted second-quarter profits that beat analysts' estimates, the company achieved something else that ultimately could be much more significant. For the first time in 20 years, influential Consumer Reports named a domestic sedan as the best sedan it tested this year—and the winner was the seemingly unlikely Chevrolet Impala.

"It performs so well in so many different ways," Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for the magazine, told the Detroit Free Press. "It really fires on all cylinders."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, BlackBerry, Panera and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Walmart scraps D.C. store plans after "living wage" passes.

BlackBerry loses two more executives.

Panera suspends "pay-as-you-can" item.

Chevron foresees lower output.

Dodge borrows Pitbull to pitch Dart to Gen Y.

GE makes short films in tiny towns about big data.

GM continues to battle labor unrest in South Korea.

GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors and hospitals, Chinese officials say.Continue reading...

crowdsourcing

Hyundai, Dodge Try Crowdfunding as Millennials Scrounge for Car Funds

Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 07:19 PM

Crowdfunding seems to work well for movies and tear-jerking cries for charity, but do people really want to dump into open digital purses to help Millennials buy a car?

Hyundai and Chrysler are getting very different results as they attempt to provide at least early answers to that question. Hyundai's partnership with the Motozuma.com crowdfunding platform has netted sales of about 1,600 cars through last year, the company told Automotive News. That's about one-quarter of one percent of the 700,000-some new vehicles Hyundai sold in the US last year.

But it's a whole lot better than the sales realized so far through a pretty high-profile crowdfunding program sponsored by Chrysler on behalf of its Dodge Dart: two. That's right, two as in "a pair," not two as in short for 2MM or even 2K.Continue reading...

Chrysler Sales Keep Rolling, but Brand Needs New Products to Sustain Mojo

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2013 04:47 PM

The good news on the sales front kept rolling in for Chrysler today, which posted an 11 percent increase in May sales over a year ago, comprising its best May in six years. The company and its brands have kept asserting their way in the continuing US auto-industry recovery.

But the great monthly result hid a couple of unsettling facts for the company overall and the brands its dealers sell: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat.

First, most of the load in terms of sales increases is being carried these days by only five of the company's 21 vehicle lines: the completely overhauled Jeep Grand Cherokee, the all-new Dodge Dart, the trendy Jeep Wrangler, an unlikely winner in Dodge Charger and the new Ram pickup which is benefiting from the US housing recovery.Continue reading...

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