Archive for the 'American' Category

2011 Super Bowl Adverts: a look at the good and the bad

Monday, February 14th, 2011

This year’s automotive ads during the Superbowl were a bit of a mixed bag. BMW for example had an interesting ad promoting its diesel lineup, but that ad should have been done last year to compete with Audi’s “green police.” BMW did, however, make an interesting statement by reminding us that though German by design, the SUVs we buy from them are made in South Carolina. I’m not even going to bother discussing the pickup truck ads as they all blow much in the same way that the vehicles themselves blow. The Kia Optima ad was also bizarre and left me wishing I had that minute of my life back…it felt like 10.

For me, though, the biggest disappointment at all comes from VW. VW had teased us earlier in the week that they were going to be airing an ad promoting the new VW Beetle. When I heard this I made the decision to watch the whole damned Super Bowl, which bores me to tears, just to see the new VW Beetle. You can imagine my disappointment and anger then when the age, while well done, lacked any photography of the new Beetle. So I ask, why toss their money away? Why wouldn’t VW use the occasion to announced what is probably the most iconic car in America? The answer: it beats the hell out of this reviewer.

VW’s Superbowl ad for the new VW Beetle:

On the bright side, while silly, the Audi ad did get me to go to their web site and check out the full-length ad, so I guess that’s money well spent.

They actually had several, but the two I’ve chosen were pre-game, unless I am mistaken:

The second comes to us featuring the smooth saxy sounds of Kenny G, aka the Riot Suppressor:

But the big winner is a toss-up for me. Chrysler came up with a surprisingly good commercial – the best “buy America” auto ad I have ever seen. Meanwhile, VW’s new Passat commercial took a hilarious page out of Star Wars. See below.

Chrysler’s ad

The Force ad for the VW Passat:

And the “making of” the Passat ad:

MINI: Like walking down memory lane (in the pitch black darkness)

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Radar Love...

Radar Love...

Haley’s comet has passed overhead again, or so it would seem, because my mother just had me arrange a new car for her. To preface this article it is worth mentioning that my mother suffers from what I like to call “look-aholism”. That is, she sees a car on the road that she likes and then she mulls it over repeatedly, until finally, something catastrophic happens with her current car and she is induced into buying a new one.

She started this trend with the Chrysler LeBaron convertible, by no means a looker, but nearly as gnarly as compared to today’s Sebring. It was a 1989 model, and before you ask, it was not the Maserati-produced version with the goofy removable hard top. It was the run-of-the-mill LE model with white exterior with maroon interior. I hated that car. Oh sure, it was a bit of fun to drive, but to sit as a passenger, especially in the back, where I inevitably got placed, was a painful experience. Exposed to the cool summer elements in the wild west of Nebraska, my senses were assaulted by the noisy, cold, and face-distorting speed produced by that 4-cylinder turbo racing down dirt roads at 80 miles per hour. So now you know the answer to the question: why not the Mazda Miata? Because my mother likes to torture her children in the back seat (a feature distinctly lacking in the Miata).


Line-by-Line Analysis of the Obama Speech on the Automotive industry from March 30, 2009

Monday, April 20th, 2009


GM/Chrysler and Obama

GM/Chrysler and Obama



In the first place, Obama is right, though the rhetoric is decidedly populist, downplaying the performance of CEOs from the Big 3 (rightly of course), and promoting the efforts of ordinary Americans. Obama is right that the industry must stand on its own but he needs to address upfront that the industry is trying to operate using tired practices in tumultuous times. The Auto Task Force (or ATF as I will now call it) must realize that the problems the Detroit faces are only partly their own. It is still true that a person can only change their own habits, not others, but the ATF has a special task ahead of it, changing practices in a multi-industry downturn.

The next paragraph compliments GM for producing the Chevy Malibu, which right perhaps, received the nod for North American car of the year. But in the next sentence he go on to hail Buick of all entities as the most reliable car IN THE WORLD. You must be having a laugh. This web site has debunked these ratings in the past, but this author has never sat in a Buick that functioned properly. Something is always broken. The stereo. The windows. The suspension and ride comfort. There are a great many people who liked the bench seating in Buicks of old, but these tend to be the same people who would rather be sitting in a la-z-boy than a car.

The President goes on to discuss the decision to extend yet again the period for the automakers to restructure. GM gets two more months, while Chrysler gets 30 days. The problem with this approach is that it forces government to keep perpetuating the same failed leadership decisions. To deal with this criticism Obama notes that he has forced the departure of Rick Wagoner, GM’s Chairman and CEO, and someone who should have resigned some time ago, certainly before crisis hit in 2008. Then Obama does something, which should prove troublesome. He appoints an insider to run the company as interim CEO. Fritz Henderson gets the nod. A shrewder move would have been to insert someone with a record of accomplishment of success in breaking up companies. Henderson has served at GM during a time when the company got increasingly bloated, and the portfolio became a tangled mess.

What of this change? What good will brining in Fritz Henderson do for the viability of the company? (more…)

Psychosis hits Chrysler…”Mayday, mayday! We’re going down!”

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

According to an article on LeftLane News, Chrysler execs are so delusional these days that they think their prime competitors are Mercedes and BMW. WHAT?????????????

Former Toyota executive Jim Press, and current Chrysler Co-President thinks that the company will build itself a few cars that will beat Cadillac at its own game and attempt to take on BMW and Mercedes for sales. RIIIIIGHT! Where’s this plan coming from?

Who’s next? Ferrari? Is Chrysler the next Lamborghini? The next Porsche? If this is the way management at Chrysler plans to act? What’s next for them, making cars that run on petrol? Oh…wait!? Where’s the originality at Chrysler? Better question, where is the R&D??? Perhaps a bailout should be tied to a commitment to change. Now THERE is a novel idea!

Co-President Press claims to want to rebuild Chrysler as a smaller, nimbler company. But he certainly has to see that this means smaller cars, and alternative energy resources. Perhaps imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but how will they accomplish all of this? You’d love to see the plan, huh?