2007 Nissan Altima
Scion's tC Release Series 2.0 Coming to N.Y., Too
Scion's latest Release Series 2.0 will show off its goods at the New York show, too - but this time the special edition is based on the brand's two-door tC coupe. On sale in mid-April, the tC 2.0 gets Blue Blitz paint, 17-inch wheels, side and curtain airbags, and a new stainless-steel grille. A Pioneer sound system is outfitted, too, and comes with three months of standard XM service, along with an iPod jack. Scion says only 2600 copies will be built, to be sold for $18,260 each.
Isuzu's Changing Fortunes
Following up on
my recent report about General Motors' global alliance strategy, Isuzu Motors
took exception to comments I made about their financial outlook. Isuzu
officials note the Japanese maker posted operating profits in each of the last
four fiscal years, including an 87-billion yen operating profit in 2005, and was
profitable in the
Honda's Fit Starts Under $14K
2007 Honda Fit
News: GTO Dead, SL Goes to 55 by TCC Team (2/27/2006)
Honda preps hybrid Fit, Street Names Contest Winners and more.
Girls Play With Dolls?
Chevrolet and its advertising agency have pushed the wrong button in their time machine, and they've ended up back in the Fifties.
Chevrolet's brochure "Men, Women and the Truck," has a message: "Girls Play with Dolls, Boys Play with Trucks." Talk about being dated!
Wait! It goes on: "Men are born with the horsepower gene. Just as some women are born with the shoe gene."
Ad agency Campbell-Ewald's answer: So what's the problem?
"What we were striving to do with this piece was to appeal to men. Ninety-one percent of our buyers are men," says Andrea Wells at Campbell-Ewald. "We asked what could we do that would be engaging. We wanted to poke fun at the stereotypes that are out there and we felt it was an engaging and charming way to draw people in."
Campbell-Ewald says the brochure tested positive with its focus groups. Positive for what, we wonder? Alienating women?
"We don't think we've put women back in the dark ages," says Wells. "We embrace the diversity of all people who buy Chevrolets. We are very progressive in the breadth of communications that we do." Conversations with other senior advertising women at General Motors did not produce the same enthusiasm. "This is bad," said one top female advertising executive.
Would they do it again? "Absolutely," says Wells with unfailing confidence.
Women purchase 30 percent of all trucks, according to J.D. Power. Someone should tell that to the folks at Chevy and Campbell-Ewald. In the meantime, gals, Chevrolet thinks you play with Barbies. Doesn't that just tickle your innards? And now you know that men who drive Silverados are muy macho and have claim to the horsepower gene.-Kate McLeod
The Acura luxury brand is maintaining a steady growth rate of three to five percent a year in the U.S., even though it does not offer a hybrid model as does its sister Honda brand, says American Honda senior vice president John Mendel. As the first Japanese luxury brand, introduced in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago with only the Legend and Integra to sell, Acura has climbed the U.S. sales ladder steadily to a record 209,610 new-vehicle sales last year, Mendel told the Automotive Press Association in Detroit Thursday.
Mendel said Honda executives approached the proposal for a luxury brand cautiously in the mid-1980s, as did Toyota and Nissan. "Entry premium vehicles accounted for only 17 percent of the market in 1985 and now take up nearly half of all premium vehicles sold," Mendel pointed out.
A technology pioneer since its inception, Acura will unveil its first turbocharged engine in the new RDX SUV, which will "go on the market soon, going head to head against the BMW X3 SUV," Mendel says. A concept presaging the next MDX will be unveiled at the New York auto show in April, in its first full model change.
Mendel also announced that ground will be broken later this month in California for an exclusive Acura design studio. The West Coast studio will be integrated with Acura's vehicle development center in Ohio. Acura has no plans to add U.S. dealerships in conjunction with its volume growth, said Mendel. It has 264 dealers now. -Mac Gordon
AFA Relaunches Ford Boycott
The American Family
Association, unpleased by Ford's continued outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transsexual (GLBT) groups, says it will urge its members to boycott Ford
Motor Company and its brands. The AFA, based in
Edition: Dec. 15, 2005 by TCC Team (12/14/2005)
Nissan Urge concept, Ford reverses on gay ads, C-Class spied.