Posts from ‘Brands and Marketing’

Jul
07
1952 Kaiser Manhattan, Vehicles Named for Islands

1952 Kaiser Manhattan

One of the easiest shortcuts in marketing is to name a product for a well-regarded geographic location. In doing so, a company can evoke the charm/ruggedness/sophistication/opulence of said place, thus saving considerable advertising time and effort.

Jun
06

Fahrvergnugen

When she was a younger woman, my mother spent some time working the register at a neighborhood Burger King. Near as I can tell, mom doesn’t spend too much time reflecting on her days peddling fast food, but she does share one story, and it’s worth retelling.

Sep
30
Buick Avenir Concept, What is Avenir

Buick Avenir Concept

General Motors’s Buick division issued a press release today announcing the creation of a new top-line luxury sub-brand: Avenir. Per Buick spokesperson Arianna Kughn, Avenir will function for Buick much like the Denali sub-brand does for the GMC truck and SUV lineup.

Jun
28
Volkswagen Facebook rank

There is no direct correlation between vehicle sales and Facebook “likes,” as the chart below demonstrates.

A year or so ago, when queried about the controversial “spindle” grille treatment that was proliferating through the Lexus model lineup, a Lexus representative responded simply, “We’re just glad to be a part of the conversation.”

Jun
13
Chevy IndyCar, Engines Power Today's Indy Cars

Note the slanted engine cover on Chevy’s IndyCar …

Honda IndyCar, Engines Power Today's Indy Cars

… While Honda’s has a more horizontal cover.

Last month’s Indianapolis 500 marked the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” which originated at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911. (The math doesn’t work out for the intervening year span because the race wasn’t run during World War I and World War II.)

While the early races featured many cars that were essentially stripped-down production models – with wildly different specifications – it quickly became a contest between specially built racing machines. And in recent years, those machines have been primarily differentiated by what engine was powering them.

Feb
01
2005 Ford Excursion

2005 Ford Excursion

When you think lobster, you probably don’t think McDonalds. This may explain, at least in part, why the McLobster sandwich proved to be a bust for the folks over at Golden Arches HQ. Fast-food regulars just didn’t see the draw of a $6 sandwich that was likely to disappoint on several levels.

Oct
16
Bad Car Names

Is St. Regis a better name for a car, or a hospital?

Sometimes, automotive models names aren’t so much bad as they are inappropriate. It’s worth noting that when Cadillac rolled out a compact model based on the Chevrolet Cavalier, the brand came up with a new name for the car—Cimarron—instead of carelessly appropriating a heritage moniker along the lines of LaSalle Sport or Deville II.

Aug
19
Japanese Saturn Commerical, 1997

In 1997, Saturn began selling cars in Japan. A right-hand-drive SW2 is seen here. 

Saturn executives had reason to feel confident in 1997. In just six years on the market, the fledgling brand had accrued 1.5 million customers and was on pace to sell another 300,000 cars in the coming 12 months. Saturn was on fire, and the division’s management was eager to continue making good news.

Jun
04
Designer Series Lincoln

Lincoln offered four designer editions of the 1977 Mark V.

I would argue that the low-point in automotive designer licensing/co-branding came in 1993, when Mercury rolled out its Nissan-built Villager minivan complete with a line-topping Nautica Special Edition.

Sep
23
Cadillac, The Standard of the World. 2016 LTS. , Better Cadillac Names

Cadillac’s 2016 flagship is challenged to take on the best sedans Europe has to offer. Tom thinks the new car deserves a better name.

If you don’t have a lucky number, you likely at least have a number or two you prefer to other digits. I, for example, rather like the numbers 2, 5, 14, and 21. I became aware of my fondness for these numbers one night while nursing a $2 gin and tonic at a now-defunct Iowa riverboat-casino roulette table.

 Automakers like numbers, too. Many storied model names have been enhanced by a carefully placed numeric suffix. Think of such classic monikers as Cougar XR-7, Fury II, and Galaxie 500, and you get the idea.

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