AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Driving a Nissan to preview a Chevrolet
When Nissan won the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ contract from New York City with its new compact passenger van, it was obvious a retail version would follow. Although the 13,000 vehicles NYC requires is no small amount, Nissan would like to sell more; a lot more. So the manufacturer created the NV200, a version of this van available to retail customers.
What’s more, this compact front-wheel drive van will also be rebadged as a Chevrolet and sold all throughout North America as the City Express. This is a winning proposition for both Manufactures as Chevrolet lacks a compact commercial vehicle to compete against the Ford Transit Connect, while Nissan can utilize Chevrolet’s far larger dealer network to sell more units.
So the question is, will this van be any good? We had the chance to take one for a quick spin recently in San Diego and here are our impressions.
From a moving van to moving the stars
Ford made several important product announcements at a media event in Detroit this morning. Borrowing from its global portfolio, the Dearborn-based automaker is bringing an impressive array of commercial vehicles to the North American market, including a brand-new version of the Transit Connect.
The distinction between a hybrid and a range-extended hybrid is still confusing to some people, and GM’s European branch, Vauxhall, is getting in some hot water after misleading people in ads for the Ampera, sister car to the Volt.
Cocaine, beautiful women and tiger blood — these things can compel a man to insane acts, not the least of which is driving a Fiat 500 at speed through a house.
That’s one image Italian automaker, Fiat, is hoping to portray (fun and youth not drugs and depravity), but the Charlie Sheen “House Arrest” commercial is one of two ads that will air for the first time tonight. The second, called “Baby” is a little more subtle in its appeal.
The spot features two men driving to a show with, as you may guess, a baby in the back of the car. The two men are discussing the seats, you see the driver working the manual transmission and then they find themselves stuck behind an old man in a generic Italian mafia car driving very slowly.
The Fiat pulls out to pass while the old man shoots a dirty look their way, inadvertently catching the baby’s gaze. In that moment, the child utters the same Italian phrase we heard supermodel Catrinel Menghia repeat during the Abarth superbowl ad, which means “what are you looking at?”
The old man looks shocked as the two men and baby pull away. We can’t say when the ad will air, just that it’s set for both local broadcast and network TV. That said, the ads probably won’t air during an episode of Grey’s Anatomy given their male-oriented nature.
Watch both the new “Baby” ad and “House Arrest” below.
Volkswagen Canada is pulling a television commercial after receiving complaints that it is insensitive and offensive. The ad features the Volkwagen Passat, but the complaints center around what happens after the man pulls into the emergency lane.
He jumps out of the car in a panic, saying his wife is having a baby, but stops to chat about how great his Passat is after the EMT seems impressed. They ignore the woman’s cries to check out the interior, and the spot ends with the husband shutting the driver’s door, apparently having forgotten his wife altogether.
Volkswagen Canada spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff told the Winnipeg Free Press that the company apologized after a small number of customers said they thought the ad portrayed pregnant women in a bad light.
The website Art Threat tried to take credit for the removal, but Volkswagen insists that they removed it a week before the site published its article, and that their decision was a response to their customers.
GALLERY: 2011 Volkswagen Passat
[Source: Winnipeg Free Press]
You can watch the ad below
Anyone who has seen Japanese car commercials knows they can be a bit odd, to say the least. The 1990′s were chock full of weird celebrity endorsments (Jodie Foster and the Honda Civic, anyone?) but the next trend to hit was having directors treat their ads like art house films – and it’s here to stay.
If this were an American ad, we’d probably have lurid shots of the Subaru BRZ in full opposite-lock mode, with a garbled voiceover detailing the terms and conditions of a special lease offer. But this is Japan, and instead we get slow, tight glimpses of the BRZ while the best in adult alternative EZ-rock plays on screen. Whatever. Hit the mute button and enjoy.
Hit the jump to see the Subaru BRZ commercial.
The world’s least expensive car, the Tata Nano’s original purpose in design was to be a modern Ford Model-T, mobilizing millions of families in India.
Despite the Nano’s noble intentions, only 1,200 examples were sold in the month of September when initial projections expected a rather optimistic 20,000 vehicles per month. A new approach may be the remedy and that’s exactly what Tata hopes to achieve with its new Nano commercial.
Targeting India’s young, active, and likable college students, the ad features American idioms sprinkled throughout that frankly sound a little contrived.
The Nano boasts a passenger space increase of 21 percent. Tata also shows off the Nano’s acceleration (good for passing trucks on Indian highways) as well as ride quality and ground clearance capable of fording a spring creek. The Nano’s A/C is so strong that one buddy decides to hibernate, allowing everyone else to enjoy a popular college pastime that involves black markers and camera phones. Finally, the twisty and mountainous roads to the weekend getaway help to demonstrate Nano’s best-in-India 25 km/liter petrol mileage as well as its short turning radius.
See the commercial for yourself after the jump
The Fiat/Chrysler marketing masterminds are at it again. A follow-up to the wildly popular Chrysler 200 commercial featuring Eminem in Detroit and the signature beat from his “8 Mile” soundtrack, the automaker has now recruited the beautiful Jennifer Lopez to endorse its adorable 2012 Fiat 500C.
The combination is so irresistible, in fact, that the ad shows an entire town lose their self control, scrambling after the stars like a mob of zombies. Thanks to the light and little Cinquecento, J.Lo manages to nimbly swerve around the fanatics, while showing off the 500′s capable chassis and her superior driving skills. Inevitably, our star gets swarmed and lifted from the Fiat and Bollywood dancing spontaneously commences.
Fiat and J.Lo will be introducing a series of ads scheduled to air in the coming months. Enjoy the video!
Chrysler’s Ram truck brand will expand its advertising into Wal-Mart stores throughout the U.S. this fall. Dodge Ram advertisements will be in thousands of Wal-Mart stores and will integrate Mossy Oak camouflage, another of Ram’s partners into the promotion. ”We recognize the alignment between truck buyers, the hunting/fishing lifestyle and Wal-Mart,” said Marissa Hunter, head of Ram advertising. “We are working on promotion that brings all three together.”
Ram will also be launching two new commercials today, for its “Code of the West” advertising campaign. Marissa Hunter commented on the commercials saying, “The role of these spots is twofold. First, continue to create overall awareness about the capability of the full Ram lineup. Second, do so in a manner that inspires consumers to think differently about the Ram Truck brand.”
Fred Diaz, CEO of the Ram brand said that through the first seven months of 2011, Ram brand U.S sales were up twenty-five percent. He expects sales to continue to grow for the rest of the year. ”The fourth quarter always represents a key selling season opportunity for commercial business which historically increases commercial sales by up to 50 percent.”
Check out the commercial after the jump!
Well this is a change. The typical NBA all star usually drives around in a Cadillac Escalade or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but not Steve Nash. No no, this Pheonix Suns point guard, seven-time NBA All-Star, two-time MVP award winner represents the Toyota Prius. In this new commercial, based on the competitive nature of both Nash and Toytota, the all new Prius comes out on top, or maybe dancing does. Nash’s competitve edge show him push the Prius to beat an old lady into a parking sport. The victory dance is hilarious.
Check out Nash celebrate his victory dance after the jump!
Infiniti has launched two new 15 second commercials entitled “Lullaby” and “Spa” on the brand’s Facebook page, official YouTube Channel and Twitter.
Both commercials boldly reinforce the luxury automaker’s status as the antithesis to sedate “boring” luxury, while poking fun at Lexus. Infiniti is blatantly illustrating the company’s ongoing commitment to design luxury that thrills. The Japanese automaker is trying to encourage enthusiast participation via the brand’s Facebook page by asking which ad is better to air on TV. Both ads will go to network, cable and sport market TV on July 18.“We believe in telling compelling stories with an attitude that feels more energetic and optimistic than traditional luxury brands,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. “Our commercials are bold, and serve as our proclamation of confidence in our ability to move our customers emotionally as well as physically.”
Check out the videos after the jump!
In celebration of Honda’s 39th anniversary of the popular compact, the Japanese automaker has put together a video titled “Heritage”, where we take a look at the histroy of the car.
With some help from the British house music trio Dirty Vegas, the video shows us the evolution of Civic dating back to 1973. Since the first Civic was first produced, 19,000,000 units have been sold.
The all-new 2012 Honda Civic will feature a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 140-hp. The Civic is rated at 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway which is gain of 12 percent in the city and 8 percent on the highway, over last years model. The Civic coupe will start from $15,605 and the sedan starts from $15,805.
Check out the AutoGuide review of the 2012 Honda Civic and view the “Heritage” video after the jump!
In this 45 second commercial, the all-new BMW 1M drifts on a helipad hundreds of feet in the air over a city. Is it real? Of course not but it is very entertaining to watch, and actually looks pretty realistic. BMW has been launching these fun commercials (1M vs the Concrete Walls), to stress the fact that the 1M is a high performance machine that will be used much more than for going to the store for a jug of milk.
BMW admits that its latest high performance two door rocket will have a very limited run of one model year. With limited production in place, the $46,135 price tag may be a bargain should this car appreciate in value in the future. BMW stated that “less than 1,000 units” will be produced in 2011.
Check out the videos after the jump!
Speed Channel is gearing up to release The Car Show, a talk show led by Adam Carolla, Dan Neil, John “Spider” Salley and AutoGuide contributor Matt Farah.
The show hits the air on July 13. In the short clips released, the hosts tell us about their very first vehicles and driving experiences, ranging from a Honda 400 Four in the case of Adam Carolla to Matt Farah’s 1993 Mercury Villager LS. Oh Matt, look how far you’ve come.
Check out all the hosts stories of their first cars after the jump!