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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.
 |  Nov 27 2012, 8:01 AM

After a controversial exit from General Motors, Joel Ewanick has found a new home as interim chief commercial officer at Fisker Automotive.

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 |  Aug 07 2012, 7:31 AM

It all started back in May, when General Motors and Manchester United first discussed forging an advertising partnership. Then GM ousted its Global Marketing head Joel Ewanick, a mere 48 hours before the record sponsorship deal was done.

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 |  Jul 29 2012, 4:20 PM

The man behind the clever tweets during the controversy with GM’s Super Bowl ad and the automaker’s controversial Facebook ad pull has left General Motors.

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 |  May 25 2012, 7:15 PM

Recently, General Motors gave a subtle shock to the world by announcing that it would not be advertising in next year’s Super Bowl, and that it was also pulling $10 million worth of Facebook advertisements.

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 |  Mar 21 2012, 7:01 PM

General Motors is all about consolidation these days. From cutting down it’s portfolio of brands to just four core entities, trimming the number of individual product lines, powertrains and vehicle architectures, it’s now also moving ahead with plans to streamline and “globalize” it’s marketing operations.

We first got wind of this a couple of months ago, when the General awarded Aegis Group’s Carat advertising arm in London most of its media buying and planning activities, reportedly worth close to $3 billion. The move sidelined a number of small agencies, a trend which is expected to continue, especially as GM’s marketing supremo Joel Ewanick announced that he plans to cut the number of agencies that handle Chevrolet promotions and advertising from around 50 to just five.

Not only that but GM plans to align its marketing in different regions around the world with the theory that a campaign in China, Germany or Brazil, could be adapted for North America. “I’m bringing these guys together and making them talk,” said Ewanick during a recent interview with Automotive News.

Last year, GM spent some $4.48 billion on advertising expenses, though if Ewanick’s plan to streamline Chevrolet ad operations and push forward with a much more consolidated marketing strategy succeeds, the company projects it could save some $2 billion in advertising and marketing costs over five years.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Aug 03 2011, 7:29 AM

There will be no public mea culpa, but Ford marketing boss Jim Farley has apologized for sensational remarks he made about General Motors.

Farley made headlines recently when early copies of New York Times reporter Bill Vlasic’s new book “Once Upon a Car” were released, containing comments attributed to him. Included among them was the following: “We’re going to beat on them, and it’s going to be fun…f**k GM. I hate them and their company and what they stand for. And I hate the way they’re succeeding.”

Farley told reporters recently that he personally apologized to his cross-town equivalent, GM marketing boss Joel Ewanick. Speaking with reporters at a recent conference at the University of Michigan, Farley also said (while speaking of himself in the third person); “No one respects the competition more than Jim Farley. I told them I respect what they’ve done.”

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  May 16 2011, 9:19 AM

Perhaps you’ve read the incessant chatter about the return of the Chevrolet El Camino. Well, it’s not going to happen. Thank God!

Last week General Motors Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick joined Twitter and said  (loosely speaking) that if 100,000 people commented on a Jalopnik post, then they’d revive the classic badge, allowing us to pull into a Chevy dealership, trade in our Honda Accord Crosstour, and cruise out in retro bliss.

Willing to play the game, GM even make an effort to create an El Camino Facebook page and a link to the Jalopnik story. At last update the that story had just under 4,000 replies, 11,000 Facebook likes, 137,000 views and 5,000 more Facebook posts.

Those ignoble efforts seem to be in vain, however, with Ewanick tweeting this morning that a return for the El Camino is “very unlikely”.

Perhaps there are a select few who will be genuinely saddened by this news and who actually would have purchased such a vehicle. As for the rest, well, they’re likely either having some fun at GM’s expense or they’re automotive journalists who love cars ironically. If you fall into the former camp, there’s always the Subaru Baja.

 |  May 05 2011, 10:17 AM

At least that’s what Joel Ewanick, GM’s new Chief Marketing officer says. Ewanick, who was the brains behind Hyundai’s rather successful ‘Guarantee’ program, responded to a tweet by @chevyavalanche which said “I want a new El Camino. Badly, please!”

This latest ‘bring back the El Camino’ campaign was instigated after Jalopnik’s editor-in-chief Ray Wert, encouraged those using Twitter to follow Ewanick and ask him about a new Chevy car-truck.

Ewanick’s response indicated that the threshold for making such a car a reality was 100,000 interested parties. For the record, 100,000 units is about what the current Toyota Tacoma sells each year in the US and  represents rather high volumes for a niche vehicle. The best sales total the original El Camino ever managed, was 64,960 units, back in 1979.

However, if 100,000 or so Tweets translate into real orders with deposits, perhaps the General might reconsider. For the full scoop on what happened between Jalopnik and Ewanick, click on the link below.

[Source: Jalopnik]

 |  Nov 12 2010, 8:32 AM

The one main flaw of electric cars is the range they are capable of. That, however, is not the case with the new Chevrolet Volt, using its sophisticated powertrain to cure “range anxiety” by using a gasoline engine for a total range of over 300 miles. And when that runs out? Just add more gas and the system will turn it into electricity to drive the wheels.

General Motors is eager to prove the Volt can be used in every day situations, and so to prove it the company’s VP of Marketing, Joel Ewanick, is embarking on a road trip that will take him from the General’s headquarters in Detroit, all the way to Los Angeles and the LA Auto Show.

“It’s a proof of concept for me,” said Ewanick, “We’re making history here with the Volt. I don’t think I would do this for just any car.”

“I want to help people understand it’s a real car, one that can be your only car.”

Leaving Detroit today, Ewanick and Voltec powertrain engineer Lane Rezek, will take five days to get to LA, covering 2,400 miles. “We’ve scheduled some dealer meetings, and we’ll visit some who don’t know we’re coming,” Ewanick said.

“We’re going to just wing it,” said Rezek. “We’re thinking Des Moines tonight.”

Those who want to follow along, can do so by signing up to the Chevy Volt Twitter Feed.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jun 08 2010, 9:47 AM


After a two-year hiatus marked by a global recession and the bankruptcy of America’s largest automaker, General Motors will return to the Super Bowl for 2011. GM had planned to be a part of the massive sporting event advertising spectacle but pulled out of the event earlier this year. The move not only hurt the NFL but also the advertising agencies on Madison Avenue. Over the past 15 years GM has spent $80.5 million buying ads during the event.

Importantly, the decision to rejoin the Super Bowl melee comes as former Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick signed on as head of GM’s marketing department. Ewanick coined Hyundai’s “Big Voices in Big Places” campaign that saw it get involved in events like the Super Bowl and Academy Awards, a move which is considered to have helped the brand grow while most others struggled last year.

Hyundai will also be advertising at Super Bowl XLV with three spots, while Audi has also confirmed participation. Added interest is expected to drive up the cost of ad spots after spending dropped by 24 percent last year.

[Source: WSJ]

 |  Aug 26 2009, 11:08 AM

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AutoGuide was recently invited by Hyundai to take a ride in its new flagship Equus luxury sedan, which is due out in the U.S. in 2011. We posted some initial impressions immediately afterward and have since prepared a little video of the car and our chat with Hyundai Motor America’s VP of Marketing Joel Ewanick.

Test drives aren’t allowed as the three models Hyundai has brought over from Korea are prototypes (complete with Korean navigation systems and gauges in km/h) so we had to settle for being chauffeured around, which one could argue, is really the best way to experience the Equus.

Designed to compete with the world’s best, the Equus is based on the Genesis Sedan platform but is a good deal larger.

At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect it to handle like a BMW 750i. Then again, that’s not what vehicles like this were meant for.

Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. Yes, we’re talking about massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also gets heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back.

The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.

Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.

Under the hood the 2011 Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 375hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.

That’s definitely off the pace of both the German and Japanese competition, but you can be sure the Equus won’t cost like a German or Japanese luxury sedan either. Official pricing won’t be released for a while yet, but with the Lexus LS starting at $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that. A sub-$60,000 price tag isn’t out of the question.

When asked about the possibility of the U.S. Equus being offered with the (rumored) 5.0-liter V8, Hyundai PR boss Jim Trainor said that the focus for now is going to be on the 4.6.

Set to hit the market as a 2011 model, the Equus will go on sale in late 2010. Look for an official debut next April at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

So with the future of the Equus in the U.S seemingly set, there are a few remaining question marks. For starters, the name. Hyundai says it is considering a name change and we wouldn’t be surprised to see one.

Another question you might have is: what about that hood ornament? Sorry to say, the brand-focused marketing folks have decided to axe the ostentatious winged creature (or whatever it is) in favor of a flush-mounted symbol. Those interested will, however, be able to get the hood ornament as a dealer installed option.

The final question for both Hyundai and the Equus is: how will it be received? Quite well, we think.

Trainor says the company has humble goals of just a few thousand units and with changing perceptions about the brand (thanks to the Genesis sedan and coupe) the Equus now offers Hyundai the chance to leapfrog established luxury brands, like Acura.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyunda Equus

IMG_7055.JPGIMG_7058.JPGIMG_7051.JPG

 |  Aug 15 2009, 12:34 AM

IMG_7060.JPG

Earlier this week Hyundai announced that it would launch the company’s Korean market Equus flagship right here in the U.S. And to help promote the car, Hyundai decided to show-off a few examples of its top-tier luxury sedan at one of the world’s most high-profile automotive events: the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

While in town to cover the concours, Hyundai invited AutoGuide along for a ride to experience some of what the Equus is all about. Test drives aren’t allowed as the cars on display are Korean prototype models (complete with Korean navigation systems and gauges in km/h) so we had to settle for being chauffeured around, which one could argue, is really the best way to experience the Equus.

Designed to compete with the world’s best, the Equus is based on the Genesis Sedan platform but is a good deal larger.

At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect it to handle like a BMW 750i. Then again, that’s not what vehicles like this were meant for.

Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. Yes, we’re talking about massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also gets heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back.

The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.

Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.

IMG_7050.JPG

Under the hood the 2011 Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 375hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.

That’s definitely off the pace of both the German and Japanese competition, but you can be sure the Equus won’t cost like a German or Japanese luxury sedan either. Official pricing won’t be released for a while yet, but with the Lexus LS starting at $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that. A sub-$60,000 price tag isn’t out of the question.

When asked about the possibility of the U.S. Equus being offered with the (rumored) 5.0-liter V8, Hyundai PR boss Jim Trainor said that the focus for now is going to be on the 4.6.

Set to hit the market as a 2011 model, the Equus will go on sale in late 2010. Look for an official debut next April at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

So with the future of the Equus in the U.S seemingly set, there are a few remaining question marks. For starters, the name. Hyundai says it is considering a name change and we wouldn’t be surprised to see one.

Another question you might have is: what about that hood ornament? Sorry to say, the brand-focused marketing folks have decided to axe the ostentatious winged creature (or whatever it is) in favor of a flush-mounted symbol. Those interested will, however, be able to get the hood ornament as a dealer installed option.

The final question for both Hyundai and the Equus is: how will it be received? Quite well, we think.

Trainor says the company has humble goals of just a few thousand units and with changing perceptions about the brand (thanks to the Genesis sedan and coupe) the Equus now offers Hyundai the chance to leapfrog established luxury brands, like Acura.

GALLERY: 2011 Hyundai Equus

IMG_7051.JPGIMG_7063.JPGIMG_7058.JPGIMG_7064.JPGIMG_7068.JPG