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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.
 |  Jan 31 2012, 12:17 AM

DriveSRT posted a sign on their Facebook fan page last week saying they would release a teaser of the 2013 SRT Viper if the number of “likes” they got exceeded 10,000 before February 1.

Needless to say, it did so without much difficulty. We published an article last Friday talking about the fan page. The Viper’s return is sure to be one of the more exciting things to happen this year. We’re extremely eager to see how the 8.4-liter, 600 hp V-10 we saw in 2010 has evolved. Dodge cars are seeing some serious changes, like the 2013 Dart, under new owner Fiat.

It’s been a good thing: according to the Detroit Free Press, Chrysler is expected to report its first annual net profit since 1997 at $600 million. That said, we’re curious to see how much of the raw America spirit the Viper maintains.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

GALLERY: SRT Viper Teaser

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 |  Jan 27 2012, 4:30 PM

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If there’s really such a thing as car porn, then DriveSRT is the fluffer. They’re offering to release a teaser video of the 2013 SRT Viper if their Facebook fan page gets 10,000 hits before February 1.

Enthusiasts are aware, but in case you somehow missed it, Dodge discontinued the Viper in 2010 because of money problems to much hissing by the automotive community.

While any information on the iconic car is a titillating promise, we’re starting to feel a little teased. As of publication, their page had well over 10,000 “Likes” and that number grew larger every time we tapped the refresh button.

The 2013 Viper is one of the more exciting releases slated for this year and we’re feeling as impatient as a high school senior on prom night. The page says they are “racing towards 10,000 fans” and that they will unlock something that will hint at the lines before the official unveiling in April.

We’re not sure if they mean that this “unlocking” will happen on February 1, or if they’re just taking their sweet time on giving up the goods. Your best bet is to check the page frequently, though we’ll be doing the same and letting everyone know as soon as we get a glimpse.

 |  Jan 19 2012, 9:45 AM

Automakers have seen the benefits that social media can have on its brands, and as a result, are spending more time (and money) cultivating a presence on these online channels. And this effort is paying off – especially for Nissan. Nissan North America has been interacting with fans of its brands through social media and building a loyal brand following.

Nissan is seeing increased fan interaction on the big three social media venues: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Nissan ranked #8 on list of Top 15 Brands on Twitter for 2011 (as indexed by HootSuite), joining other famous brands such as Apple and Nike. Boasting more than 75,000 Twitter followers across various Nissan brand accounts, the automaker is following the lead of automakers that like to tweet. Take Lexus – the luxury brand is rated the most active tweeter when it comes to automakers, conversing with 288,000 followers… not too shabby.

Nissan is also making great strides with its Facebook account. The company has passed the 500,000 likes count, thanks it part to the all-new Pathfinder Concept reveal that can be accessed by liking Nissan’s Facebook page. Nissan still has a way to go before catching up with BMW’s Facebook page, which boasts over 7,000,000 fans.

Considering how popular online videos are, it’s no surprise that Nissan is having increased success on YouTube. The Nissan channel views have jumped to 10,000,000, thanks to frequent and updated video content.

If you’re a fan of staying current on auto trends, don’t forget to follow AutoGuide on Twitter and Facebook.

 |  Jan 17 2012, 1:42 PM

As a lead-in to a range of new products planned for introduction this year, Lexus is putting together its first ever Superbowl commercial, which will air during the first half of this year’s game on February 5th on NBC.

The almost Super 8 esque 30-second commercial, centers around the new 2013 Lexus GS, which officially launches in February, as well as emphasizing future products to come (catch a sneak peek below).

In the run up to the Superbowl XLVI commercial, Lexus is also launching a social media activation tool called “TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus.” This airs live on NBCSports.com and will provide football fans with the opportunity to put both their knowledge of the game and social media skills to the test during the actual Playoffs, according to Lexus’ vice-president of marketing Brian Smith.

The objective is for each fan to gain enough yards on the “field” so their “team” can score a touchdown, by providing the correct answers to both trivia and predictive game questions, using a Lexus TweetDrive hash tag.

For every Playoff game in which fans play TweetDrive, they are entered into a draw for a grand prize, which is a trip for two to any NBC Sports Premium Event.

Watch the teaser video below:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 12 2012, 1:45 PM

Mark Zuckerberg, the introverted king of social media, has his fingers in so many pies that it’s starting to look like he grew a few thousand extra hands.

To be fair, it’s not so much Zuckerberg having a hand in Mercedes as it is Mercedes integrating Facebook into their new cars. Nonetheless, the fact that it’s happening and that this isn’t the first instance, means Facebook is evolving far beyond anything other social media tools creators could have fathomed.

We published a story late last week that talked about Mercedes’ mbrace2 technology, but at the time there wasn’t as much information as there is after the company elaborated.

Since then we’ve learned that the cloud-based apps previously mentioned will include Google, Yelp and -you guessed it- Facebook.

Feel free to debate the merits of checking your friends newsfeed or status update in the comments below, wasn’t that part of why we all started buying smart phones?

Regardless, other manufacturers are doing it, and Mercedes insists their adoption of the technology is just representative of staying on the cutting edge. Aside from keeping up with your BFF’s latest relationship quibbles, mbrace2 will let you stay up to date on news and events via a real-time concierge service.

Some people might look at this and feel a pang of nostalgia for when cars ran on gas, got fixed with wrenches and had little more than a spare tire and owners manual packaged with it from the dealer. Then again, the allure of being constantly connected could prove to be a seller. Expect mbrace2 in the MY13 SL-Class.

 |  Dec 12 2011, 2:59 PM

German automakers like BMW and Audi aren’t shy about tooting their own horn when it comes to Facebook followers. BMW has long lead the pack and currently lists almost seven million fans on the “social network”.

But Facebook isn’t the only social media in town and increasingly Twitter is attracting new users. Here’s it’s not the Germans that lead the way, though Audi has a strong presence with 174,000 followers. Nor is it mainstream automakers with companies like Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford tallying 46,000; 69,000 and 95,000 followers respectively. Rather, the automaker most active in the 140 character or less format is luxury brand Lexus, with over 288,000 followers.

To find out why that is, AutoGuide spoke with Lexus Prestige Communications Manager, Nancy Hubbell. “Lexus is committed to engaging with our fans,” she says. “We tweet regularly, respond to tweets and do things like trivia contests and live tweets from special events.”

Experts will tell you the key to success in social media is interaction. A one-way stream of information won’t do much for your brand. “Perhaps the most important thing that happens through Twitter is that we solve any customer issues that may arise,” says Hubbell, who explains that Lexus has a dedicated team of customer service reps who’s job it is to track down problems and solve them. “Lexus believes in exceeding customers’ expectations and, to do that, we need to be where they are,” continues Hubbell, “Now, more than even, that’s on social media sites.”

Easily the most original of Lexus’ social media activities is tied into a more face-to-face social interaction program where Lexus hosts a dinner party at a customer’s house. “Lexus’ Coventant says we will treat each customer as a guest in our home,” Says Hubbell. “With these dinners we treat customers as guests in THEIR homes.” Lexus brings in a “top-notch chef” and all the party requirements, and just asks that the individual takes care of inviting the guests. Lexus General Manager Mark Templin acts as host and Hubbell comes along, live-tweeting the evening – with discussion often revolving around Lexus products, or cars in general. Hubbell starts the online portion of the evening with a “Bon Appetweet” tweet, “then I relay the conversation at the dinner and reply to people who tweet back, so we get an online conversation going.”

To get involved or just listen in on the dinner party, follow @Lexus. Plus, be sure to catch all the breaking auto industry news and latest reviews by following @AutoGuide.

 |  Dec 05 2011, 3:44 PM

Chevrolet is using social media as a “sampling source”, so if you’ve got some pull on social media hubs, you could be sampling the Chevy Sonic for three days.

Working with Klout, a company that rates and ranks a person’s “social influence,” Chevrolet is trying out a new kind of sampling program for people with social media influence. This could be bloggers or Twitter-savvy individuals who have a Klout score of at least 35 (scores range from zero to 100 and measure a person’s social influence). These people will then have the chance to “sample” the 2012 Sonic for three days. The program, which started in November and runs through December 14, has already generated quite a buzz, with complimentary blog posts and about 2,000 tweets so far. People who test drive the car can say whatever they would like about the car, whether it be positive, negative, or nothing at all.

“It’s effective for getting out the message,” said Cristi Vazquez, a Chevrolet spokeswoman in Detroit. “One of the things we’ve found is that the best way to get people to change their perception about our company is to get them behind the wheel.”

For this sampling program, 139 test drives will be offered in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco, with about four or five Sonics available in each city.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

 |  Nov 24 2011, 9:00 AM

Nissan Australia is fighting a public relations backlash after it was announced that the winner of a Facebook contest it held turned out to be best friends with a staffer managing the site. Far more than just a free t-shirt or a mug, the winner received a shiny new Nissan Micra, and a $1,250 gift card.

Nissan didn’t attempt to hide the identity of the winner either, announcing that Zac Martin of Victoria was the proud new owner of a Micra and commenting, “Congratulations Zac. Hope you enjoy the Micra. However, we say with all honesty and the best of intentions, we wish you hadn’t won!!!”

In the same post on the Nissan Micra Australia Facebook page, it goes on to explain that the page’s manager, Simon Oboler, is friends with Martin. In fact, Oboler described Martin on his personal blog as his “BFF” (best friend forever).

“We know how this sounds!” the post continues. “The reality is that he won fair and square and all is fully above board. The problem is that it will raise doubts in some people’s minds and gossip and conspiracy theories will surface.”

That they most certainly did with commenters on the post saying they’ll never buy a Nissan and demanding that the automaker show proof that the contest wasn’t rigged.

Nissan says it can limit participation by family members and employees, but not friends.

The contest, called Micraspotting, had competitors find hidden pictures of the Micra on Facebook pages belonging to bars, entertainment venues and clothing stores.

Nissan is sticking with its plan to award Martin the Micra despite the backlash and has said based on feedback it is looking at future contests, although with some changes.

The post on the Nissan Micra Australia Faceboook page continues. “Congrats once again Zac. Well done. Please don’t ever enter any of our comps again!”

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

Be sure to check out the AutoGuide Facebook page here

Discuss this story at MicraForums.com

 |  Nov 21 2011, 2:45 PM

Facebook is more than just checking to see what your friends are up to. Automakers, such as Lexus, are using the social media platform to giveaway some pretty cool prizes to fans.

Not too long ago, Lexus held a Facebook contest that gave three lucky fans the chance to win a driving experience in the Lexus LFA supercar at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. They got the whole racing experience – they were briefed, taken out with an experienced instructor, got a chance to lap the track on their own and then were taken out for a spin with a professional driver. And they finished off the experience with a spot of tea – not a bad way to spend the day.

The entire event was captured on video, so although we couldn’t be there in person, we can share in the excitement of the day. You can check out the video after the jump. And if you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to like us.

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 21 2011, 1:30 PM

 

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Starting today, through January 3, 2012 you can feel especially good about buying or leasing a new Subaru.The company kicks off their fourth annual Share the Love event that lasts 46 days and promises to raise as much as $5 million in charitable donations.

The company will donate $250 for every new sold or leased car off their lots to one of the following five charities: American Forests, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Meals On Wheels Association of America, or the Special Olympics.

Subaru says they will also give an additional $250,000 to the five charities based on votes collected via Facebook. Each user may vote to allocate one dollar and share the experience with friends to promote more voting.

Their $5 million mark might actually get reached considering the past three events raised almost $15 million in total. Subaru also has more than 600 dealerships across the U.S., which translates into each dealership selling or leasing at least 34 cars before the deadline.

 |  Nov 14 2011, 1:15 PM

Luxury sportscar manufacturer Aston Martin is celebrating a milestone as they now have over 1-million fans on the social networking site, Facebook.

In celebration of this milestone, Aston Martin will lets its ‘fans’ design a special one-off vehicle by answering a series of questions. The most popular answer will decide the specification of “The Millionth Fan Car.”

Aston Martin is creating some interior and exterior color schemes specifically for this special edition. As a thank you to all those who participated in this campaign, Aston Martin will send each fan a downloadable certificate of the final design.

The chosen car and design will be built at Aston Martin’s Gaydon facility in March 2012. This car will then be displayed at many public events during the year.

Aston Martin’s popularity has seen a big rise in the last six-months as over 280,000 fans have ‘liked’ their Facebook page. This might be due to their expansion in markets such as India and South America recently.

Also in celebration of this milestone, Aston Martin will reduce the price of their iPhone app from $5.00 to $0.99, but only for a limited time.

 |  Nov 11 2011, 3:00 PM

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MINI does social networking right. Introducing the MINI Motoring smartphone app, available for both Android and iPhone, it allows fellow drivers to share their favorite driving roads with each other.

Probably the best automotive app ever created, the only complaint we have is it should have been invented sooner. After making an account, drivers can post their favorite stretches of roads or routes to the app’s internal Google Maps feature. Posted routes can be viewed by other users and they can visit these roads and rate them on a scale from 1 to 5.

While this sounds like the day-trip cousin to yelp.com, MINI Motoring app comes with a twist. Users get virtual points for their activity on the app. Non-MINI owners that use the app can receive digital items such as smartphone wallpapers and physical promo items are in the cards as well. MINI owners can get access to their MINI Financial Services lease or loan accounts and get points through paying their bills through the app as well.

The app is free and available at the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace now.

[source: Motor Trend]

 |  Nov 07 2011, 5:45 PM

It really pays off to be connected into social media. And if you’re connected to Yokohama Tire Corporation, you could win a tablet computer.

During the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, the Yokohama Tire Corporation will be hosting a social media and digital express. For this contest, Yokohama will use Facebook and Twitter to give away a variety of prizes over the course of the 12-day show, including a tablet computer every day.

“This year, we really wanted to focus on providing education about tires in an interactive, engaging manner”, said Alan Holtschneider, Yokohama manager, advertising, promotions & events. “Each day, visitors to Yokohama’s exhibit in the West Hall lobby will find a wide array of things to do while getting a chance to win some items such as Yokohama gear and the world’s most popular tablet computer.”

For Yokohama’s Twitpic Contest, a winner will be picked to win a tablet every day of the LA Auto Show (November 16-27). To enter, you need to take a picture anywhere inside the Yokohama LA Auto Show booth and tweet your photo. One lucky winner will be randomly selected at the end of the day.

There are other prizes to be won as well, such as tickets to the show and gift bags. You can follow Yokohama Tire on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more about the contests on the corporate website.

And don’t forget to to follow AutoGuide on Twitter and Facebook as we’ll be actively covering the 2011 LA Auto Show starting November 16th.

 |  Sep 28 2011, 12:45 PM

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We crowned it as the number one car in our Top 10 Frankfurt Motor Show list and apparently we weren’t alone, with the 2012 Porsche 911 generating more online buzz than any other vehicle unveiled.

According to a study by UK-based Kantar Media Precis, which tracked all news stories from the show, as well as the two weeks leading up to it, the new 911 generated the most articles, tweets and blog posts. The runner up was the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, while the BMW i3 Concept rounded out the top three. If the trend isn’t obvious, all of the top three spots belonged to German automakers, as did fourth, with the Audi Urban Concept. In fifth spot was Ford with the stunning Evos concept.

Giving a glimpse into what online outlets and readers are interested in, the study should be taken in context, with a German auto show certain to have a higher number of local German media covering their domestic auto industry. As well, it’s no coincidence that German automakers planned years in advance to debut major cars on their home turf.

GALLERY: 2012 Porsche 911

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[Source: AutoNews]

 |  Sep 21 2011, 2:15 PM

Nissan is promoting the 2012 Versa with some help from social media and comedian Adam Carolla. The My Versa Road Trip gives you the chance to create a virtual road trip for a chance to win a real one.

Earlier this week, Nissan launched a MyVersaRoadTrip.com, a Facebook Connect enabled website, where you can create your own road trip. Pick your own routes and a soundtrack to go along with it. While you’re at it, invite three Facebook friends to join you. Along with your road trip plan, tell Nissan why you should win a real road trip and share it with your social networks. The contest is on now until October 19, 2011.

Out of all the entries, six winners will be announced on November 14. They’ll win a 2012 Versa Sedan and take it on a 4 Day\3 night road trip with their friends. And as they take the trip, the winners will update the world on their progress via updates and photos on various social media platforms. There will also be stop-motion cameras inside and out of the Versas, and this footage will be used to create mini road-trip movies that will be submitted to an online film festival in January 2012.

Actor, comedian and TV personality Adam Carolla will also be joining in on the fun by taking his own road trip in a Versa. He’ll promote the contest by starring in a series of videos where he changes his name to ‘Adam Versa,’ heads to his hometown of North Hollywood and plays a “Hypothetical Road Trip Game.” But wait, there’s more! The September 21 episode of his podcast “The Adam Carolla Show,” will be changed to “The Adam Versa Show.” His guest will be Erich Marx, Nissan Director of Website and Social Media Marketing, and he’ll talk more about the My Versa Road Trip program, the 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan, and play the Hypothetical Road Trip game.

To enter the contest, go to MyVersaRoadTrip.com to plan your own road trip.

And while you’re being all social media-y, like AutoGuide on Facebook and follow us on Twitter too.

 |  Sep 02 2011, 1:30 PM

While not everyone is a fan of the new Chevrolet Camaro, it appears that it actually has more admirers than one would think.

Not only has it been the best selling sportscar for the last two years, it is now also the most popular car on Facebook. With a fan-base of 1.8-million, the Camaro , it has out numbered any other car on this social media site.

The site also proves that the new Camaro is attracting a younger crowd, as 60% of fans are between the ages of 18 and 34. With fans uploading photo’s of their Camaro’s, its community is getting bigger and stronger with time.

It will certainly get stronger still when later this year, Chevrolet will launch the Transformers Edition Camaro, and the powerhouse Camaro ZL1, which features a supercharged V8 capable of producing well over 550-hp. A muscle car with muscle, we like the sound of that.

[Source: egm CarTech]

 |  Aug 26 2011, 12:00 PM

Audi has a legion of dedicated fans. In fact, a recent Visibli study found that the auto brand has more engaged social media followers than even Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. That must mean these fans have quite a few stories to share about how the German luxury automaker gained their loyalty.

Audi wants to share these stories with the rest of the world and to do so the company launched the “Remarkable Audi Film” series. Each installment in the series focuses on real people who discuss what Audi means to them. There are no rehearsed scripts – Audi just turns on the camera and lets the story unfold.

In the first installment in the series, Audi talks with award-winning and Grammy-nominated recording artist Ryan Farish, who uses Audi to perfect his music. After burning his tracks on a CD, he listens to how they sound in his Audi TT. In the video below, you can see what happens when he takes the new Audi A8, outfitted with a 19-speaker, 1,400-watt Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, out for a test drive. You can watch the video after the jump.

If you’ve got a story to tell, send it to remarkable@audi.com. You may be featured in the next installment of the Remarkable Audi Film series.

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 11 2011, 11:00 AM

BMW Financial Services has jumped on the social media bandwagon with both feet and has introduced a new social navigation mobile app called “The Ultimate Drive.” Created to give drivers a unique mobile and social experience, this app lets users submit their favorite routes and have them shared via other social platforms.

The idea of The Ultimate Drive is that drivers in over 50 countries can rank, comment and share roads and routes on Facebook, email and other GPS devices. Already thinking ahead, you’ll be able to use the app in the future, if you’re a BMW Financial Service customer, to access your points and garner high rankings.

“A social app succeeds when it forms a community of users with similar interests. A mobile app succeeds when it shrinks that large community into something local and familiar,” said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business for BMW Group Financial Services. “Within a few seconds of opening the app, ‘The Ultimate Drive’ connects you to driving enthusiasts who have discovered great roads in your neighborhood – roads you may have overlooked. Sharing that joy of discovery is why we are eager to launch this app to everyone.”

The Ultimate Drive prides itself in being simple to use – just download it, find your location and poof… you’ll get  the stretches of road that others have rated as the best ones in the area. If you want to contribute your own opinions on a road, just tap three times to share it via email or Facebook or send to your GPS device or app.

You can down The Ultimate Drive on iOS and Android devices for free from Apple’s App Store and the Android Marketplace.

 |  Aug 09 2011, 4:45 PM

Given the growth in social networking via Facebook; even automakers are now looking to change the way they provide customer service.

Nissan, which currently boasts more than 279,000 followers on its Facebook page and, according to Erich Marx, the company’s Director of Marketing and Communications, experienced faster growth in social media than any other OE automaker during the first half of 2011, is looking at taking a more pro-active approach in dealing with customer complaints, which might very well mean replacing traditional phone based customer service, with social media.

“There will be a day when people will go to Facebook as a preferred method,” he says. “We are already seeing that number doubling every quarter.”  He also went on to add, that ”based on what I’ve seen in 90 days, I realize that this is something we are going to have to deal with in the future. As opposed to operators or help desks just waiting for a customer to complain, we need to have a Facebook presence to solve issues before they get bigger, and take a more pro-active role in identifying consumer issues or question.”

When the change will happen, remains to be seen, for now Nissan will continue to use operators at 1-800 numbers to deal with customer complaints, though, given the public nature of Facebook and a need to deal with issues as soon as possible, a year or five years from now the scenario could be very different.

[Source: Autotrader]

 |  Jul 19 2011, 1:07 PM

Don’t keep your anger about bad drivers to yourself anymore. Let the world know how you feel about Mr. Never Signals Before He Changes Lanes on Driver-Ratings.com.

Here’s how it works: Head over to Drivers-Ratings.com and type in the offending driver’s licence plate number. Pick your province or state from the dropdown menu and hit enter. You can than see what other people have been saying about this driver. You can let them know if they are good or bad and leave a comment about their driving skills (or lack of). While you’re there, upload pictures of people who take up two parking spots or videos that showcase unsafe driving habits. Of course, you should enter all this information once you’ve parked (or else you may end up with a bad rating).

The point of this site is to reduce road rage and let drivers save their fury for the keyboard, as well as make fun of other people’s bad driving habits. Since it launched in beta two months ago, the site has received over 75,000 license plate ratings, and about 70 percent of those have been positive. For the ones that weren’t, here is a sample of a few of the funnier comments posted:

About a bad driver in California: “If your kid is an honor student, perhaps they can teach you how to drive.”

About a bad driver in Texas: “This person drives their car likes it’s a weapon”

About a naked driver in Washington: “We drove past him and I was like ‘Is that guy naked??’ and my roommate was like ‘No, he probably has shorts on’. Nope.”

Check out the site and start rating drivers at www.driver-ratings.com.

 |  Jun 15 2011, 9:16 AM

NASCAR is looking to target a younger, hipper crowd—one that’s into this Facebook thing.

And to do so they’re introducing a Facebook game, one that promises to be less annoying than Farmville, hopefully. Piggybacking off the successful Car Town, they’ve launched the slightly more cumbersome-sounding “NASCAR Pro Championship presented by Sprint” that will be featured on a joint partnership with Car Town’s developer, Cie Games.

Two different companies will be promoting the game with all of their marketing might. Turner Sports, which holds the rights to NASCAR.com, will air commercials on Turner Network Television. Sprint will promote it via their digital network and cell phones. Both promotions will coincide with the running of the Sprint Cup until November.

Car Town isn’t actually about racing, not if you can call pressing a few buttons to be a reasonable facsimile. It’s more aimed at completing some challenges, modifying your car, earning and spending points, and most importantly: bombarding your friends endlessly with requests. For that, NASCAR’s Facebook adventure seems like a win-win.

[Source: Scribbal]

 |  Jun 04 2011, 1:41 PM

Selling cars is kind of big business for Nissan. Taking advantage of social media to reach all those trendy kids these days is merely a part of that. And in the 20 years that marketing communications director Erich Marx has been at Nissan, he’s seen the changes in how people reach out to others, and how companies reach out to customers.

So here’s how not to hawk Altimas on Twitter: “It’s not about selling vehicles tomorrow, it’s not about a $179 lease on a Nissan car. It’s about building value so if we can offer our customers something that’s of interest or of value to them.” In an interview with Ad Age, Marx details some secrets (well, some of them seem pretty straightforward) of working in the social media biz.

On using social media, Marx says it’s not like getting information on cars from a website or magazine. You have to offer “a sneak peek or a behind the scenes glance,” says Marx, like a Q&A session with new Nissan NA boss Carlos Tavares that garnered over 385,000 hits. Performance cars are big too, says Marx, citing it as a “big opportunity” to pass along information at triple the amount of hits as other cars.

And when Marx started, executives were unsurprisingly resistant to the idea of computers: “the irony was that they had no interest in them and didn’t use them, some never turned them on. It was the kids like me who would sit at our bosses’ desks and teach them how to email. Computers were not pervasive in business—we used to hand-write memos. Now, here we are.”

[Source: Ad Age]

 |  May 26 2011, 11:20 AM

Awhile back, we told you about women in Saudi Arabia fighting against a law that states they aren’t allowed drive. We told you about Wajeha-Al-Huwaider, a women’s rights activist in Saudi Arabia, who decided to mark International Women’s Day in 2008 by shooting a video of herself driving and then posting it on YouTube.

Next was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Abdullah, who wanted to lift the ban in order to send about 750,000 foreign drivers home. The government hasn’t changed their position on the issue, and this time, they are trying to silence Manal al-Sharif, who is campaigning for the rights of woman in her country.

According to the New York Times, Manal al-Sharif had posted videos of herself driving on YouTube, as well as started Facebook and Twitter accounts that encouraged other Saudi women to do the same. But the Saudi government has stepped in – they arrested Sharif, removed her videos from Youtube and deleted a Facebook account that instructed other women on how they could get involved in the movement. And someone even duplicated her Twitter account and posted messages that stated she had given up the cause.

But social media isn’t going to let a little thing like an oppressive government keep it down. Sharif’s message is still circulating on YouTube and an Al Jazeera report on her campaign is still available. You can check out the full report at The New York Times and watch the videos after the jump.

[Source: Autoblog]
Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 11 2011, 3:56 PM

You’re not the only one who loves to let their friends know where they are via Foursquare. Now, Audi is in on the action and have they got some tips for all of their followers.

So what do you have to do? Just follow Audi on Foursquare and find out where some of the best driving roads in the country are located. That way, when you check in from wherever you are, they will let you know which roads you should check out that are near your location.

If you’re a Foursquare user, you know that it has a Tips section. This is where users let you know what they think of the coffee at that restaurant or if the subways are always late leave that particular station. In Audi’s case, they are tipping you off about where to drive and park. It’s a cool idea from the automaker, and their list of tips will start to grow very soon.

Here are a few examples:

AUDI AG

The beating heart of all things Audi. The factory tour is an absolute must — you’ll swear our robots have their own personality!

Golden Gate Bridge

It’s famous, and with good reason. Crossing the Golden Gate is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, no matter what you’re driving.

Highway 1 – Carmel / Big Sur

Go south from Monterey all the way down to Hearst Castle. Two lane. Cliffside. Sea and surf. White knuckles. Scenery so good for once it might be better to be the passenger.

[Source: Kicking Tires]