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Posts Tagged ‘Lutz’

Marty’s Marketing Minutia

General Motors, Hyundai, and those non-boring Boxes...

by on Jul.17, 2009

Bob Lutz’s gigantic job: Unasked for advice for GM’s new advertising arbiter

Whether in or out of bankruptcy, says "car czar" Bob Lutz, the automaker is about to face a "cleansing fire."

The problems of BMW were not the same as GM's are today, but Lutz is the ultimate publicity machine.

The news of Bob Lutz’s new job responsibilities was, to use that overused and becoming increasingly trite word — awesome.  The shock waves, tremors and angst registered on the advertising Richter scale coast-to-coast within minutes after the announcement.  

One could almost see the swarms of e-mails and hordes of phone calls, like helicopters, from every GM advertising agency, media buying service, research firms, agency suppliers, search firm specialists, as well as consultants, creative’s and suit’s circling the GM building hoping, praying, wishing for an opportunity to get face or phone time to plead their case and experience to Bob Lutz.

This as most know, is not a new calling for the septuagenarian auto exec. He’s done this before for BMW. Dave Kiley, in his book Driven described how Lutz choose a new and relative unknown agency, Ammanti and Purvis over agency behemoths’ Ted Bates Agency and Benton & Bowles.  The result was perhaps the best corporate tag line ever in the car business, The Ultimate Driving Machine, and advertising that helped drive BMW’s business up and up.

But the problems of BMW then were not the same as GM’s are today.  I’ve gotten some favorable and a few nasty e-mails and calls about my recent reviews of GM’s corporate advertising and for that awful La Crosse ad.  Based on Lutz’s comments this week, he feels exactly the same but was more restrained in his comments.

It is more than audacious and presumptuous to offer counsel to a man like Lutz, but there are many advertising people, inside and outside the auto industry, who are hoping he succeeds in stopping the ill conceived, misdirected, idiotic image, GM’s and the remaining brand’s advertising has taken in recent years. It’s been horrible!

These ads, no matter the medium, have lacked consistency, credibility or creativity. They have not sold cars, and they certainly have been ignored or laughed at and justifiably so.

Start a New Campaign!

Start a New Campaign!

There has been a strict reliance on group-think, group-reviews, group-CYA-decisions based on using extensive consumer research to justify crap!  Both at GM and their agencies.  Hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars thrown down a deep dark abyss of gratuitous waste.

My take is simplistic.  Don’t allow, please don’t permit the GM corporate culture sycophants, corp-speak-artists, untalented and arrogant individuals to be involved any longer. They are the ones who effed it up in the first place.  And the way you start is the way you finish.


Will Fiat Deal Save Chrysler?

Proposed alliance could save money, add global reach

by on Jan.20, 2009

Chrysler turns to the Italians for salvation

Chrysler turns to the Italians for salvation

The perennially-troubled Chrysler LLC will form a new “global strategic alliance” with the Italian automaker that often has words like “weak,” and “troubled,,” associated with its own name, Fiat s.P.a. Barring problems with federal overseers, who must review the proposed deal – and give a sign-off on Chrysler’s business plan – the two automakers’ alliance could come together in April.

The announcement, which first reported on yesterday, comes nearly 20 years after Chrysler and Fiat called off a proposed, trans-Atlantic merger. The new deal will be significantly less far-reaching in scope, though it could still play a critical role in determining the companies’ long-term viability, according to industry observers.

The proposed deal, said a press release, “would provide Chrysler with access to competitive, fuel-efficient vehicle platforms, powertrain, and components to be produced at Chrysler manufacturing sites. Fiat would also provide distribution capabilities in key growth markets, as well as substantial cost savings opportunities” stemming, among other things, through increased economies of scale.

One of the more telling comments in the release, which seems to underscore just had badly understaffed Chrysler has become as it has been forced to pare back to survive, notes that, “Fiat would provide management services supporting Chrysler’s submission of a viability plan to the U.S. Treasury as required.”