Automakers search for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Some rely on advertising, others technology or exterior design, and still others rely on horsepower. Trying to keep ahead of the Joneses when it comes to the auto industry is an ever-escalating effort to entice buyers to your brand.
In recent weeks, automakers have been busy creating or reaffirming their brand through lifestyle promotion and products as a way to burnish the brand’s allure and add to their marketing message.
Audi ups its green cred
Last week, Audi of America announced a new partnership with 1 Hotels as its exclusive automotive partner in the United States, which includes New York City, Miami, Nashville and Los Angeles. Audi will supply its new e-tron electric vehicle to the hotel locations for use for guest shuttles and chauffeured drives.
Uniquely, 1 Hotels will provide curated local excursions along with the car. In addition, Audi owners receive 15% discount off the best flexible rate at 1 Hotels in Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, South Beach and West Hollywood.
“We are very excited to build a deep and meaningful partnership with a like-minded brand like Audi,” said Arash Azarbarzin, CEO, SH Hotels & Resorts, hotel brand management company that operates 1 Hotels. “By adding this new experience for our guests, we will encourage them to maintain their appreciation for the preservation of nature.”
By supplying EVs to a high-end, and exclusive, hotel chain known for its environmental activism, Audi hopes to burnish its own green credibility as the marque transitions it U.S. model lineup to one that’s 30% fully or partially electrified by 2025.
“Audi is proud to partner with 1 Hotels, a brand that shares our commitment to creating a more sustainable future,” said Tara Rush, chief marketing officer, Audi of America.
McLaren Automotive unpacks its bags
Luxury travel brand TUMI and supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive released a new co-branded collection of travel accessories and bags recently, the first results of a collaboration first announced in 2019.
TUMI’s Creative Director Victor Sanz and Rob Melville, McLaren’s supercar design director unveiled the collection on TUMI.com that companies claim capture their “mutual ethos of performance luxury.”
“At McLaren we focus on articulating a clear design language and materials selection which combines and leads into our car’s performance. We wanted to capture those aspects with TUMI,” Melville said.
“For me, this is the ultimate collaboration as TUMI and McLaren have an innate synergy,” Sanz said.
The collection comprises 36 items featuring McLaren’s trademark Papaya color accented with carbon fiber trim. The grouping includes duffel backs, wheeled carry ons, backpacks, travel kits, organizers and more. Given the heritage of the two brands, it’s not surprising that items like The Velocity Backpack a USB port and padded laptop compartment. Or that the Aero International Expandable 4 Wheel Carry On is made of a thermoplastic composite found in race cars, and that its interior compression strap takes its look from a six-point racing harnesses.
Of course, such luxury doesn’t come cheap. Even a luggage tag will set you back $85.
TUMI was founded in 1975, its name derived from a Peruvian icon. In the 1980s, the company pioneered the soft, ultra-functional, black-on-black ballistic nylon travel bag that is now commonplace. TUMI is owned by Samsonite, which acquired the company in 2016 for $1.8 billion.
Aston Martin continues to dress for success
Last week, Aston Martin reaffirmed its partnership with British menswear retailer Hackett, which announced an extension of the licensing contract with Aston Martin through 2024. The collaboration, established in 2004, continues with a new Aston Martin Racing by Hackett collection for Spring Summer 2021. The new collection arrives alongside Aston Martin’s long-awaited return to Formula One.
“Aston Martin will bring a renewed sense of elegance to this thrilling sport, and we are proud to be a part of that endeavor,” said Marcella Wartenbergh, chief executive officer of All We Wear Group (formerly known as Pepe Jeans), parent company for Hackett London.
Versatility is the key to the collection, which includes lightweight layering options from gilets to windbreakers and a black tapered sweat pant, as well as polo shirts with contrast tipping on collars and sleeves, bold logo embroidery and pops of primary colors. Other items include trousers, jeans, rugby shirts, sweatshirts, t-shirts and accessories.
“This partnership has stood the test of time because it is based on shared values and vision,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s executive vice president and chief creative officer.
Founded in 1983 by Savile Row salespeople Jeremy Hackett and Ashley Lloyd-Jennings, Hackett embraces classic British style. The company expanded to the U.S. market in 2016 but closed its stateside stores in the wake of the Pandemic.
More accessories from Bentley
Last week, Bentley released new additions to its lifestyle accessories line, including leather card holders, Flying B-inspired cufflinks and keyrings, notebooks, lanyards and luggage.
New items include the Heritage Weekender duffel bag and Heritage Backpack, both made in Italy from 100% leather, and finished in dark sapphire, accented a front pocket adorned with red, white and blue stripes. A Le Mans version in black features green, white and black stripes.
There’s also a new Charging Power Bank, wireless, USB charging pack with an LED Bentley logo and provides 3.7 volts of power and comes with a 3-in-1 Charging Cable. The cable is Apple certified, and stress-tested to 10,000 bends.
Bentley states the products are “made from the finest materials, inspired by the craftsmanship and distinctive design of Bentley’s cars.”
Interested? Keep in mind that the prices are commensurate with the brand.
A timely reminder from Jaguar
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of its E-type sports car, the British automaker is releasing a commemorative watch set and a rare whisky.
The watch box set is one of 120 made by British watchmaker Bremont and includes a chronograph and a rally timer. The bezel chronograph is finished in green or grey, honoring the hues of the two vehicles that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961. Sixty of each color will be produced. The rally timer is more noteworthy, being the first one ever produced by Bremont. The combined stopwatch, tachymeter and clock can be displayed or fitted to your car.
Jaguar is also offering 265 bottles of Glenturret E-type 60th Anniversary Single Malt Scotch Whisky, crafted at the oldest working distillery in Scotland. The bottle is packaged in a custom wooden box with a bespoke book and a key ring. Each bottle wears label designed by Jaguar Classic.
“It has a complex nose, sweet and oily with dark fruits, dried ginger and clean oak. Toffee apple and caramel coat layers of fruit with syrup and sweet spice,” said Bob Dalgarno, Glenturret whisky maker.