“Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” Tim Ellis, VP-marketing at Volkswagen of America, said in a statement. “The Volkswagen brand needs to inspire our base of enthusiasts as well as reach out and captivate those in mainstream America. Therefore, we are re-evaluating all areas of our business and after careful considerations have decided to take the necessary steps to ensure we have the right agency partner in place.”
There’s long been talk among insiders of senior management in Germany preferring the idea of a global agency, which Crispin cannot yet claim to be, despite having established some overseas outposts. Secondly, there’s the marketer’s outsize ambition — to triple U.S. sales within the next 10 years. “Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” said VW’s Tim Ellis. And mainstream is one thing Crispin isn’t. Stir in persistent business problems at VW, a major acquisition and a recent round of marketing-department musical chairs, and you have a classic recipe for a review.
Kerri Martin to Head Marketing at Electric-Car Maker Coda
Kerri Martin, once a high-profile marketer who did stints at BMW Mini and Volkswagen, will join electric-car maker Coda Automotive next week as its first chief marketing officer. Industry observers will be watching Ms. Martin, 39, to see whether she can make marketing lightning strike again. She and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, created non-traditional blitz for the U.S. launch of the Mini small car in 2002 that was unique for the auto category, received rave reviews from industry pundits and created the concept of “motoring” for the brand. This time Ms. Martin will be working on the launch of the Coda sedan, the Santa Monica, Calif., company’s first car, next year.
The Chevy Volt Gets 230 MPG. So What? GM announced Tuesday that the much-ballyhooed plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt will get 230 mpg. At first glance, that’s a mind-blowingly high rating, and GM knows it. That’s why the automaker’s early marketing campaign for the car touts the number. But what does it actually mean?
Electric cars could comprise 64-86% of US light vehicle sales by 2030, provided that consumers don’t have to buy the high-priced batteries themselves and an infrastructure can be built to maintain and manage them, according to a new study from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of California, Berkeley. To build the infrastructure for battery charging and swapping systems over the next few decades, the cost may exceed $320 billion, the study (pdf) found. However, that cost could be offset by societal health-related savings of $205 billion, as less vehicle pollution reduces the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases, writes Environmental Leader.
Ford’s Next Experiment With Sustainable Materials: Liquid Wood
Recently, scientists have been touting “liquid wood,” a bizarre pikecrete-like new material which some think could become as ubiquitous as plastic. Ford, eager to burnish its green credentials, took notice: One of its research wings in Germany has just inaugurated a three-year, $1.4 million program to figure out if liquid wood can be used in their car interiors and engines.