I GAIN LOTS of industry insights from Automotive News, even though this is often peripheral to whatever I feel like writing about these days. Nevertheless, it’s fun to encounter the light side of news in this informative weekly. Here’s a recent selection.
Canine Success. In Automotive News, August 24, 2020, there’s a heart-warming tail er… tale: A stray dog wandered into a car dealership in Brazil. The kindly folks at Prime Hyundai fed him and gave him a place to sleep out of the rain.
The dog took a liking to them; and vice versa. They took him to a vet for a check and vaccination, named him Tucson Prime, and appointed him the showroom mascot. Car buyers got to know Tucson Prime, returned to give him gifts and to pose for photos.
Tucson Prime’s Instagram account now has more than 150,000 followers, and Hyundai Brazil has named him a brand ambassador in its national advertising.
Bob Rohrman, R.I.P.“There’s only one Bob ROOOHHHRRR-man!” read a headline in Automotive News, September 7, 2020. The article continued, “Rohrman, who died last week at age 87, appeared as dozens of wacky characters in his ads.” The Bob Rohrman Auto Group has dealerships in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Bob’s ad alter egos included an Elvis impersonator, “actress” Roberta Rohrmanspoon, an annual October appearance as Count Bobula and Santa Bob during year-end clearance season.
Moving the Metal, #1. As described in Automotive News, September 14, 2020, “Volkswagen last week cut ties with a Mexico City dealership after photos circulated on social media showing a picture of a Beetle at a Nazi rally hanging inside the store.”
The dealership had a collection of historical photos of El Coche del Gente, but there’s good argument it picked the wrong one to display: The poster showed Adolf Hitler speaking at a 1938 rally festooned with swastikas.
Moving the Metal, #2. Automotive News, August 10, 2020, reported “Audi Yanks Bad Banana Ad.” The company’s subsequent spelling was hardly wunderbar either.
The ad showed a girl leaning against the grille of an Audi RS4 station wagon. The caption read, “Lets your heart beat faster—in every respect.”
Who’s Audi’s ad director, Humbert Humbert??
In apologizing for using what it called an “insensitive image,” Audi said, “We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system.”
I suppose one can imagine worse Freudian slips. ds