Editor-in-Chief's Note: Kudos have to go out to Mike Accaviti, Acura's general manager, who has finally come out and said what a lot of people in the automobile business have been thinking for a long time, but who were afraid to say it because they might be labeled as being tragically un-hip. And that is that social media, for all of its of-the-moment immediacy, doesn't do all that much to sell cars. "It's a fantastic way to get awareness," Accaviti said last week in Detroit. "We haven't seen the results yet on consideration." No shit. Social media is an image play, but somehow it has become the be-all and end-all for a lot of automakers who clearly don't know any better. They've confused social media buzz - which is, for all intents and purposes, another blast of marketing cotton candy - with solid strategies that actually move intenders into the showroom. I can't tell you how many hundreds of millions of dollars have been out-and-out wasted on social media by these car companies, and it's a complete travesty. Again, social media is an image play, pure and simple. Shifting massive amounts of marketing dollars to it in the hopes of moving the metal just doesn't wash. It's about time these car companies get smart about it and replace their in-house "Digital Messiahs" with people who understand the Big Picture and how this business actually works. - PMD
Advertisers just can't keep their pants on when it comes to advertising on the Super Bowl, apparently, as BMW has already officially premiered the new, 60-second spot for the all-electric BMW i3 that will air during the first quarter of NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1, 2015, completely negating any surprise factor. “Newfangled Idea,” as the spot is called, features Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. The spot "juxtaposes the famous 1994 Today Show clip of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel’s initial confusion surrounding 'what is the internet?', to Katie and Bryant in 2015 grasping the newfangled concept of the revolutionary BMW i3," according to the manufacturer. Watch it here.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT, the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG, will have a starting price of $129,900 (+$925 destination/delivery charge). The Mercedes-AMG GT S standard features include Nappa Leather, Keyless-GO, COMAND, Collision Prevention Assist PLUS, Parktronic, 8 Airbags, 19" Front / 20" Rear wheels, AMG Adaptive Suspension, LED Headlamps, Power heated/memory AMG Performance Seats, Rearview Camera, Red Brake Calipers, AMG 3-Stage ESP, and a Burmester Surround Sound System. The GT S is powered by a 4.0-liter, 503HP bi-turbo V8 engine with 479 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The U.S. market launch of the GT S is scheduled for April 2015. The "base" GT variant goes on sale in the U.S. in the Spring of 2016 with 456HP and 443 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds.