Selling Cars from Front Office to Back Lot

Naeem Khan SLS

You’ve probably heard the big news that Ford is changing its slogan from “Drive One” to “Go Further.” It’s another move in the constant shuffle of ad agencies and irrelevant marketing that car companies engage in.

This slogan is almost as dumb as Hewlett-Packard’s “Everybody On.” Does Ford really think people will make the distinction between farther (that is, distance) and further (more advanced) or realize that most people use them as synonyms?

I like the old slogans much better: Saturn’s “A Different Kind of Car Company”; BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Mercedes is honoring dress designer Naeem Khan (above) with its “Mercedes-Benz Presents” award for designing dresses for some of the world’s most stylish women. How about “Benz Bends Fashion to Its Ends” for a motto?

FIAT Chrysler King Sergio Marchionne got tough on FIAT stakeholders this week, urging them to “get off their butts,” since the company has been bleeding red ink. If FIAT believes its launch of a 500L station wagon in the U.S. market is going to be its lifeline, a transfusion is indicated, and its dealers may have a different story to tell.

Speaking of car dealers, they are having their big NADA convention in Vegas this weekend, with Sr. Marchionne and George W. Bush (yes, that one) as keynote speakers. Also providing motivation will be Aron Ralston,

who had to amputate his right arm with a knife to free himself from a boulder after a hiking accident. His autobiography “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” was the subject of the film “127 Hours.”

Dealers are also finding themselves between a rock and a hard place with pressure from automakers to get off their butts and modernize, upgrade and invest “billions of dollars” in their facilities. They are being pushed hard by the carmakers and are conducting a study to find out whether such expensive upgrades are cost-effective in driving sales. Guess what the results will show.

I think they could do well to downgrade sales. Take the example of the Cuban gynecologist, who stars in one of the best car-sales videos ever.

Don’t you think this kind of pitch would be more effective than all those costly, “creative” Super Bowl ads?


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  1. I can’t help but think all those suckers who paid to build stand-alone Fiat dealerships are going to be just like the dummies who sank money into Saturn dealerships 20 years ago. Actually, a couple of them around here are exactly the same suckers.

  2. You guys must be pulling my leg. That might be the most inane, irrelevant commercial I’ve ever seen. That is even worse than Flo the Geico mannequin and her alter ego the gecko.
    Geesh, and I thought I had a good sense of humor. I must be in need of a tune up.

  3. Well how about that. You’ve gone and shown me the best car commercial ever. I’ll bet even Seinfeld will have a hard time topping that! “We had a guard dog. But someone stole it.” Yes!

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