It’s not a Monday, but after the Australia Day holiday yesterday it kind of feels like a Monday.
Let’s start the week with a magical photo from one the companies that keeps on gaining traction on my automotive radar – Renault. Specifically, Renault’s sportier extensions: RenaultSport and Renault Alpine. This historic photo was spotted on Automobiliac and shows the Alpine factory in Dieppe chock full of A110s being prepped for racing.
Rare Vintage Saab Pricing
Good news for vintage Saab owners last week with a Saab 95 selling for $40,700 at auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Image: Jeff Koch – Hemmings.
It’s a curious development, for sure. The car looks fantastic but it’s interesting that it’s pulled such a high price after being restored to a completely non-factory appearance. SaabWorld has more photos and the auction ad describing the work done on the car.
AutoExtremist Pete DeLorenzo is right on the money when he suggests that Corvette should break away from Chevrolet and become its own sports car brand. Corvette is without a smidgen of doubt GM’s most respected vehicle and the fact that’s its linked to vehicles like the Sonic and the Silverado, however tenuously, is just crazy.
I don’t agree with a three-model strategy for Corvette, however. Any theoretical strategy that mentions the Solstice/Sky twins (again, however tenuously) is a strategy that’s doomed. Corvette doesn’t need a ‘younger’ car. It just needs extremely capable cars, which is apparently what it’s got. Just keep making them better.
Toyota have officially been named as the sales leader for 2012.
Toyota’s brands sold 9.75 million vehicles in 2012 opening a handy gap over GM with 9.29 million and then Volkswagen with 9.07 million.
Toyota’s 2012 sales were 22% up on 2011, which was adversely affected by poor press in the US (unintended acceleration stories) and supply problems after natural disasters in Asia. VW’s sales were an 11% rise on the year before, where GM’s sales were a rise of just 3%.
If those companies trend the same in 2013 as they did in 2012, expect VW to be the new world #2 at the end of this year.
Loose lips sink ships
Some former Saab people have been handing around images of vehicles that they shouldn’t have been. You’ll most likely see them quite soon as various publications chase the story.
What those former Saab people either overlooked, or maybe didn’t realise or care about so much, is that the release of those images causes some damage to the value of the work done by the design team, some of whom never got paid despite continuing to work right up to Saab’s bankruptcy.
I benefited plenty from leaked imagery in the past with TS and SU. I can understand why the recipients are chasing the story. It’s their job. I just hope it’s treated responsibly by all concerned (which is the one thing I always tried to do with leaked material). I also hope that those who are leaking this stuff think twice about the damage they might be doing.
That sounds rich coming from me, I know, but having this material is one thing, knowing how to treat it something else completely.
It’s nearly Superbowl time, which means new car ads. As is the way since the rise of Youtube, etc, the ad shown on the day is often just one part of a larger campaign that starts before the big game.
Here are some of the early starters……
Toyota use BBT’s Penny as a genie. Mixed results.
Audi encourage a bit of teenage hubris (and teenage speeding, which I don’t like in my old age).
I can’t believe Mercedes Benz allowed this. It’s a preview ‘teaser’ for the new compact CLA and it’s only half a step ahead of a GoDaddy ad in terms of being totally devoid of class.
What a stupid way to launch a new vehicle from such a storied carmaker.
Volkswagen have done some great superbowl ads in the last few years, the standout being the junior Darth Vader ad from a few years ago.
Apparently this is the real VW ad for the Superbowl this year:
Volkswagen have also released this ‘teaser’ online, which is a lot more satisfying to me as a story. Maybe the reason they’re using it as a web-only teaser is because it doesn’t feature a car. I still think it’s a better narrative, though.