Supplier Spotlight

Video Exclusives

Mercedes-AMG unveils Project One in Frankfurt

gtr

Overnight, Mercedes-AMG has revealed the all-new Project One. Powered by the 1.6-liter V6 taken from the Formula One car, and teamed with four electric motors, the OEM’s first hypercar is making waves within the industry.


Nissan unveils the new, reworked Leaf EV

gtr

Nissan has revealed the all-new Leaf EV which, with a range of 378km and packed with innovative technology, is being heralded as a game changer.


Click here/on image to watch video

As new test cycles come in to effect across Europe, does the WLTP go far enough in rectifying the shortcomings to real world emissions and fuel consumption? 

Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

Marketing, done correctly

It has been said that you are not a proper ‘car guy’ until you have owned at least one Alfa Romeo, so as a ‘car guy’ I bought one of the Italian cars a few years back – and sold it two weeks later! Why did I sell it? Because I am a ‘car guy’! The car in question was a Mito hatchback and it did most things pretty averagely, and some things bloody dreadfully (such as the behavior of its hesitant and semi-auto ’box). I hated that Alfa, and my wife hated it too.

So why is it that Alfa Romeo has such a great reputation as a maker of cars for enthusiasts? Its vehicles are undeniably pretty, but at the time I bought that Mito, the marque’s brand consisted of the aforementioned and the unremarkable Giulietta family hatch. (The admittedly desirable Giulia was probably still in the mental black stuff of its creator.) I’ll tell you why Alfa has the reputation as the enthusiast’s choice: because the marketing department created that reputation decades ago. It’s the same for Maserati, another Italian company thought of as producing driver’s cars because of marketing activity from three or more generations ago.

The fact is that if you think of Alfa or Maserati, you think of track-based success, yet you’ll probably struggle to think of what track and in which category. I, for example, know Alfa dabbled as a constructor rather unsuccessfully in Formula 1 in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I know there was F1 activity long before I was born in 1974, but I couldn’t tell you how successful it was – and I bet you don’t know the answer either!

No, the reason Alfa Romeo and similar are seen as driver’s cars and the pick for anyone who loves motoring first and foremost is because a clever marketing team told the world that was the case and continues to link its modern cars to its old racing pedigree. If you repeat something as fact enough times, it becomes fact.

And so you may ask yourself, if the marketing department can create good reputations, why bother searching for engineering excellence? Indeed, because reputations stick, why bother updating anything? Just wheel out the same product in modern clothes. It’ll save a fortune; boost profitability. Spend the money on marketing, not engineering.

But there is hope that engineering excellence can be as effective a marketing tool as a badge on a race car or a poster by the side of the road.

Take Ford. While the American company still has a whiff of Model T-everyman about its products, engineering innovation is very slowly reversing that reputation. The continued and deserved International Engine of the Year Awards success for its 1-liter triple chips away at long-standing stereotypes better than any marketing board can achieve. Now we’re seeing the company become bolder and braver with its engineering know-how, with the announcement of a 1.5-liter triple with cylinder deactivation. And this innovation is from a company that put its 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine to use for decades.

Furthermore, developing cars that have set handling and ride benchmarks for almost two decades has finally started to have the man on the street state that Fords are fun to drive.

It’s taken two decades to get to where the company is, though. (The original Focus was launched to worldwide dynamic acclaim in 1998.) I wonder if clever marketing could have turned around its reputation faster!

 

12 June 2017

Comments:

There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.


Read Latest Issue
International Engine of the Year Awards
Read Latest Issue
Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusive Articles

Engines on test: FCA Multijet turbocharged 1.4-liter
Fiat's 124 Sport Spider may be built on the ND-generation MX-5 platform but, thanks to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine from the Abarth 500, it offers up a very different driving experience
Read Now

Personality Profile: Leah Bruce, Ford Motor Company
A regular in the magazine, Personality Profile highlights the work of those who work in the industry. First up online, is Leah Bruce, diesel manufacturing strategy manager, Ford  
Read Now

Daimler reveals how the GLC F-Cell went from testing to production
With the Mercedes GLC F-Cell SUV set to be unveiled at Frankfurt this week, Daimler has revealed the extensive testing process the first production plug-in hydrogen-powered car was put through.
Read Now


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the engine technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

فروشگاه اینترنتی فروشگاه اینترنتی سیستم همکاری در فروش کانال تلگرام چت روم ماهواره آنلاین اندروید دانلود فیلم فروشگظ;ه اینترنتی

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the engine technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to d.slavnich@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email aboobaker.tayub@ukimediaevents.com