I like this new Scion campaign from Attik. It's simple, to the point. United by Individuality--yeah, it makes sense, no pretense. We had done some preliminary work for Scion some years back. And this falls right in line with what we suspected regarding a networked intelligentsia aspect of Gen Y lifestyle. Love that the ads mix actual owners' xBs, xDs and tCs with stock models...cool street cred.
Hyundai's new "Assurance Program" allows new-vehicle buyers or those who lease to return their cars for up to a year after purchase if they lose their income due to a job loss. Here's the official policy: Hyundai Assurance.
Not so sure exactly how I feel about that one. One, if you lose your job...you'll desperately need that car to get back in the saddle again and start interviewing. Two, how high is the threshold of pain that you must muster to actually bring the car back. And how do you explain that to your friends? "I'm so down and out, I had to turn my Hyundai in..." In an era where social credibility among peers can make or break a person, this sounds like lip service. Now, if Hyundai wants to put its money where its mouth is, how about: If you lose your job, they suspend your payments until you land a new position...or some pre-determined amount of time.
You keep your car, your pride and you just might get that slim next job.
Hmmm...kind of reminds me of another insurance policy. Last year, when we bought our daughter an electronic panda, Sharper Image told us we could trade it in whenever we wanted as long as we purchased a Replacement Guarantee. Our thought was that within six months (or hopefully before the company started bankrupty proceedings), the kid would tire of the Panda and much prefer a kneading massage cushion...yeah right...we still have the panda. He gets played with just enough to warrant him staying in our home. I suspect we'd hold on to a Hyundai too as long as he was worth his driving weight.
A lot of Halo fans think Hummer's new HX concept SUV looks quite a bit like the Warthog all-terrain vehicle from Bungie's hit games. The designers must have been thinking of the Warthog when they built it, right?
Wrong. Carl Zipfel, GM's director of exterior design for the HX concept, says the Warthog was not an inspiration for the new compact SUV.
Zipfel emphasized the futuristic look and off-road capabilities of the HX at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. But he says the design comes from modern-day ATVs, not Halo's heavily armed military vehicles.
Zipfel says he saw the buzz about the HX in video game blogs, and he seemed flattered by the the comparison. He even said he and several of the vehicle's young designers play Halo.
But as for the Warthog resemblance — that's just a coincidence.
Read the whole story.
The most significant obstacles facing the vehicles could be human rather than technical: government regulation, liability laws, privacy concerns and people's passion for the automobile and the control it gives them.
Much of the technology already exists for vehicles to take the wheel: radar-based cruise control, motion sensors, lane-change warning devices, electronic stability control and satellite-based digital mapping. And automated vehicles could dramatically improve life on the road, reducing crashes and congestion.
If people are interested…the company plans to test driverless car technology by 2015 and have cars on the road around 2018.
(Image: GM's Three-Wheeled Runabout, 1966; source: Paleo-Future.)
Three years in the making, we show you today the outcome of the JB
Classics + DJ Funkmaster Flex + Ford Motors collaborative efforts. The
shoe project consists of two sneakers, one designed with each partner
in this three-way project.
The JB Classics + DJ Funkmaster Flex Getlo comes with a true-blue nubuck toe box and heel panels, white full grain toe vamp and perforation details. The inner leather skin lining features the "FMF" logo print in accent colors to match the outsole. Limited to 240 pairs worldwide, shops that will carry the sneaker include Deep Store (Paris), Overkill (Berlin), Garage (Switzerland), Qubic (New Zealand) and Moe's Sneaker Spot (NYC), just to name a few.
The JB Classics + Ford Motors Getlo comes with an equal amount of details. Most of the sneaker is covered in the Ford trademark blue, the tongue features an embossed Ford logo. The inner lining matches the outer sole and the red accents give for a nice contrast. Packaged with two sets of laces, Certificate of Ownership, hand numbered tongue and cinch bag, this model was exclusively developed for Ford Motors.
An very interesting article in today's NY Times puts some motion in the water about how we think about cars and the place they have in our lives. Bob Nardelli is making his vision known, spring boarding off of what he knows best which is home improvement and consumer nesting habits via his leadership at Home Depot.
“I think a vehicle today has to be your most favorite room under your roof,” Mr. Nardelli said. “I really believe that. I mean, it has to bring you gratification, it has to be tranquil. It’s incidental that it gets you from Point A to B, right?”
Bob is partly right. The place cars play in the family has clearly evolved from the post WW2 consumer boom. From one car garages to the "second car" (video) phenomenon, fueled by manufacturing innovation and global access to raw materials, got more women and teens on the road and changed how we think about cars. Cars were about escape, freedom. They got us out exploring. Roads and businesses evolved as this product reshaped how people worked, played and shopped for goods and services. They spawned road trip vacations and drive-in restaurants- youth culture and new political realities with more of the country opened up to view by the general public. They became a way of communicating who you were because the role they played was fundamentally social and moving out of your home base to do something - to define who you are.
Now, home base is where more connecting and communication of status takes place. Technology has fueled this. From home theaters, to home draft beer, coffee and wine bars. Home is now a crucial hub. The need to venture out has changed and become more specific and less open-ended. More people share a greater percentage of their work life at home. More takes place in this space than ever before. There is more venturing inward and bringing people in based on connections helped by a new level of connectivity among people . The journey is now far more introspective. And in this move inward women play a far greater role in deciding what that experience is in this hub. So when we think of cars now we don't think of them as less escape pods and more comfort pods that need to keep that same level of cocooned experience. More similar to what we see happening in airline interior design. The other reality is that much of the experience of driving has been taken away via cruise control and improved roads and highways - so basically the weight of the experience is now a reinforcement of the comfort zone that is established in the home.
The position of the car as second living room is a bit of a quick jump though. It is more complex than that. Balancing aspects of car culture with aspects of home cocooning will be crucial.
A Chrysler spokesman, Mike Aberlich, said Mr. Nardelli’s comments might have stemmed from the briefings he received from the company’s marketing experts and car designers.
Their research has shown that customers are placing a greater emphasis on vehicle interiors. In fact, Chrysler has frequently referred to its minivans as “living rooms on wheels,” he said.
The new Send to Phone feature works in conjunction with Cars.com's new mobile site, launched in June of this year. Cars.com was the first automotive site to offer vehicle listings alongside research tools and buying advice in a mobile application, giving car shoppers on-the-go access to the information they need to make informed buying decisions.
This one's cool: The Mixim, Nissan’s newest concept car was just revealed to the world during the week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, so says Japanator. This car was heavily influenced by anime and manga, developed by Yoo Eunsun…the car is conceptually rooted in computer games, and visually influenced by manga comics, anime (Japanese animation) and Second Life.
Meanwhile, as reported by Wired magazine, this one's cute: the Nissan Pino (a reference to Pinocchio?) is a micro mini-car for $8000 that you can pimp with patterned seat covers, tissue dispensers, stuffed animals, matching handbags, stickers and CD cases. Because, as the Pino site says, “Everything is better cute.”