Lexus to boost ad outlay 20%
Lexus' first commercials for its 2000 models break tonight, Oct. 11, on national network and cable TV.
Marketing manager Mike Slagter said the spots 'try to emotionalize the product,' using humor to make the brand seem less stodgy than some perceive it to be.
Ad agency Team One in El Segundo, Calif., also tries to cast Lexus as a fashion statement. For example, the driver in the ES 300 commercial eyes himself as he circles a mirrored building to see how he looks in it.
Slagter said media spending will rise about 20 percent in the 2000 model year. Lexus spent $151.4 million in measured media in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Ford, PSA add to diesel deal
PARIS - Ford Motor Co. and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA have broadened their diesel-engine partnership.
The work now will cover four families of direct-injection diesel engines for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. They are: small aluminum engines from 1.4 to 1.6 liters; a second generation of 2.0- and 2.2-liter engines, currently made by PSA; new V-6 and V-8 engines for both automakers; and a specific range for light commercial vehicles sold in Europe.
The engines will be used in Europe, Asia and the United States. A previous, $328 million deal last year covered 1.4-liter, aluminum engines now under development.
Insurer: Use OE repair parts
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. temporarily has stopped promoting the use of aftermarket repair parts for crash-damaged vehicles. Only original equipment replacement parts are being used.
The insurer said claim service was disrupted last week after policyholders flooded the company with calls. The calls came after an Illinois jury awarded policyholders $456 million in a case that centered on State Farm's practice of promoting non-OEM parts.
A story on Page 30 of this issue went to press before State Farm's decision was announced.
Leuliette quits Detroit Diesel
High-profile supplier executive Timothy Leuliette is leaving Detroit Diesel Corp.
Leuliette, 49, will join the newly formed Heartland Industrial Partners. Leuliette was vice chairman of Detroit Diesel and COO of Penske Corp., Detroit Diesel's parent. He also has led ITT Automotive and Siemens Automotive.
Heartland is being launched by investor David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan. The company hopes to raise $2 billion in capital to acquire small- to medium-sized industrial companies in the Midwest. Stockman plans to improve the companies' profit margins and then resell them.
Meanwhile, Chip McClure has been named CEO of Detroit Diesel.
McClure, 46, former president of Johnson Controls Inc., retains his title of president at Detroit Diesel.