Fighting for more space in the garage
Helmut Panke, the BMW AG board member in charge of finance, explained last week why BMW built its first sort-of sport-utility, the X5: 'The strategy is clearly to have it be the second or third car in a two- or three-car family. As someone else here used to say - I don't mind saying, it was Vic Doolan: `We want every car in a three-car garage to be a BMW.' ' Doolan jumped ship earlier this year to be executive director of North American marketing and distribution for Premier Automotive Group, the new luxury division of Ford Motor Co. Presumably, that means Doolan now wants every car in the garage to be a Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mercury or Volvo. It had better be a big garage.
WEB SCOOP - Volkswagen breaks a new commercial on its Web site today, Nov. 15, a week ahead of its debut on national TV. 'We hope it will create a fun and exciting buzz about the ad before it hits the airwaves,' says Liz Vanzura, director of marketing and advertising. VW is alerting more than 250,000 consumers to the debut through e-mails, and has an ad in USA Today. The new Cabrio spot from Arnold Communications in Boston uses Nick Drake's song 'Pink Moon,' and has no dialogue. It hits TV Nov. 22 on national broadcast and cable networks.
GREEN HEROES - Seeking a greener image, Ford Motor Co. will buy Time magazine's entire special edition April 24 - Earth Day. The entire edition will feature 'Heroes of the Planet.' That's the same name as a special quarterly editorial section Ford started sponsoring a year ago in Time as part of an unusual multiyear deal with the magazine's parent, Time Inc. In recent years, Ford was the only advertiser of a special 'Seinfeld' edition of Entertainment Weekly in May 1998. Buick was the sole sponsor of a 1995 reprint of the May 14, 1945, issue of Time to honor the 50th anniversary of V-E Day.
VW AFTER PIECH - Although he shows few signs of slowing down, Ferdinand Piech appears to be thinking about who will succeed him as chairman of Volkswagen AG. Among the early favorites heard through the European grapevine is 47-year-old Wendelin Wiedeking, Porsche chairman. Wiedeking is judged to have done a great job profitably growing, and is thought to have the vision to inherit Piech's legacy at VW. He would need it. The controversial but brilliant Piech will be a difficult - some say impossible - act to follow.