GMC is demanding a recount in the mayor's race. In GMC's latest TV commercials, GMC engineers compare their Sierra with the new Dodge Ram. Before the closing retail pitch, the voiceover says: "If this is the mayor of Truckville, maybe it's time for a recount." Since the Ram went on sale last September, Dodge's marketing theme has been a fictitious truck village of which the Ram is mayor. It is the 12th spot since GMC started the comparisons in February 2001.
THEY'LL TAKE MANHATTAN - One sign that things are looking up at General Motors: GM will reward top dealers with a trip to New York May 13-15, a step up from the regional luncheons held for honorees last year. GM is picking up the tab for winners of the Jack Smith Award, which recognizes the top 100 dealerships for sales and customer satisfaction. "This year we decided to do a nice event in New York with wives," said spokeswoman Marcia McGee. One dealer making the trip sees it as part of increased GM spending to recognize dealers and salespeople: "Years ago, they almost thought recognition was something they could cut out of the budget. They're bringing all that stuff back again."
SLIGHTLY OFF TRACK - Advanced-technology common-rail diesel engines are found in roughly four out of every 10 cars sold in Western Europe but are almost unheard of in Japan. So it perhaps is understandable that Denso Corp.'s announcement last week that it will start making common-rail diesel components in Thailand and Hungary was reworded in a story by Japan's Jiji News Service as a plan "to make rail-train components."
BETTER THAN GERITOL - Get a Viper and you get the girl, according to a print ad from Dodge. The ad shows a cadaverous male motorist with his beaming, busty and much younger bride, in front of a shiny Viper. The tag line: "Need we say more?" The rich-old-guy/young-fortune-hunter stereotype hasn't drawn the ire of feminists or the elderly, says Julie Roehm, director of Dodge communications. "We love it," she says of the ad. "It so well depicts 'Grab life by the horns,' " a Dodge slogan. The ad, aimed at young male buyers susceptible to the notion that the hot car gets the girl, has been running in auto buff books and appeared in the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated.