Julie Cantwell can blame herself for the following rant. Her Mini Cooper column in (some editions of) the May 27 Marketing section illuminates just a part of the lunacy of car marketing, and it makes me crazy. Example: I found out about the Ford Living Legends tour on the Net, but no one knew WHERE it was going to be in Los Angeles, including the local dealerships and Ford North American customer service.
Through luck, I tracked it down to the Rose Bowl. Why did I want to go so urgently? The Forty-Nine. A car I would buy in a heartbeat (which says a lot for a guy whose last purchase was the Mazda Miata way back in 1989) if they would only build it.
Now let's go to Daimler-Daimler -- oops, make that DaimlerChrysler, at least for now. Again, they had the 300 Hemi C slated for 2004 production, a beautiful car that will seat four. On the same platform they were going to build an updated and head-turning Charger. But, no, instead they build the Crossfire for 2004, an underpow-ered, overpriced two-seater. And instead of upgrading the Prowler with a manual shifter and a V-8, they kill it.
And then there's the bumbling of PT Cruiser updates, a fine example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory yet again. Is there a single person outside Chrysler who wonders why Chrysler has problems?