For about ten years, I found that writing commentaries on this site can be a challenge. Either the subject is relevant for the time of writing, or it is not. It is usually easier when a stream of consciousness occurs and something that is intelligible is actually published on here.
However, I found some difficulty lately on doing a commentary for this week.
One problem is that I really don’t want to repeat a topic I covered in recent months. When I look back at what I wrote on a specific topic to see if I can glean something new out of it, I would find the same arguments apply on a newer article.
For example, you’ve probably seen that Kia and General Motors introduced new corporate logos in recent weeks. Social Media blew up on various opinions on either logo, ranging from aesthetics to the company’s thought processes getting to these new designs.
The same arguments and refutations for these logos apply when I discussed the new https://www.randystern.net/commentary-whats-in-a-logo/ “digital” brand mark Volkswagen unveiled last year, as well as BMW’s new take on the Roundel. We can go on about execution, purpose, messaging, and so forth. Maybe find some nuances in relation to Volkswagen and BMW to Kia and GM.
To be honest, I understand why Kia went beyond creating a new logo. They are also ready to execute an electrified future with a series of new models featuring advanced propulsion technology. They rebooted their marketing approach, with imagery of success instead of relying on an apologetically mainstream audience. I do believe that Kia will succeed here, because you have the right personnel in key positions to drive this change forward.
As for GM, I’m afraid I’m not on board with their logo and the strategy behind it.
Another set of news revolved around the fact that the Consumer Electronics Show was held virtually this year. It was where GM introduced their new logo and their electrification strategy for the company. GM did not introduce actual production vehicles, but rather ideas. ZWe all love ideas, right?
There was little piece of news that caught some eyeballs. In the GM presentation, did you notice a rakish crossover in the back of the stage? Something reminding us of a Lamborghini Urus? The speculation train went full steam on suggesting that the mystery rakish crossover in the back would be a member of the Chevrolet Corvette family.
Wait? A Corvette crossover? On a stage with other electrified concepts from all GM brands? Maybe a Corvette with a large degree of electrified driveline parts?
When that speculative piece of potential misinformation hit social media, all heck broke loose. The Corvette fans went ballistic. This is an affront to our brand…our car!
Sounds familiar? May I suggest the Ford Mustang Mach-E – the newly crowned North American Utility of The Year? The Mustang faithful were furious when it came out. Now, some of them are taking delivery of one this year.
What if there was an electrified Corvette crossover coming in the next few year? I’ll bet you that there will parts of the current demographic who would end up owning one. That’s how the automotive industry works sometimes…
Speaking of which, the North American Car, Truck, and Utility of The Year were announced by journalist Lauren Fix and her NACTOY jury. I mentioned that the Mustang Mach-E took the Utility honors, while the new Ford F-150 won the Truck award. Out of the two-fer for Ford, I agreed with one of them. The Mustang Mach-E may be innovative and a symbol of attainable battery-electric mobility, I was surprised it took that honor.
Want a bigger surprise…that wasn’t a surprise? The North American Car of The Year honors went to the new Hyundai Elantra. It was a surprise because I felt that the Nissan Sentra went further in its redevelopment. It would be a bigger story, as Nissan had been licking its wounds from a bad dealership meeting and the escape of Carlos Ghosn towards rebooting its fortunes.
Why wasn’t the Elantra’s win a surprise? Hyundai-Kia has been a on roll in becoming a leader in the automotive industry. Among its three brands, they have crafted award-winning and relevant vehicles that set new benchmarks for the industry. Having never been inside of an Elantra, I have more questions to ask. When I get one in to work with, those questions will be addressed.
There are a couple more topics I could address here. That will bring me to another problem: How to address the politics of this country that have nothing to do with its role in the realm of transportation. I might acknowledge them in other pieces in the near future…or, not.
Not today, however. Not when there will be a transfer of the Presidency at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. Not when I get a chance to review the incoming administration’s plan on transportation, including the automotive industry.That’s what’s been swirling in my mind since the start of the year. There will be more to come…
Photo by Randy Stern