Automotive Intelligence

News of  June 1, 1999

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Impala Becomes First Carline to Reprise Popular Theme


DETROIT, MI, May 28, 1999 - The all-new 2000 Chevrolet Impala will invite consumers to "See the USA" in special, national print and TV ads that break on Memorial Day weekend.

The new Impala campaign is the first brand execution of Chevy's recently contemporized musical arrangement of "See the USA in Your Chevrolet." The 1950s version of "See the USA in your Chevrolet" was recently named one of the five best advertising jingles of the 20th century.

2000 Chevrolet Impala

2000 Chevrolet Impala

Photo: GM

The print campaign will debut with a special insert, four-page pop-up section in the USA Weekend on May 30, followed by multi-page ads in national newsweekly magazines in June. Two 30-second TV spots will be unveiled during the Indianapolis 500 on May 30 (Sunday). Teaser TV ads began running May 17.

"Impala redefines the 'Great American Sedan' with full-size, six-passenger room and midsize sedan agility," said Don Parkinson, Chevrolet Impala brand manager. "Impala is a great car for those who enjoy driving -- across town or across the USA." One of the ads ("Hair in the Wind") focuses on a woman gazing happily at the world, while a contemporary version of "See the USA in Your Chevrolet" plays in the background. The voice over asks "When was the last time you drove, just for the fun of it? Why doesn't somebody bring that back?" Viewers then see shots of the new Impala on the road, and learn that the woman is actually a passenger in the car.

"People told us that they were longing for a car they can love again, so we emphasized the sheer pleasure of driving in the ad," said Jim Jandasek, Chevrolet director of passenger car advertising and sales promotion. "They want a car that satisfies the head, yet appeals to the heart. Our advertising reflects our aspirations to design, engineer and build the most carefree car on the road and Chevy's invitation: 'Let's Go for a Drive.'"

Chevrolet began shipping the all-new Impala to its 4,300 dealers April 8, and many Impalas are being sold within 48 hours of arrival. Production is ahead of schedule at General Motors' Oshawa, Ontario, Canada assembly facility. "Impalas are leaping off dealer lots," Parkinson said. Complementing the TV and print campaign will be a regional direct mail program planned for later this year. The program will have a stronger advantage than many direct mail campaigns due to the Impala brand's 96 percent recognition factor among consumers. All advertising is being done by Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Chevrolet's long-time advertising agency. "People who love to drive will not only recognize the Impala name, they'll fall in love with the Impala character," Parkinson said. Chevrolet value, in a $19,265 base price, $22,925 for the LS model, both models with loads of equipment.


smart Remains a Key Brand
Robert J. Eaton: "The smart passenger car is one of the most innovative cars on the market"

Stuttgart, May 19, 1999 - In response to media speculations this week about the future of the smart passanger car and the DaimlerChysler subsidiary Micro Compact Car (MCC), the Board of Management underscored the importance of the smart brand to the company.

smart car

smart car

Photo: DaimlerChrysler

Production measures, price adjustments and an ambitious advertising campaign have brought satisfactory results in the form of a significant increase in smart sales. Moreover, the sales target of 80,000 smart cars for 1999 remains constant. The company is concentrating on keeping the smart on the road to success.

The future development and job situation of the smart production location in Hambach, Lorraine, and the engines location in Berlin-Marienfelde, Germany, is not at issue. At the 18. May General Meeting of the Shareholders, Robert J. Eaton again said "In terms of general comfort, design and production technology the smart passenger car is one of the most innovative cars on the market and we are looking forward to getting the smart on the road to success. Even the logistics and dealer network are new. "The market launch in October of this ambitious project fell short of our expectations, but we are making tremendous efforts to reinvigorate this project." Chairman Jürgen E. Schrempp added "After the significant increase in incoming orders in recent weeks, our mood is optimistic."


The Renault / Nissan agreement is implemented
May 28, 1999 - Renault and Nissan have just carried out the planned transfers of capital and shares, thus sealing their alliance. As announced on March 27, when the agreement was signed, Renault has acquired 36.8% of the equity capital of Nissan Motor.

On May 28, Renault carried out the transfer of capital enabling it to acquire 36.8% of the equity of Nissan Motor, following approval by the European Commission and Japanese governmental authorities of the global partnership between Renault and Nissan.

As planned for within the framework of the alliance, Renault purchased directly from Nissan Motor on May 28 part of its stake in Nissan Diesel (36 million shares), enabling it to acquire 15.2% of the capital of Nissan Diesel. In a second phase, after authorization by Nissan Diesel's annual general meeting to be held on June 29, Renault will subscribe, in early July, for 22 million shares as part of a reserved capital increase, in order to increase its total equity participation in Nissan Diesel to 22.5%. Renault and Nissan are currently studying possible synergies in the area of commercial vehicles.

Furthermore, Renault has signed the contracts relative to the acquisition of Nissan’s five European sales financing subsidiaries : in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.Finally, Renault is continuing to study the possibility of acquiring an equity stake in Automakers, Nissan's South African subsidiary. A decision will be taken in the next few weeks.

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