Thursday, March 14, 2013
I have come across a number of car reviews and articles about the Buick Verano and Acura ILX. My simple statement is that both vehicles should not exist. These two vehicles pollute and dilute the goals of their respective brands. The Verano and ILX are supposed to be entry level luxury vehicles. However, under their skins are a Chevy Cruze and a Honda Civic. Both companies didn't do a very good job of disguising the origins.
What is an entry level luxury vehicle? The BMW 1, the Audi A3, the Lexus ES? The Buick Verano and Acura ILX are pretenders. In fact, in the automotive world, no other automaker has more identity issues than Acura. Acura is supposed to be a premium brand, but they really do not offer a vehicle that competes with the rear wheel drive competitors. It's almost a Japanese Lincoln. Determining brand identity can be difficult, but adding substandard products to a premium brand is a big move in the wrong direction. Think about the Jaguar X-Type. The X-Type was an entry level Jaguar based on the Ford Mondeo. The X-Type was a flop, and I think customers could tell it was a phony; just like the Verano and ILX.
On the other hand, I think that Mercedes-Benz is going to be offering an ideal entry level premium sedan, the CLA. The new CLA has a substantial amount of power, and unlike previous US market Mercedes-Benz models, is front wheel drive. Audi has offered the A3 wagon for a number of years, which was essentially a fancy VW Golf. This new Mercedes will be one to watch, and somewhat of an experiment for the US division. I would consider the BMW 1 Series a failure due to it's unflattering looks, and extremely high price. At least with the CLA you have a distinct vehicle from the MB C-Class, and people will be able to drive them and determine what experience they would like for themselves.
So, Buick and Acura, I think these vehicles will go down in history as X-Types. Vehicles that did no favors for the brand, brought in no young customers, and sat on dealer lots. If you had $30K to spend, would you spend it on a FWD Acura, Buick, or Mercedes CLA? The looks, badge, and engine of the CLA look like a winner to me.
The video above is my Fiesta Movement Application video. I was an agent in the Fiesta Movement in 2009. Ford has brought back the social media project for the updated 2014 Ford Fiesta. The three biggest changes in the Fiesta for 2013 is the availability of the 3 cylinder Ecoboost engine, the 197 HP turbocharged ST, and the MyFordTouch module.
The 3 cylinder Ecoboost will not be available for the Fiesta Movement, say my sources, but there should be a small number of Fiesta ST cars available. If you watch my video above and if this were some sort of gambling game, you could say I put everything on ST.
The Fiesta ST should be an amazing vehicle, and has the potential to go down in automotive history as legendary. It is the car that every auto enthusiast has asked for; a truly powerful subcompact hot hatch. The ST has nearly as much horsepower and more torque than the current generation VW Golf GTI, which is a class larger. The Fiesta outguns the Juke, the Fiat 500 Abarth, Mini Cooper S, and Honda Civic Si. The car's only competition is the Focus ST, which is a few thousand dollars more.
Still, what is the Fiesta Movement really about? The Fiesta Movement sounds fun, but marketing is about sales. It's about moving that metal. It is up to these 100 agents to reach a diverse audience, and lend their personality to the Fiesta brand.