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Auto blogMon, 20 Jun 2011 19:57:00 EST
Bob Lutz sits down for Autoline Detroit - Click above to watch video after the jump
Autoline Detroit recently played host to Bob Lutz, and, as is always the case, the former General Motors vice chairman dished out some great commentary. Lutz was promoting his new book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, and talk quickly turned to his role as it related to product development and high-level decision making at GM. While on the topic of brand management, Lutz revealed a few rather interesting tidbits about his former employer:
All Chevrolet vehicles were required to have five-spoke aluminum wheels and a chrome band up front, as part of the Bowtie brand's overall image.
General Motors hadn't had a recall in India since 1995. That changed when it was discovered that certain employees were playing tricks with local emissions testing in order to ensure passing grades for engines. More than ten GM Powertrain employees in India and the US have been let go over the ensuing emissions flap, including Sam Winegarden, VP of global engine engineering, a man who has been with the company since 1969, leading development of some marquee powerplants.
According to Automotive News, an internal investigation revealed that employees "violated testing procedures," sometimes swapping specially prepared low-emissions engines during testing regimes for the Chevrolet Tavera SUV equipped with the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines. Employees were also manipulating weights in order to get vehicles placed into different emissions categories. The discovery has led to GM recall the 114,000 Taveras produced over an eight-year period and halting their production and sale.
The Economic Times of India reports that the issue is due to "a faulty component." GM has developed a solution to the issue, and once it is validated in testing and approved by the Indian authorities, the recalled vehicles will be fixed at dealers and production will resume.
There are still plenty of companies that haven't gotten the whole social media thing down pat yet, but Hot Wheels isn't one of them. During the recent Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Hot Wheels created a lot of buzz for itself by using a vending machine filled with Chevrolet Camaro models, but instead of money to get the cars, show attendees just had to use Twitter.
To get the free car, people were asked to send a tweet to Hot Wheels Canada saying what they liked about the new Hot Wheels Edition Camaro, and including the #ChevyCIAS hashtag. This seemed to be a popular marketing tool, too, as AdWeek reports that the @HotWheelsCanada account more than tripled in followers during the course of the 10-day show. Looking ahead, this could open up even more innovative marketing possibilities using social media.
Check out the video posted below to watch how it works, and while the auto show has ended and the free-car giveaway has too, we're almost certain that some of the 1,500 freebies will make their way onto eBay.