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Auto blogWed, 10 Apr 2013
Those of you that caught yesterday's op-ed about Lincoln will have heard already, but Mark LaNeve has taken the helm at Team Detroit. Once the North American vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors, LaNeve will now head up the agency that handles all of Ford advertising. LaNeve will also run the account for Lincoln. While at GM from 2001 to 2009, the exec oversaw ad campaigns like Cadillac's Breakthrough and sales initiatives like "Employee Pricing for Everyone."
He left in 2009 to join Allstate as chief marketing officer, oversaw the creation of the Mayhem ad spots and was moved into the role of VP of agency operations overseeing Allstate's 10,000 agents. He resigned from the insurer in February 2012 for personal reasons and joined Team Detroit in August 2012 as chief operating officer, in charge of satellite offices in New York and internationally. He replaces ex-CEO Cameron McNaughton, and will continue to hold the title of COO.
Lincoln is trying to get its 2013 back to rights after putting big dollar commercials for the 2013 MKZ on television then having production glitches preventing cars from getting to dealerships. With rumors of a relaunch in the works, it's no surprise LaNeve has been given the reins - and from here it looks like the brand is desperate for the kind of magic he's proved he can marshal. Perhaps he can start by calling a mulligan on the renaming exercise that gave us the hoary "Lincoln Motor Company" and go back to oh, say, "Lincoln." Then he can ask the product folks to get to work on the MKC concept...
In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit's business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered - and complained - that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles - which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger - are affected by the safety issues.
Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn't been updated.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation on the 2011-2013 Ford Fiesta because the regulator has received 61 complaints from drivers, including one claim of an injury, about the doors on the subcompacts failing to latch and sometimes even flying open while driving. NHTSA has estimated that the problem could affect as many as 205,000 vehicles.
NHTSA is still gathering further data about the problem, but looking at the complaints so far, both front and rear doors appear to be potentially involved with the alleged failures. Among the reports, there are 12 claiming that the door opened while driving. Several also indicate the "Door Ajar" warning illuminating during this problem. The one purported injury happened when someone attempted to shut the door, and it bounced back.
Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker told Autoblog via email, "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." Scroll down to read the report from NHTSA.