Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Some Things Never Change 

Auto publicity hasn't changed much since the beginning of autos.

What do you do to prove the mettle of your vehicle? Why you take it racing. That is what Henry Ford did a 100 years ago when he was proving the technology of his early vehicles. That is what Toyota is doing today to prove the power of its hybrid vehicle -- the Prius. Ford did it on the ice of Lake St. Clair. Toyota did it on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Ford used racing to sell cars. Toyota is using its record-setting Prius to sell cars.

This is not a slam on auto publicists. There are natural actions one takes to prove the performance of an auto. Racing is one of them. That is why manufacturers since the beginning have entered auto sports for a time. Few endure, because it is so expensive, but there is a cliche that defines the sport and business, "Race on Sunday. Sell on Monday."

There is also a Latin phrase to describe the tactic, "nihil novum sub sole." There is nothing new under the sun.


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