When fighting for a competitive advantage in the tough automotive sector, every little bit helps, especially when trying to sell a range-limited, pricey and usually uncool electric car. But this Christmas, the EVs have the advantage..
Don’t believe me? Well take a look at the latest efforts from Toyota and Vauxhall, then compare them with a selection of this year’s favourite Christmas messages that we’ve received so far.
Note: since publishing this post and its original six entries, it’s clear that the EVs have run out of juice under the onslaught of Lamborghini, Ford, BMW, Caterham, Volvo… Perhaps there’ll be a late, late entry from Fisker, Tesla or BMW i.
Toyota’s Clean Air Christmas Cheer. As part of Camden’s Cleaner Air for London Businesses project Toyota donated a Prius Plug-in Hybrid for the day to power an array of Christmas lights in London’s Bedford Square. Decked out in a seasonal snowflake livery, the Prius Plug-in was joined by carol singers from the Trinity Laban Choir, together with a Toyota van serving free hot drinks and mince pies. Of course a Prius Plug-in is not just for Christmas, but we’re struggling to think of a better use for one right now. Post your suggestions on Twitter using the hashtag #whatwouldyouuseapriusfor.
Vauxhall Ampera ‘Love it or Return it’ scheme. Vauxhall are taking advantage of the season of giving with their own special offer – Gift it, Try it, Keep it.. or Return it, offering a a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all new range-extended Ampera hybrids. Mileage must not exceed 1500 miles and any damage will be charged to the customer at normal Vauxhall repair rates, but otherwise the company would like you to buy it, live with it over Christmas and then keep it, unless of course you don’t like it (for whatever reason) in which case you’ll get your money back.
Seat Leon FR: End of the World. The end of the world is near. If you have not prepared so far, this might be your last chance to save yourself, with this brand new getaway car. On Tuesday December 18th 2012 SEAT placed the brand new SEAT Leon FR in an emergency survival box, at the Winterthur main station. This car is full of innovations and protects it’s driver both actively and passively to meet highest driving safety standards. And the sport package FR provides the necessary performance. The perfect vehicle to make it to safety, in case of the apocalypse. Survival candidates may sign up for the car until 20th December 2012 at 12:12 on seat.ch/maya. Should the world effectively end, the winner may keep the car. If not, he may keep the car until December 28th 2012.
Volvo Cars US
Volvo Holiday Greeting 2012 – “Truly Cool”. Watch snow fly as 1,600 kg of ice is transformed into the smooth forms and iconic curves of the Volvo S60. True luxury is having all the tools you need to make life great…and when you’re a professional ice sculptor those tools include oversized block clamps, chainsaws, a grinder, chisels and a torch. Make your holidays something special.
Warm wishes from Volvo. Features the ice sculpting talents of Nate Johnson.
A Very Caterham Christmas. Yesterday (20/12) employees at Caterham F1 chose to mark their first year at the new Leafield facility with a special festive celebration – Caterham style. After a hearty lunch in the canteen, the team (including new boy Charles Pic) headed out to the car park for a bit of gymkhana practice. *Soundtrack: “Eat Christmas” by the Japanese Popstars. Happy Christmas from everyone at Caterham!
Ford UK’s SNOWKHANA ONE. An inspired piece of Christmas cheer that not only features Ford’s most successful marketing partnership of the year – Ken Block’s Gymkhana – but also manages to do so using Lego. Everyone loves Lego, right? The video, while lacking some of the production polish of DC Shoes’ original, introduces Ken’s toy-boy nemesis – ‘Mental_Block’ who defeats the Snow Yeti, flees the Police and still manages to skid a ‘Merry Christmas’ message in the snow. We can’t wait for SNOWKHANA TWO in 2013..
BMW Switzerland: The Fastest Christmas Song in the World. Earlier this week BMW released a video showing DTM driver Martin Tomczyk driving a BMW M3 around the Nurburgring, fitted with an array of BMW M Performance parts. Now BMW Switzerland has released a poster entitled “The BMW M Performance Chorus”. Initially we couldn’t quite see the connection, but then remembered last year’s video “The Fastest Christmas Card in the World” and now all has become clear with the latest video – “The Fastest Christmas Song in the World”.
Mercedes-Benz: Reindeer in Headlights. Mercedes-Benz Canada provide proof that Father Christmas does indeed exist, thanks to their supremely powerful Adaptive Highbeam Assist PLUS headlights on its latest models. Highbeam Assist allows the main-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling oncoming traffic, by masking out other vehicles in the beams’ cone of light. Of course Santa’s Reindeer’s don’t require bright lights to see where they’re going, hence the Merc’s Bi-Xenon beams were able to pick them out a treat..
McLaren Christmas 2012. McLaren has chosen to produce four distinctive ‘snowflake’ Christmas cards for its fans to download and share with their friends. The choices available are 12C, 12C Spider, GT3 and P1 prototype – all expertly arranged in a kaleidoscope of colour. If you’d like to download your own McLaren Christmas card, then head on over to their Facebook page and grab as many as you’d like.
BMW of North America
A BMW holiday wish. BMW of North America wish all their customers and fans a Merry Christmas with a friendly gif of an X3 and 3 Series flashing each other and a special video created by their ad agency called ‘The Road Home’. There’s an interesting story behind this video. When BMW’s agency team at KBS+P was thinking up a Thanksgiving holiday campaign, they came up with an emotional idea that followed drivers travelling back to their loved ones on the “road home.” BMW ended up choosing a different approach but the agency loved the idea so much, it shot it anyway. The film involved more than 50 agency staffers who used their own smart phones and cameras to document their journeys home for Thanksgiving. Turns out BMW loved it and chose to use the video for Christmas. What a great feel-good story..
‘Lexus Flying Luxury Cruiser’ Saves the Day for Santa. After the subtle humour of the other car makers, Lexus steps in and commits the biggest faux par of them all – namely, believing they’re actually comedians. We’ll save you from the full three-hundred-and-sixty-five-word press release – just remember, someone was ‘paid’ to produce this. Hopefully they won’t be asked again.. Season’s greetings Lexus.
* * *