NY Auto Show opens with warning from Renault CEO

Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn gave the keynote speech at the launch of the New York International Auto Show this morning by castigating the industry-at-large for "passionless, cookie-cutter cars" and aiming a broadside at incentive marketing and wasted advertising efforts.

Renault President and CEO Carlos Ghosn gave the keynote speech at the launch of the New York International Auto Show this morning by castigating the industry-at-large for "passionless, cookie-cutter cars" and aiming a broadside at incentive marketing and wasted advertising efforts.

His message at the show, which has brought in press from two dozen countries and will include over twenty product reveals, was a pertinent one for designers, engineers, and communications professionals alike: listen to customers, find out what they are passionate about, and make that the central tenet of production and communications. 
 
Ghosn, who touted his own companies 58% sales volume growth in the US in recent years, and concomitant market share lift from 4% to 6.3% in North America, chided automakers for only advertising and communicating their "passion" messages to a narrow media of car buffs, while reserving big-dollar communications campaigns on price-dominated messages.

The latter, "turn cars into commodities, like mattresses," Ghosn said. "We must always remember people don't always need to buy cars; they choose to buy them."

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