Why some car companies spoil the show with their treatment of media

Adel Murad
Updated 19 November 2017
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Why some car companies spoil the show with their treatment of media

The Dubai International Motor Show never fails to impress. In 2017, the organization was excellent, the display dazzling and the presentations awesome. It is a shame that some companies bring the show down by the way they deal with the media.
One unique aspect of the show is the “Media Walk,” which takes journalists on a seven-hour tour to every stand in the show in a convoy synchronized with the revealing of new vehicles from each company. These walks are useful for those coming to the show for the first time, but for seasoned journalists the show is a chance to interview top and visiting car executives. That means dropping out of the Media Walk and returning to the stands after the scrum of journalists has moved on to other areas.
Returning to companies that were missed during the Media Walk for press material, one is mostly faced with blank faces of reps who think their work is done after two hours of the first media day. They claim that “they have run out of press material,” “do not have any” or “everything is online.”
The attitude of these reps is pathetic and works against the interests of their own companies. Some PR agencies make matters worse by defending the fact that they do not have to give out any press material — a challenging attitude.
For journalists the solution is easy: No press material equals no coverage.
While some companies go out of their way to serve the media and entice journalists to do interviews and support them with good photos and materials ready to use on USBs, others come to the biannual event empty-handed. This is true especially when dealers are in charge of the operation and focus on giving away “gifts” rather than press materials. Not a single company printed out the speeches of directors presenting new vehicles at the show.
The show is becoming one of the most prominent events in the regional motoring calendar and it is a real shame that some companies spoil the event by forgetting how to serve the media.
• Adel Murad is a senior motoring and business journalist, based in London. Email: [email protected]


Porsche could build flying taxis, says sales chief

Porsche logo. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 April 2018
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Porsche could build flying taxis, says sales chief

FRANKFURT: Volkswagen’s sports car maker Porsche could develop a flying passenger vehicle to compete with rivals in a possible market for urban air taxis and ride-sharing services, Porsche sales chief Detlev von Platen told a German magazine.
“That would really make sense. If I drive from (the Porsche plant in) Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I’m lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes,” Automobilwoche quoted von Platen as saying.
Porsche would join a raft of companies working on designs for flying cars in anticipation of a shift in the transport market away from conventional cars to self-driving vehicles shared via ride-hailing apps.
Volkswagen’s auto designer Italdesign and Airbus at last year’s Geneva auto show presented a two-seater flying car, called Pop.Up, designed to avoid gridlock on city roads.
The magazine said that under Porsche’s plans, passengers would be able to have some control over the flying vehicle themselves but would not need a pilot license because many of the car’s functions would be automated.
Potential competitors to a flying vehicle made by Porsche would be German start-ups Volocopter, backed by Daimler , Lilium Jet and eVolo, as well as US-based Terrafugia and California-based Joby Aviation.