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]


Tesla production leader Doug Field exits company

Tesla produced 5,000 of its Model 3 cars, along with a combined total of 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Tesla production leader Doug Field exits company

SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla on Monday confirmed that the head of Model 3 production, who went on leave after chief executive Elon Musk took over his duties, will not be returning.
The departure of engineering senior vice president Doug Field came as California-based Tesla appeared to have finally hit a self-imposed goal of cranking out 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in a week.
Tesla co-founder Musk fired off a Twitter post over the weekend saying “7,000 cars, 7 days.”
In a note to investors on Monday, Analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities said that in the preceding week, Tesla produced 5,000 of its Model 3 cars, along with a combined total of 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles.
Tesla has been under pressure to increase production to show it can operate profitably and at the kind of scale needed to be considered a major auto company.
Musk has been managing the Tesla production line, which has been rejiggered to pump out cars faster.
Field will not be returning to the company, according to Tesla.
“After almost five years at Tesla, Doug Field is moving on,” a company spokesman told AFP.
“We’d like to thank Doug for his hard work over the years and for everything he has done for Tesla.”
Tesla announced in June that it was cutting nine percent of its workforce to enhance profitability, but said the move would not affect an ambitious production ramp-up of its Model 3 sedan.
The job cuts are part of a company-wide restructuring to address excess staff in some areas due to the company’s speedy growth, Musk said in an email to employees.
The cuts concern salaried staff but not production workers and will not affect Model 3 output targets, said Musk, who characterized the downsizing as an acknowledgement of the need to focus more on costs.
“Given that Tesla has never made an annual profit in the almost 15 years since we have existed, profit is obviously not what motivates us,” Musk said in the message.
“What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable.”
Shares of Tesla closed the formal trading day down 2.3 percent to $335.07 but regained some of that ground in after-market trades.