Trail leads to Geneva auto show, European debuts for three ‘rugged, sophisticated’ Jeep® SUVs

The Jeep® brand put its stamp on the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show this month with three major premieres and a flurry of other product presentations. The new Wrangler and Cherokee models took the spotlight with their regional debuts – comprising Europe, The Middle East and Africa – while the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, “the most powerful Jeep SUV ever,” appeared for the first time at a motor show in Europe. Other highlights included the new Compass Night Eagle special-edition and new Grand Cherokee S. But the Wrangler was the star of the brand’s Geneva presentation and display, introduced as “the vehicle that started it all,” by Mike Manley, global head of Jeep Brand. “There are only a few vehicles instantly recognizable around the world, vehicles that can be called true icons – and this is one of them.” In this case, the Wrangler was a gleaming, Steel Blue-Metallic Sahara model, which made its way to the stage via a short sky bridge and ramp, and heroic background music and applause. (A pair of Rubicon models followed a little later – one of them via the sky bridge and ramp.) The all-new Wrangler is a fourth-generation vehicle that remains true to the original – which was launched as a civilian vehicle in 1945 and since has sold more than five million … Read More

Autotrader names 2018 Ram 1500 to Best Interior List

I love my Ram truck. I’ve said it a million times. I love how it looks. I love how it sounds. I love the four-wheel-drive and the fact that I can help when someone needs help getting pulled out of a tough spot. And I particularly love how comfortable it is, even on long drives halfway across the country. It turns out, the editors at Autotrader concur, as they recently named the 2018 Ram 1500 to their Best Interior List. “What’s on the inside of a car is arguably as important as what is on the outside, since drivers and passengers spend all their travel time here,” said Tara Trompeter, managing editor for Autotrader. “Although there’s an all-new, fully redesigned 2019 Ram set to debut soon, we’re still smitten with the interior in the outgoing 2018 model. As you escalate through the Ram’s trim levels, the interior improves, with some top-end models offering luxury car levels of comfort and sophistication.” But there’s more to this story. On a list of what would primarily be considered luxury or sport vehicle brands, the 2018 Ram 1500 is the only truck. You may wonder, in a sea of sophistication, how does a self-proclaimed workhorse earn a spot on the “best dressed” list? Careful consideration to every inch, that’s how. The Ram truck design team … Read More

Kathryn Hahn turns up the volume in the Chrysler Pacifica S

As teenagers, we were all embarrassed by our parents a time or two. Now, as a parent myself, I feel like I’ve earned the right, on occasion, to be THAT parent and carry on the tradition. Evidently, the same holds true for actress Kathryn Hahn. In her latest role, starring in a series of commercials for the Chrysler Pacifica S, Hahn is the go-anywhere, do-everything mom in her blacked-out Pacifica S. From soccer practice to the school pickup line to a night out on the town with the girls.   Watch the five-part series of Chrysler Pacifica S ads, starring Kathryn Hahn on the Chrysler YouTube channel.

Jeep® brand is first automotive brand recognized as “Cult Brand” Honoree

If something reaches ‘cult status’ or has a ‘cult following,’ it gains an aura of prestige and intrigue. Last week, the Jeep® brand accomplished the latter as they were recognized as a 2018 “Cult Brand” honoree at the annual The Gathering (Society of Cult Brands). Founded in 2013, The Gathering is an exclusive summit focused on exposing the principles and practices employed by the world’s most successful brands. Past honorees include the Make-A-Wish Foundation (2017), Airbnb (2016) and the Disney Channel (2015). With this recognition, Jeep brand will stand alone as the first and only automotive brand to be recognized by the summit. The Gathering wanted to honor Jeep® for its “outstanding courage, and unconventional thinking, in achieving enviable brand engagement and reaping the benefits of cult-like status.” “Other automotive brands have been nominated over the years, but it’s so fitting that Jeep is the first Cult Brand Honoree,” said Chris Kneeland, co-founder of The Gathering and Chair of the Brand Selection Committee. “Their marketing, product innovation and customer engagement are best-of-breed and represent exactly how cult brands foster internal and external brand engagement.” This honor comes on the heels of the new 2019 Jeep® Cherokee release earlier this year. “The global Jeep community is like no other,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA. “There is no … Read More

Ram 1500, shining star of DFW Auto Show

A thing of beauty. That’s how one might describe the 2019 Ram 1500 Lone Star edition. The Texas-exclusive pickup took center stage when it was unveiled over the weekend at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas during the annual DFW Auto Show. FCA US LLC vehicles consistently have an impressive showing at the auto show and Ram is a big part of that attraction. Not only is February (one could stretch it to the whole year) considered by many to be “Truck Month,” Texans in general love their pickups, and this Ram is all about embracing the spirit of the Lone Star State. Included in the 2019 version are 18” aluminum wheels, bright grille surround with billet inserts, chrome front and rear bumpers, 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine and fog lamps According to Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand, “The hard-working appeal of the Ram Lone Star has made it a favorite among Texas truck buyers. Trucks are an important part of Texas life, and Ram trucks are proven to last. Ram’s long-lasting reliability has helped the Ram 1500 cement the highest owner loyalty of any half-ton pickup.” At previous auto shows in Dallas and around the country, Ram has had other notable versions of their vehicles on display. In 2015, for example, they introduced a special Texas Rangers concept … Read More

Why garage safety should be on your to-do list too

If I said the word “garage,” what does it bring to mind? Probably something to do with your vehicle. Maybe storage? For some, maybe the luxury of a workshop area. Garage safety was not likely something that ever entered even the back recesses of your mind. Mine either. Until a few months back when, in doing the very mundane task of taking the recycling out to sort it, I missed a step and found myself face-to-floor with a very hard and cold slab of concrete. Eight stiches to my face and one broken knee cap later and I have a whole new respect for making our home a safer place for the entire family. Luckily, just a few simple safety checks can help make your garage a safer place for you, your family and your vehicles. For starters, garages tend to be the first place we go when it comes to our storage needs. But excess clutter can lead to accidents. Things like tools, ladders and sports equipment should be properly stored to prevent tripping hazards and/or the antics of curious toddlers. The last thing you want to do is have your arms full of groceries and trip over an abandoned bike. Automatic garage door openers are commonplace these days, and ensuring they are working properly is essential. One important … Read More

A Super Bowl of super FCA US LLC ads

Controversy. It wouldn’t be a modern-day Super Bowl if some of the ads didn’t strike a chord and cause some kind of controversy. But let’s talk about that. It’s the Super Bowl – the largest audience that any advertiser will have at any given time throughout the calendar year. One 30-second spot is premium ad space (at a premium price), so digging deep, pushing the envelope and making people remember yours, out of the dozens of other ads that aired – isn’t that the goal? Some companies do it with humor. (Thank you Tide®.) Some companies do it by pulling at our heartstrings. Some use puppies. (Y’all missed the Budweiser pup, admit it.) In any case, those that are still talked about the morning following the game, are the brands who have succeeded. Traditionally, FCA US LLC has three Super Bowl spots. Traditionally, they were epic, movie-like commercials that drew you in and made you want more. Traditionally, they were awesome. This year, FCA US LLC announced they would air five ads during Super Bowl LII. When I read that, I thought surely it must be an error. And so I watched. Ram’s Icelandic Vikings was funny. (The long version is even better.) For a moment, I felt a little sorry for my cousins, who are all Minnesota Vikings fans, … Read More

Awaiting Super Bowl Sunday … alive with anticipation

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner. Somewhat of a holiday in our home, we look forward to it every year. We carefully prepare, getting game food and drinks ready and arranged in advance within eyesight of the television, so not a minute will be missed. The dog is walked, fed and ready to go for kickoff. We have and know our “spots” in advance. My husband will pace. Our daughter will curl up in the corner on her phone, looking up whenever my husband yells at the television. (She’s 11, what do you expect?) Then there’s me. I sit quietly and watch, commenting occasionally and explaining what just happened that caused the outburst from across the room. It’s game time. Not a moment will be missed. Because, after all, this is the Super Bowl. And that means, at a rumored $7.7 million for a 30-second spot, we’ll be watching closely to see what kind of comic relief the advertisers have to offer this year. Of course, I’ve already been scouring the internet, doing my best to find whatever I can regarding sneak peeks, teasers, etc. This year has been more challenging than previous years and I have to admit that, while it only makes me search harder, it also makes me happy. After all, there is a significant … Read More

Drive thru — Taking dining to a new level when on the road

We recently traveled to Dallas for a few days to spend some time with friends. Now that we’re back home, we joke that we ate and drank our way through the city and a few suburbs. According to the scale, this is not altogether untrue. Of course, we stayed at a hotel, which meant eating at various restaurants during our stay. When we travel, we make an effort to partake at local establishments. If we do go to what would be considered a “chain” restaurant, we make sure it’s not one that we can go to where we live in New Hampshire. Likewise, when we lived in Dallas and made our northward treks, we also chose local fare. We don’t make a “no chains” choice because we’re against the large, corporate food organizations. We simply like to experience something we don’t have the opportunity to have when we are at home. And, it feels good to support small business owners. As it turns out, we are not alone in our quest to experience something new and different on our travels. According to AAA, 75 percent of Americans consider their dining experience an integral part of their travel experience as a whole. So much so, in fact, that some have started planning culinary-inspired vacations that include winery and/or brewery tours, cooking … Read More