13 May 2013

Car Industry Strikes Back - Smart Car

What a lovely way to start the week. Another fine example from our Car Industry Strikes Back series, wherein we observe the desperate tactics of the car industry as they try to respond to rising cycling levels and public transport in their vain attempt to keep their dominant market share in this age of de-motorization.

This time it's Smart going for gold in this Portuguese commercial. Presenting us with worst-case scenarios from public transport and then having a young, hip-looking-ish man looking out the window at a Smart car rolling past - on an empty street at night. No traffic jams, nothing. Always amusing to see how car commercials try to get around showing traffic.

The tagline is SmartforTwo Public Transport. So now they're muscling in on the phrase Public Transport. That's even goofier than former BMW designer Chris Bangle using Personal Emotional Mobility as he tries to "hook people back to the car".

Have a scroll through the long list of other examples of Car Industry Strikes Back.

Thanks to Miguel from Lisbon Cycle Chic for the link.


Dmitri F said...

And there is more, this time from Subaru in Canada!


I wonder where all the other cars went? Would be more fun to show that commercial in day time, with that Smart waiting in the traffic jam like all other cars.

Although, I've owned a Smart years ago and they do have a strong point - parking is somewhat easier.

Alexa said...

I heard a wonderful alternative on the US NPR program "Car Talk" this weekend. It's a humorous car advice call-in radio program. A guy called in to ask what sort of car his mother should get. She's in her 60's, has never learned to drive and gets around Chicago just fine with public transportation.

The hosts at first suggested a chauffeur driven limousine, then told the guy to basically let his mother be and go visit her (or buy her a plane ticket) rather than making her learn to drive.

Listen to segment 3 here: http://www.cartalk.com/content/1319-click-and-clack-and-dear-old-ma

Erik Griswold said...

This was filmed in Los Angeles with the consent of the Los Angeles Metro (Subway Car) and the North (San Diego) County Transit District, who are obviously staffed by self-loathing whores who approved this while on the public's dime.


felix said...

You got to admit though, apart from a few positive exceptions, public transport is depicted pretty acurately here.

tstreet said...

I am assuming that felix's comment was a joke.

Dmitri F said...

@felix About as accurate as a hollywood movie... ;-)

felix said...

it's not a joke: i regularly travel by train between the cities of cologne and bonn, germany. so far nobody has ever dropped food or drinks on me, but everything else shown in the spot happens to me quite often: trains are overcrowded, people sneeze all over the place and bring their filthy dogs. not to mention trains are only punctual about 60 percent of the time. of course there is better public transport somewhere (although i only used it to get from the airport to the city and back, the copenhagen metro left quite a good impression), but here it's pretty much like in that ad.

Andre Kubasik said...

Felix, I think you are not totally wrong in your discription of some parts of german public transport, but a bit exagerating.

I regularly use busses and less often trains, here. It is a sort of public space, but with limited space. And in it you have to somehow get along with people you wouldn't meet by choice.

But the way you are cut off of your environment by sitting in a car is a very weak answer to that.

I certainly wouldn't like to meet many of the car drivers that are flooding the streets, either. And I don't like how they make the city an ugly place to live in.

Geza said...


This is a much more accurate depiction of public transportation.

fraff said...

I agree with Felix, don't try the Parisien subway at rush hours.

I still don't undestand why nobody noticed the second part of the advertisment:

felix said...

@geza: that's in switzerland, everything is better there (and it's an ad as well). ;)

Evan Reehl Ryer said...

Smart car is making a electric bike now too by the way...