Many things are changing in our world today with the continued spread of the coronavirus around the globe. Take a look at how the auto world is adapting to what could be a temporary “normal,” as well as the loss of an industry legend.  

Rod Campbell, promoter of Ford racing, dies at 88. 

Campbell and Co. has long since become a well-known name in the world of racing. Rod Campbell’s company has handled communications for Ford’s racing segment since 1982. Kevin Kennedy, now one of the firm’s managing partners, remembers Campbell fondly. Rod was known for his slogan, “Flat get it on,” which has become the company’s motto for finding a way to accomplish the task at hand, no matter what it takes. 

Scott Fosgard, another former employee who now owns his own PR firm, credits Campbell with playing a large part in shaping his career. Along with his work in advising those coming up the ranks in the auto and PR industry, Campbell left a legacy through his work at Pepperdine University, where he served on the board of advisors for 15 years. Campbell passed away at age 88 at his home in Santa Monica, California.  

Ford expects talks with U.S. on cash for clunkers-like stimulus. 

Leaders at Ford Motor Co. have begun an internal discussion around an automotive stimulus package to help the U.S. economy ramp back up after the coronavirus pandemic. The company would like to mirror their “Cash for Clunkers” program, which proved to be rather effective in the earlier 2000s.  

Rachel McCleery, a spokeswoman at Ford Motor Co., reports to Automotive News: “The auto industry is America’s economic engine. We are encouraging Congress to look at a variety of ways to drive job creation, increase demand, support customers, and provide long-term stability for the entire auto ecosystem.” 

Like many other manufacturers, Ford reported a drop in first-quarter sales with the rise of the coronavirus. They have seen sales come in 12% under what was originally projected. Current auto sales are reporting at the slowest pace that dealers have seen since 2010, and April is anticipated to bring even lower results.  

Paris auto show organizers seek ways to rescue event amid virus outbreak. 

The Paris auto show is currently scheduled for September 26 to October 11, and event management is doing everything they can to not have to cancel. Other major auto shows have already been canceled or postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, including those in Geneva, New York, and Detroit. Auto shows were already feeling week even before the virus appeared, with many automakers claiming they’ve seen a dip in marketing impact that has caused them to opt-out.  

Rather than choosing to cancel, management for the Paris show has decided to try a rebranding approach. They have already stated that many of the traditional automakers will not be on display this fall but have shifted the emphasis to include more hands-on experiences for those attending. There is also expected to be a greater influence around broader transportation means, as opposed to strictly passenger models.  

As we experience change during this pandemic, we’ll continue to stay up-to-date on everything going on in the auto industry as well as share ways your dealership can pivot to continue serving customers. If you need any assistance during this time, please reach out to our team

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