Free Real Racing GTI Game brings Volkswagen’s new 2010 GTI to iPhone and iPod touch

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Volkswagen had a cool event last week where they introduced the new 2010 GTI in a unique way.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the launch of the all new 2010 GTI via the App Store by making available a free version of the popular Firemint Real Racing game that exclusively features the all-new 2010 GTI. This is the first time an automotive manufacturer has used the App Store to launch a new vehicle. Additionally, users of the Real Racing GTI App in the U.S. can compete for the chance to win one of six, limited-edition 2010 GTI’s that are fully customized inside and out.

The free Real Racing GTI App is available worldwide and spares no detail, allowing players to experience every thrilling aspect of the all-new 2010 GTI right in the palms of their hands on iPhone and iPod touch. From the redesigned exterior with more aggressive headlights and the famous red-striped grille, to the sporty interior with a race-inspired steering wheel, the all-new 2010 GTI races its way to life on the screen for a thrilling gaming experience.

The contest sounds very cool, and you can go here for more information on how to enter. Registered players of the Real Racing GTI App can win one of six limited-edition 2010 GTI models. The more you play, they more chances you have to win. Each week for six consecutive weeks beginning today, one player will be chosen to win the ultimate racing prize: the exclusive GTI MkVI, an individually numbered, specially tuned version of the legendary hatchback. Each model includes the GTI’s 2.0T 200 hp four-cylinder engine, a performance tuned suspension finished with black, Volkswagen motorsport 18-inch all-new wheels, and special interior touches, including carbon fiber-look trim, a numbered dash plaque, and unique stitches in the front headrests.

We have to agree that the new model looks cool.

Lincoln goes after Generation X demo

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As a proud Lincoln owner, I know that they’ve been making great cars for years. The LS was a great vehicle, and the new MKZ is a great sedan as well. The MKS, the new flagship vehicle, is a beast that would satisfy most Lexus buyers with its styling and performance. Now they’ve added the new MKT crossover (pictured above) to the mix.

The marketing message is also starting to sharpen as well, as Lincoln targets buyers in their 30′s and 40′s – the Gen X market.

Generation X, often referred to as the “slacker generation,” has shed that stereotype and now is a coveted consumer group at the top of its earning potential, Ford Motor Co. officials say.

With pockets flush with cash, consumers born between 1965 and 1976 are the target of Ford’s Lincoln brand, which is trying to reinvent itself after years of giving ground in the profitable luxury segment.

“We have an aging owner body, and we have the ability to move it in the right direction and get younger,” Matt VanDyke-marketing communications director, tells Ward’s at a recent media event here.

“To think we could flip over and get young 20-somethings into a luxury product at this point and consider Lincoln is something that I think is too much of a stretch,” he says.

Lincoln brass spent considerable time determining the unique makeup of Gen Xers, which VanDyke defines as being in their mid-30s to mid-40s. Unlike traditional luxury buyers, these consumers don’t want to appear “ostentatious.” Rather, they are “folks that are time-starved and look at luxury as something that makes their life simple and easier.”

How are they approaching this? One is an emphasis on technology. The design of the cars evokes a high-tech feeling that bears little resemblance to older Lincolns, yet it’s not as edgy as the recent Cadillac designs so boomer buyers should feel comfortable as well. The other part of the strategy involves music. The campaign’s TV spots feature music that the Gen X group finds nostalgic. The ad for the Lincoln MKS features a remake of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” while the ad for the Lincoln MKT uses a version of the 1980s classic “Under the Milky Way,” by Australian alternative rock band The Church. Check out a clip of the video below.

The strategy makes sense. I remember the Cadillac ad several years ago featuring the Led Zeppelin song. Music can help to reposition a brand, so Lincoln seems to be on the right track.

Marchionne says Chrysler will be profitable by 2011

The buzz around Chrysler has been very negative, so it’s rather surprising to here CEO Sergio Marchionne express such confidence about the prospects for the company.

After a four-month deep dive into the workings of Chrysler Group LLC, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne remains convinced the automaker can be profitable in two years.

The Auburn Hills automaker is on track to divulge its five-year plan on Nov. 4, to make public its quarterly financial statements next year and to offer public stock as early as 2011, he said.

A recent report by analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley supports Marchionne’s forecast. Jonas said Chrysler could report an operating profit of $841 million in 2010, but end the year with a net loss of $169 million. Full profitability is expected in 2011: $2.48 billion in operating profit and $952 million in net income, Jonas said.

In an interview with Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Marchionne affirmed Thursday that the automaker could reach profitability in 24 months. Just a week before, the CEO contended that “we’re not bleeding as people think we are,” noting that “the level of cost consciousness at this house is probably at a historical high.”

Some had been speculating that Chrysler might not make it another year given its challenges in the market. Marchionne had fueled some of the negative speculation when he said in September that the situation at Chrysler was “worse than we thought.”

Marchionne has an incredible track record as a turnaround specialist, but Chrysler will present the ultimate challenge. The acquisition could be a stroke of genius, as Fiat paid nothing and now owns 20% of the company with full control in exchange for the contribution of small-car technology. Fiat dominates with small cars and this offer it the opportunity to return to America. They also have Alfa Romeo which presents an upscale brand.

That said, it was reported recently that there would be a new push to turn Chrysler into an upscale brand positioned a notch above Lincoln and Cadillac. As noted by many analysts, that seems like a real stretch. Chrysler is a mess, so now consumers are supposed to start paying a premium for their cars?

In any event, it’s refreshing to hear some optimism coming from Marchionne. Hopefully he can back it up.

Cool pic – 1954 Ford in Cuba

Here’s a cool photo of a Ford 1954 V8 model car is parked in a garage near Havana, Cuba. That country has to be loaded with some old classics.

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