Three high-end automakers have new winter driving campaigns.
- How does these campaigns benefit the brands?
- What do the consumers gain from this?
- Why have a winter driving option?
“In my opinion . . .”
hree high-end automakers are engaging consumers with new winter driving events. Lamborghini has an Accademia program
. Bentley has its Power-On-Ice program
. Maserati is offering its Winter Tour
Maserati Winter Tour
These kind of campaigns benefit the brands or marques by adding a layer of high-touch customer service, experience, engagement and, if the experience was enjoyable, help increase all-important brand loyalty.
However, there is another reason it benefits the brand and the company behind it: it helps to reduce the potential for liability lawsuits against them.
Today’s high-line luxury and exotic automobiles are much more powerful when compared to similar models from previous decades. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to read often that overconfident and inexperienced new owners of such powerful cars are crashing—often totaling—their cars within the first week. Sometimes within the same day. For example, just two weeks ago, a young man in Texas smashed his $1.15 million McLaren the same day he purchased it. Here in La Jolla, CA, I witnessed a man total his new Lamborghini just hours after he purchased it. The list goes on.
Thanks to the latest in engineering and safety equipment, people often survive such accidents. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Even though these new vehicles have all sorts of electronic traction control and safety measures built into the running gear, the driver is ultimately responsible for what happens. Factor in variables such as alcohol, inexperience, immaturity, emotions, lack of regard for others—or in this case, winter’s rain, ice and snow—and things can go wrong very quickly.
This is why these tours, academia programs, driving experience schools, etc, are designed to help introduce the drivers to their car’s characteristics—to understand the car’s power delivery, brakes and handling, and how to drive it correctly through the seasons.
Most manufactures of high power cars now offer driver education programs. How did this come about? For all intents and purposes, this kind of program started back in the early 1980’s when Porsche US was accused of selling its then-incredibly powerful and fast 911 “930” Turbo to inexperienced drivers.
The first case, Garrison v. Porsche, arose out of the death of a husband and father who was a passenger in a 930 Turbo, when the driver lost control on a city street in San Diego and went into oncoming traffic. It’s been said that the driver was driving approximately 60 MPH in a 25 MPH zone, but that didn’t seem to matter to the jury. The jury awarded $2.5 million, which was upheld on appeal. The 1983 award tied the verdict to the largest wrongful death verdict in California. Following the Garrison verdict, Porsche started offering driver’s training to the purchasers of its high-performance vehicles.
Today’s high-performance luxury and exotic cars are far more powerful and faster than the above-mentioned 930 Turbo and, as stated earlier, these new cars are bristling with driver’s aid and safety features. However, such built-in features can do only so much. It is up to the experienced driver to safely enjoy the merits of his or her new automobile. I recommend this kind of orientation to anyone buying such cars. They are enjoyable and exciting . . . plus you can make new friends too!