News & Views

Moving with the times

MM-Eye Limited is acquired by the hps group.

We are all hugely excited to join the hps group.

hps is an award winning integrated marketing communications 

agency based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire with unrivalled 

expertise in the automotive sector. They currently look after 

the retailer marketing programmes of BMW, Rolls-Royce, 

MINI and Mazda – and have done so for many years.

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Now one of the UK’s leading marketing communications 

agencies with over 240 employees, the Group includes 

specialist teams dedicated to strategic development, 

data analytics, digital marketing, creative solutions, 

sponsorship, content, PR, retailer training, in-store 

promotion, video and animation. With MM-Eye’s skillset 

now added to the mix, hps group can offer clients marketing 

solutions at every point on the customer journey as, together, 

we focus on bringing brands closer to customers.

 

MM-Eye remains a separate business. There are no changes 

in staff or location. For our clients, it is ‘business as usual’.  

Although we will benefit from a variety of resources and services 

available to us from hps – leaving us to even more keenly focus 

on our clients’ challenges and projects.

 

For more information about hps, visit http://www.hpsgroup.co.uk 

Read More

Now one of the UK’s leading marketing communications 

agencies with over 240 employees, the Group includes 

specialist teams dedicated to strategic development, 

data analytics, digital marketing, creative solutions, 

sponsorship, content, PR, retailer training, in-store 

promotion, video and animation. With MM-Eye’s skillset 

now added to the mix, hps group can offer clients marketing 

solutions at every point on the customer journey as, together, 

we focus on bringing brands closer to customers.

 

MM-Eye remains a separate business. There are no changes 

in staff or location. For our clients, it is ‘business as usual’.  

Although we will benefit from a variety of resources and services 

available to us from hps – leaving us to even more keenly focus 

on our clients’ challenges and projects.

 

For more information about hps, visit http://www.hpsgroup.co.uk 

What caught our MM-Eye at the 2016 Auto Expo

In 2015, our motor show correspondent Sherine was impressed by the size of the Frankfurt Show…but this is India!

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Size Matters

The Delhi Show claims to be the biggest in the world and it certainly covers every conceivable form of motorised transport: cars, motorbikes, scooters, buses, trucks… even rickshaws and excavators.  It all added up to 108 new product launches this year. But big is not always best… 

The government’s recent low tax initiative is aimed at encouraging sales of fuel efficient low CO2 cars.  A car needs to be maximum 4 metres long to qualify. We spotted Mahindra’s KUV 100, a new Micro-SUV which carries up to 6 occupants in a 3+3 format even though the vehicle footprint is close to that of a Fiat 500. 


 
A Nostalgic Moment

A chance to spot some familiar names, including some from the (ahem) golden days of British manufacturing.

They may have disappeared from our shores but …The blue LEYLAND roundel lives on!  Divorced from ‘British’ but as ‘Ashok Leyland’  it’s enjoying success as India’s 2nd largest CV manufacturer.  It had 4 new launches at the show including the 'Hybus' which claims to be India's first non-plugin hybrid bus.  It leaves us wondering what powers its other new launch, the Sunshine bus!

Who could pass on the opportunity to track down parts for a 2002 Hindustan Ambassador (AKA the 1957 Morris Oxford).  It may have been finally retired in 2014, but the thriving aftermarket hall provides all you need to get another decade of use from your beloved ‘Amby’ … unless the legislators call a halt before you reach 2026.
Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Better

2 wheels still rule in India; in 2014-15 81% of Indian motorised sales came with 2 wheels.

So, no surprise to find scooters and motorcycles a plenty.

Good to see a strong presence from iconic British brand Triumph who chose the show to launch its new Bonneville range… another helping of British nostalgia! 

Stars in Cars

Celebrities popped up everywhere, and seeing the crowd’s reaction, on an otherwise well-behaved Press Day, epitomised  the term ‘a serious risk to public order!’

There was, of course, a strong Bollywood presence, with glamourous superstars like Katrina Kaif unveiling the new Jaguar XE. And cricket ‘Gods’, none bigger than Sachin Tendulkar pulling the crowds on the BMW stand.

But Tata Motors took a different approach … football! The Indian marketing industry was impressed when Tata announced it had bagged Lionel Messi to act as Global Brand ambassador.

Sadly, a reported training injury kept him from attending in person … but his image still loomed large.

 

Local Colour

Indians love bright colours, don’t they? 

Not, it seems, when choosing a car.  According to The Economic Times, around one in every two cars sold here is painted white, with ease of maintenance, good second-hand sales and hot Indian weather conditions all cited as reasons to choose lighter colours.

But urban professionals buying prestige imports in the big cities are increasingly favouring black or dark metallics.

So, will it be white to stay cool… or black to show you’re even cooler?

With the new SVAutobiography Land Rover appears to be telling us, why choose one when you can have both!

Read More

Size Matters

The Delhi Show claims to be the biggest in the world and it certainly covers every conceivable form of motorised transport: cars, motorbikes, scooters, buses, trucks… even rickshaws and excavators.  It all added up to 108 new product launches this year. But big is not always best… 

The government’s recent low tax initiative is aimed at encouraging sales of fuel efficient low CO2 cars.  A car needs to be maximum 4 metres long to qualify. We spotted Mahindra’s KUV 100, a new Micro-SUV which carries up to 6 occupants in a 3+3 format even though the vehicle footprint is close to that of a Fiat 500. 


 
A Nostalgic Moment

A chance to spot some familiar names, including some from the (ahem) golden days of British manufacturing.

They may have disappeared from our shores but …The blue LEYLAND roundel lives on!  Divorced from ‘British’ but as ‘Ashok Leyland’  it’s enjoying success as India’s 2nd largest CV manufacturer.  It had 4 new launches at the show including the 'Hybus' which claims to be India's first non-plugin hybrid bus.  It leaves us wondering what powers its other new launch, the Sunshine bus!

Who could pass on the opportunity to track down parts for a 2002 Hindustan Ambassador (AKA the 1957 Morris Oxford).  It may have been finally retired in 2014, but the thriving aftermarket hall provides all you need to get another decade of use from your beloved ‘Amby’ … unless the legislators call a halt before you reach 2026.
Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Better

2 wheels still rule in India; in 2014-15 81% of Indian motorised sales came with 2 wheels.

So, no surprise to find scooters and motorcycles a plenty.

Good to see a strong presence from iconic British brand Triumph who chose the show to launch its new Bonneville range… another helping of British nostalgia! 

Stars in Cars

Celebrities popped up everywhere, and seeing the crowd’s reaction, on an otherwise well-behaved Press Day, epitomised  the term ‘a serious risk to public order!’

There was, of course, a strong Bollywood presence, with glamourous superstars like Katrina Kaif unveiling the new Jaguar XE. And cricket ‘Gods’, none bigger than Sachin Tendulkar pulling the crowds on the BMW stand.

But Tata Motors took a different approach … football! The Indian marketing industry was impressed when Tata announced it had bagged Lionel Messi to act as Global Brand ambassador.

Sadly, a reported training injury kept him from attending in person … but his image still loomed large.

 

Local Colour

Indians love bright colours, don’t they? 

Not, it seems, when choosing a car.  According to The Economic Times, around one in every two cars sold here is painted white, with ease of maintenance, good second-hand sales and hot Indian weather conditions all cited as reasons to choose lighter colours.

But urban professionals buying prestige imports in the big cities are increasingly favouring black or dark metallics.

So, will it be white to stay cool… or black to show you’re even cooler?

With the new SVAutobiography Land Rover appears to be telling us, why choose one when you can have both!

Could Millennials represent a new normal for car ownership?

New and improved mobility services are making transportation ever more multimodal, on-demand, and shared, increasing consumer choice and convenience.

Although we’re still in the early stage of new mobility offerings. What can be said is that consumers are learning to make trade-offs when it comes to evaluating costs, convenience, service and time.

New technologies can change behaviour, and this is happening when it comes to transport. Enabling companies like Uber, Blah Blah Car, Easy Taxi and China’s Didi Dache to offer on-demand mobility through apps. These services are making it possible for travellers to plan in real time the quickest and cheapest way to get from point A to point B.

Read More

Rethinking car ownership

There’s subtle hints that consumer preferences and behaviours are changing. Even in the United States, where the love of the car runs deep, ownership rates are declining and drivers are driving less. Declines in car ownership are most pronounced for the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the mid-1990s). Millennials are 16% less likely to commute by car to work, use public transport almost three times more often, and are 23% less interested in owning a car than the generation that precedes them.

They are also more likely to use shared transportation services like car sharing and e-hailing. In Germany, car-ownership rates among 18- to 29-year-olds have dropped sharply, from 420 cars per 1,000 people in 2000 to 240 in 2010. Still, further research is needed to understand whether millennials in the West are merely delaying car ownership or whether these attitudes represent a new normal.

Countervailing trends

Looking at trends in car ownership in the States and Europe, it’s easy to imagine that car ownership will be reserved for the old and rich. However, in many developing countries, such as Brazil, China, and India, the desire to own a car is strong, and ownership continues to grow.

The absence of regulated policies and targets to decarbonise transportation, could mean that these countries are likely to follow the same path as the developed world did in the 20th century, facing similar challenges relating to pollution and traffic.

However, the difference is that these markets have options that the West didn’t 20 years ago, with access to new services and technologies to cope with these issues in a timely manner. But, ultimately, the future of mobility is uncertain, and as an industry, we need to better understand various consumer segments and their attitudes toward car ownership and mobility.

Read More

Rethinking car ownership

There’s subtle hints that consumer preferences and behaviours are changing. Even in the United States, where the love of the car runs deep, ownership rates are declining and drivers are driving less. Declines in car ownership are most pronounced for the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the mid-1990s). Millennials are 16% less likely to commute by car to work, use public transport almost three times more often, and are 23% less interested in owning a car than the generation that precedes them.

They are also more likely to use shared transportation services like car sharing and e-hailing. In Germany, car-ownership rates among 18- to 29-year-olds have dropped sharply, from 420 cars per 1,000 people in 2000 to 240 in 2010. Still, further research is needed to understand whether millennials in the West are merely delaying car ownership or whether these attitudes represent a new normal.

Countervailing trends

Looking at trends in car ownership in the States and Europe, it’s easy to imagine that car ownership will be reserved for the old and rich. However, in many developing countries, such as Brazil, China, and India, the desire to own a car is strong, and ownership continues to grow.

The absence of regulated policies and targets to decarbonise transportation, could mean that these countries are likely to follow the same path as the developed world did in the 20th century, facing similar challenges relating to pollution and traffic.

However, the difference is that these markets have options that the West didn’t 20 years ago, with access to new services and technologies to cope with these issues in a timely manner. But, ultimately, the future of mobility is uncertain, and as an industry, we need to better understand various consumer segments and their attitudes toward car ownership and mobility.

Privacy - The currency in an age of connectivity

The future holds a great promise for allowing intelligent mobility to take hold in our lives. Cheaper, efficient and creatively connected methods of transportation will mean we can choose between the best of what’s on offer. The future will also see Intelligent mobility transcend from ‘a new way of doing things’, to ‘just the way we do things’.

Intelligent mobility is an exciting intersection between traditional transport and new products and services relating to the ‘Internet of Things’. However, on this view, the Internet of Things exposes the value of our personal data and privacy for what it is: a characteristic of the industrial age.

Read More

Many of us often ‘allow access’ to our personal information on our iOS or familiar sites and apps such as Facebook, Google Maps and Linkedin. Some of us also release access to our personal information and location, to those we don’t know, in exchange for instant access to products.

Since data will ultimately be the fuel that feeds intelligent mobility, it’ll be interesting to watch the trade-off between privacy and convenience, especially whilst we’re on the move. 

The trade-off between privacy and convenience

Back in 2005, MM-Eye played a part in the pilot for the first ‘little black box’ telematics unit, for one of the UK’s leading car insurance providers. The customer response to ‘tattle tale’ telematics at the time was a resounding ‘no way’. The imposed restrictions on speed, time, mileage and invasion of privacy made this an obviously bad idea.

However, ten years on, smartphone ownership in the UK has leaped from 1.5% to 72%, with car insurers responsively offering ‘self-install’ devices and smartphone apps. With so much of our information now tracked on our mobile phones, there’s no doubt that we have become desensitised to the fact that what we do is always being watched. Our smartphones are the ultimate little black box.

Personal data as a must-have in a modern age

Intelligent mobility is already revolutionising our approach to challenges traditionally beset the transport sector, and also holds the key to more user-focused needs, integrated transportation methods and global resource demands. Yet, it’s widely acknowledged that intelligent vehicles and transport systems require detailed real-time information to understand and adapt to changing conditions- designed for our benefit.

Everywhere we travel now we leave a digital trail. Our smartphones inform local stations, traffic sensors detect our vehicle at traffic lights, and Oyster cards calculate average journey times as we pass by; and this data is just the tip of the iceberg of the digital information available.

From a consumer experience perspective

It will be interesting to witness where consumers draw the line between autonomy and the convenience of connected technology. Particularly as we see access to our personal information – like that of ‘the little black box’– as a creation of the modern age, and just the way we do things. 

Published in RW Connect on 19th August 2015

Read More

Many of us often ‘allow access’ to our personal information on our iOS or familiar sites and apps such as Facebook, Google Maps and Linkedin. Some of us also release access to our personal information and location, to those we don’t know, in exchange for instant access to products.

Since data will ultimately be the fuel that feeds intelligent mobility, it’ll be interesting to watch the trade-off between privacy and convenience, especially whilst we’re on the move. 

The trade-off between privacy and convenience

Back in 2005, MM-Eye played a part in the pilot for the first ‘little black box’ telematics unit, for one of the UK’s leading car insurance providers. The customer response to ‘tattle tale’ telematics at the time was a resounding ‘no way’. The imposed restrictions on speed, time, mileage and invasion of privacy made this an obviously bad idea.

However, ten years on, smartphone ownership in the UK has leaped from 1.5% to 72%, with car insurers responsively offering ‘self-install’ devices and smartphone apps. With so much of our information now tracked on our mobile phones, there’s no doubt that we have become desensitised to the fact that what we do is always being watched. Our smartphones are the ultimate little black box.

Personal data as a must-have in a modern age

Intelligent mobility is already revolutionising our approach to challenges traditionally beset the transport sector, and also holds the key to more user-focused needs, integrated transportation methods and global resource demands. Yet, it’s widely acknowledged that intelligent vehicles and transport systems require detailed real-time information to understand and adapt to changing conditions- designed for our benefit.

Everywhere we travel now we leave a digital trail. Our smartphones inform local stations, traffic sensors detect our vehicle at traffic lights, and Oyster cards calculate average journey times as we pass by; and this data is just the tip of the iceberg of the digital information available.

From a consumer experience perspective

It will be interesting to witness where consumers draw the line between autonomy and the convenience of connected technology. Particularly as we see access to our personal information – like that of ‘the little black box’– as a creation of the modern age, and just the way we do things. 

Published in RW Connect on 19th August 2015

24 hours at the Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt Motor Show is undoubtedly the largest and most anticipated event in the motor show calendar.  It is huge.  It is also where some of the biggest reveals of the year are made, and where auto giants have the opportunity to wow and impress us all with elaborate exhibits and displays. 

With only a day at the Show, tackling the masses of crowds to get around the colossal exhibit was a real challenge.

 

Read More

Emerging bruised, battered and buzzing from my marathon tour, below (in no particular order) are my Top 5 highlights from the event:

1.Jaguar F-PACE

Jaguar’s much-anticipated SUV was finally revealed to the public, and it certainly makes an impact. Getting a glimpse of Jag’s new car involved much manoeuvring through the eager swarm of admirers. Dodging smartphones and selfie-sticks, I eventually caught a glimpse of what Jaguar are positioning as a “performance crossover for those who love driving, with unrivalled dynamics”. Undoubtedly stylish, with Jaguar’s signature design language, F-PACE is likely to give Porsche’s Macan a good run for its money.  As well as inviting a group of new customers into the Jaguar brand.   

Sadly I was not there to see it but the reveal of the F-PACE via its record-breaking “loop-the-loop” at the Show’s opening is worth viewing.

2.Mercedes’ theatrics 

On home ground, the German brands battled it out for who could stage the biggest and most impactful exhibition. Mercedes certainly didn’t disappoint. Their exhibition is, as usual, HUGE, and it’s easy to wander around for hours.

Reflective of the brand’s portfolio and heritage, there were certainly cars aplenty: past, present and future – all of which had their moment to shine, appearing on a vast stage after emerging from behind a partitioned wall whose sections opened up to reveal the models hiding backstage.

Among the highlights were Mercedes unveiling the Cabriolet version of its flagship S-Class series (the first time the German marque has built this model), the new C-Class Coupe and the futuristic IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) concept. The aptly named IAA was their real showstopper at Frankfurt – a coupé-style saloon with unrivalled aerodynamics. Naturally, the IAA is fully connected, with in-car, gesture-controlled tech, all set in a spacious bright white cabin. 

 

3.Luxury electric cars – Tesla watch out!

A decade ago, few would have thought that the likes of Porsche and Audi World be unveiling electric cars at Frankfurt, but then Tesla came along and changed the rules of the game. Tesla should probably be looking over their shoulders though, with both Porsche and Audi’s concepts drawing massive attention and impressing at the show.

Porsche’s Mission E, produced in brilliant white, took centre stage on their stand. With an eye-catching design, and high performance (600 hp, 300 mile range, 80% recharge in just 15mins), Porsche have taken electric supercars to a new level. Likely to come into production at the end of the decade, it won’t be long before the electric car landscape is set to change again. And we’ll have even less time to wait for Audi’s all-electric Q6 e-tron, due in 2018, and surely set to rival Tesla’s Model X.  Audi makes big claims for this model, touting the car’s four-wheel drive capability, three electric motors and 310-mile electric range.

4.Audi’s custom-built exhibit

True to form, Audi shunned existing exhibition halls and built their own structure to showcase their cars. There was certainly an atmosphere of anticipation as you queued up to enter the building, where you were immediately met with a set of escalators. Once in, a walk through a dimly lit atmospheric corridor led to an ice-walled room, etched with the words “Home of Quattro”. Beyond this room was arguably the busiest exhibit of the entire show. It was difficult to understand the exact theme, but it was most certainly impressive: with cars mounted on walls, a giant compass on the ceiling and a multitude of models on display, Audi certainly made an impact. Among the highlights of the exhibit were the Q6 e-tron concept, the new Audi A4 and S4/S4 Avant models.

5.SUV concept cars

SUVs and crossovers remain the de rigueur of the car industry – and it doesn’t look like the trend is going away anytime soon, with a host of concept cars revealed at Frankfurt this year. It seemed that everywhere you looked, a new SUV was being revealed: Toyota showcased their near-production C-HR, marking an evolution in design language for the brand, while Nissan and Mazda came out with some striking designs with the Gripz and Koeru respectively. 

And finally, an honorary mention for Peugeot’s Fractal concept.


This is Peugeot’s new electric urban coupé, which the French marque informs us is a “sound-themed concept car”, having been designed in partnership with sound designer and producer Amon Tobin to have its own “unique sound signature”: ensuring that other road users are made aware of its presence near them!

The design is certainly unique too, but nothing less than what we have come to expect based on Peugeot’s past concept cars. Angular, with an imposing front end, the Fractal offers tantalizing hints of what Peugeot cars may come to look like in future.

 

Read More

Emerging bruised, battered and buzzing from my marathon tour, below (in no particular order) are my Top 5 highlights from the event:

1.Jaguar F-PACE

Jaguar’s much-anticipated SUV was finally revealed to the public, and it certainly makes an impact. Getting a glimpse of Jag’s new car involved much manoeuvring through the eager swarm of admirers. Dodging smartphones and selfie-sticks, I eventually caught a glimpse of what Jaguar are positioning as a “performance crossover for those who love driving, with unrivalled dynamics”. Undoubtedly stylish, with Jaguar’s signature design language, F-PACE is likely to give Porsche’s Macan a good run for its money.  As well as inviting a group of new customers into the Jaguar brand.   

Sadly I was not there to see it but the reveal of the F-PACE via its record-breaking “loop-the-loop” at the Show’s opening is worth viewing.

2.Mercedes’ theatrics 

On home ground, the German brands battled it out for who could stage the biggest and most impactful exhibition. Mercedes certainly didn’t disappoint. Their exhibition is, as usual, HUGE, and it’s easy to wander around for hours.

Reflective of the brand’s portfolio and heritage, there were certainly cars aplenty: past, present and future – all of which had their moment to shine, appearing on a vast stage after emerging from behind a partitioned wall whose sections opened up to reveal the models hiding backstage.

Among the highlights were Mercedes unveiling the Cabriolet version of its flagship S-Class series (the first time the German marque has built this model), the new C-Class Coupe and the futuristic IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) concept. The aptly named IAA was their real showstopper at Frankfurt – a coupé-style saloon with unrivalled aerodynamics. Naturally, the IAA is fully connected, with in-car, gesture-controlled tech, all set in a spacious bright white cabin. 

 

3.Luxury electric cars – Tesla watch out!

A decade ago, few would have thought that the likes of Porsche and Audi World be unveiling electric cars at Frankfurt, but then Tesla came along and changed the rules of the game. Tesla should probably be looking over their shoulders though, with both Porsche and Audi’s concepts drawing massive attention and impressing at the show.

Porsche’s Mission E, produced in brilliant white, took centre stage on their stand. With an eye-catching design, and high performance (600 hp, 300 mile range, 80% recharge in just 15mins), Porsche have taken electric supercars to a new level. Likely to come into production at the end of the decade, it won’t be long before the electric car landscape is set to change again. And we’ll have even less time to wait for Audi’s all-electric Q6 e-tron, due in 2018, and surely set to rival Tesla’s Model X.  Audi makes big claims for this model, touting the car’s four-wheel drive capability, three electric motors and 310-mile electric range.

4.Audi’s custom-built exhibit

True to form, Audi shunned existing exhibition halls and built their own structure to showcase their cars. There was certainly an atmosphere of anticipation as you queued up to enter the building, where you were immediately met with a set of escalators. Once in, a walk through a dimly lit atmospheric corridor led to an ice-walled room, etched with the words “Home of Quattro”. Beyond this room was arguably the busiest exhibit of the entire show. It was difficult to understand the exact theme, but it was most certainly impressive: with cars mounted on walls, a giant compass on the ceiling and a multitude of models on display, Audi certainly made an impact. Among the highlights of the exhibit were the Q6 e-tron concept, the new Audi A4 and S4/S4 Avant models.

5.SUV concept cars

SUVs and crossovers remain the de rigueur of the car industry – and it doesn’t look like the trend is going away anytime soon, with a host of concept cars revealed at Frankfurt this year. It seemed that everywhere you looked, a new SUV was being revealed: Toyota showcased their near-production C-HR, marking an evolution in design language for the brand, while Nissan and Mazda came out with some striking designs with the Gripz and Koeru respectively. 

And finally, an honorary mention for Peugeot’s Fractal concept.


This is Peugeot’s new electric urban coupé, which the French marque informs us is a “sound-themed concept car”, having been designed in partnership with sound designer and producer Amon Tobin to have its own “unique sound signature”: ensuring that other road users are made aware of its presence near them!

The design is certainly unique too, but nothing less than what we have come to expect based on Peugeot’s past concept cars. Angular, with an imposing front end, the Fractal offers tantalizing hints of what Peugeot cars may come to look like in future.

 

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