Some automotive journalists are of the opinion that – based on Ford’s marketing of its EcoBoost engines – customers might think that Ford is saving the planet, one engine at a time. While this statement is slightly hyperbolic, it goes to show the power of marketing in the capitalist society. Often, marketers can implant an idea in the heads of consumers to such a point that the idea behind the marketing might as well be fact. This is especially apparent with Ford’s marketing of its EcoBoost powerplants and is an inherent flaw in GM’s strategy with the same technology.
In fact, General Motors was first to the forced-induction technology party. The technology we’re referring to, of course, is the combination of turbocharging and direct injection to better balance power and efficiency while reducing weight. Now, the practice of turbocharging is nothing new. GM first used forced induction in the (gone but sorely missed) 2007 Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, the Red-Line and GXP variants – respectively. Forced induction also found its way into the (now-deceased) Chevrolet Cobalt SS and HHR SS. Just like Ford, GM even gave its technology a name – EcoTec!
It was another two years (summer of 2009, to be exact) before Ford launched its version of the same technology. The difference? Ford marketed the hell out of its EcoBoost engines. In the automotive world, “EcoBoost” is simply on everyone’s minds. So why is Ford getting positive media attention and press coverage for technology that GM had two years earlier? Uwe Grebe, executive director of GM’s global advanced engineering, says it’s because GM “didn’t have a badge and say, ‘This is the most important thing we will put on all our brochures.'”
As such, The General has a peculiar, if not tough situation to solve. Its top priority is marketing the technology but – unfortunately – GM can’t merely say that they have a better EcoBoost. Even though they are the originators, they will appear to be copying Ford if indeed decide to do so. On the other hand, consumers don’t care about hearing every little engineering detail about the technology at hand. Speaking of the difficulty which Grebe faces, timing and an actual campaign is unknown at this point. This, of course, comes to us on the heels of rumors that GM is working on a turbocharged version of its 3.0L LF1 V6. Stay tuned as we learn more.[Source: Autoblog]