Jeep, GM and BMW plan marketing splashes in London's 2012 Olympic Games, which kick off tonight. Automotive News reports BMW is the Olympics' official automotive sponsor, with 3,200 vehicles shuttling athletes and dignitaries around London during the Games and around the Olympic Park Pavilion (above). The automaker's U.S. arm also provided 3-D imaging to track athletes' bodies on U.S. track and swimming teams, gleaned from prototype technology for the automaker's pedestrian-detection systems. Speaking of BMW, expect the 3 Series-fighting Cadillac ATS to show up in plenty of ads drawn from this series. GM has exclusive advertising rights during NBC's Olympics broadcasts, and it plans to use them for its latest sport sedan. Jeep, meanwhile, will sponsor the U.S. Olympic basketball team — the one with Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo and Coach K — with ads from this series.
In other news:
- J.D. Power and Associates’ Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study, which scores gratification on new-car purchases, found 27% of shoppers traded in for smaller models, but small cars are scoring higher. Porsche is still the most appealing brand, but J.D. Power said Dodge, Jaguar and Ram made big strides. Suzuki, Smart and Mitsubishi ranked at the bottom.
- Ford said it's looking to add more aluminum to the F-150, but the automaker told the Detroit News it isn't planning all-aluminum architecture for the best-selling pickup.
- Porsche reported first-half profits increased 21% on demand for its redesigned 911, Bloomberg News reports. VW will complete its ownership stake in the German sports-car maker — something nearly three years in the making — next week.
- Kia, which is traded separately from parent company Hyundai, reported 2.8% lower profits in the second quarter due to increased marketing costs, Bloomberg News reports.
- A new book by a former special inspector to the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program blames the Obama administration for pressuring GM and Chrysler to shut more than 2,000 dealerships with little consideration of job loss, the Detroit News reports.