Another successful Ram summer ride and drive series has sadly come to an end. The 2015 rodeo and farm show tours saw the best weather and more importantly, the best crowds that we have experienced to date.
This year, both tours saw the addition of the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which was a great addition to the drive fleet! Guests were amazed by the torque, lack of typical diesel noise, and the amazing fuel economy (up to 29 mpg).
As the Ram Trucks brand continues to build momentum and win market share, we continue to see (and welcome) increased interest and participation in the ride and drive events.
Hats off to Ram on another great season!
Cheyenne Frontier Days – Cheyenne, WY
Colorado State Fair – Pueblo, CO
Oklahoma State Fair – Oklahoma City, OK
Heart O’ Texas Fair – Waco TX
Farm Show Tour:
Wisconsin Farm Tech Days – Madison, WI
Farm Progress – Decatur, IL
Husker Harvest Days – Grand Island, NE
Sunbelt Expo – Moultrie, GA
Gordinier Group was fortunate to have the opportunity to design and build an off-road course for the Dick Scott Motor Mall dealership in Fowlerville, Michigan this summer.
The Dick Scott dealership was an excellent candidate to have their own track, as they have a great piece of land adjacent to their lot. As it is visible from a major expressway (I-96), the track essentially acts as a billboard (vehicles are parked on the obstacles and lit at night) when it is not in use. To top it off, DSMM is a top Wrangler volume leader in the region, with a robust group of off-road enthusiasts that frequent the dealership to buy and up-fit their Jeep vehicles. Offering a place for these owners to do some wheeling just makes sense.
The plan was to create a challenging track to use as a Jeep sales tool for potential customers with the added benefit of becoming an attraction destination. DSMM sales staff were trained by GG to safely navigate the course as well as how demonstrate the Jeep off-road features and how they relate to each course obstacle.
The course design features elements that highlight and demonstrate Jeep’s Trail Rated attributes (traction, maneuverability, ground clearance, stability, and articulation. It was designed to accommodate all Jeep models including Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Renegade, Compass, and Patriot. If it has a Trail Rated badge and a transfer case that supports 4WD low, the vehicle can conquer the track.
Dick Scott Motor Mall has embraced the onsite, off-road track idea, using it to boost their Jeep sales and has also offered special events for their customers to give them a taste of how capable their Jeep vehicles are when taken off of the pavement.
You can see more info as well as a GoPro video of the track in action here.
The Harley Davidson Project LiveWire Tour #PROJECTLIVEWIRE is back on the road in 2015, and what better place to kick off the tour than Sin City?
Project Livewire brings 13 of HD’s new prototype electric sport motorcycle to venues across the US and Canada, giving consumers an opportunity to test ride this incredible machine. The feedback gathered from these lucky riders will help HD to determine exactly what the riders like/dislike about it and whether there is enough interest to bring this engineering feat to the market.
What an amazing experience for the riders and fans of this American brand – not only can people ride the bike on the street, but their opinions and feedback can help to shape the future of the brand. Pretty cool idea.
CycleWorld did a nice write-up of what it is like to ride the LiveWire here.
The tour began on May 1 at Las Vegas Harley Davidson, kicking off to an enthusiastic LV crowd. There were no shortage of guests in the city, as we shared the weekend with attendees of the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight, Las Vegas Supercross and the Premier of Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Speaking of the Avengers, the actual HD Street 750 motorcycle ridden by Captain America is part of our traveling display this year.
The tour heads to Chandler, Arizona next, then on to British Columbia. Stay tuned for more info…
The Mission – to coordinate and operate the largest truck parade in the world with the best truck brand in the world (Ram, of course), in order to set a Guinness World Record
The Magic Number – 439 (The previous record was 438)
The Venue – AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys
The Result – 451 Ram trucks in a constantly-moving, evenly-spaced parade formation
Gordinier Group was once again fortunate to be able to help G7 Entertainment Marketing and Ram Trucks to put together this record-breaking effort, while treating loyal Ram owners to a once in a lifetime experience while visiting the Academy of Country Music Awards in Arlington, Texas.
To say that organizing this parade was logistically challenging would be an understatement. Imagine coordinating nearly 500 trucks and their owners, having them line up in a parking lot, start a parade procession at the same time, and keep them all moving continuously over a 3.4 mile route, without stopping at any point. All of this needed to happen on the busy streets of the AT&T Stadium campus, in the lead-up to the Academy of Country Music Awards…kind of a busy area.
The entire activity was closely watched by the Guinness World Record Adjudicator, who flew to Dallas to make sure that all of the required elements were satisfied in order to win the record.
The announcement came later in the day – to a collective sigh of relief from all of the planners, Ram execs and participants. Our parade was certified at 451 vehicles (13 above the previous record)!
All in all, this was a great events for loyal Ram owners, who were treated to a once in a lifetime experience. Not only were they able to participate in an official world record, they were treated to tickets and parking for the Party For A Cause, Ram gift bags, Ram vehicle and partner display area, live music and Raminator monster truck crushing demos.
Motor Trend wrote a nice recap of the event here.
Here is a YouTube video recap of the parade.
January – April 2015
With a lofty goal of increasing throughput / exposure while building on the premier experiential event in the industry, the entire CJAS team delivered again!
The standards were set higher and everyone involved rose to the occasion to make this program shine once again. Last fall we hit our one millionth Camp Jeep rider after 10 years. The next million will come much more quickly as we continue to improve throughput efficiency.
The 2015 “CJAS Tour” visited:
- Houston Jeep 1/21/2015
- Houston Ram 2/21/2015
- Washington DC Jeep 1/21/2015
- Philadelphia Jeep 1/29/2015
- Tulare Ram 2/10/2015
- Chicago Jeep 2/11/2015
- Chicago Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat 2/11/2015
- Dallas Ram 2/19/2015
- Cleveland Jeep 2/27/2015
- Cleveland Jeep 2/27/2015
- Minneapolis Jeep 3/7/2015
- Atlanta Jeep 3/24/2015
- New York Jeep 4/1/2015
- Denver Jeep 4/7/2015
This schedule wasn’t for the weak of heart, to be sure. There were many hours worked, laps driven, much experienced gained, and most importantly, many thousands of people exposed to FCA’s outstanding current product by Gordinier Group professional drivers.
We were once again humbled by (and thankful for) the opportunity to take the stage and represent the brand(s)!
February 12 – 22, 2015
In terms of indoor tracks, the Chicago Auto Show Camp Jeep and City Drive are the Superbowl of consumer test drive events. It is safe to say that this event has no peers when it comes to throughput , and the 2015 edition did not disappoint. Both tracks consistently maintained a 45-90 minute line from open until close each day of the show, proving that FCA is producing excellent product that people want to experience.
Camp Jeep -
This is our favorite indoor course every year. By using organic materials in conjunction with GPJ-designed modular steel obstacles, we create the atmosphere and feel of an outdoor setting, complete with live pine trees, dirt, mulch, logs and boulders. This course really gives consumers a chance to share a true off-road driving experience with us as they learn about the vehicle and it’s capabilities from our pro drivers. As an added bonus, we were thrilled to debut the 2015 Renegade Trailhawk, giving the public first crack at riding in this exciting new B-segment SUV from Jeep. As predicted, the vehicle was met with enthusiasm as it handled the course with aplomb. Both competitive vehicle owners and Jeep fanatics walked away from our course with smiles on their faces. Represented at Camp Jeep was the full Jeep lineup, including Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, Wrangler, Renegade, Patriot and Compass.
Here is a quick video produced by FCA’s social media team:
City Drive – In 2015, the SRT brand returned to the City Drive to the delight of the Chicago guests. The SRT Charger (and Challenger with Scat Pack), could be heard from anywhere in the McCormick Place when it hammered down the acceleration lane. Also represented on the City Drive track were the 2015 Doge Dart, Chrysler 300, 200, T&C, as well as the Fiat Abarth, 500L, and 500.
And here is a video of the City Drive (City Drive content starts at 4:19)
January 22-25, 2015
Located 160 miles southwest of Denver, the 19th Annual Winter X-Games took place in Aspen, CO. More than 200 of the world’s best action sports athletes competed in skiing, snowboarding and snowmobile events at Buttermilk Mountain for the premier Winter X-Games event.
Jeep offered event guests, athletes, and VIPs the opportunity experience the 2015 vehicle lineup while traveling from downtown Aspen to the mountain venue. 12 shuttle vehicles were used, consisting of a mix of Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Cherokee vehicles. The all-new Renegade was featured at the games, but wasn’t in the shuttle fleet.
Consumer data was collected by Gordinier Group trained drivers, who provided detailed product information during the ride.
With the big concerts (Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Skrillex, Chromeo) moved to the mountain this year (instead of in town where the shuttles run), we were able to exceed goals and realize record numbers of participants in the Jeep shuttles.
Another great year in Aspen at the Winter X-Games – thanks Jeep!
I know what you are thinking, “tough job”.
Well, the i8 might be the coolest vehicle that I have driven. From BMWBLOG:
BMW i8 uses a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a turbocharged three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and BMW eDrive technology in the form of an electric drive system.
“The 1.5-liter combustion engine develops 170 kW/231 hp and drives the rear wheels of the BMW i8, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric drive sends its power to the front wheels and allows an all-electric range of up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).”
On paper, those figures seem okay, but actually driving this space-age vehicle is a different story. Shifting the vehicle into EcoPro mode combines the 1.5L., 3-cylinder turbocharged engine and electric motor systems for optimum efficiency. The combined systems make 357 HP and 420 lb. ft. of torque. With a superlight body made mostly of aluminum and carbon fiber, this powerplant will take you from 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds.
All performance and driving dynamics aside, the driving experience from the cockpit is equally impressive in the i8. I needed more time to dial in all of the electric goodies, but I have to say that my favorite gadget was the onboard camera system that uses multiple cameras around the vehicle to create a bird’s-eye view of your vehicle driving down the road in real time. All of the cars and obstacles that you pass are shown around your vehicle – unreal!
I could go on and on about this car, but you can read about it elsewhere.
Did I mention that we were also given 2015 M4 and M5 cars to drive? This was a nice way to start 2015 – life is good!
Here are a few shots of our i8 assault on Las Vegas:
While the full 2015 Camp Jeep Auto Show officially kicks off at the San Diego Auto Show on New Year’s Day, the unofficial season has already begun, with big shows in Anaheim, Miami and Orlando.
If the attendance at the Camp Jeep track at these shows is indicative of what is to come in January, we will be very busy this season.
Each of those stops (Orange County 10/3-5/14, Miami 11/7-16/14, Orlando 11/27-30/14) tallied record crowds this year and guests were as excited as ever about the current Jeep lineup. We are also beginning to hear a lot of questions and anticipation about the new Renegade, which is a very positive sign for the brand.
We are looking forward to continuing this momentum into 2015 and expect for Camp Jeep to continue to set the bar for automotive experiential events!
July 19-28, 2014
Colorado State Fair
August 23 – September 2, 2014
Oklahoma State Fair
Oklahoma City, OK
September 11-21, 2014
The Ram Rodeo Test ride Series provides excellent exposure for the brand. Unlike the farm show circuit, these fairs are 10-12 days long and feature top country music acts, pro rodeo and bull riding events, carnivals, and other attractions that help to bring scads of people through the gates.
At these shows Gordinier Group/Dirt Designs has the opportunity to design and build organic off-road courses that feature, logs, rock piles, axle articulation rollers, dirt mountains, and as many other obstacles that we can pack into our footprint. While the simulated off-road courses provide an excellent medium to provide a consistent experience, we always jump at the chance to get on the heavy equipment and move some dirt around.
All 3 fairs brought us great weather and provided us a truly enormous amount of people to show off the 2014 Ram 1500 to. We really racked up the rides at these shows and were able to make a ton of positive impressions. This is easy to do when you are you are promoting the Motor Trend “Truck of the Year”, winner (for the last 2 years, thank you very much).
Wisconsin Farm Tech Days
Steven’s Point, WI
August 12-14, 2014
August 26-28, 2014
September 9-11, 2014
In the outdoor event world, when dealing with Mother Nature, you win some and you lose some. With 3 major farm shows on the schedule this summer, Gordinier Group pro drivers had to battle with some serious rain and storms to bring Ram trucks to the masses.
The farm show circuit began with Wisconsin Farm Tech Days, which featured excellent weather and mobs of Ram test riders. The simulated off-road properties and 2014 Ram 1500 and 2500 trucks were a huge hit with consumers who lined up to participate in our experience. Our job of showing off the features of these amazing trucks gets easier each year as they continue to get better and better – no convincing needed, thank you.
From Wisconsin, we moved on to Boone, Iowa, for Farm Progress Days. This is where the rain began. We arrived on the first show day to 6 inches of standing water on our track. Luckily, we brought some trucks to the entrance, put on our Product Specialist hats, and were still able to have a good number of positive guest interactions, despite being unable to drive. The rain continued throughout the show, causing an eventual morning cancellation on the last day.
When we finally dried off, the Gordinier Group crew made their way to Kearney, Nebraska for Husker Harvest. Once again we battled torrential downpours and weren’t able to drive. Back to our vehicle walk-arounds and Product Specialist duties. Not a bad gig, but our team are drivers and really like to be behind the wheel where we can demonstrate the features that we are explaining.
The weather didn’t cooperate this year, but our guys and gals are scrappy and still managed to get in front of a lot of Ram and potential Ram owners.
The farm shows provide an audience that is the perfect demographic for the brand and even with the wet weather, still an excellent series.
August 9 – 16, 2014
Gordinier Group pro drivers traveled to Whistler, British Columbia for Crankworx, the premier mountain bike free ride event in North America.
If there is a more natural backdrop for a Jeep event, we have yet to see it. Not only are the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains the ideal setting for the Jeep brand, but the Crankworx participants and fans are the right demographic as well.
This combination sets the stage for the perfect automotive experiential event, and the 2014 Crankworx did not disappoint. Great weather brought the crowds to Whistler and guests fell in love with the Jeep vehicles on our off-road course. The Wrangler seems to be the crowd favorite there, but we also had great interactions with guests in our Grand Cherokee and Cherokee Trailhawk course vehicles. We also ran a street drive, with 2014 Compass, Patriot and Cherokee vehicles.
All in all, Crankworx 2014 was a home run for Jeep. Great exposure and tons of off-road test drives, all targeted towards the right people.