Months ago, I blogged a list of cars that I have driven. Many of them were loaned to me by the automakers or their dealers. If the loan is done through the concessionaire, it is usually for a longer time—Ford and Porsche are happy for me to drive a car for extended periods. Audi will ﬂy me to a location. I prefer not taking a car from a dealer since they need to use it to make money through selling.
But what if I need one on demand and reasonably urgently, prepared to provide the manufacturer with a page (worth thousands) of coverage? There, because my surname is not Clarkson or Setright, it can prove harder.
Peugeot and Renault have leasing programmes in Europe, so last month I checked out whether I could get a comp in their home country for a week. It was an outright no from the former, with an offer of $500 if I sold them my story and it got published. I am (inter alia) a publisher, so why would I wish to give my story to someone else?
When I total up the coverage we have given Peugeot over the last year, it adds up to tens of thousands of dollars.
I’m not swayed by the negative response: if a vehicle deserves coverage, I will ﬁnd a way to get it. But you’d think there’d be a tad more quid pro quo, especially since I have owned one of their cars. Perhaps they are not happy that I bought from the competition.
Still, I am not giving up. I’ve just ﬁled a request at head ofﬁce in Paris, but I would not be surprised if I wound up driving German. As far as I can make out, the longest term use of a Peugeot by a celebrity was for Columbo and that was a long time ago. And I can’t recall anything after Ronin. Posted by Jack Yan, 02:46
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