Find Your Make

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
HOME | Articles index | media | use of content | contact us  
December 2011 Issue
 
ARTICLE
Press Kits - 1997 & Newer
By Robert McLellan
 
 

Technology changes so rapidly that one good thing after another disappears, only to be replaced with something new. The auto industry demands rapid transmission of information from the manufacturers to the public via the auto media. Printed sales brochures and catalogs are no longer the primary channels of communication. Unlike earlier times, printed automotive literature items are now few and far between. And while the car literature collector is being by-passed in this new scheme of things, the older paper literature and press kits are becoming more rare and therefore more valuable.

Prior to the 1990s, press kits were not much more than folders or notebooks with a few printed pages of text and some black and white photographs. Then came the golden era of elaborate press kits. This was followed by their recent demise into CD-ROMs and download offers on the car maker's media web site.

The 1990s to mid-2000s press kits became more and more spectacular. Innovative packaging and elaborate on-stage presentations at auto shows were the norm as each company tried to upstage its competitors. Most press kits came with color photographs and color slides. Others included model cars or some memorabilia. The objective of course, was to get the journalists' attention and to give them something memorable to place on their office desk or bookshelf that said, "Remember us. We gave you a good time and a nice gift. Now give us favorable press coverage."

The unintended consequence of that Golden Era was that literature collectors descended on the auto shows in droves and soon outnumbered the media. The "darling" of the interlopers was eBay. Often press kits could be found listed for bid on the same day as the press conferences at astounding prices. High prices then, but reasonable to low prices now, these press kits are becoming harder to find as they attain higher collectible value. They have become good investments as collectors age and become nostalgic about the 1990s.

 
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, December 2011
 
 
 
 
 
Spacer
Spacer
 L I T E R A T U R E
I N D E X
Click here
Spacer
separator
Spacer
Spacer
separator
Spacer
separator
Spacer
Spacer
separator
Spacer
Literature for
OVER 600 MAKES
Sales literature