Pacifica Mom is back, after filming ads on an iPhone

Chrysler is continuing its series of ads for the Pacifica minivan with actress Kathryn Hahn, but with the added complication of social distancing.

The latest campaign, which the brand is using on social media and other websites, is called “Pacifica Mom on Quarantine.” The confessional-style ads were shot via iPhone with just two crew members on location with Hahn in Los Angeles.

“My kids haven’t eaten anything green in two months,” Hahn says in one spot. “That’s a lie. We did get some green gummy worms.”

For each take, the tech director would set up lights and frame the shot, then move a safe distance away so Hahn could perform. Chrysler’s brand team and its ad agency, Doner, watched via remote feed and communicated with Hahn through a tablet between takes.

“In a time when social distancing practices have become the new normal, Chrysler brand and Hahn had to take a challenging approach during production of our most recent collaboration,” FCA Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois said in a statement. “Our production’s top priority was to ensure the health and safety of all involved during the one-day production.”

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Geneva auto show canceled for 2021

The Geneva auto show will not be held in 2021, the organizers have announced.

The reasons for the cancellation were lack of interest from automakers as well as the uncertain situation over the control of the coronavirus, the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) Foundation said in a statement on Monday.

The Geneva event is Europe’s only major international auto show to be held annually. This year’s event was due to take place in March but was canceled just days before opening as the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic became clear.

“A majority of GIMS exhibitors who took part in a survey stated that they would probably not participate in a 2021 edition and that they would prefer to have a GIMS in 2022,” the foundation said in the statement.

A 2022 show was not confirmed.

Holding the show next year without automaker support might kill it off for good, GIMS Director General Sandro Mesquita told Automotive News Europe in an interview in May.

“If we have a cancellation again next year it would just be a catastrophe for us, so we need to take into account what the brands are saying, because without the brands there would not be a show,” he said. “It’s important that the next show is good one and not a small, reduced one.”

The GIMS Foundation’s position put it in conflict with the local Geneva state authority, which offered a loan on the condition that the show was held in 2021. The show is the largest event held in Switzerland and generates about 200 million francs ($206 million) in income for the city, the authorities said.

The GIMS Foundation rejected the loan because it considered “inadmissible that one condition of the loan is that an event has to be organized in 2021.”

Instead, the foundation said it had decide to sell the auto show to the Palexpo conference center in Geneva where the event is held.

“The aim is to find a solution that will ensure the regular organization of an international motor show in Geneva,” GIMS said.

The show represents a third of the value of Palexpo, the Geneva state authority has said.

One of the purposes of the loan was to repay fees to automakers that had paid in advance to attend this year’s event, Mesquita said in May. It’s not clear whether that money will now be repaid.

Ford pauses U.S. social media advertising for 30 days

Ford Motor Co. said Monday it would pause advertising on all social media platforms in the United States for the next 30 days, joining a growing list of companies that have stopped spending on Facebook Inc. in support of a campaign that called out the company for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platform.

The automaker said it would re-evaluate its presence on all social media platforms and added that hate speech, violence and racial injustice in content on social media “needs to be eradicated.” A spokesman said Ford is evaluating such spending in other regions.

Last week Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. automobile division said it would withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July.

Tesla enters Europe energy market with its Autobidder platform

Tesla is entering the European energy market with its Autobidder platform to monetize energy storage products.

Earlier this year, we reported on Tesla’s Autobidder product, a step toward becoming an electric utility.

The company described the product:

“Autobidder provides independent power producers, utilities, and capital partners the ability to autonomously monetize battery assets. Autobidder is a real-time trading and control platform that provides value-based asset management and portfolio optimization, enabling owners and operators to configure operational strategies that maximize revenue according to their business objectives and risk preferences.”

In short, the platform is used to better and more directly monetize energy storage assets, like Tesla’s Powerpacks, Powerwalls, and new Megapacks.

Today, the European Power Exchange (EPEX SPOT), which is an electric power exchange operating in several major European markets, announced that Tesla joined their exchange:

“Congratulations to Tesla for starting your first day of trading with us! We are happy to have you on board.”

It sounds like Tesla will link its Autobidder platform to the EPEX SPOT exchange.

Tesla Energy executive Rohan Ma commented on EPEX SPOT’s announcement:

“We are excited to launch our Autobidder platform in Europe this summer for Tesla customers seeking to monetize their energy storage assets in electricity markets.”

Last year, Elon Musk said Tesla Energy, the energy division of the automaker, is becoming a distributed global utility, and it could even outgrow its automotive business.

The idea is that Tesla would keep deploying more solar and energy storage systems — big and small — at the residential level and on utility-scale and manage those distributed systems to act as a giant global electric utility.

Electrek’s Take

I think this is a clear move toward expanding Tesla Energy, and I think we are seeing a renewed interest on that front.

Tesla has delivered energy storage products in Europe and globally for years, and it looks like the company is now looking to create more value out of them going forward.

It comes at a time when Elon is also hinting at an expansion of Tesla’s solar products outside the US, where it has been limited for now.

This is going to be big business for Tesla in the future. As distributed assets grow, there are going to be a lot of opportunities to optimize them to materialize the full value.

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