We don't yet know which NFL teams will be playing in Super Bowl LIV in Miami in February, but the field of automotive advertising competitors has grown by one: Toyota.
The Japanese brand said it has purchased airtime for a 60-second commercial to kick off the marketing campaign for its redesigned 2020 Highlander three-row crossover. Toyota dealers began receiving 2020 Highlanders this week, and a hybrid version is expected to be in dealerships in February. Toyota says the Highlander's marketing campaign is expected to run from the game through mid-July.
"We're excited to feature the all-new 2020 Highlander in our spot in the Big Game," Ed Laukes, group vice president, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America, said in a written statement. "There's no better way to kick off the marketing campaign for the fourth generation of this benchmark SUV than during the most-watched television event of the year."
In the first three quarters of the year, the Highlander was the best-selling large crossover in the U.S., according to the Automotive News Data Center. Through November, Toyota sold 218,989 units, a 1.1 percent decrease compared with same period last year.
Last year, Toyota used the Super Bowl to promote the 2019 RAV4 and the return of the Supra to its lineup.
The commercial will be produced by Saatchi & Saatchi, part of Toyota's cross-agency marketing model in collaboration with Burrell Communications, Conill Advertising and Intertrend, with Zenith Media responsible for TV and Outdoor media buying.
So far, Audi, Hyundai, Kia and Porsche have announced they will run ads during next year's Super Bowl.
NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court said General Motors is not liable for punitive damages over accidents that occurred after its 2009 bankruptcy and involved vehicles it produced earlier, including vehicles with faulty ignition switches.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said on Tuesday that the automaker did not agree to contractually assume liability for punitive damages as part of its federally-backed Chapter 11 reorganization.
GM filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, and its best assets were transferred to a new Detroit-based company with the same name. The other assets and many liabilities stayed with "Old GM," which is also known as Motors Liquidation Co.
Tuesday's 3-0 decision may help GM reduce its ultimate exposure in nationwide litigation over defective ignition switches in several Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn models.
It is also a defeat for drivers involved in post-bankruptcy accidents, including those who collided with older GM vehicles driven by others, as well as their law firms.
The ignition-switch defect could cause engine stalls and keep airbags from deploying, and has been linked to 124 deaths.
A lawyer for the drivers and their law firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment. GM had no comment.
Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs said GM's agreement to acquire assets "free and clear" of most liabilities excused it from punitive damages claims for Old GM's conduct.
He also noted that the judge who oversaw the bankruptcy concluded that the new company could not be liable for claims that the "deeply insolvent" Old GM would never have paid.
The decision upheld a May 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan, who oversees the ignition-switch litigation.
Drivers have sought a variety of damages in that litigation, including for declining resale values.
GM has recalled more than 2.6 million vehicles since 2014 over ignition-switch problems.
It has also paid more than $2.6 billion in related penalties and settlements, including $900 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice criminal case.
The case is In re: Motors Liquidation Co, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-1940.