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Catching up to speed, Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 2009 |  1:34 pm

News on January car sales came out this week and it wasn't pretty, but carmakers continue to launch products and market their brands to an increasingly frugal market.

Mercedes launches luxury travel program to keep owners happy
Montage500Although Mercedes-Benz reported a 42.9% drop in U.S. sales in January, compared to the same month last year, its marketing arm is offering owners a new premium travel program called Destinations that will include room upgrades, spa and restaurant credits and courtesy cars for use during their trip. Properties in the Southland include Calistoga Ranch, the Montage Beverly Hills and Rancho Valencia. Source: PR Newswire

Auto Super Bowl advertising moved the needle
At about $3 million per 30-second spot, Super Bowl advertisers take an expensive gamble, so we’re sure Hyundai, Audi and Toyota were glad to hear the report from one of the largest online car sites, Kelley Blue Book’s, that traffic from potential customers clicked at a higher rate on Super Bowl Sunday. Clicks on for the Hyundai Genesis saw an 82% jump in page views, Audi A6 traffic increased by 45%, and even the not-so-exciting Toyota Venza saw a 13% increase in clicks on Super Bowl Sunday as compared to the day before. Source: PR Newswire

Honda Fit is tested and recommended by Consumer Reports  Hondafit500
This month, the Honda Fit shares honors with the Suzuki SX4 as the only subcompact vehicles that are “recommended” by Consumer Reports. Cars that did not get the coveted recommendation include the Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Aveo5 and Nissan Versa (although Versa did get a “very good” rating). Source: PR Newswire

-- Joni Gray