Auto Manufacturers — Not Creating Your Current Brochures is Throwing Away Your History

Bob Gerometta
2 min readJul 14, 2022
Neat Looking BMW 2022 M4 — Don’t expect to find a brochure on it. In fact, don’t expect to find one on the 2019 version either.

Just so you understand this is not a rail against the digital world. I am a huge believer in it. After all, I founded one of the largest automotive digital libraries there is — The Eric B. White Digital Documents Library.

What I am talking about, however, is the phase than many manufacturers are now moving to — virtual brochures that have no counterpart in a paper or digital document that can be preserved.

In the new automotive marketing world, the concept is to build a series of slick web pages that promote their latest vehicle. I have emphasized “latest” because those web pages change each time the series or model is upgraded. The past is evaporated by the future — great for the marketing department — but for history, not so much.

Look, I get it, the manufacturer wants to sell you their newest model — I’m OK with that, but NOT document previous models in digital or paper format is throwing away their legacy. BMW is what car it is because of its history. the image of BMW is and was built on the backbone of every single model produced with the 2000 Series of the 60s!

This is the heritage of BMW -documented in every paper advertisement and brochure from 1966 to ???

But since 2018 manufacturers like BMW and Cadillac have abandoned digitizing (and printing?) their brochures. In a few years, where will the “image” of certain models exist? New, new, new, but “old” builds your image.

Starting in 2017, the “brochure” at BMW was really copies of selling web pages. But at least the models were documented.

So I urge ALL manufactures to have your slick web pages touting your latest lovely, but PLEASE, have your marketing department take those same slick pages and convert them into a digital brochure documenting that lovely. publish it alongside your exciting new web pages — safe it to your own digital library — or donate it to a digital library so that future generations know how your newest creation acquired its pedigree.

Please, I know you can do it — and some still do. Please —

Bob Gerometta

Gear head, archivist, historian, mystery writer — I’ve been called a “renaissance man”, but I’m very, very sure . . not