I like the idea of electric cars, and building them in the heartland of Illinois is great (my home state), but this Mitsubishi’s ad campaign gives Normal, IL an odd feel to me. They’re trying to sell it as small, rural, town America or “Anytown, USA” (a quote in the ad), to promote for their new “i” electric vehicle or MiVE. They show images of corn/soybean fields, small barbershops, quiet neighborhoods and old movie theater. That is not what I know or think of, when I think of Normal.
The MiVE has a MPGe/Range of 112mile, the longest right now for any full electric. This rear-wheel-drive electric vehicle will retail for $29,125 – $31,125.
Back to the ad: Yes, Illinois, outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area (CMA), has lots of corn/soybean fields, small shops, quiet neighborhoods and some old movie theaters. But Normal is way more than that. I grew up 30 miles away from there, and have spent lots of time in Normal.
Normal might have a population of 52,500(7th largest populations outside the CMA), but that doesn’t count the 20,000+ students attending the oldest public university in the state each year, Illinois State University (ISU). That movie theater in the video is located on the newly redesigned downtown area oddly renamed as “Uptown Normal” and is right next to the more lively ISU campus. Along with that there is Bloomington, IL, Normal’s sister city, usually referred to as Bloomington-Normal together. Bloomington has a population of 76,610(5th largest populations outside the CMA). It is hard to tell were one city starts and the other stops. There are other large companies located there other than Mitsubishi. State Farm and Country Financial, and ISU employ loads of people. Not to mention all the car dealerships, shopping, restaurants, and other manufacturing that are located there.
Other than the misleading about Normal being a small town, I actually really like this video, and efficient vehicles. I like when companies refer back to places where I grew up and know well, it works for me, even if some of the information is not all there.
Bikes are even used in the car industry. In the Mitsubishi Normal, IL photo gallery you can see these two Worksman Cycles in action on the factory floor.
Fun fact of the day: The mayor of Normal, Chris Koos, owns Vitesse Cycle Shop. I worked at Vitesse back when it had a Peoria Heights branch. Always enjoyed fielding phone calls for the non-existent “Mr. Vitesse.”
I forgot Chris Koos was the mayor. Great facts, “Mr. Vitesse” 🙂