Insights September 12, 2015

“The need for speed – it’s not just the cars that need to be fast!”

Living Word
By Living Word

Motor show fever is about to hit the auto industry again as the biennial IAA Frankfurt Motor Show extravaganza gets underway, with manufacturers tuning their engines and polishing their bodywork ready to show the world what they can do.

A speedometer showing a vehicle's speed being pushed to the maximum

The motoring world expects – and the industry delivers. Concepts, updates, new technology – you name it, motor shows have it.

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Highly anticipated reveals and debuts this year include the battery-powered e-tron Quattro concept from Audi, the BMW X1, the first SUVs from Jaguar and Bentley, the Mazda Koeru concept and Vauxhall’s updated Tiguan concept and new Astra.

Stepping the marketing up a gear

Before the fun starts though, gearing up for a major motor show can be huge task for manufacturers and their marketing agencies.

Yes, the cars have to be ready for industry, press and public scrutiny but so do literature, signage, presentations, websites, videos, subtitles, forms, promotions and… well, the list is endless!

Preparation is key

Most marketers in the industry have their copy well underway now for the Frankfurt Motor Show. But those who need foreign language versions of their crafted text can really get ahead of the game if they put in some groundwork right at the start.

Speed speed speed!

First priority is always speed. No, nothing to do with mph, bhp or cc. This is about needing those translations ‘yesterday’!

Translations for the automotive industry have their own, unique challenges in many languages. So how can a fast delivery be achieved without compromising quality and creativity?

A speedometer showing a vehicle's speed being pushed to the maximum

Planning ahead

A little bit of planning can go along way when it comes to urgent translations. Do you know that you might need foreign language versions of your marketing materials for a motor show coming up? Does your translation agency know? Tell them!

Planning ahead needn’t mean a precise schedule with exact word counts and deadlines! A simple “please keep Monday afternoon free” can be enough. Translation agencies are used to last-minute requests and will really appreciate the heads-up – and you will appreciate the earlier deliveries!


You’d be surprised what translators can do with the extra time. Of the work that goes into a good automotive translation, up to 70% is actually research.

If you can spare a few minutes, let your agency know the focus of texts and the topic and send them some previous materials in the usual style, with in-house jargon, before the job even starts. They can use this to do research while you are finalising your texts. The advance information and extra time mean the translation will then be as close to your ideal copy as possible, saving time at revision stage.

It’s the little things

Revisions and last-minute tweaks are inevitable, so the pressure is often on for marketers, right up to the last minute. Let your translators know your plans and they can be ready to spring into action to help.

Simple checks, such as making sure your files are editable, and can be easily overwritten in the new languages, can really speed things up, too.

If you can involve your translation agency at the early stages, they can tell you what they need and ultimately make your job easier!

Just some of the automotive brands that trust our translations.

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