Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2012 08:59 AM
Hostess liquidation sees opportunists stock up on Twinkies as future of its brands hangs in balance and unions cling to hope of a buyer.
BP seen as takeover target now, as valuation slides.
GM opens $1.3 billion China plant for Baojun budget brand.
Ben & Jerry's turns fans' Instagram pictures into ads.
CCTV ad haul for Chinese television bodes well for economy.
Cisco to buy networking-hardware company Meraki for $1.2 billion.
Citigroup to cut more jobs.
Dish Network is frustrated in dream of breaking into wireless.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2012 09:01 AM
Microsoft announces the departure of Windows chief (and Ballmer's heir apparent) in wake of Windows 8 launch.
LG breaks through with new smartphone.
Hostess Brands starts closing plants as workers strike.
Acura brings Dr. Phil and Suze Orman into its Christmas promo campaign.
Apple finally gives in on employee perks.
Bojangles recruits American Idol winner Scotty McCreery for campaign.
Cadillac shows design chops in China.
Callaway Golf drives buzz on Twitter for new high-tech driver.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2012 09:02 AM
7-Eleven, JetBlue and Bliss go presidential with "poll" promotions as Pizza Hut comes up with a controversial dare ahead of next week's debate.
Toyota recalls 7.4 million vehicles globally for power-window glitch and 2.5 million Lexus vehicles, as it plugs Prius on the Home Shopping Network.
Samsung signs TV deal with Spotify.
BAE and EADS terminate merger talks.
Bain Capital buys maker of Craftsman Tools.
Ballmer touts new era at Microsoft as bonus trimmed.
Cadbury tells bishop it's not precious about purple.
Chevron is rejected by Supreme Court in Ecuadorian case.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 13, 2012 03:22 PM
Japan's automakers are moving more and more of their "crown jewels" to the U.S. market, which promises to continue to transform the brands both home and abroad into more of a "Made in America" proposition than anyone would have imagined just a few years ago.
Honda plans to give the lead to its North American operations for a growing number of global vehicle-development projects of the type which traditionally were executed in Japan. Company executives hope the moves would help Honda fend off competitive challenges in the North American market and also hedge against a strong yen.
The U.S. R&D team, most of it located in Raymond, Ohio, already stands at about 2,000 people, and Honda could add to that for engineering and development work on the new-generation Acura NSX sports car, the next-generation Civic and other models, said Erik Berkman, the new president of Honda R&D Americas, according to Automotive News.
"As an organization, our U.S. facilities and the skill level of our engineers have achieved full citizenship in R&D," Berkman said. Honda already has been gearing up a huge shift of auto production to the United States from Japan because of the stubbornly strong yen, which makes U.S. manufacturing less expensive.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2012 02:38 PM
Mazda may be zigging with its decision to bet heavily on making more of its vehicles in Japan and exporting them in the nation's classic Japan Inc. way. But all of its Japanese rivals are zagging — and sinking unprecedented amounts into building up their manufacturing presence in North America, as the lofty yen gives them little choice but to do so for currency hedging.
The little automaker has declared that 90 percent of the output of its new CX-5 crossover, in Japan, will be aimed for export and that it can make a profit on sales to the U.S. even if the yen continues to appreciate against the dollar.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2012 03:13 PM
Toyota and Honda must be concerned about the here and now after their abysmal 2011s. They're still attempting to get back to par with their global venicle inventories and have been gearing up new products they're hoping will begin attracting Americans back to their brands this year.
But at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, their necessary preoccupation with sales numbers for this month and next month didn't prevent Toyota and Honda executives from turning toward the mid- and long-term future as well.
For Toyota, that meant, among other things, a heavy reckoning with its trailblazing investments in hybrid automobiles and a rather candid assessment of American consumers' continued ambivalence about electrified automobiles. The brand showed off its new Prius c — the "c" in the name is for city — a small entry in its growing "family" of Prius hybrids, and bowed its NS4 concept plug-in hybrid that should see the market around 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 1, 2011 11:01 AM
There's certainly plenty of blame to go around for the disappointing year that Honda has had. Start with Mother Nature: an earthquake in Japan and flood in Thailand. But human error also has played a large role in the brand's recent swoon in the U.S. market and worldwide.
For blame, you can now start with Honda Motor CEO Takanobu Ito and decisions that the company made concerning the less-than-impressive new Honda Civic, a mainstay of its product lineup. Civic sales have dipped by 15 percent so far this year in the U.S. despite the launch of the new version, and not just because of supply constraints caused by the natural disasters.
During a roundtable with journalists at the Tokyo Auto Show, Ito said that "the ultimate responsibiity" for decisions about the new version "rest[s] with me." But what decisions? How exactly did Civic, once a darling of Consumer Reports auto evaluators, end up left off the list of "recommended" vehicles for its 2012 version?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 1, 2011 11:58 AM
It was 29 years ago today that Honda began production in North America. The Japanese automaker just announced that it will sharply reduce its North American manufacturing — for the second time this year — because floods in Thailand have disrupted parts supplies. Honda will cut its North American output by half beginning tomorrow (Wednesday), and all six of its plants on the continent will be affected through next week.
About 80 percent to 90 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States are built in North America but are dependent on a few crucial parts, especially electronics, that are supplied from overseas — including in Thailand. The disruptions also will delay by several weeks Honda's introduction of a new version of its CR-V sport-utility vehicle.Continue reading...