Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 10:34 AM
Three heavyweights of American industrialism were among those who spoke at a Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference, and they had a lot to say about what they're doing to make their companies more sustainable.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, and General Mills CEO Kendall Powell each held forth at the sustainability-focused confab.
Akerson was the most newsworthy. He is genuinely fond of the Chevrolet Volt and will defend it against all comers, Akerson threw a potential trump card on the table against critics of GM's groundbreaking plug-in hybrid who believe it's way too expensive for whatever environmental benefits it yields, especially given all the federal-government subsidies it gets: The company plans a price cut of $7,000 to $10,000 on the "next generation" of the car and even plans for Volt "to be profitable," Akerson said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 09:12 AM
Starbucks raises outlook after strong second quarter.
Boeing gets clearance for re-launching Dreamliner in Japan and United's planes in May.
Altria Group plans to enter e-cigarette market.
3M cuts outlook as demand sputters.
Amazon outstrips growing profits with growing spending.
Best Buy tries to reduce "pain points" for customers, staff.
Cap'n Crunch launches new YouTube channel for adults.
Exxon Mobil oil output falls again.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2013 09:09 AM
AB InBev fiercely denies allegations that it waters down Budweiser, as its earnings are boosted by U.S.
Twitter sees potential valuation soar as it mulls IPO.
Cablevision sues Viacom for making it run second-tier channels.
AMC is propelled by "The Walking Dead."
Apple is expected to address cash horde at annual meeting as it tries to crack India market with iPhone.
Asus plans aggressive push in U.S. PC market.
Boeing encounters lack of battery expertise as probe of Dreamliner drags on.
Facebook opens up its ad exchange to sell everything but Google.
GM CEO Dan Akerson requests no pay raise for second year in a row.
Huawei kicks off branding campaign at Mobile World Congress.
In-N-Out Burger is kept on track by heiress.
Kraft debuts theme of Velveeta as "liquid gold."
Macy's plans to intensify digital efforts and issues upbeat outlook.
Milwaukee Brewers renew deal with long-time sponsor Miller Lite. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2013 07:19 PM
With the hiring away of Tim Mahoney from Volkswagen as Chevrolet's global chief marketing officer, General Motors appears to be moving one more step closer to a long-discussed goal of obliterating the GM "brand" altogether.
Mahoney—who has helped VW achieve strong double-digit sales gains in the U.S. in each of the last three years—has been named to the newly created post of global CMO for Chevrolet and of global GM marketing operations leader.
Because Mahoney, a three-decade veteran of automotive marketing, will report to GM's interim CMO, Alan Batey, his addition bulks up the Chevrolet brand that Batey also has been heading up for the last year, including recently replacing the "Chevrolet Runs Deep" tagline with the "Find New Roads" positioning.
Batey was vice president of U.S. sales and service and then took over as interim CMO for the corporation when GM's global CMO Joel Ewanick departed abruptly last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2013 04:12 PM
General Motors counted on a continued U.S. auto recovery and its new products for a strong fourth quarter in 2012, reporting nearly $5 billion in net income for the year and a three percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue.
But the world's second-largest automaker -- Toyota took back the number one spot last year -- continued to have a rough time in Europe, like the rest of the industry and GM still has some particular chinks in its own armor that also could slow down the company in 2013 and beyond.
"We recorded another solid year in 2012 as we grew the business, delivered a third straight year of profitability and took significant actions to put the company on a solid path for future growth," said Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO, in a press release. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 3, 2012 04:13 PM
Eurozone difficulties and fading business and consumer confidence in Europe are creating something of a black hole for global automakers in that market. So far, Fiat, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Ford and General Motors seem to be getting the worst of it, while Volkswagen and Toyota struggle to float on top of the difficulties.
The latest development is that politicians and unions are trying to get the Italian government to intervene to reverse Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's proclamation that the company can't give "any indication concerning future investments" in Italy because of the "economic crisis and current difficulties in the European auto market," according to Automotive News Europe.
Italy has been dancing on the fringes of eurozone difficulties along with Spain. And for months, Marchionne has been defying others in his industry by insisting that automakers need to put their heads together and figure out how to pare some of the excess capacity in the continent's car market — before the marketplace does it for them, more brutally. Marchionne even called out Volkswagen leadership this week for not being a team player on that issue.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2012 06:04 PM
From his first public remarks since taking over as interim CMO of General Motors, it's clear that Alan Batey isn't planning any abrupt changes in policies, directions or programs as he steers the company's marketing efforts at least for the short term. Only recently promoted from Chevrolet sales vice president to vice president of U.S. sales and service, Batey was just tapped again — this time to succeed Joel Ewanick, the controversial global CMO who unexpectedly parted ways with GM on Sunday.
"There is no change," Batey told reporters and analysts during the company's July sales call. "We've always been one thing here, and we have no change in direction or priorities. Our focus is on executing. There is a lot going on right now; a lot of new products. We'll have no disruption and no change. It's all about execution."
From Batey's remarks, it's easy to infer that the main problem his bosses had with Ewanick was with Ewanick, not necessarily with his work. And GM did say that his dismissal had to do with execution of Chevy's sponsorship agreement with the Manchester United soccer franchise, not with the fact of his having struck a deal with Manchester. Sure enough, Batey's first duty in his new role on Monday was to announce the signing of the Man U deal after terms were altered.
But more (likely) is going on than it appears.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 12, 2012 05:41 PM
General Motors has come a long way in three years. But GM has far to go to solidify its long-term future. That was the message from CEO Dan Akerson at the automaker's annual meeting today in Detroit.
Having already roared back from bankruptcy three years ago, returned to profitability, and launched a number of winning new products, GM has been trying to consolidate and build on those gains worldwide. It's easier said than done, of course. GM was the world's largest-volume automaker in 2011, but even that crown looks more iffy this year with Toyota recovering nicely.
Akerson stated today that GM is in the process of boosting quality and replacing or refurbishing 70 percent of its North American model lineup over the next two years.
"We are now in the early days of one of the biggest global product offensives in our history," he told shareholders and analysts in his speech. He said the impact of new vehicles "will be especially profound in the United States," citing the new Buick Verano small sedan as an example. GM today announced a turbocharged version of the car.Continue reading...