Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 09:27 AM
Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable in mammoth deal as it eyes Netflix turf.
Apple says it doesn't procure blood metal and talks about launching updated TV set-top box.
Walmart sees pitchman Mike Rowe come to defense of retailer on social media.
GM recalls 600,000 older vehicles to replace ignition switches.
Avon nears bribery settlement.
Cisco sees growth hit by sagging tech demand.
Fiat taps Sean "Diddy" Combs to tout 500 line worldwide.
Ford reveals GPS privacy practices.
Intuit sees Super Bowl ad pay off.
Kind sues Clif Bar in nutrition bar packaging dust-up.
Lexus keeps crown in J.D. Power reliability survey.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 2, 2013 05:12 PM
The next 10 years of retail are going to be quite different from the last 100, mostly because of the introduction of digital, AT&T retail head Paul Roth told AllThingsD. So the company is about to change its entire retail experience, starting with a test store in the suburbs of Chicago.
The store features different areas, each styled after areas of a home. "Technology can be intimidating for people, but when we put them in a friendly, comfortable environment, we show them how technology can enhance their lives," Dave Fine of AT&T told the Chicago Tribune.
One very obvious thing that the new concept store is missing is cash registers. Instead, transactions will be completed with mobile devices anywhere in the store with any store employee, Forbes.com reports. “The future of retail is all about personalized service and education,” Roth told the site.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2013 07:15 PM
Nissan has made other auto brands in the US market pretty nervous with its aggresssive incentivizing and its quick spike in market share. But taking its most proactive posture in years, the brand is far from finished, with new vehicles, new marketing campaigns and new distribution strategies providing hope that Nissan's gains won't dissipate soon.
There is one big new hurdle, however: Nissan fared poorly in the influential J.D. Power Initial Quality Study of US automotive brands this week, plunging to No. 31 this year from a tie for the No. 10 spot a year ago, a more precipitous drop than any of the other 34 brands in the survey. It wasn't immediately clear why; the brand did place three vehicles in Power's listing of the best vehicles in each market segment.
Nissan's jolting moves to pick up at least temporary market share have been getting attention this week, including a $580 price cut on the Altima family sedan, a major move in a very important and competitive segment that helped Altima sales rise by 41 percent last month. Rivals are worried that Nissan's lucrative new incentives could trigger a domino effect of other brands being forced to match them.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 20, 2013 04:28 PM
Chevrolet can't take much time just basking in the unprecedented praise its vehicles received this week in the new J.D. Power automotive quality report. That's because brand executives have the opportunity to add to the good run with a spate of important new Chevrolet vehicle launches and fresh marketing initiatives planned for the rest of the year and into next year.
It was quite a coup for the brand to land five of its vehicles in top segment ratings by Power, even though some of them were at the ends of their life cycles, like the 2013 Impala. Chevy's strong showing as a brand—overall it jumped from 15th last year to fifth this year, led by its pickups and SUVs—was all the more meaningful because it was accompanied by a huge surge by other GM brands and the company overall.
Now, under the leadership of new Chevy CMO Tim Mahoney, recruited from Volkswagen of America, and Chris Perry, vice president of global marketing for Chevrolet, marketers will try to harness this new honor as well as continue laying the groundwork for and executing launches of a run of important new Chevy vehicles this year. They include the new Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that is rolling into Chevy dealerships now, the completely overhauled and impressive 2014 Impala full-size sedan and the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 03:14 PM
The influential J.D. Power & Associates ranking of Initial Quality of auto brands in the US is out today, and the big winners are General Motors and some of its brands, as well as Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler.
The main losers in status, defined by the exhaustive study of quality perceptions among American consumers, are BMW, Ram, Mazda and Nissan. Ford and Lincoln brands basically broke even on a combined basis compared with their reduced status from a year ago.
Porsche came out as the top-performing brand overall, rising from third place in 2012. But for the first time, GM could be considered the top-performing company overall in the closely watched study, placing two brands—GMC and Chevrolet—in the top five of the Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today. The annual survey measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership, and so it's a crucial look at very current consumer perceptions and marketplace realities.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 17, 2013 02:57 PM
Ford has finally given in to the primordial leanings of its customers and decided to put more old-fashioned knobs and buttons on its infotainment controls. But the move—arguably, belated by two years—still might not be enough to save Ford this week from another poor third-party evaluation that got the brand into trouble in the first place.
Ford will reprise tuning and volume knobs for the radio as it redesigns existing models and introduces new ones, Raj Nair, Ford's global product-development chief, told the Wall Street Journal. That's because the company finally gave in to two years of complaints about the initial version of its touch-screen multimedia system, MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch, which essentially were a Version 2.0 of its popular Sync technology.
In 2011, reports by both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports—two of the most authoritative sources of independent evaluation in the business—slammed Ford for MyFord Touch because the touch-screen interface, voice-activiated controls and other aspects of the system confounded users. Power even labeled it a "quality" issue and dropped Ford from one of the top auto brands in its annual Initial Quality Survey to a below-average brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 04:43 PM
General Motors brands and Lexus were the big winners when J.D. Power & Associates announced its highly regarded annual awards for dealership-customer satisfaction based on its survey of thousands of American automotive consumers.
Three GM brands—led by GMC, and also including No. 3 Buick and No. 4 Chevrolet—placed in the top five in Power's prestigious designation. No. 2 Mini and No. 5 Volkswagen rounded out the top five. Three Chrysler Group brands—Jeep, Ram and Dodge—finished at the bottom.
In the luxury arena, Lexus once again won the day—for the fifth straight year—followed by yet another GM brand, Cadillac; Jaguar; Acura; and Infiniti. BMW and Mercedes-Benz placed below average, while Land Rover gained the most of any luxury brand from last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2012 02:22 PM
As vehicles cluster closer together at ever-higher levels in objective measures of quality, such as manufacturing defects and "fit-and-finish," more subjective indicators are helping to differentiate brand perceptions about "quality." Customer treatment in dealer showrooms and dealings with brands' retail reprentatives increasingly are one of those.
Obviously, Lexus and Mini have a firm grip on this increasingly important dynamic. Lexus finished first for the second straight year among luxury brands in the US according the latest annual rating by J.D. Power & Associates of customer satisfaction with the auto-buying experience, and MINI finished first among mainstream brands for the third time in a row.
Power based its findings on 32,000 owner surveys in May, measuring satisfaction with the selling process at dealerships where they made their purchase and at any store where they shopped but didn't buy, according to Automotive News. Overall for the industry, greater consumer satisfaction with salespeople helped raise the general score.Continue reading...