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Chrysler Cheers US Gains, Sees More from Cherokee, Dart and Special Editions

Posted by Dale Buss on April 2, 2013 03:34 PM

The hits keep on coming for Chrysler, which reported a 5-percent sales increase for March over a year earlier. Its Dart compact is selling better; it just wrapped up the successful sale of a limited-edition Detroit Red Wings version of its Ram 1500 pickup; it debuted a revamped Jeep Cherokee at the New York Auto Show; and it's nurturing a boost in interest for the Motown Edition of its Chrysler 300 sedan in the walkup to the April 14 premier of Motown the Musical on Broadway.

Chrysler just reported its best monthly sales since December 2007, before its spiral into bankruptcy and rescue by Fiat and the U.S. taxpayer. Sales of Ram pickups were up 24 percent in March, reflecting the appeal of the new Ram model and an uptick in the housing sector. Jeep sales boomed by 27 percent, while Dodge brand sales rose by 15 percent.Continue reading...

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Target Prepares for Canadian Launch This Week

Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 4, 2013 04:21 PM

After playing coy about its exact launch dates in Canada, Target has confirmed it's opening the first of its Canadian stores this week. Residents in three communities (Guelph, Fergus and Milton) west of Toronto will be able to check out the launch trio of Target Canada "pilot stores" that will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, part of the first wave of 24 stores soft opening this month in Ontario. As Target's press release puts it,

Like the majority of Target locations opening in Canada, the pilot stores feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy designed to provide guests with superior patient-centered healthcare. “The Target team is excited to open these test locations as we put the finishing touches on our stores, assortments and inventory,” said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. “We look forward to delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise and providing an outstanding shopping experience as we approach our grand opening in early April.”

The move kicks off the Minneapolis-based retailer's opening of up to 135 locations in former Zellers locations across Canada, 124 of those locations opening their doors this year. Target had said publicly it will start having soft store openings in March but it hadn't given exact dates or specific locations. In advance of this week's opening drive, the brand is practically building snowmen (see a recent Facebook cover image, above), drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle and painting its face at hockey games.

The retailing giant has been on an awareness-building campaign for its highly-anticipated arrival since late last year, one that is expected to ignite an all-out battle for consumers not seen since Walmart stormed the 49th parallel in 1994 with the acquisition of 122 Woolco stores.Continue reading...

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Chrysler Aims to Change Conversation With Eminem, Broadway, Fashion Editions

Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 03:31 PM

Chrysler was relying on smoke and mirrors for a while as it bid to come back in 2009 and 2010 from its bankruptcy and rescue by the U.S. taxpayer and Fiat.

But increasingly the company is turning out worthy brand-new or substantially overhauled models, such as the Dodge Dart and the new Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. And it's those new vehicles that are fueling the company's continuing ability to post year-over-year healthy monthly sales increases after many pundits thought the strong comparisons of 2011 would be too much for Chrysler to overcome.

To build on that momentum, Chrysler is developing what it's calling "buzz packages" — special versions of nameplates that connect in a pyschographic or marketing sense with subsets of the overall markets for its increasingly successful nameplates. In its buzziest buzz package, Chrysler will roll out an 8 Mile edition of the Chrysler 200 sedan in partnership with Eminem.Continue reading...

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John Varvatos x Chrysler Brings Designer's Motor City Chops to the 300

Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2012 11:58 AM

Sergio Marchionne got Chrysler dealers from across America fired up this week by pulling the wraps off dozens of potential new models and variations of vehicles that are in the pipeline for the next few years, including aerodynamic versions of current best-selling nameplates for Jeep, a vastly improved Chrysler 200 sedan, and an all-new Chrysler 100 subcompact that would fill a niche where the brand hasn't had a credible entry for decades.

But most of the hardware that the Fiat and Chrysler CEO showed off in Las Vegas is for the future. Right now, with double-digit sales increases each month, Chrysler has been doing a great job of selling just a very few all-new or substantially overhauled models along with others that are mainly reskinned. And one reason they've been so successful is some innovative marketing.

Chrysler launched a new initiative in that regard during Fashion Week in New York, introducing a new Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and a Chrysler 300C Luxury Edition featuring the stylings and touches of the menswear (and now kids) designer. A native of Detroit, Varvatos was featured in a TV campaign for his 300 collaboration with the automaker.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Martha Stewart, Michael Vick, Drew Brees and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2012 08:58 AM

In the News

Airbus designs new way to build planes and scraps sales target for A380.

Amazon tests a smartphone.

American Airlines opens door to merger with U.S. Airways.

Apple pulls game with Japanese Ninjas invading island chain.

Barclays former CEO Bob Diamon hits back at U.K. lawmakers over interest-rate scandal.

Drew Brees nears becoming highest-paid player in NFL history.

Expedia features real travelers' experiences in new campaign.

John Varvatos taps British musician Paul Weller as new face.Continue reading...

fashion week

Fall 2012 Menswear Shows: Burberry, Prada, Armani, Calvin Klein, John Varvatos

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 10:01 AM

Fashion brands showing Autumn/Winter 2012 menswear collections in Milan over the weekend include New York-based John Varvatos, who highlighted his love of the Big Apple, and Burberry Prorsum, Emporio Armani, Prada — which used celeb models including Adrien Brody and Gary Oldman — and Calvin Klein, below.Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Green Day Models John Varvatos Spring Collection

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2012 01:44 PM

The John Varvatos menswear brand continues its long association with rock (its NYC flagship store is the former home of CBGB's on the Bowery, while its website celebrates how music is "in its DNA") with its latest collaboration — a short film featuring Green Day in its spring/summer 2012 collection.

The Motor City-born designer, who was featured in Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" campaign, has tapped Dave Matthews, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The Roots and other musicians as models for his previous collections of edgy fashion.

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Chrysler Spreads Wings with New Imported From Detroit Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on May 12, 2011 02:00 PM

With its Eminem commercial during the Super Bowl for the new 200 sedan, and for the reinvented company, Chrysler brand CMO Olivier Francois put a stake in the ground around a bold new positioning he called “Imported from Detroit.”

It worked. The first of a series of planned new offerings under the Chrysler-brand wing-spread logo, sales of the 200 in April were up 23% over March, and Chrysler reportedly is considering adding a shift at the Michigan plant that assembles the model. Even more important, the Chrysler brand and product line has returned to the national buzz — in a highly positive sense — less than two years after the company took a federal-government bailout and turned itself over to Fiat.

Now, Francois is attempting to move that stake out a bit further with a new campaign for the new 300 sedan that builds on the "Imported from Detroit" positioning.Continue reading...

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