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Sergio Marchionne Shoots Straight, Even If It’s At Some of His Own Models

Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2014 05:36 PM

Back in the Eighties, cigar-chomping Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca was known for his candor, and the brand even capitalized on it in commercials. “If you can find a better car, buy it,” was one of Chrysler’s tag lines, uttered in ads by Iacocca himself.

Now in the Teens, sweater-donning Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has adopted the mantle of candor on behalf of his company and has built a reputation as the most straight-shooting auto chief in the world. It helps that he’s been able to engineer a comeback for Chrysler and survival for Fiat in a troubled European auto market, so any Marchionne utterance can be as significant as it is direct.

Two new examples emerged this week as Marchionne weighed in on a couple of issues that are especially big for the auto industry if not so monumental right now for Fiat Chrysler: recalls and EVs.

“I hope you don’t buy it,” Marchionne quipped this week about the new $32,650 Fiat 500e, a well-executed electric vehicle, “because every time you do it costs me $14,000.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Abercrombie & Fitch, HP, Taco Bell and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 23, 2014 09:18 AM


Brands to Watch

Abercrombie & Fitch is getting more modest.

Amazon hires more robots, escalates battle with Hachette.

Barclays fined $44 million over gold price fix.

HP to lay off up to 16,000 workers as results disappoint.

Taco Bell spin-off won’t get beer milkshakes after all.


Acura renews Jerry Seinfeld web series for four more seasons.

American Express sees a $25 trillion opportunity in mobile.

ANA acquires Brand Activation association.

Arby’s sells the sizzle in record-breaking 13-hour commercial bid.

Boeing is taking a page from Apple's design philosophy book.Continue reading...


Merry Christmas, Fiat! Signed, Chrysler

Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2011 05:01 PM

Three Christmases ago, Chrysler looked beaten. Always the feeblest of America's Big Three auto makers, Chrysler's ownership by Cerberus had been non-productive, and at the end of 2008 the company was caught badly with a lagging product line and in the midst of the biggest downdraft in U.S. auto sales in a half-century.

But within a few months, Fiat would come to Chrysler's rescue and accept the automaker's carcass from the U.S. government in a taxpayer bailout.

Now, Chrysler is returning the favor in a fashion. While Fiat's European operations are being dragged down by intense small-car competition in that market and, of course, the seeming collapse of the eurozone, as well as the fiscal troubles of Italy per se, Chrysler is experiencing an all-American renaissance that is helping keep its new owner from sinking too far.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple Honors Jobs, Bank of America Loses Top Spot & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 19, 2011 08:55 AM

In the News

Apple reports China as its second-largest market by sales after US. Apple stores will close for a few hours today for an employees-only memorial webcast celebrating Steve Jobs' life.

Amazon's IMDb sued for disclosing actress' real age, while digital deal with DC Comics irks rivals.

Audi-Ford price gap is widest since 1999.

Bank of America is no longer America's largest bank.

Deezer to launch music streaming service in more than 100 countries.

Diageo triumphs in alcohol brand battle.

Disney battles environmentalists at parks, while fans crash website in search of princess dolls.Continue reading...

brand news

Fiat to Spin Off Auto Business

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 20, 2010 01:47 PM

Italy's Fiat SpA industrial group is getting out of the car-making business, announcing today its board's decision to spin off its automotive manufacturing division. Fiat chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will step down from that role, but remain as the chairman of its luxury unit, Ferrari.

Fiat's luxury Maserati and Ferrari units are run separately from its automotive unit, which includes the Fiat brand, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.

The surprise spin-off news, as reported by Reuters, the New York Times and others, comes a day ahead of Fiat's two-year strategy plan, to be presented tomorrow to shareholders and the press at its headquarters in Turin.Continue reading...

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