Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 10:31 AM
Audi is feeling its oats as a brand, with steadily growing ambitions that now encompass expansion in South America in addition to North America, as Volkswagen's luxury brand attempts to beat out BMW for worldwide premium-segment leadership.
China has been Audi's strongest foreign market for a while. But with luxury-brand competition growing there and European luxury buyers strapped by the continent's recessionary economy, Audi executives have been casting their vision increasingly to the Western Hemisphere for growth. They already have managed to score impressive gains in the US market in terms of sales and brand prestige—but only in America does Audi significantly trail BMW, and Mercedes-Benz for that matter, in actual unit volumes.
Aiming to change that, Audi executives joined local and federal officials in Mexico over the weekend in laying the foundation stone for a $1.3 billion plant that will begin turning out a new version of the Audi Q5, its best-selling crossover, in mid-2016.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 14, 2013 06:27 PM
A large swath of Americans have loved grappling of one sort or another for decades, whether it was the pro-wrestling version with Gorgeous George, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker or the UFC version that’s gotten hot in recent years.
There will soon be a new game in town—at least it will be new for Americans. For Latin Americans, Lucha Libre has been around for nearly a century. Now the sport, showcased to the U.S. public by the 2006 Jack Black film Nacho Libre and a kids' cartoon called ¡Mucha Lucha! that ran from 2002-2005, is planning to make its mark on U.S. culture and shed its cult status as a fringe sport.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 14, 2013 08:45 AM
American Airlines and US Airways to create the world's biggest airline with $11 billion union.
AB InBev will sell Corona unit to salvage Modelo takeover, as Pernod Ricard is open to Jose Cuervo talks.
H.J. Heinz Company enters agreement to be acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
Time Warner rumored to eye Time Inc. split and talking to Meredith about buying magazine brands.
Adidas unveils new global brand strategy with Boost product push.
American Express and Yahoo accused of stealing travel service idea.
Angry Birds parent Rovio slings into advertising.
Apple promises to fix iOS Exchange bug, fights activist shareholder Einhorn.
Barclays agrees to stop speculating on food prices.
Barnes & Noble warns of lower 2012 sales and Nook concerns.
Boeing looks at interim 787 fixes.
BT sticks by Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (charged with murdering his girlfriend), for now.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2013 02:29 PM
For more than a century, there’s been a bar fight going on between the world’s biggest brewer, AB InBev (and all its predecessors) and Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP. Both claim they should have the rights to the name “Bud” in Europe.
The most recent winner is AB InBev after the EU General Court in Luxembourg “rejected Budvar’s appeal of AB InBev’s right to the EU trademark because the Czech company presented insufficient proof of the existing use of the name in some European countries,” Bloomberg reports.
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV claims to have been using the Bud name since 1876. Budvar did not exist until 19 years later. AB InBev put in an application for the trademark in July 1996 and, according to the court, Budvar couldn’t show that it had used the term across Europe before then.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 22, 2013 01:44 PM
When can the pot call the kettle black? When the pot is Walmart — and when it's warning suppliers that it is adopting a "zero-tolerance policy" for violations of its global sourcing standards.
The world's most ubiquitous retailer has announced it plans to sever ties with any company that subcontracts work to factories without the retailer's knowledge. The move follows a November fire at a Bangladesh garment factory that not only killed 112 people but also revealed Walmart clothing was made there without the company's knowledge.
The tougher new policies replace Walmart's previous "three strikes" approach to policing suppliers. "Obviously [that policy] wasn't working as well as it could have," Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president of ethical sourcing, told
the Wall Street Journal.
"Our message of zero tolerance is meant to get people's attention."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2012 01:20 PM
You think Apple was the first to think of the iPhone? Well, OK, maybe they thought up the iPhone, but there was somebody in front of them who cooked up the IPHONE. And now the smartphone-buying public of Brazil will get to be confused by them.
An earlier incarnation of IGB Eletronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics manufacturer, applied for exclusive rights in Brazil to register its products under the name IPHONE way back in 2000. Apple’s iPhone didn’t launch until seven years later. There was no confusion for more than a decade since IGB hasn’t released any products under that name. But that is all about to change.
IGB will start selling its $290 Android-based IPHONE in Brazil with the first model called Neo One, Reuters reports. This news comes only a week after Apple started selling its iPhone 5 in the country.
It doesn’t appear that Apple will take IGB to court, particularly after losing a battle last month with a Mexican telecommunications company that is selling the – wait for it — iFone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that IGB may end up filing suit against Apple: "The two brands can't coexist in the market," said Eugenio Staub, president of IGB’s Gradiente. "It's up to Apple to make a move."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 12:07 PM
Executives at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, were already having a bad week, with its holiday-heightened labor dispute on the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and brisk business making Bushmaster rifles the #1 assault rifle in America criticized in the wake of the Newtown, CT, school massacre. Still, at least the Mexico bribery scandal that besmirched its corporate reputation earlier this year, when a New York Times investigation was published, was dying down. Until Tuesday night.
That's when the New York Times' follow-up to its April expose was published online, with the headline, "How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs in Mexico." After examining thousands of documents and talking to local officials and Walmart's own executives, the latest chapter in the NYT expose concludes, "An examination by The New York Times found Wal-Mart de Mexico to be an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."
The story is featured on the New York Times homepage today, smack in the middle of the gun debate raging among its readers, editors, writers and the population at large — a debate in which Walmart's brand is also involved as America's largest seller of guns, and the Sandy Hook rifle, in particular.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2012 02:01 PM
Following in the wake of Zara's capitulation, Levi’s is now the 11th brand to bow to pressure from Greenpeace's global Detox campaign. The denim giant has committed to eliminate releases of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chains and products. Still being pressured: Calvin Klein, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret as part of the green campaigner's goal “to expose brands until the use - and abuse - of hazardous substances is totally eliminated.”
The world’s largest denim brand, has agreed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products by 2020. The commitment comes eight days after Greenpeace launched its “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” report targeting global fashion brands releasing toxins in Mexico's rivers, resulting in a digital groundswell with more than 210,000 people calling on Levi’s to Detox, tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, and over 700 people protesting outside Levi’s shop fronts in over 80 cities worldwide.
As part of its Zero Discharge Commitment, Levi’s (as outlined in a blog post) will start requiring 15 of its largest suppliers in China, Mexico and elsewhere in the Global South to disclose pollution data as early as June 2013, followed by compliance from 25 additional major suppliers by the end of 2013.Continue reading...