Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 06:41 PM
Amid the flurry of infotainment announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Ford is trying to maintain a lead in an area where it blazed trails by expanding and enhancing its Sync telematics platform and swiping a veteran executive with experience in General Motors' OnStar operation to help out.
Ford announced that it will expand availability of its Sync AppLink to 3.4 million more vehicles later this year with a free upgrade that enables current Ford owners to access and control smartphone apps via voice command.
The company ran into problems with consumers over the last couple of years as subsequent generations of Sync became more complicated to operate and owners pushed back via third-party ratings such as Consumer Reports. But Ford has worked hard to overcome those difficulties, and its latest moves with Sync represent an attempt to re-assert itself in the pole position of a telematics revolution that is vastly reconfiguring the very notion of a car and which is drawing in not only automakers but also a wide range of tech companies in what Ford futurist Sheryl Connelly has called a "quiet riot of innovation."Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 03:54 PM
Anyone concerned that automobiles soon will be reduced to self-driven, rolling video-game platforms should stay away from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Tech companies from Nvidia to Google to Samsung, and auto brands from Audi to Hyundai to Chevrolet, are making it clear at CES that super-enhanced in-vehicle internet connectivity may be their most important technological priority these days.
Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu And Volt would be the first GM vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE, an industry first across multiple product lines, to be followed quickly by the majority of the 2015 Chevy lineup in the US and Canada. Among other things, the initiative will create a Wi-Fi hotspot in GM vehicles.
Busily, GM also was announcing its participation in the recently rumored huge new telematics initiative led by Google, called the Open Automotive Alliance, which also includes Audi, Honda, Hyundai and chip maker Nvidia in an effort to customize Google's Android platform for vehicles that will allow for things such as app access and remote vehicle diagnostics.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2014 09:07 AM
CES opens in Las Vegas.
Mercedes-Benz beats BMW in US luxury-car race.
Yahoo says some ads on its European sites spread malware last week.
Apple acquires Snappycam photo-app company.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos was lifted from a Galapagos Islands cruise after a kidney-stone attack.
Boeing sees workers narrowly approve major contract extension in economic win for region.
CNN plans to shake up its prime-time lineup this year.
Chrysler is scored by China over fires in imported Jeep Wrangler.
Curves lands Jillian Michaels for January workout push.
Dannon broadens target audience for Activia.
Fiat said likely to list new shares with Chrysler in New York.
Ford scored biggest US auto-market share gain in '13.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 29, 2013 09:45 AM
Hudson's Bay to buy Saks for $2.4 billion.
BMW debuts battery-powered i3 in charge to take on Tesla.
Omnicom, Publicis Groupe to merge, creating the world's largest advertising agency.
Amazon plans to hire 7,000 workers for its US operations.
Boeing asks jet operators to inspect Honeywell beacons over malfunction concerns.
CBS, Time Warner Cable smear campaigns could damage brands as new deadline looms.
Rebranded International New York Times will put a strong emphasis on digital.
Land Rover, Adidas make positive impressions on African Americans, while L'Oreal loses ground.
Liquid-Plumr tests dirty ads to sell drain cleaner.
Mazda expected to post huge leap in Q1 operating profit.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 07:20 PM
General Motors believes that OnStar finally may be ready to leapfrog other automotive "telematics" players who got ahead of the brand over the last several years even though OnStar was the industry's original infotainment platform.
The key? GM's deal wtih AT&T to provide 4G LTE connectivity—the fastest type of wireless Internet connection now available—through Onstar next year, according to Automotive News. OnStar already is a profit-margin powerhouse for GM, but CEO Dan Akerson told analysts recently that the 4G deal will open up "what I think are potentially lucrative lines of business that don't exist in OnStar today. So when we look at what we can do with a 4G pipe into a car," said Akerson, whose background is in telecom, "you can change the business model almost entirely."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 09:24 AM
Uniqlo kept out of Bangladesh safety pact by owner Fast Retailing.
Renault suffers blow from failure of Better Place EV startup.
ESPN layoffs underscore sports-network battle and soaring rights fees.
Acura eyes emerging markets.
BMW hints at bringing out super-luxury coupe with a Pininfarina touch.
BuzzFeed, CNN and YouTube plan online-video channel.
Club Med buyout sees large role for Chinese investors.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 06:56 PM
Many brands are respectfully coming forward with various kinds of support for the victims of the Boston bombings last week and for Beantown itself. And then there's Mercedes-Benz, whose products played a singular role in actually bringing the crime and terror spree to its end.
"It's a great feeling to have been able to assist with that," Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland told brandchannel.
It was common knowledge that the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly had carjacked a Mercedes-Benz ML 350, taking its owner on a rambling journey around the Boston area on the night of April 18—a trek that ended up in the death of one brother and the capture of the other that same night in Watertown, Mass.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 08:02 PM
It was inevitable that, as infotainment has risen in importance as a consideration for auto purchase, the value of the "info" part of infotainment would rise as well.
Now, that evolution has reached a likely and logical next step: Infiniti is making the information core of its concierge "personal assistant" service available to you even if you choose not to buy or drive an Infiniti.
The Nissan-owned luxury make, newly under the global leadership of Johan de Nysschen, has been telling dealers to give out free access to the Infiniti Personal Assist service as a tool to stimulate floor traffic, according to Automotive News. Dealers have been authorized to sign up showroom visitors for free 60-day trial subscriptions to the feature even if they have no interest in buying an Infiniti.Continue reading...