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Automakers' Holiday Promotions Lift Americans Out of the Doldrums

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2011 03:02 PM

It turns out that on-sale winter apparel and Christmas gifts weren't the only things propelling a torrid Black Friday. U.S. auto sales also came in strong last weekend, helping the industry post satisfying results for the entire month of November. Sales were up 14 percent over a year ago.

And more than that, automakers solidified their status as one of the few genuinely rosy sectors of the U.S. economy, with some car-brand executives suggesting that their industry could actually help lead America out of its current economic doldrums. J.D. Power just announced that car buyers in the U.S. are considerably more satisfied than they were a year ago.

"[Auto] dealers enjoyed the same uplift as other merchants" last weekend, Ken Czubay, Ford's U.S. vice president of sales, told journalists on a conference call. "That included a strong Saturday." Ford's retail sales were up 20 percent for last month over a year earlier, and the company's largest dealer, Galpin Ford in Southern California, experienced its largest single sales day in history on the day after Thanksgiving.Continue reading...

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In the News: Apple, Dove, Mattel & more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 24, 2011 09:02 AM

In the News

Apple tries to leverage lower prices.

Cars.com sets up custom channels on Pandora.

Chipotle finds customers tolerate higher prices.

Dove asks women, "Who inspired you?" in new campaign.

Kia asks NBA star Blake Griffin to soar again.

Kraft keeps investors and advertisers hopping with its "leaping" strategy aimed at hitting home runs.

Mattel to buy preschool brands.Continue reading...

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The Shop Steward Around the Corner: The UAW's Friendlier Face

Posted by Dale Buss on September 14, 2011 02:59 PM

Welcome to the kinder, gentler — okay, docile — United Auto Workers union. The one that is making a genteel agreement with the Big Three US automakers to extend their contract talks beyond tonight's initial deadline because, well, they have more to talk about before they sign on the dotted lline.

UAW founding icon Walter Reuther might be rolling over in his grave about today's quiescence by the once-proud institution. But a cooperative stance is what the UAW is all about these days.

For one thing, they are under a no-strike obligation when it comes to General Motors and Chrysler because of the terms of the federal bailouts; and the union's long-evolving stance of cooperation with Ford likely would have precluded a strike this fall anyway. There's also the fact that today, more than ever in its history, the fate of the UAW and its members is tied to the fates of the Big Three.Continue reading...

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Frankfurt Auto Show Unveilings Aim to Deliver Fuel Efficency and Fun

Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2011 04:03 PM

When the Frankfurt Auto Show officially opens to the international press on Tuesday before it opens to the general public later in the week, there will be lots of buzz about the huge variety of new production models and concept cars that all are meant to demonstrate essentially one thing: driving fuel-efficiently doesn't have to be boring.

New offerings especially from the home teams of Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are aimed at capturing the imagination of the industry and of future car buyers in a way that the most recent Frankfurt show — two years ago, in the teeth of the Great Recession — couldn't.Continue reading...

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In the News: Allstate, Gap, LinkedIn & more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 18, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Allstate to buy eSurance.

Audi plans to add 10,000 jobs globally.

BP finds some investors relieved by collapse of its Russian deal.

Carrefour aims to boost sales in key European markets.

Dell profits from refocus on higher-margin products.

FOX touts media integration.

Gap CEO looks overseas for growth, but wants more North American sales consistency.Continue reading...

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In the News: GE, Walmart, eBay and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 20, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

AES to buy DPL in utility-industry consolidation.

AT&T’s first quarter is lifted by wireless growth, even after Verizon gets iPhone.

Aston Martin to sell $4.5-million car in India.

Bank of America to spin off buyout arm.

Burberry gains in China expansion.

Catalina Marketing joins the online boom in discout offers.

Deutsche Bank internal emails reveal extent of bankrolling toxic mortgages.

eBay acquires location-based ad startup WHERE.Continue reading...

auto motive

Volkswagen Brings Virtual Test Drive to Print Ads

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 10, 2011 10:00 AM

Volkswagen, eager to push tech innovation in its marketing, just launched an interesting print/digital experiment in Norway: a free iPhone app that uses augmented reality to turn a print ad into a virtual test drive.

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