Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2013 01:38 PM
Many other auto brands are pinning their hopes for global gains on a continued strengthening of the US market and their position in it. So why not Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand? The chiefs of both brands are expressing their intentions to leapfrog other marques in the next few years in large part by persuading more Americans to buy them.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that he has ordered his team to double Nissan's sales in the US by 2017. If Ghosn also means to double market share, that would give Nissan about a 15 percent chunk of American car sales within three years, compared with its 7.7 percent share and sales of 1.1 million units last year, up in volume by 5 percent over the previous year.
With the European market difficult for its sibling Renault brand and other national arenas, including China, proving somewhat iffier, Ghosn has focused on his disappointment with Nissan's recent sales performance in the US and has vowed to correct it. Much of the problem stemmed from difficult and late launches of the redesigned bread-and-butter sedan, the Nissan Altima, and other new models last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 09:26 AM
BMW is investing 3 billion euros in EVs and marketing.
AP execs outraged over government probe of phone records.
Sony is targeted for breakup by American investor.
Airbus aims to steal limelight from Boeing at upcoming Paris Air Show.
Amazon workers go on strike in Germany.
BNP Paribas eyes mobile and online banking.
Citibank says "no fees" means "never."
Coach approached Tory Burch about a deal.
Coca-Cola faces claim that Coke top-secret recipe has been found.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2013 09:33 AM
Bangladesh plans to raise pay for garment workers and allow unions.
ABC veteran Barbara Walters announces 2014 retirement as Disney plans to live-stream ABC programming via app and cloud.
Yum! sales in China fall 29 percent in April.
ABB says CEO plans to resign.
Audi outsells BMW brand globally — again.
Bloomberg admits use of its terminals for data snooping.
CBS chief touts TV over digital engagement.
Cisco tries reinvention in tough time.
Danone sets deal to acquire Happy Family brand.Continue reading...
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 Dale Buss on May 8, 2013 03:36 PM
Planned scarcity is a classic marketing trick for high-end goods. And if luxury fare isn't just difficult enough to get, then many of the most discriminating consumers don't want it anyway.
Ferrari's vehicles have been relatively inattainable forever largely by dint of their six-figure pricetags (and the brand unveiled a new, $1.3 million LaFerrari hybrid model at the Geneva auto show in March). But now Ferrari wants to make its goods even more exclusive by beginning to limit production. It's hoping a new tie-in with Apple will boost Ferrari's rarefied cachet even more.
The company plans to scale back sales to fewer than 7,000 vehicles this year to "maintain the exclusivity" of the brand. Ferrari sold 7,318 cars last year, and revenues so far this year have grown by about 4 percent over a year earlier.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 8, 2013 10:38 AM
In a new ad for its 2013 S7, Audi pits Star Trek's old Spock, Leonard Nimoy, against the franchise's new, upstart Spock, Zachary Quinto. Timed to coincide with the upcoming release of the second of the rebooted Star Trek series of films, the ad is being hailed as "the greatest car commercial ever."
Of course, logically, the commercial might not send the message to its target audience that Audi hopes.
While the commercial is certainly clever, is it more than stunt casting to no end? "Geeks" are certainly loving not just the concept but some of the finer details, such as Nimoy hinting to his legendary rendition of the "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins." (A detail connected to the Mercedes-driving Nimoy, by the way, that has created maybe the most positive buzz about the whole undertaking.)
As a few geeks have pointed out, Audi's ad follows the recent spot for Star Trek: The Video Game, which reunited old Kirk, William Shatner, with sparring partner and poorly-costumed alien lizard Gorn in the same sardonic, meta style.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2013 07:15 PM
General Motors keeps expanding its investment intentions in China, the world's largest auto market, announcing today that Chinese authorities gave the company permission to build a $1.3 billion plant to make Cadillacs, which so far have held a paltry share of the Chinese luxury-auto market as the brand struggles to latch on to local culture.
But in going bigger and bolder in China than, arguably, any other automaker, is GM forsaking the American taxpayer and the US market that is its home? As GM continues to announce new ambitions for China, a mini-media tempest has broken out around the issue.
There's no doubting GM's intentions. Last year, Cadillac sold just 30,000 vehicles in China, but GM said in January that it aims to increase Cadillac sales in the country to 100,000 a year by 2016 and to cop 10 percent of the Chinese luxury market by 2020. One prong of its strategy will be to target affluent buyers in smaller cities that heretofore have been relatively unimportant outposts for premium-car brands. The competition—chiefly the German luxury brands—keep getting hit regularly with GM news like this.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2013 09:15 AM
Adobe abandons boxed software for the cloud.
Samsung keeps hammering Apple in new ad strategy for Galaxy S4.
Tim Tebow tops Forbes' new list of most influential athletes.
Acer plans to launch windows tablet in June.
Aereo asks judge to prevent new lawsuits by CBS.
Audi considers building plant in Brazil but seeks clarity from government.
Disney plans new Star Wars games through Electronic Arts.
Estee Lauder sets sights on big September fragrance launch.
Facebook made the Fortune 500 list for the first time.Continue reading...