2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

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Volkswagen Leapfrogs GM Sales in China

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 05:51 PM

With major automotive markets in China cooling and in Europe crumbling, it's going to be tougher for the world's leading car makers to change places. But during the third quarter, Volkswagen still moved closer to its goal of nabbing the worldwide sales-leadership mantle because it outperformed the current title holder, General Motors, in China.

After trailing GM in China for eight years, Volkswagen edged ahead in third-quarter sales, with the automaker's deliveries jumping by 21 percent during the period -- almost triple GM's growth, according to Automotive News Europe. China is already the biggest market for both companies.

Both companies apparently gained from the fact that Chinese buyers have turned away from Japanese brands because of geopolitical tensions between China and Japan. But Volkswagen also benefited from one major advantage over GM.Continue reading...

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In the News: P&G, Kimberly-Clark, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 09:03 AM

In the News

P&G sees profit soar and revenue drop in latest earnings report.

Kimberly-Clark pulls back in Europe.

Twitter encourages brands to find and use their authentic voice.

Apple earnings report on Thursday will be closely watched.

AT&T sees slowing in wireless-subscriber growth.

Barbie CMO looks to Royal Caribbean cruise experience launch in new year.

Best Buy shakes up management.Continue reading...

auto motive

A123 Bankruptcy Filing Underscores Slow Going for EVs

Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2012 11:05 AM

The electrified-vehicle business is bristling with news these days: General Motors said that it will begin production of a new Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid by late next year, for instance. And Toyota has just begun bringing its new Scion iQ EV to the U.S., initially for car-sharing programs.

But by far the biggest news is a body blow to the fledgling industry: A123 Systems, one of the largest makers of batteries specifically for EVs and hybrids — and personally touted by President Obama as an exemplar of his "green jobs" policies — has filed for bankruptcy. Johnson Controls, a conventional-battery giant and growing manufacturer of batteries for electrified vehicles as well, wants to buy pieces of the expected carcass.

Mildly encouraged by greater traction for the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in or "extended-range" hybrid that can run on a gasoline engine as well as in all-electric mode, GM said it will build the new Caddy in the same Detroit plant where Volt is assembled, and with a similar powertrain. When it goes on sale, ELR will be the first electric luxury coupe with an extended range, GM North America President Mark Reuss said.Continue reading...

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In the News: World Zombie Day, Samsung, Shell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

AMC stages World Zombie Day to lobby Dish Network.

Audi contemplates minivan.

Best Buy plans to match online prices.

Bugatti goes social with its super-car brand.

Burger King seeks the next new big marketing idea.

Cadillac considers sports car.

Carrefour lifts recovery hopes.

Coca-Cola Hellenic, Greece's biggest company, quits the country.

Fila pursues Adidas market share.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Pizza Hut, Toyota, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

7-Eleven, JetBlue and Bliss go presidential with "poll" promotions as Pizza Hut comes up with a controversial dare ahead of next week's debate.

Toyota recalls 7.4 million vehicles globally for power-window glitch and 2.5 million Lexus vehicles, as it plugs Prius on the Home Shopping Network.

Samsung signs TV deal with Spotify.

BAE and EADS terminate merger talks.

Bain Capital buys maker of Craftsman Tools.

Ballmer touts new era at Microsoft as bonus trimmed.

Cadbury tells bishop it's not precious about purple.

Chevron is rejected by Supreme Court in Ecuadorian case.Continue reading...

auto motive

GM Revived and "Just Getting Started"

Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2012 04:07 PM

Lest doubters hold sway, General Motors turned in its best September in U.S. sales in four years and enjoyed strong performances in the important small-vehicle segments that are pacing the American market these days.

Overall, U.S. auto sales in September rose by about 13 percent compared with a year ago, continuing a moderate recovery that is providing much of the momentum behind whatever slow progress is being made by the American economy these days.

In fact, GM executives used their conference call with automotive reporters not only to underscore the positive results for September but also to declare that the company and its brands are on track to fulfill long-term goals that have been established for a while. "Things are working exactly as we designed," said Kurt McNeil, VP of U.S. sales operations.Continue reading...

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GM Counting On Cadillac ATS, Chevolet Cruze

Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2012 11:19 AM

General Motors' marketing has drawn a lot of attention lately. But everyone in the car business knows it's actually new products that make the big differences in sales and market share: The more and the better vehicle launches, the bigger bumps a brand gets in all the important metrics. Nothing else an automaker can do even comes close.

That's one reason savvy GMers are looking hopefully past all the company's recent marketing kerfuffles to some promising new developments in sheetmetal: the introduction of the acclaimed new Cadillac ATS, for instance, and how GM reportedly is developing a new small-car platform that will boost efficiencies worldwide.

GM is hoping that the new ATS finally will establish Cadillac as a legitimate contender in the global luxury-car market, a gee-whiz compact luxury sport sedan that underscores the company's recovery from the dark days and bailout of 2009. Cadillac has been hyping the model all year, including substantial advertising during the London Summer Olympics on TV. The first shipments of ATS are expected on U.S. dealer lots over the coming week.Continue reading...

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Cadillac, Lincoln Finally Get Serious Again

Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2012 11:07 AM

It's been a long time since Cadillac enjoyed sales leadership of the U.S. luxury segment -- 1997, to be exact. But now, both Cadillac and its counterpart at Ford Motor, Lincoln, want to re-assert their relevance to an American premium-vehicle market where they're no longer even in the same ballpark these days with current volume front-runners BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

Cadillac executives said this week that they intend to double the brand's U.S. sales volume, to some 294,000 vehicles a year, within the next couple of years on the back of a portfolio overhaul that envisions the launch of 10 all-new or significantly upgraded vehicles within the next three years, starting with the ATS small sedan that is trickling into dealer showrooms right now.

"We are slugging it out in the right way for No. 1 in luxury" Don Butler, Cadillac's vice president of marketing, told auto journalists. Continue reading...

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