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In the News: Netflix, Amazon, Ford and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 09:28 AM

In the News

Netflix reports strong subscriber growth.

Amazon may be planning to open a store in London, reports say.

Ford is reaching record profit on growing sales of Fusion, as company extends programmatic ad buying to online video.

Twitter reportedly reaches deal with Publicis' Starcom MediaVest Group for hundreds of millions over several years.

Airbus strategy for big A350 is being vindicated.

Apple grapples with hardware-software identity crisis.

Burger King tests delivery in Los Angeles.

Cadillac eyes smaller cities for Chinese luxury share.

Del Taco debuts revamped menu.

DuPont more than doubles profit.

Fisker loses $21 million to US seizure.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt belittles importance of UK taxes.Continue reading...

auto motive

Auto Brands Make Moves to Adjust to Changing Chinese Auto Trends

Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 07:36 PM

As Chinese consumers begin filtering into the Shanghai Auto Show this week, their desires and intentions are being dissected in every possible way by auto brands from around the globe that don't want to blow it in the world's largest auto market.

Behind the phalanx of new sheet metal, new brands, larger and more luxurious vehicles than before and, of course, ubiquitous, western-style fashion models adorning the platforms where the cars are displayed, European, American, Korean, Japanese and domestic Chinese brands are grappling with various approaches to a handful of key issues about the market in China.Continue reading...

car talk

Auto Brands Gear Up for Shanghai Show in Vital Chinese Market

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 07:12 PM

Global automakers—including home-owned ones—will be showing off their wares at the press preview of the Shanghai Auto Show on Saturday. What they display will reflect the brands' various crucial strategies for stoking sales and market-share growth in the world's largest auto market, which is only getting bigger.

Analysts and auto executives alike have shown up in Shanghai predicting that the national market will balloon to 30 to 35 million vehicles within several years, or as much as a doubling of last year's sales of 19.3 million vehicles (in a year in which US sales were 14.5 million). That kind of expansion would make the Chinese market as big as the projected European and American markets put together.

"There's lots of competition here and everyone wants a piece of this pie," GM China President Bob Socia told Channel News Asia. "As competitive as it is, it's probably the only market in the world that offers the type of opportunities this market offers."Continue reading...


The Week in China: BMW's Dr. Promise, iTunes Porn, Spotify and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 19, 2013 12:53 PM

Above: The evil geniuses at Taiwan's NMA have produced an online Kim Jong-un-inspired game Best Korea Smackdown. The animation gang has also produced what is maybe its most subversive ever little video about American-Chinese relations with its "Iron Man 3" commentary.

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: BMW's China brand... Spotify's in Asia... Ginseng... Iron Man 3 "chinky eyes"... Online retail... HTC's branded disaster... Xiaomi denies Jobs copy... Hertz buys to rent... Alibaba phones... Apple porn... Burberry and YSL... WeChat... "cat models"... and more.Continue reading...


The Week in China: Beckham's Teeth, Car Brands and Sex Lives, Jackie Chan Insurance Man and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 29, 2013 12:38 PM

Above, Beijing t-shirt maker Plastered releases its 草泥马老板 ("Grass Mud Horse" Boss) shirt. 

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Beckham's Adidias/Nike problem... McDonald's closes iconic location... bashing Apple... Steve Jobs manga... what your brand of car says about your sex life... Walmart... Nongfu... more infant formula scandals... Jackie Chan... Vera Wang... bye bye black Audis... and much more.Continue reading...

auto motive

Nissan Gets Flack from Cabbies as Auto Brands Gear Up for NYIAS

Posted by Dale Buss on March 26, 2013 10:26 AM

Because nothing can be easy in New York, Nissan is still battling political headwinds as it plans to demonstrate the latest version of its upcoming taxi for Gotham at the city’s New York International Auto Show, whose press previews this week precede the public show at the Javits Center.

Complaints from advocates of the disabled already prompted Nissan to strike a partnership with wheelchair-van maker Braun Corp. to customize a wheelchair-accessible version of the new taxi, which will be based on Nissan’s new NV200 van. Nissan beat out Ford and a Turkish vehicle maker to win the $1 billion, 10-year contract.

But now the deal is the subject of a lawsuit by a taxi-management company and an association of New York cab companies alleging that the NV200-based taxi is untested in city cab duty and is too expensive, at $29,000—and Mayor Michael Bloomberg overstepped his authority in giving Nissan a monopoly.Continue reading...

auto motive

GMC, Lexus Are Tops for Dealership Satisfaction

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 04:43 PM

General Motors brands and Lexus were the big winners when J.D. Power & Associates announced its highly regarded annual awards for dealership-customer satisfaction based on its survey of thousands of American automotive consumers.

Three GM brands—led by GMC, and also including No. 3 Buick and No. 4 Chevrolet—placed in the top five in Power's prestigious designation. No. 2 Mini and No. 5 Volkswagen rounded out the top five. Three Chrysler Group brands—Jeep, Ram and Dodge—finished at the bottom.

In the luxury arena, Lexus once again won the day—for the fifth straight year—followed by yet another GM brand, Cadillac; Jaguar; Acura; and Infiniti. BMW and Mercedes-Benz placed below average, while Land Rover gained the most of any luxury brand from last year.Continue reading...


GM's Ambush Marketing Uses Prada to Build Cadillac Brand in China

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 14, 2013 02:40 PM

Does Prada know Cadillac is marketing itself on the fashion brand's coattails?

Our apologies, but we need to revisit the terrible new Cadillac China commercial because subsequent watchings have revealed that GM has really hired two spokes-"people" for its brand. One is an (apparently mute) Hollywood A-lister; the other is an Italian luxury goods brand.Continue reading...

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