Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2011 04:59 PM
"Fire" and "automobile" are two things that consumers don't want to hear in the same sentence, much less see on the same page. But Chevrolet, Nissan and other automotive brands still have a way to go to make an air-tight case that problems with fires don't accompany the use of their vehicles or, more broadly, EV-automotive technology.
The federal government has announced that it will do more testing of the lithium-ion battery systems in the Volt after a recent fire at a government testing center in which a Volt battery system, damaged in a crash test, caught fire. And last week, Duke Energy asked its North Carolina customers who own electric-car charging stations to stop using the products after a fire last month at a house that had a station. The utility didn't necessarily implicate the charging station in the blaze, but it is the focus of the investigation. And in any event, it's going to make future electric-car considerers just a tad more cautious.
Everyone involved is quick to say that there's no reason to believe electric cars are more dangerous than conventional gasoline vehicles. But it's understandable that the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would want to make absolutely sure EVs don't involve higher risks of fire, especially given the huge push that the Obama administration has been making to get Americans to buy the vehicles.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 14, 2011 11:03 AM
In just three days, a new King will take the throne and be crowned … with a biodegradable, solar-powered, carbon-neutral crown.
Nielsen has announced the finalists for its second annual Automotive Green Marketer of the Year: Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai.
One of them will take the title at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on Nov. 17. “The award recognizes the brand that made the greatest strides in gaining consumer awareness and positively impacting consumer perceptions around the automotive industry’s environmentally friendly initiatives,” a press release states.
According to Nielsen research, 51 percent of consumers say that “green marketing initiatives increased their consideration of the product,” a 24 percent rise from 2010. The company’s research also shows that “social-media discussion about automakers’ green marketing initiatives” has been 44 percent more positive this year than last year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2011 09:05 AM
Amazon ships Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch early.
Apple searches for next retailing genius, recalls first-generation iPod Nano devices.
Audi A7 wins car of the year nod.
Barbie links with Stardoll for premium collection.
BMW promotes sustainability with China roadshow.
Boeing cements wide-body lead over Airbus with biggest ever deal, with Emirates.
Borders demise parsed by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launch smashes records.
China 'ready' to allow foreign companies to issue stock.
Chevrolet woos Sonic buyers with perks program, while GM slows Chevrolet Cruze production.
Citrus Australia introduces new seal of authenticity.
Crowne Plaza tilts makeover toward young travelers.
Deutsche Boerse defends NYSE Euronext deal.
Disney buys Babble.com for $40M to reach 'hipster parents.'
Estee Lauder co-founder Evelyn Lauder dies, lauded for launching Pink Ribbon campaign for breast cancer research.
Facebook nears U.S. privacy settlement that would make public sharing opt-in, not opt-out.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2011 01:33 PM
Amid persistent signs that Americans still aren't exactly enamored of any kind of electrified vehicle, General Motors has been telling us that U.S. consumers really do want its Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid — there just weren't enough of them available to prove that thesis with actual purchases.
But today that is changing in a big way: GM is finally authorizing its dealers to sell the "demo" model of the Volt on their showroom floors if they want. The idea is that by doubling the number of Volts available for sale in the U.S. to 4,100, from the current 1,800, Chevrolet and its dealers finally will be able to satisfy a tremendous "pent-up demand" for the trailblazing vehicle.
Maybe. The company cites survey showing that 72 percent of Americans who would like to buy a Volt haven't bought one because not enough are available. And indeed, GM has only gradually ramped up production of Volt at a Detroit factory. And it has restricted consumer availability of those that were built because GM wanted dealers to keep at least one demonstration model on the showroom floor, not sell it. GM figured that would be a good way to make sure car shoppers were being familiarized with Volt and its groundbreaking idea of locomotion — as well as to help bring in buyers for other fuel-efficient Chevrolet models such as the conventionally powered Cruze.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2011 02:02 PM
Chevrolet's future is increasingly global, as the brand chalks up big sales of its new Cruze compact sedan in China, for example, and as General Motors leadership plots ways to extend Chevy further in Europe, where Opel has always been its reigning small-car brand. But for right now, at least, Chevrolet is All-American.
A year after the whole "Chevy vs. Chevrolet" naming flap, GM is wrapping up a weeks-long celebration of the brand's centennial with the showing of a new documentary film, Chevy 100, An American Story, at the Detroit Institute of Arts in downtown Detroit.
The film premiered on the centennial, November 3rd, as Chevy celebrated selling its one millionth Cruze. The New York premiere is on November 14th, after which it will be shown on Discovery's new Velocity Channel.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 06:31 PM
All-electric vehicles in U.S. auto showrooms are becoming the equivalent of prune juice in the supermarket aisle: You've got to make it available for certain individuals and apparently for the overall health of the planet, but don't expect a lot of genuine excitement about its purchase. And don't expect it to pay the bills.
Ford is about to find out just what a yawn EVs are to most American consumers, now that it has priced its new Focus Electric and has begun taking orders for the car. The sticker is $39,995, identical to the once-reduced price of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range hybrid, and $3,900 more than the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The purchaser of each vehicle is welcome to capitalize on the generosity of the American taxpayer to the tune of federal incentives up to $7,500.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2011 08:59 AM
Alfa Romeo launches Aquabatics social campaign.
AOL plays catch-up in mobile.
Buick is paying dividends for GM.
CNN said to be revamping its morning lineup.
DirecTV takes dispute with Fox to the web.
Disney leads big brands on apps front, while Disney-ABC extends Netflix and Amazon content deals.
DreamWorks' Puss in Boots wins the weekend box office by a whisker.
Facebook changes mean "reach" is up but "frequency" is down.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 28, 2011 12:31 PM
Released last week, The Revenge of the Electric Car "presents the recent resurgence of electric vehicles as seen through the eyes of four pioneers of the EV revolution." The film focuses on General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla Motors as all three "race each other to create the first, best, and most publicly accepted electric cars for the new car market."
But is the film an endeavor in academics, as the electric car market for which these brands are racing is crumbling.Continue reading...