Posted by Dale Buss on March 20, 2012 05:04 PM
First Europe, now China: Before you know it, global automakers could be depending on the United States as the great growth hope of the worldwide auto market once again.
It appears that auto sales in China are slowing down this year even more than they were originally forecast to slow down. Factors include the disappearance of lucrative government-supplied incentives to the Chinese to buy automobiles, a slowing economy, and the same rising fuel prices that also are crimping consumers in America and everywhere else. In the luxury segment, especially, 'very robust' demand has become just 'robust' demand — and is catching up with supplies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 13, 2012 09:03 AM
Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales in China after riot breaks out at Beijing launch.
Delta eyes bid for American Airlines, AFP says, and so do others.
MetLife cuts 4,300 jobs as company exits mortgage business.
BMW and Daimler plan to raise U.S. output.
Bank of America ponders retreat from some regions of U.S.
Best Buy sees fallout from holiday delivery foul-up.
CBS talks with David Letterman about a new contract.
CVS Caremark settles deceptive-pricing charges.
Chipotle plans to open second ShopHouse Asian restaurant.
Coca-Cola expands social marketing to Tumblr.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2012 09:01 AM
A&P prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.
ABC plans to screen new TV show in theaters.
Amazon backs Hollywood film-streaming format.
Apple's Tim Cook is America's highest-paid CEO.
Daimler still trying to fix Smart brand.
Fiat will begin to emphasize product marketing over brand in U.S.
Ford cites Thai flood impact on bottom line, while U.S. car-buyers are lukewarm to hybrids.
Fox Sports settles legal dispute with Los Angeles Dodgers.
Friendly Ice Cream exits Chapter 11.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 7, 2011 09:07 AM
AMC considers reality shows to complement Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
BP and Shell plan to resume oil exploration in Libya.
Boeing hopes rise for union accord that would end labor struggle.
CBS is upbeat about TV business in 2012.
Citigroup announces cuts of additional 4,500 jobs.
Daimler loses value with investors relative to BMW as the two companies race to finish in U.S. luxury-car sales for 2011 and as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand plans big boost in U.S. output.
Darden cuts forecast due to Olive Garden woes.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2011 06:16 PM
Right in the middle of an epic battle with BMW to sell the most luxury cars in the U.S. market for 2011, Daimler AG gave another signal that its corporate heart lies with its venerable Mercedes-Benz brand to the exclusion of others. The company plans to terminate its struggling Maybach luxury limousine brand after years of disappointing sales.
Daimler resurrected the old Maybach brand about a decade ago after losing out on obtaining current brands in a major restructuring of the high end of the European luxury-car business several years ago, when Volkswagen picked up Bentley to compete with BMW's Rolls-Royce. But Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said last week that "the sales chances for the Mercedes brand were better than Maybach's," in an interview with Frankurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
By deep-sixing Maybach — which sells for more than $350,000 and was famously torched, mutilated and modified by Jay-Z and Kanye West in their recent music video, Otis — Daimler will attempt to capture its share of the six-figure-price market with an expanded range of really nice models sold under the Mercedes-Benz name.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2011 03:05 PM
In order to maintain its sense of exclusivity and specialness, Ferrari makes less than 7,000 cars a year. But that limits the company’s income and consumers still want to be sure their car is different from all others.
After all, when folks are shelling out $410,000 for a car, they want something special. That's why the Italian car manufacturer started a “'tailor made' personalization program” (called Ferrari Atelier) that could “add 20 percent to 60 percent to the price of a car,” Bloomberg notes.
“Being different is important for Ferrari buyers as these cars are all about status,” commented Rebecca Lindland, a IHS analyst in Norwalk, Connecticut, to Bloomberg. “It’s like showing up to a gala in the same dress — funny at first, annoying if it keeps happening.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 20, 2011 09:01 AM
Abbott Labs plans to split into two companies.
American Express equalizes health costs for gay employees.
Citigroup agrees to pay hefty fine to settle securities charges.
Daimler dismissed US. head of Mercedes-Benz over personal expenses.
Eni makes big natural-gas find off coast of Mozambique.
Fox's The X Factor gets off to a slow start.
Frito-Lay draws complaint about "immersive" marketing to kids.
Groupon discounts its IPO valuation.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 19, 2011 03:02 PM
When a paradigm-changing development threatens your business, you can try to steer it, or attempt to thwart it. As car-sharing spreads, especially throughout the Millennial generation around the globe, a number of automakers — including General Motors, Ford, Daimler and BMW — are choosing the latter option.
The latest big automaker to test the fast-developing car-sharing business is GM, which recently announced an alliance with RelayRides. Arguably, it will be a good deal for GM and its OnStar brand to affiliate with the San Francisco-based startup and figure out how to use the OnStar brand and system as the communications nexus for RelayRides' network of individually owned vehicles, which are shared on a peer-to-peer basis.
GM joins Ford, which is testing 1,000 of its small cars on college campuses with segment leader Zipcar, as well as Daimler, BMW and Toyota in trying out car-sharing concepts and brands in the United States and Europe.Continue reading...