Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 12:17 PM
Dragged down by a still-worsening automotive recession in their home continent, European automakers are pulling out all the stops in efforts to retain and create sales momentum—with some new initiatives in Europe and many in the still-growing markets outside of it. Meanwhile, Lexus is planning a global brand campaign in May as it finally puts a disastrous 2010 and 2011 behind it.
German automakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are jockeying not only to attempt to stay above the fray in a troubled European market but also to advance their individual designs on global supremacy. VW vows to become the world's top automaker in the next several years, while its Audi brand also is battling with BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand for worldwide luxury-sales leadership.
One possibility for Volkswagen is to add still more automotive brands to its existing stable of 12, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. Last year, VW completed its purchase of Porsche and added Italian motorcycle maker Ducati.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2013 09:09 AM
Alibaba names next CEO.
Denny's cancels franchise deal in China.
Google shows off sample apps for Project Glass a SXSW.
American Airlines and U.S. Airways prepare for merger bumps.
Apple and Samsung values soar.
Barney's New York rebrands Co-op stores as regular Barney's.
BlackBerry stock jumps on Lenovo takeover interest rumor.
BMW to build sub-brand for China.
Boeing sees investigators focus narrowly on batteries in Dreamliner probe.
China's Spring Airlines adds cars to in-flight sales offering.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 05:07 PM
At the end of Mercedes-Benz's Super Bowl commercial, the price of the new CLA sedan was revealed on a billboard as $29,900.
The moment was more than a punch line that allowed the hero of the ad to believe maybe he didn't need to sell his soul to the Devil to enjoy the high life. It also was the climax of a three-year effort by top executives of Mercedes-Benz USA to get parent Daimler AG to agree to field the new model at a price point below the $30,000 level that the Americans believed would be important to encourage interest among the 30- to 40-year-olds who would be the target for CLA.
Now that the car itself is being unveiled at the Geneva auto show this week before it goes on sale in the U.S. in September, Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, is more than happy to relive what he believes will become a significant turn for the brand in the increasingly important American market.
Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 02:17 PM
All the new sheet metal on display during the press-preview days at the Geneva Auto Show hasn't been able to outshine one big dull, sobering reality: The European auto market is still declining, and it won't recover anytime soon.
International auto shows typically are places where the excitement and optimism generated by all of the fresh concept cars and close-to-production models provide a can-do spirit and the sense of possilibity that dispel any gloom from the world outside the exhibit hall.
But not in Geneva; not this year. One car executive after another not only allowed as how the European auto-market recession would continue for awhile, but they said the current market has been getting worse.
Posted by Dale Buss on March 4, 2013 08:46 AM
Walmart philanthropic director Sylvia Mathews Burwell expected to be nominated Monday as Obama's budget chief.
India develops a taste for premium beer while officials approve $2 billion Diageo deal.
HSBC set for $23 billion profit as turnaround gains traction.
AB InBev takes to Twitter and newspaper ads to fight watered-down-beer charges.
AIDS drug breakthrough sees infant evidently cured through early use of virus-blocking drugs.
Alfa Romeo reboot marks tough road for Fiat.
American Airlines drops below 60,000 employees for the first time since 1987.
AOL's new Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne lays out her goals.
Asos joins brands using Twitter's Vine for short form social video marketing.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 8, 2013 09:07 AM
Airbus may change battery system in its 350 aircraft to avoid problems faced by Boeing.
American Airlines stands to gain vast route network in looming merger with United Airways.
Apple faces battle over proposed preferred stock.
Michael Bloomberg builds empire in U.K.
Boeing Dreamliner fire was caused by battery short, investigation finds, as Poland's LOT finds bet on the aircraft turning dicey.
Bud Light Platinum presents Justin Timberlake as its new face.
Conan O'Brien and late-night competitors try bigger stunts to hold on to fans.
Daimler sees flat earnings this year as Europe and China mar results.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2013 09:01 AM
Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl over the San Francisco 49ers, as critics and viewers evaluate Super Bowl commercials, and CBS deals with half-hour second-half blackout by honoring its high-priced ad units and advertisers take advantage of lull with social-media frenzy.
AB InBev faces familiar game plan in U.S. opposition to merger.
BP heads to next phase in Gulf spill litigation.
Bank of America faces fresh questions over Countrywide settlement.
Clearwire weighs merger offer from Dish Networks.
Coca-Cola uses Super Bowl campaign as springboard for year-long efforts.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 06:45 PM
It's not exactly the USA versus the USSR over which country could get to the moon first. (Actually, the technology involved is, in many ways, more complicated.)
But the sudden rivalry between two coalitions of global automakers over fuel-cell technology will be an interesting and important struggle over the next few years. Which team — Daimler, Ford and Nissan, or BMW and Toyota — will be first to jointly bring an affordable, zero-emission car to market powered by hydrogen?
"We believe we were never as close to reaching a breakthrough in fuel-cell cars as today thanks to this partnership," said Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of research and development, according to Automotive News.
The age of mass-market, affordable fuel cell electric vehicles may soon be here thanks to a unique, three-way agreement among Nissan, Daimler and Ford. The three auto giants have joined forces to share Research & Development and investment for this next-generation, zero-emission technology.Continue reading...