Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2012 05:05 PM
You've got a city in such bad shape financially that it's being dictated to by the state. A school system in utter tatters, with perhaps the worst yet to come. A heroic and adulated mayor laid low by health issues in the midst of it. A poster child for urban decay. Yes, Detroit.
So what better place than the Motor City for a genuine feel-good story to arise? Consider how Ford and the United Auto Workers are jointly pledging $100,000 to Detroit's Martin Luther King High School Jazz and Marching Band so that the kids can take a trip to the Summer Olympics in London and perform around London.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2012 04:59 PM
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are facing their biggest test since beginning their recoveries three years ago. Even in a bullish market, the challenges are huge.
Before the end of last year, many automotive pundits brought up two distinct possibilities about how the big car-makers could be faring differently in 2012 from the way 2011 was ending up. And already, the industry seems to be tacking in the direction of both of them.
One clear trend after first-quarter sales is that Detroit's Big Three automakers are already giving back much of the hard-won share of the market that they gained over the last two years. The other big news: Toyota has recaptured much of the mojo it lost in the U.S. market over those two years.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 7, 2012 02:51 PM
Chrysler created ripples with its Super Bowl ad, just like it did last year. But these aren't all warm and friendly, lapping-at-the-beach kinds of waves. The brand's Clint Eastwood commercial at Super Bowl XLVI half-time — which continues on the "Imported From Detroit" theme established at last year's Super Bowl — has set off more of a barrage of criticism from the right that the spot was nothing more than a veiled re-election ad for the Obama campaign.
Chrysler released the transcript of Eastwood's voiceover, which asserts that "This country can't be knocked out with one punch," while both the brand and the 81-year-old actor/director have disavowed any political intent.
Eastwood told Fox News on Monday, "I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. I am not supporting any politician at this time." Eastwood also commented to the New York Times that he plans to donate his fee for the ad to charity, reiterating: "The ad doesn’t have a political message. It is about American spirit, pride and job growth."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 31, 2012 10:01 AM
Last August, to mark its first year in downtown Detroit, Quicken Loans took to the streets to ask local business owners and downtown Detroit leaders why the Motor City is a great place to live and work, even if it's still struggling (which it is) to rebound to what it once was.
Now one of downtown Detroit's biggest business boosters is proving there's more than one way to bring retailing back to the heart of America's most distressed big city. If you can't fill vacant storefronts with actual retail stores and shoppers on foot, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert figures, why not try a new form called "virtual retailing"?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2012 06:26 PM
Today is, unofficially at least, "Love Detroit" Day.
The robust Detroit Lions are about to enter the NFL playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Chrysler just announced the addition of 1,100 new auto-assembly jobs in the city, great news following the ebullient 2011 U.S. car sales reports this week. And Motown is spiffing up for an influx of thousands of foreign journalists and auto-industry executives attending the 2012 North American International Auto Show next week — not to mention the other thousands of Michiganders who will attend the public part of the Detroit Auto Show the following week.
So if Detroit lovers could take a snapshot of any particular day and just live in it for a while, without the clock moving forward, January 6th, 2012 might be that day. Nothing has been ideal in fiscally strapped and infrastructure-challenged Detroit for a long time and might never be again, but today's news has presented a trifecta of developments that the city will certainly embrace for a while.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 18, 2011 02:19 PM
When Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced this week that Chrysler will invest $500 million to upgrade and expand its Jeep assembly operations in Toledo, Ohio, as part of a bigger $1.7 billion investment that will create 1,100 jobs to work on its next-generation Jeep SUV, the disclosure marked just the latest remarkable example of one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds of the last several years.
And we're not talking about how Fiat helped Chrysler come back from the scrap heap of automotive history by taking the crumpled automaker off the hands of the U.S. government more than two years ago. Instead, this turnaround is addressing how poorly Fiat itself has been faring lately.
The European car market was a cauldron of competition when a reasonably healthy Fiat rescued Chrysler with the aim of shaping a truly competitive global player in the industry. But things have only gotten worse since then, as European debt woes began to suck in even major economies, such as Italy's. Italian car sales are expected to fall this year to the level of 15 years ago, while Fiat posted nearly $300 million in losses from July through September.Continue reading...
now hear this
Posted by Dale Buss on August 3, 2011 07:00 PM
Chrysler’s new “Imported from Detroit” positioning may not be directly responsible for helping the automaker move cars off the lot, but it's certainly creating some memorable audio branding.
Through July, Chrysler has sold nearly 40,000 of the new 200 model sedan that was featured in the epochal Eminem Super Bowl commercial, in a segment where it sold only 24,000 cars the year before. Yet the latest version of the larger 300 sedan, fresh as of March, only moved 6% more units in July than the old version did a year ago, and Chrysler relies on the same basic positioning for its 300 advertising campaign.
Yet there’s no doubt that the Chrysler brand has benefited from its willingness to embrace Motown again as a place of authenticity where you really can build fine automobiles.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2011 12:30 PM
When Game Three of the NBA Finals tips off Sunday, there will be a very small group of fans that will be waiting for one particular commercial.
The ad (watch it below) is for the 2012 Chrysler 300S, a vehicle Motor Trends called “performance-tuned” and “muscle-bound.” But the main attraction of the ad won’t be the vehicle but the man in it: Dr. Dre. Once known as Andre Romelle Young, Dre is one of the most powerful people in the recording industry.Continue reading...