auto motive

Surprising Chevy Impala Leads Parade of Good Product, Financial News from Detroit

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2013 07:02 PM

General Motors and Ford continue to head up the stubborn sales and financial recovery of the US auto industry. And now it increasingly looks like they've got many of the best products. If only Chrysler could keep up with them on all those fronts.

On the same day that GM posted second-quarter profits that beat analysts' estimates, the company achieved something else that ultimately could be much more significant. For the first time in 20 years, influential Consumer Reports named a domestic sedan as the best sedan it tested this year—and the winner was the seemingly unlikely Chevrolet Impala.

"It performs so well in so many different ways," Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for the magazine, told the Detroit Free Press. "It really fires on all cylinders."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, BlackBerry, Panera and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Walmart scraps D.C. store plans after "living wage" passes.

BlackBerry loses two more executives.

Panera suspends "pay-as-you-can" item.

Chevron foresees lower output.

Dodge borrows Pitbull to pitch Dart to Gen Y.

GE makes short films in tiny towns about big data.

GM continues to battle labor unrest in South Korea.

GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors and hospitals, Chinese officials say.Continue reading...

crowdsourcing

Hyundai, Dodge Try Crowdfunding as Millennials Scrounge for Car Funds

Posted by Dale Buss on June 5, 2013 07:19 PM

Crowdfunding seems to work well for movies and tear-jerking cries for charity, but do people really want to dump into open digital purses to help Millennials buy a car?

Hyundai and Chrysler are getting very different results as they attempt to provide at least early answers to that question. Hyundai's partnership with the Motozuma.com crowdfunding platform has netted sales of about 1,600 cars through last year, the company told Automotive News. That's about one-quarter of one percent of the 700,000-some new vehicles Hyundai sold in the US last year.

But it's a whole lot better than the sales realized so far through a pretty high-profile crowdfunding program sponsored by Chrysler on behalf of its Dodge Dart: two. That's right, two as in "a pair," not two as in short for 2MM or even 2K.Continue reading...

car talk

Chrysler Sales Keep Rolling, but Brand Needs New Products to Sustain Mojo

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2013 04:47 PM

The good news on the sales front kept rolling in for Chrysler today, which posted an 11 percent increase in May sales over a year ago, comprising its best May in six years. The company and its brands have kept asserting their way in the continuing US auto-industry recovery.

But the great monthly result hid a couple of unsettling facts for the company overall and the brands its dealers sell: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat.

First, most of the load in terms of sales increases is being carried these days by only five of the company's 21 vehicle lines: the completely overhauled Jeep Grand Cherokee, the all-new Dodge Dart, the trendy Jeep Wrangler, an unlikely winner in Dodge Charger and the new Ram pickup which is benefiting from the US housing recovery.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: P&G, Google, AT&T and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM

In the News

P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.

Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.

AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.

Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.

Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks. 

Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.

Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.

Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: ESPN, H&M, Target and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2013 09:17 AM

In the News

ESPN begins hundreds of layoffs.

H&M says that some clothes were produced in collapsed factory in Cambodia.

Target misses earnings expectations and cuts outlook.

Cable networks are rebranding, and pay-TV brands aren't happy about it. 

Dairy Queen to debut new ad campaign that promotes its burgers and fries.

Dodge enjoys star turn for its Challenger at premiere of Fast and Furious 6.

EA lawsuit over players' videogame-likeness issue threatens NCAA policies.

Facebook becoming less popular among teens, Pew study finds. 

Ferrero backs off attack on World Nutella Day.

Fisker Automotive reportedly sees bid by boutique firm led by former GM exec Bob Lutz and Chinese supplier.Continue reading...

product placement

Dodge Gets Fast and Furious: How Film Rebuilt a Classic Car Brand

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 9, 2013 12:35 PM

A staggering 33-million-plus likes can be found at The Fast and Furious 6 Facebook page. By comparison, Iron Man 3's page has fewer than half of that. Star Trek: Into Darkness? Just 2.7 million. The much anticipated Superman reboot Man of Steel comes in with just 621,000. The Fast and Furious franchise isn't just a blockbuster, money-generating film series—its a lifestyle franchise. It's the perfect marriage of big balls, small bikinis, bad guys with good hearts and, most importantly, automobile porn. It is, in no understated terms, America's id.

Dodge is once again partnering with that id, continuing what might be one of the most successful product placement partnerships in film history. This time Dodge is hoping to rub some Furious id off on its Dart and Challenger models. And it might. But Fast and Furious will always be about the Charger.Continue reading...

brandcameo

Product Placement Sees Global Rise as Fans Face Saturated Entertainment

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 24, 2013 10:47 AM

The upcoming re-imagined Great Gatsby 3D has a slew of roaring '20s brands going along for the ride. Moet & Chandon and MAC Cosmetics are listed among the film's partners in its official "Guide to Style." As is New York's Plaza Hotel, which will "celebrate the Roaring `20s with period-inspired affairs throughout the spring," while Brooks Brothers has released a special Gatsby collection. While not listed in the film's official style guide, Prada has its own major partnership and Gatsby-inpired line. Tiffany & Co. has embraced its tie-in as well.

But one needn't be at entertainment's high-end to grab a fashion line tie-in. Clothing brand Opening Ceremony partnered with Spring Breakers to release a line based on the exploitation film: "Accessories include unicorn bandanas, mesh backpacks, lighters, cotton beach towels, 'HARMONY' friendship bracelets, and 'SPRING BREAK 4EVER BITCHES' wristbands."

It's all part of a booming product placement business that grew 11.7 percent in 2012 and promises to get bigger this year.Continue reading...

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