automotive

Toyota Reveals Bespoke will.i.am Lexus NX Ahead of Paris Auto Show

Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2014 11:10 AM

With fall comes the beginning of the global auto-industry show season, and the Paris auto show is the first major show on the docket, followed by Los Angeles in November. Brands will be rolling out a variety of new models, concepts and high-tech features as they try to goose a still-moribund European market and whet the interest of automotive journalists from around the world.

At an invitation-only preview Thursday night in Paris, Toyota unveiled the highly anticipated Lexus NX model designed with guest 'creative director' will.i.am. As the automaker noted in a press release,

Bearing his name, the special edition NX 200t F SPORT pairs the flair and creativity of will.i.am’s innovative personality with the eye-catching striking angles of the Lexus NX. With cutting-edge on-board technology, a sharply-styled exterior and an aggressive and sporty design, the NX is aimed at younger, urban and more design oriented customers.

Another VIP with big stakes in Paris is Olivier Francois, who is not only chief marketing officer of the Chrysler Group but also global head of the Fiat brand.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Auto Motivator: 5 Questions with Chrysler Group CMO Olivier François

Posted by Dale Buss on September 22, 2014 05:32 PM

Since Fiat Chrysler outlined its ambitious growth plans for most of its brands at a meeting in May with investors and journalists, and of course even before that, Fiat Chrysler Group CMO Olivier François has been strategizing about the implications for marketing of Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in the United States and abroad.

Among the tall orders he faces are CEO Sergio Marchionne's stretch goal of more than doubling sales of the Chrysler brand by 2018, compared with its 350,000 sales a year ago. More easily achievable goals might be success for the ongoing conversion of Jeep into a global brand; ensuring the continued rise of Ram, which was cleaved from Dodge a few years ago; and sharpening Dodge as a performance brand, rolling it back from its broader positioning of yore.

More challenging could be making Fiat a truly household name in North America. And then there's the automaker's goal to make a triumphant return for Alfa Romeo in US marketplace as a highly regarded luxury-performance brand, decades after it exited quietly.

For François, the overall objective is to help pivot from a marketing-led company, which Chrysler was as it recovered from the 2009 bailout by Fiat and the US government, to a product-led company on the strength of a vibrant string of launches of overhauled and new vehicles which the company is rolling out now.

It's the difference between featuring Eminem in a Super Bowl commercial three years ago to help revive the Chrysler brand with only a warmed-over 200 model to show off, and today, when Chrysler has an all-new, extremely worthy 200 mid-sized sedan to brag about, so it can tailor its messaging around the technology, styling, performance and comfort bona fides of the car and how well it is built.Continue reading...

automotive

As Alfa Romeo Comes Ashore, Fiat Chrysler Success May Be Just Beginning

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 03:49 PM

Chrysler keeps outselling expectations in the US market, is preparing to bring luxury marque Alfa Romeo back to America, and is getting its financial house in order. It's a good time to be globetrotting Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

He'll have to keep globetrotting too. Next month the new company is planning to officially launch by incorporating in the Netherlands, being headquartered in London and having its main stock listing in New York.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler's cash cow will be headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.—Chrysler. Just five years after Fiat took the carcass of Chrysler from the US government and revived it, Marchionne and his lieutenants, their employees and dealers continue to enjoy a winning streak represented by 52 straight months of rising sales. Chrysler and other automakers report their August sales tomorrow.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: A&E/Vice, Nike, Apple and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 1, 2014 09:53 AM

TOP STORIES

A&E buys 10 percent of Vice for $250 million. 

Apple blocks developers from selling users' health data to marketers; bans hazardous chemicals following China investigation; reportedly strikes payments deal to make next iPhone a mobile wallet with American Express, Visa and MasterCard; sees iBeacon struggle with retailers; and grapples with possible iCloud (via “Find my iPhone”) hack that led to massive nude photo leak affecting Jennifer Lawrence and other actresses.

Nike re-signs (Under Armour-wooed) NBA star Kevin Durant to sneaker deal rumored to be worth $350 million.

Disney files patents for drone-controlled puppets as Google drones find better reception than Amazon tests.

P&G's Tide brand honors uniformed workers on Labor Day (above).

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba faces stiffer homegrown competition ahead of upcoming IPO.

Art Everywhere partnership brings culture to outdoor advertising.

Bayer brings “world’s hangover cureBerocca to US.

BMW sees bomb-proof fleet get big buy-in from Australian government for G20 Summit. 

Comcast acquisition of Time Warner Cable protested by entertainment giants.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple, Nespresso, JPMorgan and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2014 09:26 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple and Samsung face off in wearables market.

Nespresso launches $550-million sustainability strategy.

JPMorgan and other banks struck by hackers.

GlaxoSmithKline sees US accelerate human clinical trials of ebola vaccine, report says.

Kia plans $1-billion car assembly plant in Mexico and unveils redesigned Sorento.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba sees results improve ahead of IPO.

Billabong sticks to turnaround plan despite losses. 

Bissell Canada takes clean to a new level with Toronto subway stunt.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Zillow and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2014 09:17 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald’s suspends sales of chicken nuggets in Hong Kong but sticks with Chinese meat supplier, as company gives itself 18 months to rebrand.

Amazon reports another loss amid sales growth as CEO Bezos alarms investors with spending pace and Fire Phone hits stores

Coca-Cola topped World Cup brand sponsors in new survey as it faces boycotts over Gaza conflict. 

BSkyB creates European TV powerhouse by buying affiliated assets from 21st Century Fox, which would give Murdoch more cash for Time Warner bid.

Zillow is in advanced talks to buy rival Trulia.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Air Algerie plane crashed in Mali with 116 aboard and no survivors, as world faces deadliest crash year since 2005.

Bentley may add fifth model with SUV launch in two years.

CKE brings back Paris Hilton to tout for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Comcast steps up its game on internet speeds.

CrossFit builds a passion brand.

Danone looks for second-half improvement coming out of massive food scare in Asia.

Dell takes social out of the silo.

Dunkin’ Donuts downgrades outlook after poor second quarter.

Facebook toys with idea of integrating Uber into Messenger.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Microsoft, Fiat, Time Warner and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 17, 2014 09:15 AM

TOP STORIES

Microsoft announces global layoffs affecting 18,000 positions.

Fiat Chrysler's biggest shareholder denies VW takeover rumor.

Murdoch’s surprise Time Warner play detailed as Liberty Media acquires BSkyB's ITV stake.

GM is expected to reveal more details about recall process in Senate hearings today.

Toyota is bringing back the Sienna "Swagger Wagon" campaign for automaker's first online reveal.

MORE BRAND NEWS:

Airbnb logo reveal sparks social media backlash.

Apple agrees to pay $450 million in e-book price fixing case as IBM deal dings BlackBerry.

BMW recalls 1.6 million cars worldwide.

Chrysler boosts production to fix recalled Jeeps.

Clear Channel brings outdoor ads to life on smartphones.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Amazon, Infiniti, Applebee's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon is sued by FTC over in-app purchases by children and seeks federal approval for testing of 50-mph drones.

Reynolds American is in merger talks with Lorillard to create No. 2 tobacco company.

Johan de Nysschen leaves Infiniti; could Cadillac be his next stop?

Applebee's files trademark for "No Tech Tuesday" as it rolls out tabletop tablets nationwide. 

Volkswagen halts sales of new Golf and GTI to check safety defect.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Airbus promises 14 percent fuel-efficiency boost in new wide-body jet.

Alibaba starts to move down path toward IPO.

Crumbs Bake Shop may get financial rescue lifeline.

Dum Dums creates drumming app.

Exxon spars with state of Pennsylvania over fracking.

Fiat re-ups partnership with “Funny Or Die.”Continue reading...

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