Posted by Dale Buss on October 6, 2014 09:07 AM
HP confirms plans to split company, including more layoffs.
NBA reaches long-term rights deals with Time Warner and Disney, which is also busy bailing out Euro Disney.
Samsung spoofs Apple iPhone6 woes with bend test, earmarks $15 billion on memory-chip production for new devices.
American Airlines and Cadillac partner to offer exclusive benefits to travelers.
Tesla prepares certified used-car plan.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Adobe expands its Creative Cloud sharing and syncing tools.
Audi sales boom prompts dealers to up investments.
BFGoodrich launches tire-toughness campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2014 01:34 PM
Europe still isn't a great place to sell cars these days, but it remains a wonderful stage for touting the industry's latest advancements. So automotive brands have been enthusiastic participants at the Paris Motor Show this week, even though they've turned glummer about the sales outlook for the host continent.
Among the European brands that have made significant "reveals" of new and concept vehicles and features at the Paris auto show are Lamborghini, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, while outsiders such as Toyota, General Motors and Ford also have used the exhibit to indicate their future direction in Europe and elsewhere.
The fastest new vehicle unveiled in Paris this week? That's an easy contest: the 910-horsepower Asterion LPI 910-4 plug-in-hybrid supercar concept vehicle that was introduced by Lamborghini. It uses a 5.2-liter V-10 engine from the brand's Huracan model as well as three electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to achieve the zoom. But as sleek as it looks, this concept can still go only about 31 miles on electric power alone.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2014 09:31 AM
Disney retains Bob Iger as CEO for two more years and expands "Star Wars" galaxy.
Facebook tightens oversight, wins EU approval for WhatsApp purchase and reportedly eyes healthcare.
JPMorgan discloses massive data breach.
Kellogg and United Biscuits will meet over possible merger.
Coca-Cola releases second TV spot in Diet Coke "Get a Taste" campaign. Up next: Taylor Swift.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Daimler and Renault-Nissan extend manufacturing alliance as Daimler will see a UAW organizing drive in Alabama.
Denny's launches animated "Grand Slams" video series.
Exxon Mobil delays drilling in Africa due to Ebola threat.
Fiat counts on Italian styling to boost new 500X crossover.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 1, 2014 05:33 PM
A year ago, global auto executives all knew they'd be in Paris for the auto show this week. But they didn't think they'd be feeling so gloomy in the City of Lights.
A once-nascent European auto sales recovery has sputtered, casting a pall over the Paris Motor Show, where brands nevertheless plan to dazzle one another, automotive journalists, enthusiasts and rank-and-file Parisians with glittering new models and confident projections of new technologies, new designs, new colors and other features of coming and prospective new models.
After sales contracted for six straight years to a two-decade low in 2013, European carmakers believed earlier this year that a true recovery was taking hold. But sales in the market grew by only 1.8 percent in August over the year earlier, the smallest monthly increaese this year, and fourth-quarter deliveries are expected to decline by 0.3 percent.
"The outlook for Europe on the whole is darkening," Stefan Bratzel, an automotive expert at tyhe Center of Automotive Management in Germany, told Bloomberg. Dimmer prospects "make me wonder if European car demand will manage to be positive for the year as a whole."Continue reading...
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...
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...
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...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 1, 2014 09:53 AM
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 cure” Berocca 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...