Posted by Dale Buss on August 2, 2012 09:00 AM
AIG pushes plan for independence from U.S. government.
Burger King says that menu and marketing changes have boosted bottom lilne.
Campbell Soup creates limited edition to help food bank.
Chick-fil-A supporters (and Wendy's) show up for "Appreciation Day."
Christina Aguillera lends her voice to a good cause.
Costco experiences strong U.S. sales.
Crocs celebrates milestone a little too exuberantly.
DirecTV sees U.S. subscribers decline for first time.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2012 02:38 PM
Mazda may be zigging with its decision to bet heavily on making more of its vehicles in Japan and exporting them in the nation's classic Japan Inc. way. But all of its Japanese rivals are zagging — and sinking unprecedented amounts into building up their manufacturing presence in North America, as the lofty yen gives them little choice but to do so for currency hedging.
The little automaker has declared that 90 percent of the output of its new CX-5 crossover, in Japan, will be aimed for export and that it can make a profit on sales to the U.S. even if the yen continues to appreciate against the dollar.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2012 11:44 AM
Auto marketers have a perennial challenge: how to goose slower sales periods, whether the dead of winter, post-holiday belt-tightening or the dog days of summer? Honda's new U.S. campaign for its summer-clearance sale is just the latest example.
Honda has just hatched a batch of six new TV spots that combine the conventions of Hollywood film endings with catchy tunes and spoof a variety of movie genres to make a single point: Honda's got some really good deals in its seasonal closeout going on right now.
"Buying a new Honda sparks a happily-ever-after moment that is almost magical," said Susie Rossick, Senior Manager at American Honda Motor Co., in a press release. "The iconic songs in this campaign stir up those same powerful emotions, reminding people in an unforgettable way that this is the best time of year to get a great deal on a Honda."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 6, 2012 11:29 AM
Volkswagen has been on a business-building tear for some time now, but the July 4th acquisition of the part of Porsche that the company didn't own will likely be considered the crowning achievement for the leader of what has become the world's most ambitious automaker.
Ferdinand Piech is the grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche. So when the 75-year-old chairman of Volkswagen AG agreed to buy the rest of Porsche SE's automaking business for 4.46 billion euros this week, it marked a fitting cap to Piech's two-decade effort to put VW atop the pinnacle of the global automotive business.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2012 05:05 PM
It's been at least three years since there's been such an intense global focus on the health of the U.S. auto industry. In 2009, of course, the question was whether General Motors and Chrysler would survive. Today, the question is: Can U.S. auto sales stay robust enough to ride on top of gathering economic gloom domestically and, in the process, actually help keep the global economy from swooning?
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne believes in the prospects of the U.S. auto market enough that he is considering producing more vehicles in Italy for export to the United States. That could help Fiat ease its excess domestic production as the European market slumps while helping U.S. Fiat dealers who are struggling with too few models amid the brand's rocky return to the American market.
June U.S. auto sales data released today underscored why auto executives still exude confidence about the market even as other indicators on the American economy, such as the unemployment rate and overall manufacturing growth, prove increasingly troubling. June auto sales overall were the best in five years and ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 14 million units, a pace in line with most forecasts of the full-year sales total, which would be more than 10 percent above last year's total.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 06:11 PM
Twitter releases Google-inspired transparency report, showing US in the lead for user data requests, as site loses NYC legal battle over privacy of user data.
Microsoft writes off $6.2 billion spent on aQuantive, "slows" Internet hopes.
AMC Networks stock rises on AT&T settlement.
Anderson Cooper, CNN's biggest star (finally, bullied?), comes out of the closet.
Apple loses bid to block HTC smartphones from the U.S.
Barclays scandal that cost chairman his title may spread as CEO remains "defiant."
Best Buy considers in-store competitor price-streaming.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 03:40 PM
Ford has been moving from one major social-media marketing innovation to the next, so it comes as little surprise that the brand is mounting a major digital and social effort around the 2013 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan.
"Random Acts of Fusion" is a multi-platform, transmedia campaign that features Ryan Seacrest as its "emcee." It centers around a contest in which consumers will "Unlock" how Fusion is able to "transform" the lives of people who drive it, Crystal Worthem, manager of Ford Brand Content & Alliances, stated.
In its slowly unfolding, almost teasing aspect, unlike previous Ford campaigns predicated on quick social-media participation, the Facebook-centered campaign is building anticipation by inviting fans to register and then stay tuned: "What's in the box? Register below to find out. Ryan will send one to each of the first 2,500 people who sign up for Random Acts of Fusion. Then come back to Facebook.com/FordFusion on July 5th to find out what happens next."
The teaser campaign "is designed to invoke emotion, which the [car] design does," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told brandchannel. And the promotion is built "to go with people where they go — desktop to mobile to digital to social to experiential."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2012 05:05 PM
It only makes sense that auto brands should figure heavily in the new Interbrand Best Global Green Brands ranking, with eight of the top 21 brands. Car makers and their petrol partners arguably contribute more to environmental stresses around the globe than any other industry — but they're also working about as assiduously as any business to offset some of that decidedly un-green footprint.
Toyota ranked No. 1 in Interbrand's new list not only among auto companies but among all companies. That's impressive but hardly surprising for a company that essentially invented the hybrid for the mass market and has taken its biggest steps over the last year, of any in the last decade, to extend the Prius franchise and make it more available and more attractive (with some creative marketing moves) to more consumers around the world.
By introducing a less expensive and smaller alternative to its regular hybrid, Prius c, and almost simultaneously a more capacious one, Prius v, Toyota has opened the possibilities of hybrid ownership to millions more people who are attracted by the sterling Prius brand.Continue reading...