Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 09:12 AM
Starbucks raises outlook after strong second quarter.
Boeing gets clearance for re-launching Dreamliner in Japan and United's planes in May.
Altria Group plans to enter e-cigarette market.
3M cuts outlook as demand sputters.
Amazon outstrips growing profits with growing spending.
Best Buy tries to reduce "pain points" for customers, staff.
Cap'n Crunch launches new YouTube channel for adults.
Exxon Mobil oil output falls again.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 22, 2013 07:36 PM
As Chinese consumers begin filtering into the Shanghai Auto Show this week, their desires and intentions are being dissected in every possible way by auto brands from around the globe that don't want to blow it in the world's largest auto market.
Behind the phalanx of new sheet metal, new brands, larger and more luxurious vehicles than before and, of course, ubiquitous, western-style fashion models adorning the platforms where the cars are displayed, European, American, Korean, Japanese and domestic Chinese brands are grappling with various approaches to a handful of key issues about the market in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 07:12 PM
Global automakers—including home-owned ones—will be showing off their wares at the press preview of the Shanghai Auto Show on Saturday. What they display will reflect the brands' various crucial strategies for stoking sales and market-share growth in the world's largest auto market, which is only getting bigger.
Analysts and auto executives alike have shown up in Shanghai predicting that the national market will balloon to 30 to 35 million vehicles within several years, or as much as a doubling of last year's sales of 19.3 million vehicles (in a year in which US sales were 14.5 million). That kind of expansion would make the Chinese market as big as the projected European and American markets put together.
"There's lots of competition here and everyone wants a piece of this pie," GM China President Bob Socia told Channel News Asia. "As competitive as it is, it's probably the only market in the world that offers the type of opportunities this market offers."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 9, 2013 05:37 PM
A series of bedrock presumptions has dominated successive eras of the US auto industry. The first one was that the domestic Big Three would be on top forever. A second and more recent "truth" was that Japanese imports were unbeatable.
Now, a third truth that has been part of the presumed backdrop of the industry for nearly a generation may be set to fall this year. That's because Toyota Camry and Honda Accord no longer are shoe-ins to be the best-selling mid-size cars in America for 2013.
They long have reigned; Camry has been America's best-selling car for 11 consecutive years, having taken over around the turn of the century from the Ford Taurus. The Honda Accord, through its various generations, typically was right on the heels of Camry, sales volume-wise. Other mid-size entries didn't stand a chance of matching them.
In the meantime, there's one sales title that none of the four mid-size sedans can aspire to: world's best-selling car. In 2012, Ford claimed that crown with various versions of its Focus, which easily beat out versions of the Toyota Corolla for the No. 1 spot. Ford executives have promised that the Focus would be a global nameplate, and they've made it one—the biggest one. Adding to that accolade, the Ford Fiesta is now the world's best-selling sub-compact.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 1, 2013 04:31 PM
American Millennials are the apple of everyone's eye in the auto industry: They're the largest generation in the most reliable car market in the western world. And yet they're proving to be the most elusive in terms of attaching themselves to brands and even to the idea of owning a vehicle.
So automakers are beginning to do some unprecedented things to reach them. Case in point: Toyota executives revealed at the ongoing New York International Auto Show that they're considering converting Scion—which until now has focused on quirky designs and low prices to attract young buyers—into an entry-level "luxury" marque in a strategy that might enable the company to battle more effectively in that important gateway segment for upscale Generation Y buyers.
"Today it's hard to find much value below $18,000 to $20,000" for a car, Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota's North Ameica Region, told Automotive News. "There's going to be a big need in the $25,000 range for a fun-to-drive, nice-looking, value-oriented product."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2013 11:23 AM
Happy April Fool's Day! If you thought your favorite brands were too serious and focused on great products and innovation to have a laugh or two, think again. Here's a roundup of some social media jokes from YouTube, Honda, Twitter and even the little town of Ely, Minn.
Be honest: did you fall for any of them?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 06:32 PM
Because the Tri-State market is so demographically broad, automakers load up their car haulers for the New York International Show and bring every conceivable type of new vehicle—from inexpensive fresh production models to concept cars that would demand seven-figure prices if they were available—in an effort to leave no segment of the local market unturned and to impress the hordes of journalists who've assembled in the world media capital.
Given that the U.S. auto-sales recovery continues to gain some steam, it's no surprise that this year's show at the Javits Center has attracted one of the most impressive hauls of automotive hardware to the New York show that's been seen in several years.
Here's a brand-by-brand account of some of what news media have been seeing as the show prepares to open to the public:
Honda got tongues wagging this week with, of all things, a vacuum cleaner. HondaVAC debutes in the Touring Elite version of the 2014 Honda Odyssey as the brand ups the ante in the rolling-living-room segment. The device was developed with Shop-Vac and is comprised of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area, Honda explained.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 09:22 AM
BlackBerry reports surprise profit after cutting expenses.
Twitter ad revenue projected to approach $1 billion next year as report says it agreed to allow censorship in Russia.
Chevron cuts executive compensation after string of accidents.
Belgium looks to EU for copyright protection of Belgian chocolate brand.
Best Western opens luxury hotel in Haiti, the first U.S. brand to break ground there.
CBS could make TV Guide Network an "ESPN of celebrity gossip."
Comcast scores court victory in Philadelphia.
New Dentyne Ice campaign gets its message across with icy alphabet.
EADS gets backing of makeover plan by shareholders.Continue reading...