Posted by Dale Buss on September 23, 2013 08:08 PM
Kia is pushing the envelope to luxury faster than any brand in memory that started in the industry's bargain basement. And if they succeed, the Korean marque's plans to bring a new sedan costing up to $70,000 to the US by early next year would be one of the most remarkable and quick transformations of an auto brand in American auto industry history.
The company has been sharing its plans to introduce a new US flagship early next year: A full-sized, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan called the K900, according to Automotive News. This from a brand that just a few years ago was selling mainly econobox sedans to Americans and earning only a middling reputation for quality and reliability.
Kia will be doing so on the back of at least three significant factors that could suggest success for the K900: a steady climb in sales of the Kia brand in the US market over the last several years; success for its sibling brand Hyundai in moving similarly upscale; and the strong reception from reviewers, dealers and American consumers for its most recent envelope pusher, the Cadenza sedan it introduced last spring at price points pushing $42,000.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2013 11:52 AM
Two topics have dominated industry chatter at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week: When will the European market begin recovering? And what's with all the new SUVs that are on display at the show?
Oh, and 'Where's Waldo?' Or, rather, why did Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne abruptly cancel his planned appearances at the show?
There are signs that sales in Europe at least have flattened out. But while UK car sales rose in August by 11 percent in their 18th consecutive month of growth, that has been a contrast to Germany, France, Italy and Spain, all of which have continued to suffer sales declines.
"Clearly, Europe still has a long way to recover," Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America Group, told brandchannel. "Eastern and Central Europe are showing a few more signs of rebound, but they're still relatively weak."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2013 09:32 AM
Neiman Marcus majority stake sold for $6 billion to Canadian, US investment partners.
Apple will reveal new products today and may put focus back on fingerprint security with latest iPhone.
McDonald's tries multi-person meals.
Abercrombie & Fitch loses bias suit over firing Muslim woman.
Burger King stretches with "sense-swap" campaign.
Campbell bets on child-centered new campaign.
Dunkin' Donuts launches first TV ad made entirely from Vine.
Furniture Brands files for Chapter 11.
Gatorade grows market share with G Force sales and marketing team.
Google offers antitrust concessions to EU.
Hyundai workers end strike after reaching wage deal.
Jaguar mulls small SUV to challenge BMW.
L'Oreal attacks e-commerce.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2013 09:26 AM
JCPenney reportedly shelves Martha Stewart deal.
Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear smartwatch as Qualcomm also enters smartwatch fray.
McDonald's tests higher-priced dollar menu.
Anheuser-Busch InBev partners with University of Illinois for big data edge.
Balenciaga sues former creative director for defaming brand.
BlackBerry seeks buyer by November.
Campbell will launch soup K-Cups next year.
Chobani recalls "fizzy" Greek-yogurt cups.
Covergirl joins NFL's pitch to female fans.
Dunkin' Donuts taps Eli Manning to promote app.
El Chico expands rebranding program.
GoDaddy steps away from jiggle marketing.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2013 08:02 PM
Sure, there's the Michigan-Notre Dame game on Sept. 7 and plenty of other rivalries duking it out on the football field this season, but another major tilt will be going on this season as well: Nissan vs. Hyundai.
Both brands are staking claims to having a disproportionate presence in marketing around college football this year, and it marks the third season of major emphasis for both Hyundai and Nissan. Nissan continues to focus on its marketing partnership with the Heisman Trophy while Hyundai's embrace of the game is more general.
"Our goal has been to position Nissan as the premier partner of the Heisman Trophy and also owning the space in college football," Vinay Shahani, director of marketing communications and media for Nissan USA, told brandchannel. In the past, Nissan has been "the biggest advertiser on ESPN for college football."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 09:27 AM
Bill Ackman gives up stake in JCPenney.
Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear Smartwatch for Sept. 4.
Billabong reports record loss and writes down value of brands.
Adobe has some bold plans for online ad business.
Amazon exposes cloud's dark lining with weekend outage.
Apple plans to launch trade-in program for iPhone, report says.
AT&T sees its commercial straight man leap to Saturday Night Live.
Best Buy will see founder unload some of his shares this year.
Chevrolet does deal with University of Texas Longhorns for Silverado.
Cracker Barrel revamps menu with lighter dishes and rejects activist investor's third attempt to join its board.
Ford ramps up output of Fusion to challenge Toyota's Camry.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 15, 2013 01:45 PM
Those cute TV ads for Ford using the La Linea stick-figure character to tout the superior fuel economy of its C-Max Hybrid—and poke fun at the Toyota Prius v—take on a whole new cast now that Ford reportedly plans to announce a mea culpa and reduce the stated fuel-economy ratings of the C-Max.
The restatement, expected tomorrow, according to Automotive News, will comprise "a rare and potentially costly move that Ford spent months feverishly working to avoid," as the publication put it. Cutting the ratings would be "a blow to Ford's carefully cultivated image as a fuel-economy leader, a core tenet that CEO Allan Mulally has emphasized since joining the company in 2006."
Not to mention, well, embarrassing. Ford has run into a number of problems lately of similar magnitude that clearly have dinged its brand if not its sales, including owner frustrations with operating its MyFord Touch telematics system and logistics and quality problems with some key vehicle launches including the Ford Escape SUV and the new Lincoln MKZ sedan.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 14, 2013 09:22 AM
Taco Bell reveals Fiery as third flavor of Doritos Locos Tacos.
Coca-Cola defends safety of artificial sweeteners in new ad.
Adidas gains on Nike in China by balancing performance with fashion.
AB InBev disputes MillerCoors claims about superiority of Coors Light cans.
AOL apologizes over public firing of Patch director.
Absolut launches artistic redesign of flavored-vodka range.
Amazon hires for a secret N.J. warehouse, perhaps signaling New York grocery delivery.
Apple is pushed on buyback by Carl Icahn after he reveals $1.5 billion stake.
BMW uses humorous new campaign to boost diesel.
Chipotle faces shortage of "responsibly raised" meat.
Craigslist costs local newspapers $5 billion in classified-ad revenue.Continue reading...