Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2012 09:01 AM
Airbus and Boeing walk fine line about global airliner demands.
Apple finds some iPhone users souring on Siri as it may be gearing up to producer smaller iPad.
Audi opens first digital showrooms.
Barclays apologizes in new campaign for Libor scandal.
BSkyB prepares to launch Now TV.
Clorox targets Hispanics with Fraganzia line of cleaning products.
Digg founder revisits missteps that led to company's fall.
Ford funds parties featuring Escape to combat hunger.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 25, 2012 12:57 PM
The good news for the auto industry is that product quality in the traditional sense — fit and finish, the integrity of components, the lack of mechanical problems — is at an all-time high. The bad news is that the industry seems to be botching the transition into a new era in which "quality" largely is being defined by how automakers perform as manufacturers of high-tech connectivity platforms for which consumers have the same (Sirius) expectations of intuitive and smooth use as they do for smartphones.
The latest JD Power report shows that new cars are being made with fewer defects than ever, though tech complaints are on the rise. While consumers perceived fewer overall problems with new cars in JDP's latest annual survey of initial quality, there was an increase in the number of complaints about hands-free in-car connectivity technologies. The problems centered on the now nearly ubiquitous voice-recognition systems that are supposed to help drivers communicate relatively effortlessly with the outside world while curbing distraction.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 21, 2012 08:51 AM
McDonald's UK will introduce Mad Men-inspired uniforms at London 2012 Olympics venue.
Kia Soul scores in J.D. Power auto quality study while Lexus repeats as #1 overall and Ford and Chrysler slip in key automotive rankings.
Starbucks to open first tea-only store under Tazo brand.
Facebook Credits system is being phased out for new payment platform, while IPO attracts Capitol Hill inquiry, "like" button migrates to third-party mobile apps, and unique visitors drop.
Apple fined in Australia for misleading iPad advertising.
BlackBerry-maker RIM downsizes workforce.
Cabot to buy Norit for $1.1 billion.
Cannes Lions announces winners for creative effectiveness, media, mobile and outdoor.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2012 08:50 AM
Microsoft will announce Monday a plan to sell tablets under its own brand, in a challenge to Apple's iPad, while Amazon reportedly plans to launch cloud music service in July to rival iTunes.
Kirin Holdings agreed to pay $200.9 million Australian dollars (US$203.4 million) for the shares it doesn't already own in Australian boutique brewer Little World Beverages, as Japanese companies expand offshore to combat flagging domestic demand.
Dr Martens owners seeks up to £200m from potential buyers.
AirAsia plans to follow Virgin model with brand extensions.
Android relaunches user interface.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 4, 2012 05:33 PM
Auto-industry observers didn't have to wait long to find out what Johan de Nysschen was going to do after announcing on Friday that he was leaving the helm of Audi of America for another job, following a stellar six years of advancing the cause of the German premium brand in the U.S. market.
Today, Nissan announced that De Nysschen will become SVP of the Infiniti luxury brand worldwide. The 52-year-old De Nysschen will assume the post on July 1st and will be based at Infiniti's new global headquarters in Hong Kong.
"We have exciting and ambitious plans for improving the Infiniti brand including introducing new models in all markets where premium customer demand exists," stated De Nysschen's new boss, Nissan EVP Andy Palmer. The choice of De Nysschen to head the Infiniti brand is a savvy move.
Nissan's luxury marque has been faring OK over the last few years and got through the supply disruptions of last year in better shape than Toyota's Lexus or Honda's Acura brands. Infiniti introduced the new JX seven-passenger SUV this year, which has gotten off to a solid start, and Inifniti sales overall in the U.S. market are about 7 percent above a year earlier.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 25, 2012 02:02 PM
BMW this week launched a concept called Future Retail with the grand opening of its first new BMW Brand Store in a luxe pocket of metropolitan Paris this week. It also signalled that the brand is stepping up investments in its dealers and retail network to better equip them to win BMW's worldwide fight with Audi for luxury-vehicle sales leadership — and in the United States, with Mercedes-Benz for upscale-segment supremacy.
The Brand Store aims to be more than 'just' a brand experience or halo outlet. Much more important to BMW strategically will be how it executes the Future Retail concept in its dealerships worldwide. Among other things, the brand plans to increase the number of contact points with customers and prospects, increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels, and enhance the retail experience "at all touch points."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 23, 2012 11:01 AM
Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and Audi have had hot hands lately in terms of strong vehicle introductions, rising brand strength, and market-share conquests in the United States. And in the view of executives at automakers and top-tier suppliers in the U.S. market, those four brands — and two companies — have the best chance of adding to their share gains in the next five years of any marques in the industry.
In fact, the consensus of the 200 executives interviewed recently by Booz & Co., the consulting firm, wasn't even close: 78 percent of them figured Hyundai and Kia, which are owned by the same Korean chaebol, was most likely to pick up share, and 72 percent of them tabbed VW and Audi, owned by Volkswagen AG.
The two companies were far ahead of all other automakers in the poll. Ford, with 38 percent; BMW/Mini, 31 percent; Toyota/Lexus and Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat, 28 percent, were the next finishers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2012 06:01 PM
Toyota's robust financial report today sends a message to all rivals, foreign and domestic, that the company intends to compete vigorously once again for worldwide dominance.
The company now expects its profit for the current fiscal year, which ends in March, to more than double to 760 billion yen, boosted by new models and growth particularly in the U.S. market.
Toyota's reasons for optimism include strong reception for its new 2013 Camry, launched last fall, as well as robust demand for its Prius family of hybrids, which include versions smaller and larger than the original that have been launched recently. Prius models now outsell every other Toyota nameplate but Camry, including the previous No. 2 model, the Corolla compact.Continue reading...