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brand news

In the News: Deutsche Telekom, The Masters, Toyota and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 11, 2013 09:16 AM

In the News

Deutsche Telekom raises bid for MetroPCS.

The Masters begins at Augusta National today with Tiger Woods again among the favorites.

Toyota and other Japanese automakers recall 3.4 million vehicles over Takata airbag.

Applebee's led first-quarter social media engagement by restaurants.

Barnes & Noble rebrands self-publishing platform PubIt! as Nook Press as it continues to invest in future of Nook brand.

Justin Bieber backs a debit card for teens, from parents.

ConocoPhillips suspends Arctic drilling plan.

Daimler says worsening Europe puts its 2013 profit outlook in doubt.

Dell plans to double sales outlets in China.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Aereo, iPhone 5S, Billabong and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 9, 2013 09:03 AM

In the News

Aereo TV streaming service from Barry Diller faces showdown with News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch, who threatens to take FOX cable-only, as Intel cooks up its vision of future of TV.

Apple, which can now trademark iPad mini in U.S. and captured 74% of mobile app revenue in Q1, reportedly will release new iPhone 5S in "at least" two screen sizes.

Billabong in talks to sell out for $300 million.

Airbus juggles order book to meet record demand for A320neo Jet.

AT&T joins Boeing in backing U.S. cyber bill facing privacy fight.

Audi promotes in-vehicle Wi-Fi in new TV campaign.Continue reading...

car talk

BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz Focus on US and China To Win Global Horse Race

Posted by Dale Buss on April 8, 2013 02:38 PM

BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi each badly wants to be the brand at the top of the global automotive-luxury mountain, and each has a strategy for attaining or retaining that pinnacle over the next few years.

But the main action won't be their old stomping grounds in Europe; the sales picture there, even for premium brands, just keeps getting worse as the eurozone slips further into recession.

Instead, it'll be their performances in China and the United States that largely determine which of the three German-bred brands might gain enough traction to put the other two firmly in its rear-view mirror by the end of the decade.Continue reading...

auto motive

Auto Brands Look to Woo Millennials with Entry-Level Luxury

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...

mobile commerce

Target Jumps on Mobile Incubator Trend with Launch of Retail Accelerator

Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 26, 2013 05:26 PM

This is not your grandfather’s retail environment.

In fact, with Target joining the likes of Nike, BMW and Mondelez in launching a mobile incubator/accelerator and funding developers to come up with apps that will take shopping into the future, it might seem more like your grandkids’. Target announced a contest earlier this month called “Co. Labs & Target Retail Accelerator,” that dangles a $75,000 prize to whoever develops the best new mobile experience for the company.

Target is looking for “transformative, technology-driven” ideas that should incorporate at least one of the company’s four priorities:Continue reading...

car talk

European Auto Brands Go Abroad to Fight Floundering Market

Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2013 12:17 PM

Dragged down by a still-worsening automotive recession in their home continent, European automakers are pulling out all the stops in efforts to retain and create sales momentum—with some new initiatives in Europe and many in the still-growing markets outside of it. Meanwhile, Lexus is planning a global brand campaign in May as it finally puts a disastrous 2010 and 2011 behind it.

German automakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are jockeying not only to attempt to stay above the fray in a troubled European market but also to advance their individual designs on global supremacy. VW vows to become the world's top automaker in the next several years, while its Audi brand also is battling with BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand for worldwide luxury-sales leadership.

One possibility for Volkswagen is to add still more automotive brands to its existing stable of 12, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. Last year, VW completed its purchase of Porsche and added Italian motorcycle maker Ducati.Continue reading...

auto motive

GMC, Lexus Are Tops for Dealership Satisfaction

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 04:43 PM

General Motors brands and Lexus were the big winners when J.D. Power & Associates announced its highly regarded annual awards for dealership-customer satisfaction based on its survey of thousands of American automotive consumers.

Three GM brands—led by GMC, and also including No. 3 Buick and No. 4 Chevrolet—placed in the top five in Power's prestigious designation. No. 2 Mini and No. 5 Volkswagen rounded out the top five. Three Chrysler Group brands—Jeep, Ram and Dodge—finished at the bottom.

In the luxury arena, Lexus once again won the day—for the fifth straight year—followed by yet another GM brand, Cadillac; Jaguar; Acura; and Infiniti. BMW and Mercedes-Benz placed below average, while Land Rover gained the most of any luxury brand from last year.Continue reading...

auto motive

Toyota Moves American Executives into Key Management Positions

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2013 03:24 PM

Putting a few bad years behind it, Toyota is now pivoting to create a more formidable global company to battle General Motors and Volkswagen for the pinnacle of the worldwide automotive industry over the next several years.

Chief Akio Toyoda has overhauled his top management for the second straight year, strengthening his control over the company founded by his great-grandfather. The most significant hallmark of this wave of change is that Toyoda has greatly fortified the influence that Americans will have on the company and its brands, including recruitment of a former General Motors executive to the Toyota board and the promotion of some U.S.-based Toyota veterans to greater responsibilities for the whole company.

The changes will ensure that Toyota's accelerating tilt toward the U.S. market—particularly in light of the challenges in its home market and Europe—will continue. Already the company has indicated that it plans greater investment in U.S. production for the North American vehicle market and beyond.

Continue reading...

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