Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2012 04:06 PM
As the globe tuned in to watch the Formula One race last Sunday in Bahrain — which went ahead despite the slew of politicians, human rights groups, and even F1 fans who argued against it — fans of the sport are questioning what kind of hit the F1 brand has taken as a result of the controversy, particularly as F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is rumored to be planning a return in 2013.
The controversy stems from the months of violence and political unrest that have snarled the country. Protesters called the race “a publicity stunt by the country's rulers to make the nation seem more unified than it actually is,” according to CNN.
Even though last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled due to a spate of violence, F1 officials went ahead with the 2012 race, which saw the ouster of a team of a British journalists (a TV crew for Channel 4) who were covering the anti-government protests hours before Sunday's race. Reporters for CNN, Reuters and the Financial Times were denied entry altogether.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2012 06:22 PM
Volkswagen AG sent shockwaves a couple of years ago with its bold declaration of its scheme for world domination, with a stated goal to become the world's #1 automaker by 2018. Then it began taking steps to do just that.
Today, the company's luxury brand sent a similarly strident message. The Volkswagen Group's Audi division confirmed rumors that it wants to take on take on BMW and go wheel-to-wheel with its cross-nation rival for global supremacy by buying Ducati Motor Holdings — and its premier motor bikes with names such as Street Fighter, Monster and Diavel — for an estimated $1 billion.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 9, 2012 05:02 PM
As a marker for the U.S. auto industry, the New York International Auto Show traditionally has battled for second place with those in Chicago and Los Angeles. The annual Detroit show in January is the most important platform.
But at this point in the recovery of the American auto market, it's hard to believe that any platform anywhere could be more important than the New York show that, after press previews last week, is now in its full splendor for the TriState automotive public. The exhibition is providing consumers with the first glimpses of some new models that could occupy increasingly important positions in the market over the next several months as automakers seek a return to sales levels of 14 million or more for 2012, which would make up roughly half the distance between their Great Recession trough and the halcyon days of 17 million sales per year a decade ago.
Beyond the splashes made by a new version of Chrysler's Viper, and the greeting for Nissan's competition-winning Taxi of Tomorrow for New York City, here are some other brand highlights of the show:
Acura: Honda's luxury brand is trying to become relevant again in the most tried-and-true way: launching a flurry of new products. The RLX sport-sedan concept on display at NYIAS will soon go into a production version that will be on sale early next year and replace Acura's slow-selling RL. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 4, 2012 09:01 AM
AT&T faces possible union walkout.
Ally promotes financial literacy.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz reap luxury-sales gains in China.
Burger King plans to go public again in surprise move, selling $1.4 billion stake.
Coca-Cola remains UK's top grocery brand.
Delta counters industry gloom with late-March surge.
Facebook countersues Yahoo in patent spat.
Fisker debuts new plug-in as manufacturing plans hang in doubt.
Groupon hit with shareholder suit.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 27, 2012 09:01 AM
A123 Systems hit with recall of batteries for electric cars.
Apple plans to make greater investment in China as CEO Tim Cook meets with Chinese officials.
AT&T and Verizon threatened by freebie services fueled by Clearwire.
BMW tabs 1.3 million cars in massive recall.
Chipotle recycles old billboards for Earth Day.
Coca-Cola supports Michigan tourism campaign.
Corona evolves beach campaign.
Enterprise Products and Enbridge plan rival pipelines to Keystone XL.
Google warms to advertising its new services.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 20, 2012 05:04 PM
First Europe, now China: Before you know it, global automakers could be depending on the United States as the great growth hope of the worldwide auto market once again.
It appears that auto sales in China are slowing down this year even more than they were originally forecast to slow down. Factors include the disappearance of lucrative government-supplied incentives to the Chinese to buy automobiles, a slowing economy, and the same rising fuel prices that also are crimping consumers in America and everywhere else. In the luxury segment, especially, 'very robust' demand has become just 'robust' demand — and is catching up with supplies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 20, 2012 09:02 AM
Amazon acquires Kiva Systems for warehouse automation.
Apple sold 3 million new iPads in first 3 days, while legal handling of iPad China trademark dispute questioned, while app developers favor iOS platform.
AstraZeneca abandons experimental antidepressant.
Bed, Bath & Beyond deals with radioactive scare.
Cheesecake Factory revamps menu.
Chevron faces troubled waters after spill off Brazil.
Disney writes down John Carter as flop.
GM faces labor push-back in Europe.
Gap opens first store in South Africa.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 02:01 PM
With conference tournaments dominating this week in men's college basketball, it means that official March Madness is just around the corner. And when the NCAA men's tournament begins next week, brands are going to be more ready than ever to take advantage. That's because March Madness has become a multifaceted, extended marketing "season" much as the NFL Super Bowl represents earlier each year.
In fact, in some ways, March Madness arguably has become an even more effective tentpole marketing platform than the Super Bowl.Continue reading...