Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2014 09:43 AM
BBC unveils all-star version of God Only Knows, 17 years after iconic Perfect Day promo.
Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy announces he's stepping down.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he's "done" in 2018.
NFL owners meet to discuss domestic violence handling. (More here.)
Whirlpool launches "Every day, care" tagline and campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2014 01:34 PM
Europe still isn't a great place to sell cars these days, but it remains a wonderful stage for touting the industry's latest advancements. So automotive brands have been enthusiastic participants at the Paris Motor Show this week, even though they've turned glummer about the sales outlook for the host continent.
Among the European brands that have made significant "reveals" of new and concept vehicles and features at the Paris auto show are Lamborghini, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, while outsiders such as Toyota, General Motors and Ford also have used the exhibit to indicate their future direction in Europe and elsewhere.
The fastest new vehicle unveiled in Paris this week? That's an easy contest: the 910-horsepower Asterion LPI 910-4 plug-in-hybrid supercar concept vehicle that was introduced by Lamborghini. It uses a 5.2-liter V-10 engine from the brand's Huracan model as well as three electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to achieve the zoom. But as sleek as it looks, this concept can still go only about 31 miles on electric power alone.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 1, 2014 05:33 PM
A year ago, global auto executives all knew they'd be in Paris for the auto show this week. But they didn't think they'd be feeling so gloomy in the City of Lights.
A once-nascent European auto sales recovery has sputtered, casting a pall over the Paris Motor Show, where brands nevertheless plan to dazzle one another, automotive journalists, enthusiasts and rank-and-file Parisians with glittering new models and confident projections of new technologies, new designs, new colors and other features of coming and prospective new models.
After sales contracted for six straight years to a two-decade low in 2013, European carmakers believed earlier this year that a true recovery was taking hold. But sales in the market grew by only 1.8 percent in August over the year earlier, the smallest monthly increaese this year, and fourth-quarter deliveries are expected to decline by 0.3 percent.
"The outlook for Europe on the whole is darkening," Stefan Bratzel, an automotive expert at tyhe Center of Automotive Management in Germany, told Bloomberg. Dimmer prospects "make me wonder if European car demand will manage to be positive for the year as a whole."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 29, 2014 09:03 AM
Starbucks launches first global brand campaign with “Meet Me at Starbucks” interactive YouTube short film.
Japan’s SoftBank reportedly in talks (since cooled?) to buy the DreamWorks animation studio.
Facebook bid for WhatsApp clears EU hurdle.
Yahoo, AOL pressured to cut a deal and join forces.
Instagram reportedly blocked as China/Hong Kong protests impact businesses and cancel holiday fireworks.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Advertising Week kicks off in New York.
Air France ends strike, vows to speed up Transvania low-cost airline.
Alibaba pays $459M for stake in Chinese hotel tech firm.
Amazon seeks to avert holiday snafus and faces opposition by literary lions over e-book prices.
American Apparel names temporary CEO.
Apple sees smuggled iPhone 6 phones go begging in China as EU presses company on ill-gotten tax benefits in Ireland, Apple Watch goes on display (for one day only) at Colette during Paris Fashion Week, and Apple and Pearson lose $1B common core schools contract in Los Angeles.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 24, 2014 09:21 AM
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and other soda makers vow to cut calorie consumption by 20 percent in ten years.
Home Depot sees fraudulent transactions surface in wake of data breach.
Walmart begins offering low-cost checking in bid to take on banks.
Clorox, subject of takeover chatter, doesn't plan to mimic P&G, as Colgate-Palmolive sparks takeover speculation and Pfizer held takeover talks seeking tax inversion.
Apple pitches "privacy" of new iPhones as users report bending issue and iOS 8 app crashing, as company acquires Prss digital magazine startup.
MORE BRAND NEWS
Air France quits low-cost Transavia unit.
Amazon tops customer-experience study and launches #AmazonWishList on Twitter while keeping unions at bay in Germany.
Beer?! joins the one-word app brigade.
Benjamin Moore partners with the CFDA to promote fashion designers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 23, 2014 02:27 PM
From Park Avenue to Madison Avenue, New York is home to the largest concentration of high net worth individuals in North America. So why wouldn't an ambitious US premium brand want to be headquartered there?
That's exactly what Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen was thinking when he persuaded the General Motors brain trust to allow him to break the brand free from its Detroit roots and move the global Cadillac headquarters to NYC's tony Soho district. GM announced today that it's expanding Cadillac into a separate business unit as part of a "strategic realignment" for its flagship brand that also includes the creation of a Cadillac "leadership council" headed by de Nysschen.
"There is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York," de Nysschen said in a GM press release. "Establishing our new global headquraters in Soho places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living. It allows our team to share experences with premium-brand consumers and develop attitudes in common with our audience."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2014 02:10 PM
Google and automakers are pursuing somewhat different visions of what "self-driving cars" mean, but each side is going all-out to execute their strategy, and the end result is likely to be mostly autonomous vehicles within several years.
Each week brings new developments that seem to bring this new horizon forward but at the same time sharpen the distinctions between how the tech giant is approaching this vast new arena of commercial possibility and how the auto industry's traditional players are.
This week, for example, Audi and Mercedes-Benz as well as Google received the first permits issued by the state of California for testing of self-driving cars on all of the Golden State's roadways. The permits are designed to help keep California the inarguable bellwether of new automotive technology as it has been for decades in prompting improvements in fuel economy and emissions controls.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 05:13 PM
Cadillac's new boss is making no bones about his plans for elevating the General Motors luxury brand in its competition with BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz: Don't cheapen the brand by discounting prices in the face of weaker sales, and make the right changes on a steady basis so that Cadillac eventually can attract the higher-end clientele it is still seeking.
That's the basic strategy Johan de Nysschen has been laying out since he left the worldwide helm of Infiniti to take the worldwide helm of Cadillac last month, promising the most power over the brand and its products that's ever been held by a Cadillac chief.
"We cannot deny the fact that we are leaving behind our traditional customer base" with such a strategy, de Nysschen vowed to Automotive News. "It will take several years before a sufficiently large part of the audience who until now have been concentrating on the German brands will find us in their consideration set."Continue reading...