Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2012 05:05 PM
It's been at least three years since there's been such an intense global focus on the health of the U.S. auto industry. In 2009, of course, the question was whether General Motors and Chrysler would survive. Today, the question is: Can U.S. auto sales stay robust enough to ride on top of gathering economic gloom domestically and, in the process, actually help keep the global economy from swooning?
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne believes in the prospects of the U.S. auto market enough that he is considering producing more vehicles in Italy for export to the United States. That could help Fiat ease its excess domestic production as the European market slumps while helping U.S. Fiat dealers who are struggling with too few models amid the brand's rocky return to the American market.
June U.S. auto sales data released today underscored why auto executives still exude confidence about the market even as other indicators on the American economy, such as the unemployment rate and overall manufacturing growth, prove increasingly troubling. June auto sales overall were the best in five years and ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 14 million units, a pace in line with most forecasts of the full-year sales total, which would be more than 10 percent above last year's total.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 06:11 PM
Twitter releases Google-inspired transparency report, showing US in the lead for user data requests, as site loses NYC legal battle over privacy of user data.
Microsoft writes off $6.2 billion spent on aQuantive, "slows" Internet hopes.
AMC Networks stock rises on AT&T settlement.
Anderson Cooper, CNN's biggest star (finally, bullied?), comes out of the closet.
Apple loses bid to block HTC smartphones from the U.S.
Barclays scandal that cost chairman his title may spread as CEO remains "defiant."
Best Buy considers in-store competitor price-streaming.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2012 05:05 PM
It only makes sense that auto brands should figure heavily in the new Interbrand Best Global Green Brands ranking, with eight of the top 21 brands. Car makers and their petrol partners arguably contribute more to environmental stresses around the globe than any other industry — but they're also working about as assiduously as any business to offset some of that decidedly un-green footprint.
Toyota ranked No. 1 in Interbrand's new list not only among auto companies but among all companies. That's impressive but hardly surprising for a company that essentially invented the hybrid for the mass market and has taken its biggest steps over the last year, of any in the last decade, to extend the Prius franchise and make it more available and more attractive (with some creative marketing moves) to more consumers around the world.
By introducing a less expensive and smaller alternative to its regular hybrid, Prius c, and almost simultaneously a more capacious one, Prius v, Toyota has opened the possibilities of hybrid ownership to millions more people who are attracted by the sterling Prius brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 26, 2012 08:44 AM
Toyota tops Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Green Brands report.
News Corp. considers splitting company in two, spinning off publishing assets, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft acquires Yammer for $1.2 billion to take on Oracle and Salesforce with new cloud-based services.
Nissan rises on fast recovery from disasters and plans $1B China auto plant as CEO Ghosn remains Japan's highest paid exec and automaker turns to Facebook to launch five new models.
Facebook names first woman to board — COO Sheryl Sandberg — and pulls so-called stalker app while creating uproar by changing all users' email addresses to facebook.com.
Google I/O news on Wednesday expected to reveal Google and Sony taking on cable and satellite operators with voice-controlled YouTube TV box, as Google prepares to battle Apple with discount tablet.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 21, 2012 06:05 PM
Audi of America gets all its vehicles from Germany, so the U.S. arm's contribution to the sales success of Audi AG depends in large part on how well it markets an increasingly renowned product line. Partially in recognition of how he helped make Audi one of the hottest brands in the U.S. luxury segment, Audi of America's CMO, Scott Keogh, became its new CEO this week.
The company announced Keogh's ascension within a few weeks of the news of the sudden departure of Johan de Nysschen, Audi of America's CEO for eight years. De Nysschen left suddenly for a position of global oversight of Infiniti, the Nissan-owned luxury brand, that is looking for more sales worldwide — and has targeted Audi customers for some of them.
At the same time, Keogh has had a less-recognized role in setting Audi's product strategy for the increasingly important U.S. market.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 15, 2012 11:47 AM
While Audi and Toyota racers will be battling it out with one another in the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France on Saturday, the two companies — along with several other automotive marques — also will be waging an important battle of the brands.
Audi has managed to win 10 of the last 12 runnings of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923. Now, the 24-hour race that is televised in some 60 countries and rivets millions of automotive and racing fans to their TVs is revving up for tomorrow's 24-hour event.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 14, 2012 09:01 AM
LVMH acquires storied French luxury brand Arnys.
Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs, sells Vertu luxury brand.
GM plans to close Opel factory in Germany.
Amazon and Google rush to wrap up new gTLD domain-name suffixes with ICANN.
Applebees sees franchisee's new marketing campaign diverge controversially from corporate brand.
Aung San Suu Kyi warns investors off Myanmar's state oil and gas firm on historic visit to Europe.
Coca-Cola renews sponsorship of BET's 106 & Park.
Facebook launches real-time bidding for "Marketplace" ads.
GE promotes new refrigerator in online-only video.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...