Posted by Dale Buss on April 3, 2012 05:55 PM
Spring has sprung for U.S. auto sales, and it continues to create a fresh-smelling outlook: Sales in March were up by about 13 percent compared with a year ago, and most prognosticators now are looking for a strong second quarter as well.
Concerns loom about the second half, including how rising gas prices eventually might wear down a strengthening U.S. economy, and the wild card that election season always brings. But for now, auto-brand executives and analysts are crediting a brightening economy, easing credit, and even warmer-than-expected spring weather for a buying mood among American consumers.
The biggest driver: higher gasoline prices — for now, at least — are spurring purchases of more fuel-efficient compact cars. "Everyone, regardless of segment, places fuel economy top of mind, today," said Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. sales, on a conference call today.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 12, 2012 06:05 PM
In the latest example of an auto brand tapping the deep veins of nostalgia to peddle their wares, a most unlikely marque is going to that well beginning today: Toyota and its new Prius c hybrid.
Riffing on Hasbro's The Game of Life classic board game, the brand's "The Game of Life with Prius c" campaign demonstrates key vehicle attributes in what Toyota calls a "fun and approachable way" that aims to appeal to first-time car buyers with a more reasonably priced and smaller version of Prius, whose price premiums — compared with a similarly equipped and -sized conventional vehicle — have certainly deterred many a buyer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2012 03:13 PM
Toyota and Honda must be concerned about the here and now after their abysmal 2011s. They're still attempting to get back to par with their global venicle inventories and have been gearing up new products they're hoping will begin attracting Americans back to their brands this year.
But at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, their necessary preoccupation with sales numbers for this month and next month didn't prevent Toyota and Honda executives from turning toward the mid- and long-term future as well.
For Toyota, that meant, among other things, a heavy reckoning with its trailblazing investments in hybrid automobiles and a rather candid assessment of American consumers' continued ambivalence about electrified automobiles. The brand showed off its new Prius c — the "c" in the name is for city — a small entry in its growing "family" of Prius hybrids, and bowed its NS4 concept plug-in hybrid that should see the market around 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 15, 2011 09:04 AM
American Airlines cuts flights, says not related to bankrupcy filing.
Avon looks to a new CEO to reinvigorate culture.
Chevron and Transocean encounter government suit over oil spill in Brazil.
Clint Eastwood signs on for E! reality show with his family.
Facebook tests coupon ads; embraces clean power following Greenpeace pressure.
First Solar scales back as demand for solar panels slumps.
Ford promises its new hybrids will leap ahead of Prius in fuel efficiency.
Groupon gets faint IPO support from its underwriters.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 21, 2011 03:57 PM
Yahoo! demonstrates its dynamic new ad format for the tablet, Living Ads by Yahoo!, in a campaign with Toyota to bring the Prius to life "like no other ad experience."
In a bid to enhance the rollout out of Yahoo! Livestand to the iPad earlier this month, Alex Linde, Yahoo’s director of mobile and tablet advertising, tells Adweek that the living ads were created in the same vein as aspirational magazine glossies but also try to borrow from the best of television.
“What TV does best is the branding aspect, it engages me, it gets me aware. But then what online does well is . . . it lets me build a preference and drive some action,” Linde said. “If I was to take an interactive TV ad and put it into a magazine, that would be a phenomenal advertiser experience.”
Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2011 08:55 AM
P&G delays $1.5 billion sale of Pringles.
Facebook struggles to get advertisers to pay for exposure.
Los Angeles Dodgers are for sale, owner Frank McCourt confirms.
Apple sees new CEO Tim Cook make it his own.
Bank of America blinks and withdraws $5 debit-card fee.
Bloomberg Businessweek ad campaign pitches personality.
BMW may see profit lead evaporate as new 3 Series eats into earnings and is topped by Mercedes-Benz in U.S. October sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2011 02:04 PM
Nissan has only sold about 16,600 Leafs, the manufacturer’s electric-car offering, since they came on the market in December 2010, according to the Associated Press. But that doesn’t mean that the company is going to make fewer of the autos.
With the Leaf just voted Europe's EV of the Year, the AP reports that Nissan “is aiming to be the world's No. 1 in green cars, targeting cumulative sales of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles with alliance partner Renault SA of France.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2011 02:13 PM
Toyota's U.S. sales in September dropped by 18 percent compared with a year earlier, as the U.S. Big Three, Nissan and Hyundai posted sales increases. But company sales executives are portraying that performance as the darkness before the dawn. They are vowing that this month and the rest of the quarter will finally bring a sales turnaroiund in Toyota's American showrooms that the company has been hoping to see for the last few months.
"We're saying 'down sales' one last time for September," Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota division, said on a conference call with reporters. With all of Toyota's Japanese and North American plants back at full production for the first time since the earthquake and tsunami in March, he said, "our flow of vehicles is rapidly increasing, and so are our inventories."
But more than that, Carter noted, Toyota's brighter days are being driven by an influx of new products — "our biggest barrage of new products in more than 25 years," as he put it.
Another bright spot for Toyota this week — it retains its position as the #1 automotive brand on Interbrand's Best Global Brands list, where it's holding steady at #11 this year, even after the body blow dealt by Japan's earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.Continue reading...