Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 02:02 PM
Saab owners worldwide demonstrated their love for the brand — and fury at its demise — with more than 100 "We are Many, we are Saab" rallies in 42 countries (including Paris, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Montreal, Canada) over this past and upcoming weekend. The Wall Street Journal explains:
"Even though the company entered bankruptcy protection late last year and has largely ceased operations, its cars still have a following of clubs and enthusiastic individual owners. A lot of these folks are planning to meet at dealerships, mechanic shops, restaurants and other spots today, tomorrow and next weekend in what could be a final show of support for Saab before the lights go out for good.
Tim Colbeck, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, or SCNA, says that while the car maker’s U.S. operation is winding down, its fate is not completely clear. The parent company is still corresponding with potential buyers, and it is possible that the company could, at some point, resume building cars. The chances of that are slim, however."
That slim sign of hope was echoed by former Saab CEO Victor Muller at one of the events this past weekend.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 5, 2012 12:06 PM
You'd think they were electing a new pope, the way BMW and Mercedes-Benz brand executives stretched out the resolution of their mano a mano battle for leadership in U.S. luxury autos for 2011, as a tantalized global automotive press and many others wondered what the holdup was.
The two teasing German brands finally released their December sales results this morning, about 24 hours later than usual for a monthly sales report and many hours after every other brand in the U.S. market released their December and year-end sales reports on Wednesday.
And when the black smoke actually appeared, the expected winner became the confirmed winner: BMW edged out an aggressive December effort by Mercedes-Benz to sell more of its brand of vehicles in the United States for all of last year, with BMW edging out MBUSA's 2011 tally by 247,907 to 245,192.
Inventory-challenged Lexus — the US luxury winner for each of the last 11 years — finished a distant third, with 198,552 sales, and a promise to compete for the title again in 2012.
Overall, the Ford brand was the volume leader in the U.S. market last year, with 2,057,210 sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 4, 2012 06:01 PM
Less than 24 hours after Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney attempted to out-wait each other — and the results — before Romney was designated winner of the GOP Iowa caucuses by a razor-thin margin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz played their own waiting game on Wednesday, delaying the announcement of their 2011 sales figures in a stand-off to see which one could claim the U.S. luxury sales crown.
Which brand sold more vehicles in the U.S. market during 2011 and therefore claimed, for the first time, a segment sales crown that Lexus had owned for more than a decade? BMW entered December more than 1,000 units ahead of Mercedes-Benz, but the latter had closed a bigger gap during November with a furious surge of sales promotions and incentives. Auto industry observers are projecting that BMW will take the luxury sales crown for 2011 until the companies release the actual figures.
The rest of the industry closed out 2011 in relatively fine fashion, riding a surge of stronger U.S. sales that slowly built beginning in the third quarter and allowed the auto business to turn about 13 million sales for the year. That was up about 10 percent from a year earlier.
Considering all that the brands had to fight through during the year — including $4-a-gallon gasoline, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand, and consumers made queasy by global fiscal turmoil from Brussels to Washington, D.C. — brand executives were pleased with that performance.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2012 09:11 AM
Altria launches tobacco rights website.
Apple sees its devices dominate mobile ordering as brand plans books announcement and sets Red Friday sales event for Asia.
Avery Dennison sells office and consumer products business to 3M.
Axe woos young males with interactive comic book.
Bentley plans luxury SUV.
BMW sees 2012 premium growth.
BP sues Halliburton over Gulf spill, includes anti-BP protesters in new ad.
Bridgestone kicks off Super Bowl campaign at NHL Winter Classic.
Brisk ties into Star Wars 3D theatrical launch with mobile campaign.
Cadbury adopts vertical shelf-ready packaging.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 21, 2011 11:58 AM
Here comes the messy ending. Now that existence has become a purely short-term phenomenon for Saab, all the bad ramifications are kicking in.
At this point the victims include not only the brand, the Dutch-owned company, Saab's Swedish workers and its dealers in the United States and round the world, but also any American consumers who are brave enough to buy one of the remaining approximately 2,400 Saab units still available in the U.S. market.
After GM balked at an 11th hour China deal to save the brand, Saab announced this week that it has suspended warranty coverage on all vehicles sold henceforth in North America — and that they're for sale merely "as is," with liquidation expected and the end to a storied automotive brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2011 09:02 AM
Amazon creates towns of seasonal warehouse workers to fulfill holiday orders.
Apple gets patent-infringement victory over Google in Android case as Google sets to announce a solar-energy venture.
AT&T finally kills T-Mobile bid, giving it few strategic options to challenge Verizon and leaving future of Deutsche Telekom in the U.S. in doubt.
Bi-Lo wants to merge with Winn-Dixie and take it private.
Conoco gets ground-breaking permit for drilling in Alaska.
EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic game sees fan frenzy for today's launch.
Facebook points to future with design of its new headquarters complex.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2011 08:50 AM
Al Gore promotes "sustainable capitalism."
Apple aims to reimagine TV and how we consume media, while graphic novel imagines Steve Jobs' design thinking.
AT&T's dream to acquire T-Mobile's US operation may be over.
Barclays enables charitable giving with the tap of a card.
BT files patent suit against Google.
Disney and Atlanta Braves are involved in a trademark dispute.
Facebook sues a different Mark Zuckerberg, sees profits hit $1B ahead of IPO.
Goldman Sachs rises as finance powerhouse.
History Channel struggles at the top.
Jersey Shore's Snooki sued by branding partner.
Morton's steakhouse chain finds a buyer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 14, 2011 09:02 AM
Anheuser-Busch InBev tries a tea-lemonade "light alcohol" drink for Michelob.
Ann Taylor woos younger women by featuring stylish students.
Avon replacing Andrea Jung as CEO.
Best Buy finds that deep discounts sacked profits.
Canadian Tire buys house in Toronto just for webisodes.
China plans to impose duties on U.S.-imported cars, ratcheting up trade tiff.
Chrysler picks up sales and financial momentum while parent Fiat treads cautiously.
CNN rehires Christiane Amanpour, who will continue to contribute to ABC News.Continue reading...