Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 09:31 AM
JCPenney launches first holiday campaign under new CMO.
P&G and other detergent makers face new federal alarm over pod safety and kids.
Apple is probed for alleged tax evasion in Italy.
3M still searches for growth.
Best Buy warns of promotional pressures.
Buick could use a flagship model, GM CEO says.
Campbell Soup sees earnings slashed.
Daimler open to selling stake to Chinese partner.
Discovery Communications allows streaming via Time Warner Cable.
Dropbox seeks $8 billion valuation.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2013 03:42 PM
Lincoln is introducing today the second vehicle that is meant to redefine the brand, the MKC crossover-utility. And when it becomes available next summer, the new nameplate will have an eye toward not only the burgeoning US sales in that segment but also toward Lincoln's debut in China.
The Ford luxury brand has faced tough going in a reinvention that went public a year ago because its new MKZ sedan ended up with launch delays after a huge advertising outlay, including Super Bowl commercials, had set up the introduction nicely. In part because MKZ has only recently gained traction, Lincoln brand sales so far this year slipped 3 percent in a market that grew by 8 percent.
But Ford has positioned Lincoln's comeback as a long-term proposition that would ride not only a brand with new relevance in the US luxury market but also—and more important—four completely new vehicles over the course of a few years. Lincoln also took today's MKC launch as an opportunity to launch a series of features it calls Lincoln Experiences, a basket of tech-based amenities that the brand also hopes will roll back some of the consumer angst about MyLincoln Touch.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2013 05:02 PM
Ford hasn't made enough progress in solving the operational frustrations that come with its MyFord Touch system, according to Consumer Reports' new, closely watched vehicle-reliability ratings. The Ford Motor Company manufactures five of the ten "least reliable cars" on Consumer Reports' latest New Car Auto Reliability survey. The problem, increasingly, looks like a morass that could tarnish the Ford and Lincoln brands.
Rivals GMC, Audi and Volvo, in comparison, seem to have figured out how to please American buyers and leapt significantly in the just-released survey by the influential consumer watchdog. Each of those marques captured three of the top-10 spots in the just-released survey—with Volvo jumping 13 places to seventh among all brands selling in the US, GMC leaping three places to finish ninth and as the top-rated domestic brand, and Audi climbing four places to finish fourth overall as the top European manufacturer in the survey. What's more, every model from each of those brands scored better than average.
Japanese brands—Lexus, Toyota and Acura—captured the top three spots in the survey, which was conducted by CR's National Research Center and, based on subscribers' experiences with 1.1 million vehicles, is believed to be the largest of its kind. However, the Toyota Camry, the bestselling car in America, is no longer #1. As Consumer Reports commented, "The Japanese dominance in car reliability is showing cracks."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2013 01:41 PM
General Motors is still trying to work out major pieces of its new global brand architecture, namely: What does it do about Buick? And Opel? And what does it do about Europe?
As they continue to elevate Chevrolet and Cadillac as truly global brands, GM execs seem to be melding Buick and Opel to some extent on a second tier of brands. A new Reuters report said that the company already is moving to more closely integrate global product development between Buick and Opel in a way that would cut costs—yet allow each to refine and extend its brand identity and unique products.
That could mean some new European-bred cars under the Buick marque for consumers in the United States and China, the biggest geographic markets for the GM premium brand. And similar Opel-branded vehicles would be built and sold primarily in Europe, the news service said.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2013 09:21 AM
Starbucks is making China its No. 2 market and declares guns as unwelcome but doesn’t ban them.
YouTube says you'll be able to watch videos offline soon.
Unilever and Nestle rank as biggest improvers in Oxfam sustainability report.
AT&T and America Movil move to expand in Latin America together.
Adobe is boosted by cloud sales.
Apple sees brands bet big that it will be able to scale iTunes Radio rapidly as it releases iOS 7 today.
Audi plans to revive auto production in Brazil.
BMW begins i3 production.
Cracker Barrel sees activist investor Biglari press for a special dividend.
Fiat presses forward with efforts to acquire Chrysler stake from UAW and plans to produce more Fiat-brand models.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2013 10:43 AM
China's luxury auto segment has been slowing, but the world's largest auto market still is beckoning as a No. 1 priority to any serious premium brand. And increasingly, China's own luxury carmakers are targeting the rest of the world with their own wares.
Mercedes-Benz, for instance, has outlined a turnaround plan for China where it badly trails its chief rivals, Audi and BMW. Mercedes plans to launch about 20 new or upgraded models in China over the next two years and also vows to greatly boost domestic manufacturing in China, which avoids a slew of expensive tariffs and taxes that are levied on imported cars.
Meanwhile, Geely, the Chinese company that acquired Volvo, plans to take the bold step of exporting cars that it jointly develops with the Swedish brand to the United States in 2016. That step would come a decade after the company first expressed such a goal.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 4, 2013 03:38 PM
Just as the conventional wisdom in the auto industry used to be that Toyota's quality always would be unparalleled, the thought has been that Ford would never catch General Motors in US sales volume.
But these days, just as Toyota's grip on the quality crown is being threatened by some other auto makers, Ford has come within a whisper of beating GM in sales. In May, on the strength of a 14 percent year-over-year sales gain, Ford came within 6,000 units of besting its long-time larger rival in US sales, as GM posted just a 3 percent relative gain.
"It's not necessarily saying that GM's performance was bad, becasue it wasn't," said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmuncs.com, according to The New York Times. "It was just that Ford was better. Ford has a balance in their portfolio, while GM is a little more hit or miss."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2013 11:39 AM
Hellmann’s mayonnaise turns 100 this year and its owner, Unilever, is celebrating with the brand’s biggest marketing campaign ever.
"It's part of the culinary heritage of America," said Brian Orlando, Hellmann's senior marketing director, the Associated Press reports. "After 100 years, we decided it was worth going out and revisiting this brand and what it is today."
Unilever is shelling out for TV, print and digital ads for its “Bringing the Best Together” campaign as well as a Facebook page and YouTube videos “featuring chef Mario Batali cooking up Hellmann's recipes, a Smartphone app and a September event that will include the world's largest picnic table,” according to AP.
Batali has been asked to create 30 recipes that incorporate Hellmann's to be shared via Facebook and the app. The TV ads, however, will focus on founder Richard Hellmann’s New York deli where the brand was first sold.Continue reading...