Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2013 01:51 PM
Volvo is still getting its act together three years after its acquisition from Ford by China's Geely Motors. But when it does, the Swedish brand contends, it'll become a major industry force once again—and it'll do so based on its performance in the United States and China despite its European heritage.
Under new CEO Hakan Samuelsson, a career-long trucking executive, Volvo plans to boost global volume from a projected 450,000 units a year to around 800,000 before 2020, according to an Automotive News account of the chief's recent meeting with journalists. That will include boosting US sales to beyond 100,000 a year within the next few years; Volvo's US peak was 139,000 sales in 2004.
Through October, Volvo sales in America dropped 7 percent in an overall market that has risen 8 percent, the publication noted. That happened despite a new, integrated US marketing campaign launched earlier this year which differentiates Volvo aficionados from buyers of other luxury and near-luxury brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 12, 2013 11:06 AM
There were bound to be some difficulties in mashing up a new owner from China with the quintessential Swedishness of Volvo when Geely bought the brand from Ford three years ago. And now, as Volvo tries to re-acquire momentum in various markets—and to take off in China—some of those differences are coming to the fore.
In one corner, according to reports by Reuters and the International Business Times, is the brand's new owner, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Billionaire owner Li Shufu believes that China, where more than 1.2 million premium cars were sold last year, is key to Volvo's future and its goal of doubling Volvo's annual global sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2020.
He wants Volvo, according to Reuters, to come up with a large premium sedan aimed at China's newly wealthy who tout their social status with Audis, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz models.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2013 09:19 AM
Apple gets license to run phones on China Mobile network.
Aramark files for $100 million IPO.
Target launches digital movie and TV service.
BMW fights SUV lead by Mercedes-Benz with new "Boss" version of X5.
Best Buy CEO sells shares to help pay for his divorce.
Four Seasons Hotels starts a food truck.
GM sees Canada sell part of its stake in automaker and perceives opportunity in Europe to push Chevy as value brand.
Gevalia launches frothy K-cups.
Google Play gets a new logo.
Home Depot is accused of shaking down suspected shoplifters.
Intel unveils line of chips for wearable devices.
J&J reintroduces Tylenol.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 August 27, 2013 09:27 AM
Bill Ackman gives up stake in JCPenney.
Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear Smartwatch for Sept. 4.
Billabong reports record loss and writes down value of brands.
Adobe has some bold plans for online ad business.
Amazon exposes cloud's dark lining with weekend outage.
Apple plans to launch trade-in program for iPhone, report says.
AT&T sees its commercial straight man leap to Saturday Night Live.
Best Buy will see founder unload some of his shares this year.
Chevrolet does deal with University of Texas Longhorns for Silverado.
Cracker Barrel revamps menu with lighter dishes and rejects activist investor's third attempt to join its board.
Ford ramps up output of Fusion to challenge Toyota's Camry.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 09:33 AM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says he will retire within 12 months.
QVC debuts second channel, QVC Plus.
Yahoo courts Katie Couric for video series.
Airbnb seeks to create "movie" entirely with Vine.
Al-Jazeera America makes debut with few national advertisers.
American Airlines and US Airways get states' support in merger bid.
Audi reveals new A8 family.
BMW will unveil X5 plug-in hybrid, featuring all-wheel drive, at Frankfurt show.
CBS cuts carriage deal with Verizon.
Coca-Cola hired private eye to snoop in Honest Tea trademark case.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 23, 2013 10:47 AM
The Shanghai Auto Show is well on its way, with exciting announcements and reveals rolling in, but already it's hard to imagine any attendee out-crazying China's Hebei Zhongxing Automobile Co. Ltd or "ZX Auto."
For starters, the automaker presented a "Libyan Model" of its Grand Tiger truck, complete with rear heavy weapons mount, Arabic stenciling and an accompanying photo gallery showing the model in action against Muammar Gaddafi. That was just the beginning.
A Taiwan-mainland joint venture, ZX Auto has manufactured SUVs and light trucks for the last decade, largely aiming its 100,00-plus-a-year output at the export market. While the brand has sought entry to developed nations, ZX's customers have largely been developing economies in South America, Africa and the Middle East. In 2011, several thousand ZX trucks found their way into the hands of the Libyan rebels who outfitted them with all manners of combat equipment from rocket launchers to heavy machine guns.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 07:14 PM
Volvo owners always knew they were different from other consumers. Now, the brand is launching a new, integrated advertising campaign in the US that explicitly appeals to the non-materialistic, minimalist ethos which differentiates Volvo aficionados from buyers of other luxury and near-luxury brands.
In the process, Volvo brand stewards hope to finally begin turning around the sales of a franchise whose US results peaked a decade ago, when the company was owned by Ford, and have kept on sliding over the last few years as Ford lost interest and then, in 2010, sold Volvo to Geely, a large Chinese automaker, for $1.5 billion.
Volvo owners' "interpretation of luxury is different but very real," Tassos Panas, vice president of marketing and product planning for Volvo of North America, told brandchannel. "They're more into life's experiences, and more into a Scandinavian simple design [of vehicles] versus a lot of clutter. They are very much luxury customers and love luxury products, but they don't feel a need to impress others."Continue reading...