Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 12:42 PM
California always has been the most important US auto market, but the Golden State now is beckoning in significant new ways. And auto brands are trying to address all of them as the media preview and then public exhibition near at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Tokyo is running its own biennial Motor Show this year almost in parallel with LA's, but the annual California platform is of greater overall interest to the global industry— especially to the Detroit Three carmakers, each of whose fortunes has picked up lately in the bellwhether state market. In fact, none of them are appearing at the Tokyo Show.
California also has taken on greater importance as the world's premier market for electric vehicles and other "green" auto technologies, both because of the early-adopter mentality of Californians and because of the state's stiffest-anywhere emissions laws, both of which compel carmakers to debut their most advanced vehicles there first. As the home of Silicon Valley, California also is taking on a greater role as automakers increasingly outfit vehicles with digital mobile technologies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 8, 2013 09:18 AM
FDA bans artery-clogging trans fats.
Adobe sees accounts compromised in big security breach.
Mattel gives Barbie doll a proportional makeover for China market.
Boeing warns it could build 777X jet outside of Washington State.
CBS admits errors in 60 Minutes report on Benghazi.
Fiat offers car-sharing service in hard-hit Milan.
Groupon is pinched by Gmail change and posts wider loss.
Jaguar Land Rover boosts profit for parent Tata Motors.
Kohl's adds emotional brand spots to holiday mix.
Marriott International buys African hotel chain.
McDonald’s sales growth remains sluggish.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 5, 2013 10:05 PM
Hurdler Liu Xiang is no longer the only Chinese Olympic superstar to embarrass his sponsors. Add to that list, Olympic gold medal winner and swimming mega-star Sun Yang.
Last week, the celebrity athlete and London pool sensation was taken into custody after a traffic accident involving a Porsche SUV. That's embarrassing enough for his sponsor, Hyundai. But it's worse. It seems, given all that time in the pool, Sun Yang never got around to getting a driver's license. Now Hyundai is the focus of Chinese authorities too and laughing consumers. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 09:14 AM
Apple opens Arizona plant with 2,000 workers.
Frito-Lay tests chocolate-covered potato chips.
Johnson & Johnson pays $2 billion fine for false marketing of drugs.
AOL boosts ad sales but sees profits hurt by local news services.
Allen Edmonds sells to private-equity firm.
BlackBerry abandons sale process.
Christie's starts out new auction season badly.
Coca-Cola predicts personalized beverages using genomics.
DirecTV profit rises on more subscribers.
Dodge expands Ron Burgundy campaign to entire brand lineup.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2013 03:51 PM
Porsche owners may not be able to floor their able machines on the Pacific Coast Highway—not legally, anyway. But at a new Porsche Experience Center taking shape in suburban Los Angeles, and another one in Atlanta, Porsche fans will be able to engage in their every driving fantasy.
Pedaling their cars to maximum acceleration. Learning to skid through corners. Maneuvering on simulated ice and rain-slick pavement. Up to 100 drivers a day—and 500 for special occasions—are expected to be able to test their driving mettle when the adult amusement park opens on a 53-acre site in Carson, Calif., by the end of 2014.
"The driver is in the center of our strategy," Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars of North America, told USA Today. "You will not find this anywhere else." Well, besides Atlanta, and at other Porsche Experience Centers in Silverstone, England; Leipzig, Germany; and (soon) near Beijing.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2013 03:58 PM
It isn’t clear if Ludacris is lining up for a new 2015 Cadillac Escalade, but apparently Donald Trump is. And General Motors’ enthusiasm for the first major overhaul of its iconic chiseled and luxuriously appointed mammoth SUV in seven years even has executives considering ways to extend the Escalade franchise beyond a single vehicle, as good as it might be.
GM revealed the redesigned Escalade in New York at an appearance that included Trump’s endorsement as well as company marketers eager to highlight the sleeker exterior, interior wood trim, and quieter and larger inside of the new model.
Prices of the current Escalade start at $63,475, and GM is looking for a 10 percent boost in sales of the new version beginning next year after Escalade sales have gradually declined over the last several years.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 25, 2013 03:52 PM
Luxury auto brands are well aware that their target audience is the upscale, discriminating buyer with disposable income—the same buyer, in fact, who is attracted to the high-end fashion world and who wants an increasingly personalized, exclusive retail experience.
That's why the latest trend has luxury auto brands expanding into retail—even putting their brand names on non-automotive luxury products.
Bugatti, for example, unveiled an exclusive apparel and accessories collection last week at Milan Fashion Week consisting of two lines, "Ettore Bugatti," carrying an "EB" monogram, and "Extreme Performance," carrying the Bugatti logo. Included in the collection is an exclusive blue crocodile skin handbag for women, the shape of which is said to be inspired by the Bugatti's front grille. Bugatti will open as many as 35 exclusive boutiques around the globe in the next five years to sell its collection. In addition, Bugatti introduced "Tailor Made/Bespoke" for customers only—an exclusive program in which custom-made branded products are created to a customer's specifications.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2013 05:36 PM
Some luxury auto brands tack back and forth between exclusivity and accessibility, depending on the needs of the moment, their long-term strategies or a combination of both. Mercedes-Benz, for example, is about to introduce its low-end new CLA sedan in an attempt to open itself up to aspirational—but not necessarily high-net-worth—Millennials.
Now Cadillac seems to be taking a page from the same playbook with a new fall campaign under the theme "Work Hard. Be Lucky," according to Advertising Age, the first work by its new ad agency, Rogue.
"The messaging will lean on American values, such as the notion that everyone can create his or her own destiny," the publication said. "Cadillac will be painted as a more-accessible car than it has been."Continue reading...