Best Global Green Brands 2014

auto motive

As Alfa Romeo Comes Ashore, Fiat Chrysler Success May Be Just Beginning

Posted by Dale Buss on September 2, 2014 03:49 PM

Chrysler keeps outselling expectations in the US market, is preparing to bring luxury marque Alfa Romeo back to America, and is getting its financial house in order. It's a good time to be globetrotting Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

He'll have to keep globetrotting too. Next month the new company is planning to officially launch by incorporating in the Netherlands, being headquartered in London and having its main stock listing in New York.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler's cash cow will be headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich.—Chrysler. Just five years after Fiat took the carcass of Chrysler from the US government and revived it, Marchionne and his lieutenants, their employees and dealers continue to enjoy a winning streak represented by 52 straight months of rising sales. Chrysler and other automakers report their August sales tomorrow.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Google, Sprint, Ugg Australia and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2014 09:32 AM

TOP STORIES

Google moves to target kids under 13 and builds its own content and services.

Saab owner seeks partner to secure brand's future.

Samsung buys US air-conditioner company Quietside in smart-home push.

Sprint dives into wireless-industry price war, as it promised, and rolls out new B2B brand, as owner SoftBank girds for US cellphone market.

Ugg launches first global brand campaign.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Aereo faces broadcaster opposition to a cable license.

Aeropostale names new CEO and promises narrower loss.

American Apparel narrows losses but troubles remain.

AstraZeneca says US clears it in heart-drug probe.

BlackBerry prepares for device-less future with formation of new business unit. 

Burger King gets pecked by tweets for Chicken Fries.

CBS goes big in promos for Thursday Night Football.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Google and Barnes & Noble, Chrysler, Budweiser and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 7, 2014 09:28 AM

TOP STORIES

Google rewards encrypted sites in search as it joins forces with Barnes & Noble to take on Amazon same-day delivery, now expanding to six more cities. Amazon, meanwhile, found to play favorites with brands in new L2 omnichannel retail report.

Bank of America nears $16 billion to $17 billion settlement with US Justice Department on pre-crash mortgage misconduct.

Deutsche Telekom rejects Iliad bid in the wake of failed Sprint/T-Mobile deal. 

Budweiser hypes Bud Light Party Town content campaign with Whatever, USA news reports with The Onion.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne takes shot at robust supplier profitability as company taps comedians for Dodge Dart campaign.Continue reading...

auto motive

In Ford, Ram Quarrel Over Towing Capacity, Size—and Price—Matters

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 11:13 AM

Rivals are getting testier in the most profitable segment of the US auto industry as recent sales increases level off and new technology threatens to upset the old order. So they’re arguing over size—and size matters when it comes to pickup trucks.

Ford and Ram are in the midst of a quarrel over whose really big pickup, the Ram 3500 or the Ford F-450, can claim “best-in-class” towing for its segment. Ford claims the F-450 4x4 Crew Cab can haul 31,200 pounds, about 1,200 pounds more than Ram claims for its behemoth. But they disagree about whether this is an apples-to-apples comparison because the Ford F-450 may be in a larger class than its competitors.

GM and Toyota are sitting out this tiff, but they’ve also promoted towing capacity—Toyota most notably a couple of years ago by having a heavy-duty Tundra pickup tow the US Space Shuttle Endeavor down a highway in California. GM, on the other hand, has it's own issues: the brand's most popular pickups—the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra—are also the most recalled vehicles this year.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Red Lobster, Ford, Wendy's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 29, 2014 09:12 AM

TOP STORIES

Darden CEO steps down as new Red Lobster owner takes brand upmarket.

Ford raises prices for new F-150 pickup with aluminum body as Ram battle intensifies.

Los Angeles Clippers are cleared for sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

McDonald’s Japan head apologizes for meat scandal as McDonald’s US deemed “joint employer” in NLRB ruling.

Facebook pushes mobile users to Messenger app as Instagram tests (name-challenged) Snapchat rival Bolt.

MORE BRAND NEWS

BMW unveils cheaper, suitcase-sized EV charger.

Cadillac brings wireless smartphone charging to some 2015 models.

CNET announces hybrid paywall model.

Dirt Devil and Hoover owner fires up marketing.

GM remains mired in dealership-closure issues in Canada, hurting sales.

Jimmy Dean looks #beyondbreakfast.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Bose, Volkswagen, Virgin America and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 28, 2014 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Bose sues Beats as Apple buyout sees approval in Europe. 

McDonald’s sees China food supplier order full recall.

Volkswagen marketing chief quits as company eliminates position. 

Zillow acquires Trulia for $3.5 billion.

Virgin America files for IPO.

MORE BRAND NEWS

21st Century Fox would invite Time Warner representation on board in a takeover.

Aston Martin revives Lagonda badge for powerful new sedan.

Audi cuts prices of spare parts in China and plans plug-in hybrid diesel to help cut CO2 emissions.

Blue Moon sales are falling as craft brews take hold.

Burger King depends on young CEO to keep brand fresh.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Fiat Chrysler Plan Meets With Skepticism—Especially Making Chrysler a Star

Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2014 05:17 PM

Of all the grand plans that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne wove for investors and journalists as he revealed the company's new five-year plan at FCA headquarters in Michigan this week, the most ambitious—some might say fanciful—may be his objective of restoring Chrysler as a mainstream rival to the biggest brands in the U.S. auto industry.

For an industry that likes to play its car(d)s close to the vest, it takes guts to reveal your playbook—and even more determination from the top to the lot to execute those plans.

So analysts, investors and other stakeholders listened closely as Marchionne not only laid out his own plans to stay at the helm until 2018 but also spelled out specific goals for each of the brands within the newly merged entity. While skepticism ran high, his most achievable goal may be his plan to make a truly global competitor out of Jeep, a repositioning that already was underway and that will be amplified and accelerated by the product plans Marchionne detailed.Continue reading...

auto motive

#FCA5: Marchionne Unveils 5-Year Plan for Fiat Chrysler Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2014 10:01 AM

When Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hatched the company's first five-year plan in 2009, he was cut some slack because most constituencies were just happy Chrysler was still in business after going bankrupt.

But while sales for Chrysler and its brands in the U.S. have recovered far beyond the hopes of most of its executives, employees, and dealers at the time, the company has performed far less impressively where it's going to count most for the long term: molding a family of solid and differentiated brands, each with product lineups that not only justify each marque's existence but stand out on the vehicles' respective merits as well.

So anticipation is high for Marchionne's analyst day briefing today at Chrysler group HQ in Auburn Hills, Michigan (follow the conversation with #FCA5).

In addition to officially revealing the new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corporate logo, Marchionne and his brand leaders will outline how FCA plans to transition from successful survivalist to transformed titan and ensure a long-term future in a global auto business that continues to get more competitive, detailing specific goals and sales targets across its marques.Continue reading...

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