Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2013 12:27 PM
Chrysler the company remains on a roll. November sales were up 16 percent in the US market, the company's 44th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The new Jeep Cherokee is a Truck-Utility of the Year finalist, and Ram trucks are taking full advantage of the pickup boom. Even Dodge muscle cars are selling well as gasoline prices moderate, and the Dodge Dart compact finally has gained some traction after a year.
Chrysler the brand? Meh. The cars made famous by Eminem and "Imported From Detroit," the Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans, have fallen off a cliff sales-wise, with year-to-date sales off 17 percent for the larger 300 and sales only flat—with a 24 percent drop in November—for the 200.
Meanwhile, the other member of the Chrysler-brand lineup, the hoary Town & Country minivan nameplate, is enjoying something of a sales renaissance, with sales up by 10 percent for the year and a whopping 70 percent in November alone.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 21, 2013 06:43 PM
The stream of brand news out of the Los Angeles Auto Show has never been stronger. More carmakers are using the exhibition as a launch platform. And while the vehicles and features they're choosing to introduce have a decidedly green tint, that's the way the industry is headed anyway.
As the event heads into the public-exhibition phase, which is expected to draw record attendance, the Los Angeles Auto Show today saw Honda Accord named "Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal, an increasingly sought-after designation in an era when alternative powertrains comprise much of the cutting edge of the auto business. The addition of hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of Accord helped seal the deal. Two diesel-powered cars, Audi A6 TDI and BMW 328d, were the other finalists.
Honda also drew interest with its sleek FCEV hydrogen-fuel-cell concept car. And executives announced that the 2014 Honda Civic compact will come equipped with a continuously variable transmission, a technology that smooths shifting as the car accelerates and saves fuel as well as boosts driving enjoyment.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 30, 2013 07:25 PM
When the US auto industry reports September sales on Tuesday, the overall numbers aren't likely to look that great because of a glitch in the industry calendar compared with a year ago. But pickup truck sales are likely to continue to post strong gains over 2012.
In fact, the scenario unfolding now for the Detroit Three and, to a lesser extent, Toyota and Nissan is one that brand executives could only imagine coming out of the Great Recession: a very solid American auto-market recovery led by spectacular and presumably long-term gains in sales of their highest-profit vehicles. But that's exactly what is happening.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 09:33 AM
McDonald's draws praise for healthier-food initiative.
Barilla CEO apologizes for anti-gay comments.
BlackBerry loses nearly $1 billion in quarter as customers are urged to be cautious about company's future.
Allstate spreads "Mayhem" across social media.
Apple issues update for iOS 7 to fix lock-screen bug.
Bloomberg News shuffles management.
Chrysler fixes problem that had stalled output of new Jeep Cherokee.
Dove marketing execs take home 'Grand Brand Genius' award at Ad Week for viral 'Sketches' ad.
Dunkin' Donuts launches t-shirt design contest.
EA settles suit but pauses NCAA game over outcome.
Eight O'Clock Coffee launches TV spots after seven-year hiatus.Continue reading...
start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 02:44 PM
The US pickup truck market keeps coming back, so brands are looking for every which way to gain an edge. Nissan, for example, has just turned to co-branding, while General Motors no doubt will be making a big deal about the stellar performance of its models in federal safety tests.
Both Nissan and Toyota mostly idled over the last few years in trying to improve their standing in the full-size pickup truck market as a downturn in the segment reflected the Great Recession and the toll it took on many important vertical markets for the vehicles, especially housing construction and contracting. But now that housing has bounced back and pickup trucks are outselling the general vehicle market again, the Japanese brands are re-focusing on a segment that long has been dominated by the Detroit Three.
Toyota, for instance, is building a new version of its Tundra full-size truck. And Nissan has struck a deal with Cummins to provide a turbodiesel engine in the 2015 calendar year. It'll be a 5.0-liter V-8 based on a design unique from the turbodiesel engine that Cummins long has supplied for the heavy-duty versions of Ram pickups, which is a 6.7-liter inline-six cylinder.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2013 09:32 AM
CVS and Walgreens ban Rolling Stone over Tsarnaev cover.
Coca-Cola ad banned in UK over exercise claims.
Ryanair to sell advertising on planes.
Dell putting off vote today on founder's buyout proposal.
ArcelorMittal scraps steel project planned for India.
CBS markets new show using American flags as mouth gags.
Carrefour gains ground in France.
Eli Lilly plans to freeze wages to cope with patent cliff.
Ford makes inroads on Toyota in California.
Formula One CEO indicted for bribery.
Fox tries for comic-book comeback with movies.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2013 07:48 PM
Back in the good old days of the American vehicle market, the Detroit Three makers would sell 1.5 million pickup trucks a year. They're only on a pace to return to about two-thirds of that level this year, their best in a long while—but it sure feels like old times the way buyers are returning to the cabs of trucks. In June, makers sold 26 percent more large pickups than a year earlier.
Chevy's campaign for launching a new version of its Silverado is right in keeping with that back-to-the-future mentality. Its new "Strong" campaign that launches in Texas—followed by a national rollout on July 15—tugs at heartstrings and recalls some of the best truck advertising that Chevrolet has done over the decades, such as its long-running "Like a Rock" positioning.
"What we're trying to do is emotionalize a category that has gotten pretty rational," Tim Mahoney, Chevy's CMO, told MarketingDaily.com. "It's as much a brand campaign as a Silverado campaign."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 19, 2013 03:14 PM
The influential J.D. Power & Associates ranking of Initial Quality of auto brands in the US is out today, and the big winners are General Motors and some of its brands, as well as Porsche, Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler.
The main losers in status, defined by the exhaustive study of quality perceptions among American consumers, are BMW, Ram, Mazda and Nissan. Ford and Lincoln brands basically broke even on a combined basis compared with their reduced status from a year ago.
Porsche came out as the top-performing brand overall, rising from third place in 2012. But for the first time, GM could be considered the top-performing company overall in the closely watched study, placing two brands—GMC and Chevrolet—in the top five of the Initial Quality Study (IQS) released today. The annual survey measures the number of problems on 2013 cars and light trucks that buyers report after 90 days of ownership, and so it's a crucial look at very current consumer perceptions and marketplace realities.Continue reading...