Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 07:02 PM
The machinery may be creaky and the model basically a rehash, but two and a half years after Sweden produced what could have been its last Saab automobile, the brand rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, Sweden, today.
Newly owned by Chinese company National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought Saab out of bankruptcy last year, the venerable automotive brand presented its new Aero 9-3 sedan as the first in a series of new cars it will produce, according to the Associated Press.
"It's very similar" to the old 9-3 sedan that Saab stopped making in April 2011, Mikael Oestlund, a spokesman for the Hong Kong-based new owners, according to the BBC. "We acquired the assets in August last year. Our focus has been to get the co-operation up and running with 400 suppliers and ensure the facilities were working."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 09:33 AM
American holiday shoppers produced gloomy numbers for retailing's big weekend.
Saab rolls out first sedan under new owners.
Zappos taps former Vogue editor, Andre Leon Tulley, to be artistic director for its couture section.
Amazon floats idea of delivery drones.
Apple's iPhone 5S outsold the 5C three to one in the UK.
Bank of America to pay Freddie Mac $404 million.
BMW and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will review small-engine alliance.
Burger King imitates Big Mac with Big King.
Chrysler boosts test-drive marketing.
Cracker Barrel sees new healthful menu drive sales.
Esprit plans to launch new fashion brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 09:17 AM
Whole Foods Markets shaves price points.
Nike celebrates 25 years of "Just Do It."
Saab gets ready to re-start production.
Abercrombie & Fitch profit drops by one-third and outlook dims.
Bill Ackman explains himself.
American Greetings turns to One Direction.
Coca-Cola loses North America marketing exec.
Eli Lilly now is subject of bribery investigation in China.
Farmers Insurance partnership with NASCAR pays off.
Fox News fires top communications executive.
GM keeps refreshing Opel models to boost brand.
HP can't stem slide in PC sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2013 09:16 AM
Lululemon CEO steps down.
Mondelez to launch coffee pods for rival Nespresso machine.
Google cuts illegal drug site search ads and videos.
Adidas sued by church over Adizero trademark.
American Airlines unveils post-merger top management team.
Apple allows iTunes Radio users to pay to avoid ads.
Boeing sees no jet bubble.
CBC apologizes for botched national radio rebranding.
Citibank could face $7 billion loss on currency swings, analyst says.
Comcast beefs up in-home Wi-Fi.
Dole Food gets buyout offer from CEO.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 26, 2013 12:45 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Apple's slow(er) sales... Quake relief PR... Japan's sales woes... Electric vehicle hopes... Rolls Royce driving... Retail trends... China's oldest scissors maker... Ai Weiwei "snap bracelets,"... liquor ad increase... Boo-hoo Yahoo... Caterpillar... Airbus... Airline outfits... Desperate hotels... A giant rubber duck... and more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2013 05:24 PM
The question of adding brands has become a hot topic for auto companies these days as they revisit strategies from before the Great Recession. Fiat, Chrysler and Volkswagen are among car makers that have become bullish on new brands while General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Hyundai are among competitors that haven't moved in that direction.
It didn't seem that this would be an issue as recently as three years ago. GM famously shed Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Pontiac (a few years after killing Oldsmobile) as it shrank down for the 2009 bailout, while Ford finally deep-sixed Mercury after decades of keeping it on life support. Going lean with brand architecture, the thinking was, would be the future as automakers focused on globalizing product platforms and marketing to keep things simpler, more cost-efficient and, they argued, less confusing to consumers.
Though lately, some players have been throwing that logic out the window—seemingly to good effect.
Chrysler, for instance, spinned off Ram from Dodge, began adding Fiat to its brand stable in the U.S., created an SRT performance sub-brand and announced that, soon, Fiat will be bringing Alfa Romeo to the United States again. Meanwhile, it has been bulking up its other brands with new products, such as Jeep, which just announced that it is resurrecting the venerable Cherokee nameplate for 2014. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 16, 2013 05:32 PM
Despite being passed around to a few different owners over its lifespan, 64-year-old Saab has been around long enough to build up a strong brand. It went bankrupt back in 2010, but now is expected to be turning out a new breed of cars in the next few years thanks to the new ownership of Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), a partnership between China's National Modern Energy Holdings and Japan's Sun Investment.
NEVS will be turning Saab into an electric car, which likely won’t be on the market for a few years. But when it does, something will be gone from Saab that's survived all the other changes: the griffin on its logo.
The mythical creature that has the body and tail of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle will still be found on Saab trucks and planes, which are not owned by NEVS and will remain with their current manufacturers. For now, a griffin-less logo will represent the company.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2012 05:04 PM
Don't cry for Suzuki. The company's exit from the U.S. market simply eliminates its exposure to one of the world's most competitive markets for automakers, where Suzuki has been beating its bumper against a wall, and allows the Japanese company to focus on domestic and emerging markets where it's doing quite well, thank you.
In fact, the brand won't entirely disappear in America, Bloomberg notes: "Suzuki will stop the sale of new automobiles in the U.S., though it will continue offering motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and boat motors."Continue reading...