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 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 November 19, 2013 09:31 AM
JCPenney launches first holiday campaign under new CMO.
P&G and other detergent makers face new federal alarm over pod safety and kids.
Apple is probed for alleged tax evasion in Italy.
3M still searches for growth.
Best Buy warns of promotional pressures.
Buick could use a flagship model, GM CEO says.
Campbell Soup sees earnings slashed.
Daimler open to selling stake to Chinese partner.
Discovery Communications allows streaming via Time Warner Cable.
Dropbox seeks $8 billion valuation.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 13, 2013 09:06 AM
Starbucks ordered to pay Kraft $2.7 billion in losing coffee-package dispute.
Johnson & Johnson said to agree to $4 billion settlement over hip implants.
Unilever opts for sustainable palm oil.
Bloomberg says news service didn't kill articles on China.
Boeing vote tests union strength.
Chrysler brand chief leaves to head Maserati marketing.
Fantex delays "IPO" of injured NFL star.
Foxconn sees profit growth slow sharply.
Girls Gone Wild is up for sale.
GM shifts international headquarters to Singapore from Shanghai.
Hulu wants to be offered with pay-TV bundles.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2013 05:02 PM
Ford hasn't made enough progress in solving the operational frustrations that come with its MyFord Touch system, according to Consumer Reports' new, closely watched vehicle-reliability ratings. The Ford Motor Company manufactures five of the ten "least reliable cars" on Consumer Reports' latest New Car Auto Reliability survey. The problem, increasingly, looks like a morass that could tarnish the Ford and Lincoln brands.
Rivals GMC, Audi and Volvo, in comparison, seem to have figured out how to please American buyers and leapt significantly in the just-released survey by the influential consumer watchdog. Each of those marques captured three of the top-10 spots in the just-released survey—with Volvo jumping 13 places to seventh among all brands selling in the US, GMC leaping three places to finish ninth and as the top-rated domestic brand, and Audi climbing four places to finish fourth overall as the top European manufacturer in the survey. What's more, every model from each of those brands scored better than average.
Japanese brands—Lexus, Toyota and Acura—captured the top three spots in the survey, which was conducted by CR's National Research Center and, based on subscribers' experiences with 1.1 million vehicles, is believed to be the largest of its kind. However, the Toyota Camry, the bestselling car in America, is no longer #1. As Consumer Reports commented, "The Japanese dominance in car reliability is showing cracks."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 9, 2013 08:47 AM
Yum! Brands profit drops a staggering 68 percent.
Brooks Brothers plans to open restaurant.
Samsung unveils phone with curved screen but sees US back Apple instead in portion of IP dispute.
A123 Systems shifts to focus on supplying batteries for hybrids, not EVs.
Fazoli's debuts fast-casual concept.
Ford tests driverless-car parking.
Fox News sees new primetime anchor Megyn Kelley draw large, older audience.
Jamba Juice downgrades outlook.
Jimmmy Choo co-founder ready to launch another blockbuster brand.
Jos. A. Bank bids for Men's Wearhouse.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 06:39 PM
Happy days just keep happening for the US auto industry. Surprising even many in the business, the American car-buying recovery keeps on going and may even be acquiring new momentum. GM is among the outfits that are raising their expectations for full-year 2013 US sales to around 16 million units from the 15 million to 15.5 million vehicles most were predicting until now.
August sales reported today provided the latest boost of confidence and good news for auto brands. Overall sales rose by 17 percent over a year earlier, to the annualized selling rate of 16.1 million units, a statistic that reflects seasonal adjustments and came in at the highest point since late 2007. The industry hit a low of 10.4 million units for all of 2009 and has been climbing by double-digit percentages each year since then.
Individual brands mostly had banner performances in August. Subaru sales rose by 45 percent over a year earlier, with the brand topping 40,000 units for a month for the first time ever. Honda sales rose by 27 percent, Toyota by 23 percent, and Nissan by 22 percent. The Detroit Three chimed in with gains of 15 percent for GM and 12 percent each for Ford and Chrysler.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 29, 2013 10:46 AM
Nearly every auto brand in the US market has been trying to find ways to keep up with the boom in sales, from adding manufacturing capacity in America to raising prices. But no other brand is in the fix that Subaru is in.
Well, actually it's not a fix: Subaru is selling a lot more cars these days than it used to, but the brand is so small, with just 2.6 percent of the US market, that leadership of the brand and parent Fuji Heavy Industries is in a quandary about how how to respond to the brand's mini-boom.
Subaru's US sales were up by 27 percent for the year through July, more than three times the rate of increase for the market overall, and it faces shortages of its newest models. So while Subaru keeps gaining American fans with its rugged, all-wheel-drive vehicles and quirky advertising about "love" for its cars, it may not actually be able to sell them anything.Continue reading...