Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2013 08:02 PM
There remain obstacles in doing it, but there's no denying the strong rush of foreign upscale automakers that are announcing plans to expand production in the United States these days.
Toyota is expected to confirm on Friday morning that it is moving production of its Lexus ES from southern Japan to Georgetown, Ky.; Nissan is looking to build a second US plant for its Infiniti brand, which already makes the JX SUV in Tennessee; and German luxury automakers each in their own ways are expanding American manufacturing footprints that used to be mainly afterthoughts. Mainstream players are participating in the trend too, such as Subaru, which is set to expand US production, presumably at its existing plant in Indiana.
For Toyota, one of the keys to its Lexus decision was several years of appreciation in the value of the yen, which made Japan manufacturing cost-prohibitive. Another key in the Lexus decision was recognition that, after decades of closing the gap, the quality standards apparent in US manufacturing by all brands, and by American workers, finally rivaled those established by Japan in the 80s.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 06:32 PM
Because the Tri-State market is so demographically broad, automakers load up their car haulers for the New York International Show and bring every conceivable type of new vehicle—from inexpensive fresh production models to concept cars that would demand seven-figure prices if they were available—in an effort to leave no segment of the local market unturned and to impress the hordes of journalists who've assembled in the world media capital.
Given that the U.S. auto-sales recovery continues to gain some steam, it's no surprise that this year's show at the Javits Center has attracted one of the most impressive hauls of automotive hardware to the New York show that's been seen in several years.
Here's a brand-by-brand account of some of what news media have been seeing as the show prepares to open to the public:
Honda got tongues wagging this week with, of all things, a vacuum cleaner. HondaVAC debutes in the Touring Elite version of the 2014 Honda Odyssey as the brand ups the ante in the rolling-living-room segment. The device was developed with Shop-Vac and is comprised of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area, Honda explained.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 05:29 PM
The stagnation of the U.S. market for all-electric vehicles has automakers thinking more creatively about how to address American consumers' desire for maximum fuel economy without attempting fruitlessly to guilt them into buying EVs.
The evidence of this trend has been abundant this week during the media previews at the New York International Auto Show, and news that the Obama administration is planning to get tougher on car emission standards, with "sweeping rules" expected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requiring cleaner gasoline and cars.
"I think green has gone mainstream" as automakers employ fuel-efficient technologies across their lineups, not just in electrified vehicles, Consumer Reports director of auto testing Jake Fisher told WWJ-TV in Detroit. "It doesn't matter what you get, you can get green in your car, whether or not it's a sports car or an SUV."
That's why, for example, Dodge is able to claim that the new 8-speed transmission in its 2014 Durango SUV qualifies as a "green" advance: It helps boost fuel economy of the nameplate by close to 10 percent, Reid Bigland, Dodge brand CEO, told the TV station.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2013 08:56 AM
Taco Bell makes new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos available a day early.
Fox reveals details of new planned national sports network to compete with ESPN.
Best Buy ends work-at-home program for corporate employees as Yahoo! policy continues to be debated.
Alfa Romeo says its performance numbers make 4C an ideal car for U.S. market.
Doritos launches first global campaign.
Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne presses full merger with Chrysler.
Groupon CFO says company's business model will stay.
JCPenney board's patience said to be wearing thin with CEO Ron Johnson, as Martha Stewart dished from the witness stand and rehashes her testimony on NBC's Today Show.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2013 07:22 PM
The good news for Detroit's three automakers is that Chevrolet and GMC managed to get some of their new models recommended by the influential Consumer Reports. The bad news is that just about every other brand fielded by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler is still placed near the bottom in the magazine's new rankings of the best light vehicles on the market.
Just like every year, the new rankings—listed in the April 2013 issue of Consumer Reports—finds that Japanese brands, especially those made by Toyota, continue to dominate. Toyota landed three of the top seven spots, with Lexus as CR's best overall brand as well as Toyota at No. 4 and Scion at No. 7.
Subaru and Mazda finished second and third while Acura and Honda finished fifth and sixth. Audi led its German rivals to finish No. 8, followed by Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz to round out the top 10. Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 9, 2013 05:05 PM
Nissan is pulling out the stops for its North American Auto Show return next week — and the stopper. In a bid to woo car-lovers heading to the Detroit trade show next week, the Japanese automaker is appealing to the senses, including testing a brand smell that it may roll out to its dealers. And it won't be that dreaded "new car smell," either; Nissan describes its brand scent as "quite a modern smell — a bit Oriental," according to a press release.
"As is tradition in luxury hotels and retailers, which pipe pleasing music and fragrance into their lobby and common spaces, the Nissan display features its own special scents and sounds, carefully choreographed to create a complete experience for visitors," Nissan added of the multisensory exhibit design, above, which will travel to ten trade shows this year. "A distinctive fragrance will be periodically released into the display area."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 3, 2013 09:01 AM
Al Jazeera buys Current TV from Al Gore, prompting Time Warner Cable to drop channel.
Hormel Foods branches out as it buys Skippy peanut butter brand from Unilever.
Toyota declares a rebirth.
5-Hour Energy sees ad claims rebutted (again).
AB InBev plans to launch stronger U.S. version of Budweiser this year.
Amazon wins dismissal of App Store false-ad claim by Apple.
Apple "bet" energizes AT&T.
China recovery confidence spurs Hong Kong luxury sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2012 09:04 AM
Google releases new map app for Apple iPhone, shuts down shopping search in China, and makes porn harder to find, as CEO defends tax avoidance.
Apple settles European e-book price-fixing probe with publishers.
Applebee's interviews creator of #HireKevin campaign.
BMW and Boeing plan to collaborate on making carbon fiber.
Barclays joins industry cost-cutting wave, eliminating 2,000 jobs.
Berkshire Hathaway plans rare buyback of holder's stock.Continue reading...