auto motive

In EV Popularity Contest, Tesla, BMW are Still Top of the Class

Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2014 12:17 PM

Electric-vehicle brands are rapidly bifurcating into haves and have-nots. There are Tesla and BMW, which seem to be the biggest "haves" at the moment in terms of sales, brand appeal, buzz and a future. And then there are Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, Nissan Leaf and the others that are becoming the resigned "have-nots."

Chevrolet CMO Tim Mahoney confirmed at an industry gathering in Michigan this week that General Motors will be debuting a new version of Volt, the original plug-in hybrid, next year at the Detroit Auto Show, and he promised significant improvements in design and technology, though not in range.

Yet, as Mahoney recently told brandchannel, GM has stopped holding out hope that Volt will become a mass-market vehicle anytime soon as the company has watched a continued decline in mainstream-market interest in the vehicle, with sales down by 9 percent so far this year compared with a year ago even though it still outsells Tesla's Model S.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: Yum! Brands, Amazon, Tesco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 21, 2014 09:08 AM

TOP STORIES

Sky News apologizes for reporter pawing through passenger belongings from flight Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, while Singapore Airlines also apologizes for tweet about not flying in Ukraine air space and Finnair retracts statement about its use of air space there.

Yum! Brands and McDonald’s find themselves in another food-safety scandal in China.

Tesco replaces CEO as UK grocer struggles to compete with low-cost competitors. 

Amazon offers unlimited reading and audiobook service.

Dell welcomes bitcoin payments.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alabama adopts “Sweet Home Alabama” as new slogan.

Alibaba IPO could be bonanza for scions of Chinese leaders.

Boston Celtics debut alternate retro logo for this season.

DeVry Education sees New York State investigate its marketing practices.

Electrolux brand is hit by restructuring.Continue reading...

auto motive

Amid Overhaul, de Nysschen Leaves Infiniti for Greener Pastures at Cadillac

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2014 03:51 PM

Johan de Nysschen already led a fix of one luxury car brand in the United States and was making progress in repairing another worldwide. So what can he do as the new head of the Cadillac brand?

Expect some boldness from the new leader in dealing with the brand, its products and marketing that hasn’t been seen before from the parade of long-time General Motors executives who have headed up Cadillac lately. De Nysschen isn’t being hired as a me-too kind of steward. Arguably, bringing him on board from way outside GM’s traditional comfort zone is one of the boldest moves that new CEO Mary Barra has made.

In any event, General Motors announced today that it had hired the 54-year-old de Nysschen to run its luxury brand beginning September 1 after months of instability in the top job. The company poached him from Nissan, which hired de Nysschen two years ago to elevate the Infiniti brand from also-ran status to powerful global competitor.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Amazon, Infiniti, Applebee's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Amazon is sued by FTC over in-app purchases by children and seeks federal approval for testing of 50-mph drones.

Reynolds American is in merger talks with Lorillard to create No. 2 tobacco company.

Johan de Nysschen leaves Infiniti; could Cadillac be his next stop?

Applebee's files trademark for "No Tech Tuesday" as it rolls out tabletop tablets nationwide. 

Volkswagen halts sales of new Golf and GTI to check safety defect.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Airbus promises 14 percent fuel-efficiency boost in new wide-body jet.

Alibaba starts to move down path toward IPO.

Crumbs Bake Shop may get financial rescue lifeline.

Dum Dums creates drumming app.

Exxon spars with state of Pennsylvania over fracking.

Fiat re-ups partnership with “Funny Or Die.”Continue reading...

auto motive

OnStar Keeps GM Ahead, but Could It Also Boost Safety?

Posted by Dale Buss on July 7, 2014 03:03 PM

OnStar long has been something of a sub-optimized brand. General Motors is trying to change that these days with 4G LTE connectivity for the infotainment system it markets across all brands.

But now comes the suggestion that GM also could be using not the OnStar brand but its massive information troves for an as-yet-untapped purpose that could really help the tattered corporate reputation of America’s largest auto company: as a provider of “big data” that could help GM spot emerging safety problems more quickly— and help avoid problems.

At the heart of the OnStar system, explained the New York Times, is a link to the vehicle’s computerized brain, which collects more than 1,000 separate measurements on virtually every aspect of the vehicle’s health and also provides continuous location information.Continue reading...

brand challenges

GM Hopes to Turn the Key on Recall Crisis with Limitless Victim Fund

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 1, 2014 04:14 PM

The GM safety recalls have officially reached nauseating levels. On Monday, soon after Kenneth Feinberg, the GM-appointed attorney who will run the brand's compensation fund, announced details of the filing and payment process, GM announced that an additional 8.4 million vehicles would be recalled, most for the same ignition switch issue at the center of the brand's ongoing crisis

Globally, GM has now recalled over 29 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and while CEO Mary Barra's newfound diligence may help curb further accidents and injuries, the ever-expanding roll call of recalled vehicles, now dating back to 1997, is painting a much more grim picture of GM's future as a trustworthy automotive brand. 

Even still, GM has recorded its best June since the recession. But how long will consumers continue to be enamored with a brand that can't keep its vehicles on the road?Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Honda, American Apparel, Starbucks and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 23, 2014 09:17 AM

TOP STORIES

American Apparel ousted Dov Charney over nude pictures, report says.

HondaNissan and Mazda expand recalls of Takata airbag systems.

Starbucks brings made-to-order soda to 16 states and raises prices on drinks and bagged coffee.

Audi draws up EV plans to counter BMW and Tesla, report says. 

Thrillist brings online experience to life in New York on second annual Best Day of Your Life.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Ace Hardware renews performance in a big-box world by emphasizing local service.

BMW extends joint venture with Brilliance in China to 2028.

Barbara’s promotes natural snacks and cereals in new campaign.

BNP Paribas nears settlement in US for up to $9 billion.

Bono calls for more brand partnerships with RED at Cannes presentation.Continue reading...

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