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road warriors

All-Electric Nissan Leaf Sets Competitive Price

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 31, 2010 10:24 AM

Certainly you remember the GM electric car, the EV1. No? Well, believe it or not, the EV1 was an all-electric car introduced by General Motors in the mid-1990s, well before all the hybrid hype surrounding the Toyota Prius. To find out whatever happened to the EV1, you might want to watch the 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? (Hint: Big Oil.)

Fast forward to 2011. That's when two all-electric cars will hit the US market. A pre-production Chevrolet Volt will come off the production line today and if all goes well, the Volt will be available in November. Meanwhile, Nissan will bring the Leaf electric car to market in December.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

“Undercover Boss” Boosts Ratings – And Herschend’s CEO

Posted by Dale Buss on March 30, 2010 07:58 AM

CBS’s reality series, Undercover Boss, continues to build momentum as a surprisingly strong hit on Sunday evening. And in the most recent episode, Boss also boosted the subjects of the show: the Atlanta-based company, Herschend Family Entertainment and its CEO, Joel Manby.

Overnight results showed that ratings for Boss were up again, by 11 percent. This demonstrated that the American people are still very interested in the folks who run our companies despite the overall waning image of CEOs over the last few years of economic malaise and vilification by politicians. The show previously has featured the CEOs of other companies including 7-Eleven, Hooters, White Castle and Waste Management.

Last evening, Manby struck exactly the right notes as the humble and caring president of Herschend, which owns a variety of second-tier, family-oriented amusement parks and other venues including Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., and Stone Mountain near Atlanta.Continue reading...

road warriors

Sync Hits Sales Milestone, Becomes Crucial Driver Of Ford’s Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on March 24, 2010 11:20 AM

In one of the biggest successes in “ingredient” branding since “Intel on the inside,” Sync – Ford’s voice-controlled communications and infotainment system – has been installed on a two-millionth vehicle less than a year after hitting the one million milestone.

That’s a remarkable achievement, putting Sync on a far stronger trajectory than the electronics brand that most recently put a huge stamp on the inside of vehicles: General Motors’ OnStar safety, security, and navigation system. Arguably, Sync’s popularity has been just as important a driver in Ford’s recent success as its stable of attractive new vehicles and its decision to stay away from government bailout money last year while GM and Chrysler lunged at it.

“The success of Sync proves that customers want to be connected,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of US marketing, sales, and service. “It is a true differentiator for us, adding real value for the customer."Continue reading...

road warriors

Now Is The Time For Auto Brands To Elevate Perceptions

Posted by Dale Buss on March 23, 2010 06:39 PM

Cadillac, Lincoln, and Hyundai are actually among the higher-quality brands in the US auto industry, as measured by J.D. Power’s latest survey of new-vehicle quality after three years of ownership. But most American consumers still don’t perceive the brands that way.

And it’s time for these and other automaker brands to do something about such gaps in perception and reality.

Arguably, more of the US auto market is up for grabs now than at any time in recent memory. The brand surgeries at General Motors, the debilitating woes of Chrysler, the self-inflicted wounds to Toyota’s brand – even a recall by Honda – have created more marketshare shifts than in decades, and the potential for even more.Continue reading...

Chevrolet Surfaces At SXSW For Push Into Social Media

Posted by Dale Buss on March 10, 2010 04:57 PM

There were a few good reasons why Chevrolet and General Motors’ other surviving brands admittedly came late to the social-media table. There was that bankruptcy thing last year, and the worst sales environment in decades. And when GM first began sniffing around online networks a few years ago, it began at the corporate level.

But now Chevrolet is leading GM into a determined new surge in social media, and the brand’s coming-out party is going to be its heavy participation in South by Southwest, one of the nation’s largest and most influential interactive conferences. Chevy will be asking SXSW attendees in Austin, Texas, to help it evaluate three emerging applications.Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Happy Birthday, Tabasco!

Posted by Sara Zucker on March 2, 2010 07:33 AM

Tabasco celebrates its 142nd anniversary and discusses future plans. [CNN Money]

The newest Sprint ad challenges similar AT&T and Verizon prices. [Brandweek]

Aflac spends over $60 million annually on advertising. [Adweek]

Google adds photo editing website Picnik to its list of recent purchases. [NY Times]

Apple has admitted to employing underage workers in its factories. [Consumerist]

The latest episode of CBS's 'Undercover Boss' tackles White Castle. [Daily Finance]Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Critics Choice

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 26, 2010 06:20 AM

Fox sees an overwhelming amount of complaints from recent 'Family Guy' episodes. [LA Times]

SeaWorld face criticism for keeping killer whale despite trainer's death. [AP]

CitySearch stays relevant by adding business-related tweets to its website. [Econsultancy]

General Motors is currently debating two bids on its Hummer brand. [WSJ]

Kraft is touring restaurants spreading the word about its Athenos hummus. [Brandweek]

Hand-held smartphone maker Palm worries about its future due to poor sales. [NY Times]Continue reading...

close of business

Around The Web: Get In Line

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 24, 2010 06:31 PM

Nintendo's new DSi XL game system will be revealed on March 28. [WSJ]

H&M gets eco-friendly and innovative with its first line of skincare. [Nitrolicious]

General Motors' will retire the Hummer brand after Chinese deal collapses. [CNN Money]

EPC Cigar Company uses social-networking as a main source of promotion. [NY Times]

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