Posted by Dale Buss on July 27, 2012 11:16 AM
Last year, Toyota faced global headwinds, but this year it's benefiting from tailwinds. Meanwhile, its chief rivals for the title of worldwide automotive-sales leader — General Motors and Volkswagen — have run into their own problems, especially in a slogging Europe and a slowing China.
In a nutshell, that's why Toyota grabbed the lead over the other two companies in the first half, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally during the first six months of the year, compared with 4.67 million sales by GM and 4.45 million by VW, according to Automotive News.
That represents a reversal from last year, when GM led the world as Toyota struggled with production cutbacks because of the tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand. "It shows it's a competitive world out there," commented Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with IHS automotive. That's an understatement.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 26, 2012 09:02 AM
KFC degrees now an educational option in the UK.
NBC Universal says Olympics ad sales reach $1 billion.
Roku raises $45M from News Corp. and others.
Alcatel-Lucent to slash jobs after loss.
Amazon and Apple heat up their war on multiple fronts.
Boeing improves forecast.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2012 02:23 PM
American auto buyers appear to be falling right into the clutches of several auto brands as they switch to smaller new vehicles in response to higher gasoline prices and their need to replace that aging hulk in the garage. Along with better fuel economy, many buyers are gaining amenities, overall better quality and improved functional design than Americans used to get in downsizing their car purchases.
Chevrolet, Kia and Volkswagen are among the leading brand exemplars, as well as beneficiaries, of this trend, according to the conclusions of the annual J.D. Power & Associates APEAL study that was released Wednesday. Each of them has found ways to embody and cater to how Americans are increasingly downsizing with relish, according to the firm's Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 16, 2012 09:01 AM
Airbus and Boeing walk fine line about global airliner demands.
Apple finds some iPhone users souring on Siri as it may be gearing up to producer smaller iPad.
Audi opens first digital showrooms.
Barclays apologizes in new campaign for Libor scandal.
BSkyB prepares to launch Now TV.
Clorox targets Hispanics with Fraganzia line of cleaning products.
Digg founder revisits missteps that led to company's fall.
Ford funds parties featuring Escape to combat hunger.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 6, 2012 11:29 AM
Volkswagen has been on a business-building tear for some time now, but the July 4th acquisition of the part of Porsche that the company didn't own will likely be considered the crowning achievement for the leader of what has become the world's most ambitious automaker.
Ferdinand Piech is the grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche. So when the 75-year-old chairman of Volkswagen AG agreed to buy the rest of Porsche SE's automaking business for 4.46 billion euros this week, it marked a fitting cap to Piech's two-decade effort to put VW atop the pinnacle of the global automotive business.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 3, 2012 05:05 PM
It's been at least three years since there's been such an intense global focus on the health of the U.S. auto industry. In 2009, of course, the question was whether General Motors and Chrysler would survive. Today, the question is: Can U.S. auto sales stay robust enough to ride on top of gathering economic gloom domestically and, in the process, actually help keep the global economy from swooning?
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne believes in the prospects of the U.S. auto market enough that he is considering producing more vehicles in Italy for export to the United States. That could help Fiat ease its excess domestic production as the European market slumps while helping U.S. Fiat dealers who are struggling with too few models amid the brand's rocky return to the American market.
June U.S. auto sales data released today underscored why auto executives still exude confidence about the market even as other indicators on the American economy, such as the unemployment rate and overall manufacturing growth, prove increasingly troubling. June auto sales overall were the best in five years and ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 14 million units, a pace in line with most forecasts of the full-year sales total, which would be more than 10 percent above last year's total.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 26, 2012 05:05 PM
It only makes sense that auto brands should figure heavily in the new Interbrand Best Global Green Brands ranking, with eight of the top 21 brands. Car makers and their petrol partners arguably contribute more to environmental stresses around the globe than any other industry — but they're also working about as assiduously as any business to offset some of that decidedly un-green footprint.
Toyota ranked No. 1 in Interbrand's new list not only among auto companies but among all companies. That's impressive but hardly surprising for a company that essentially invented the hybrid for the mass market and has taken its biggest steps over the last year, of any in the last decade, to extend the Prius franchise and make it more available and more attractive (with some creative marketing moves) to more consumers around the world.
By introducing a less expensive and smaller alternative to its regular hybrid, Prius c, and almost simultaneously a more capacious one, Prius v, Toyota has opened the possibilities of hybrid ownership to millions more people who are attracted by the sterling Prius brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 02:50 PM
Chevy's new TV ad for its Sonic subcompact, "Night Swimming," is one of the industry's best spots so far this year because it effectively targets the Millennial generation whose interest is so crucial to the success of any car in that segment.
There are a few reasons why, including how the commercial highlights the myChevrolet app after the driver has locked his keys in the car. “The all-new Chevrolet Sonic, with the myChevrolet app,” intones Tim Allen in the voice-over, as the spot's happy swimmers drive away. “From ‘close call,’ to ‘best night ever.’”
Two other big reasons are the director, Jason Reitman, and the soundtrack. It's not unusual for automotive OEMs to snag big-name directors for their commercials anymore. For example, Paul Feig (The Bridesmaids) and Rob Cohen (The Simpsons) helped Ford pull off its highly successful Focus Doug online video campaign last year.
Reitman, of Juno and Up in the Air fame, was attracted to the idea of helming the "Night Swimming" spot in part because of the creative possibilities, Matt Scarlett, Sonic advertising manager, told brandchannel.Continue reading...