Can Toyota Digg its way out of recall crisis?

February 8, 2010

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This story by Thomas Mucha originally appeared in GlobalPost.

As Toyota careened from one recall crisis to the next, the contrast was almost funny.

from Shop Talk:

Auto show-Click and buy? Not yet…

January 13, 2010

honda1(Written by correspondent James Kelleher)

The U.S. auto retail market -- long controlled by franchised dealers and state laws that critics call anti-competitive and inefficient -- will open up in the coming years and Honda will not be left in the dust, a top U.S. executive for the Japanese automaker said. 

from Shop Talk:

Auto show-Super Bowl TV ads don’t score for Mazda

January 13, 2010

nfl1Advertising during the Super Bowl doesn't score for Mazda.

While the Japanese automaker plans to boost its marketing budget this year as it launches the Mazda 2 small car, running TV ads during the National Football League's championship game in February won't happen.

CES: Ford’s Mulally digs hands-free, in-car Pink Floyd

January 7, 2010

Here’s Ford CEO Alan Mulally getting excited about the new MyFord Touch in-car tech system, launched today at CES.

Ad spending down 14 percent – but it’s not getting worse!

September 16, 2009

Over the last few days executives at Goldman Sachs’ Communicopia have talked about a stabilizing — or even improving — advertising market.

Frankfurt Motor Show tickets going once… going twice…

September 16, 2009

Some say the Frankfurt Motor Show, which started on Sept. 15, has lost a bit of its lustre amid the crisis that has hit the global car industry with an economic baseball bat. But there are still people out there who are willing to shell out the big bucks to go see the new car launches. One lucky bidder, identified only as i
l on www.ebay.de paid 158 euros ($232) for two tickets to get into the car show today, days before other mortals are allowed to pass through the big white doors leading into the halls of the show. There are 150 separate auctions for tickets to the car show, with sale prices starting at 7 euros for tickets valid on the days that are open to the public, which start on Sept. 19. So it looks like there are still plenty of people out there who are just wild about cars even though the government has to pay tightfisted consumers to buy a new one with their cash for clunkers programme. Would you pay that much to get a glimpse of  what the automotive industry has in store before others can?

Frankfurt Motor Show features babes and beasts

September 16, 2009

Photo by Edward Taylor

The Frankfurt Motor Show is bustling with scantily clad models in high, high heels who present carmakers new models. Volkswagen‘s Skoda decided against the models and opted for a more furry mascot. To present its new 4×4 crossover Yeti model, it hired the abominable snowman! Mom is never going to believe this…

Better days ahead for Sirius XM?

August 6, 2009

Sirius XM Radio has reason to be excited about the success of the cash for clunkers program. The satellite radio operator, which posted quarterly results this morning, raised its income outlook for the year on a potential rebound in car sales.

Axed Porsche CEO tries Robin Hood tactics to bolster blue collar image

July 23, 2009

Germans love to see the mighty fall just a little bit more than the rest of the world, and freshly ousted Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is a perfect candidate. Yes, he made tiny, almost bankrupt Porsche successful again but did he have to be so smug about it? And was he really worth the millions of euros he raked in every year in a country where executive pay is a thorny issue? His salary, which made him the best paid German manager by far, was a topic of endless fascination in the German media. Wiedeking never divulged how much he made but unapologetically said he deserved what he earned — estimated to have been 80 million euros last year. Even before his dismissal was official, speculation swirled about how extraordinary his severance payment would be, with some putting the figure at 250 million euros. In the end it was less but still a handsome sum of 50 million euros, considering he leaves Porsche with a huge mountain of debt. As Wiedeking climbs off the throne, he is eager to burnish his blue collar credentials and in Robin Hood style announced he would donate what’s left of his payment after taxes to charity. Some of it will go to a foundation for Porsche staff, some into projects to create new jobs and, in a final swipe at his critics, he promised to give to a charity for “elderly and suffering journalists”. Take that, hacks.

Steve Ballmer’s “awesome” new Ford hybrid

May 26, 2009

Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.