Summit Notebook

AUDIO – Mornings with Ron: A Reuters Autos Summit tradition

November 3, 2009

A few years ago, there was a book out called “Tuesdays with Morrie.” At Reuters, though, we spend our Tuesday mornings during Auto Summits with Ron.

AUDIO – Commercial real estate: The auto industry’s next big (bad) thing

November 3, 2009

The U.S. auto industry has had one heck of a year.Sales have fallen off, credit has been pretty much nonexistant and two of the major U.S. automakers were bankrupt. Other that all that, things were fine.But Bill Diehl, chief executive of advisory firm BBK, said at the first day of this year’s Reuters Autos Summit, that one of the main concerns for 2010 (if it’s not THE main concern) is the industry’s overall exposure to commercial real estate.We have been hearing about the problems with commercial real estate in many other sectors of the U.S. economy and Diehl gave the strongest statement so far about the auto side.(To hear Diehl\’s comments, please click here)The Reuters Autos Summit continues through Thursday in Detroit and Paris.

AUDIO – The ‘new normal’ for the U.S. auto industry

November 2, 2009

A few years ago, one of the guests at our annual Reuters Autos Summit — Tom Stallkamp from Ripplewood — pretty much stopped everyone dead in their tracks by predicting that auto sales in the United States was likely to fall to an obscenely low level of 14.5 million.

BMW keeping wary eye on rivals

November 2, 2009

After a year of unprecedented turmoil in the auto industry, BMW’s U.S. head smells blood in the water.

Sticks and Stones

November 2, 2009

When General Motors rolled out its new “May the Best Car Win” ad campaign this fall, it turned its competitive fire on Toyota Motor Corp, rather than one of its Detroit competitors. 
Toyota, which last year displaced GM as the world’s largest carmarker, takes the ads — which compare the Chevy Malibu with the Toyota Camry — as something of a compliment. 
“When Ford names Toyota and not Chevrolet and when Chevrolet names Toyota and not Ford, that speaks to some consumers about our position in the market,” Toyota group vice president and general manager Bob Carter told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit. “So it’s not all bad.” 
But the Japanese automaker has no interest in getting drawn into an advertising tit-for-tat similar to Apple Inc’s “Get a Mac” ads, which compare a young, hip actor representing a Macintosh computer with a dowdy middle aged actor playing a PC run by Microsoft’s Windows operating system. 
“We think the most effective way to approach the market is to talk about our products and our brands,” Carter said.

Dubai returns to fixed income sphere

October 28, 2009

Dubai returns to the fixed-income sphere for the first time in more than a year after raising about $2 billion from dirham and dollar-denominated Islamic bonds.

from Chris Wickham:

Climate change is off the agenda in Dubai

October 28, 2009

The headline in the Gulf News English language daily reads 'UAE tops world on per capita carbon footprint'.

from Raissa Kasolowsky:

Dubai is super enough, thanks

October 27, 2009

Dubai has sufficient superlatives – record-setting landmarks unique in their size, cost or concept -- to last it for the next decade – so enough already, says Deyaar CEO Markus Giebel.

Being socially responsible investor in the Gulf

October 26, 2009

Socially responsible investing, which takes into account social, environmental and governance risks, is arguably still in its infancy in the Gulf, where the enormous wealth created by hydrocarbons sometimes flows into extravagant projects like an indoor ski resort.

from John Irish:

Mid-East business leaders to discuss economic recovery

October 25, 2009

Starting Monday, Reuters is inviting  business leaders from various sectors in Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo to discuss key challenges facing them in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the lessons they have learnt.