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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.