From the Blade Runner future in Dubai to the shores of Tripoli, Ford aims to launch an aggressive campaign in the Middle East and Africa markets through the creation of a fifth business unit that will consolidate the Blue Oval’s operations in the two regions.
When Toyota teamed with General Motors, they gave us the Vibe/Matrix twins. With Subaru, a trio of rear-driven sports cars with boxer power up front. So, what will Toyota deliver in its partnership with BMW? How about the ultimate hybrid supercar based off the bones of the Lexus LFA, for starters.
Toyota remains the number one auto maker by volume, but the gap between it and its main rivals is closing quickly.
When one thinks of General Motors’ relationship with China, Buick flashes into the mind like a brake light in the Beijing smog. Sometimes, Cadillac comes up, as well. However, with Volkswagen preparing to slingshot past them in a manner akin to Danica Patrick being flung toward the front of the pack with help from Tony Stewart, CEO Dan Akerson is planning to aggressively push Chevrolet through the choking air, and into as many Chinese garages as he can find.
Honda’s rear-driven products built for two tend to be motorcycles, scooters and ATVs for the most part, but every now and again the company will unveil a roadster whose name begins with an S, and ends with the number of cubic centimeters the engine provides.
Such a car is set to return soon to the showroom floor, and will make its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in November: The Honda S660.
Emerging markets have been a big theme at TTAC for the past few years, with our coverage going beyond the cursory articles on automotive developments in the BRIC countries. Our articles on places like North Africa and Indonesia aren’t always the most popular, but we keep an eye on them for a very important reason. These countries are the final frontier for growth in the automotive sector.
With a few successes under Ford’s strap with the American buckle, the Blue Oval made be known its aspirations to go for the world championship belt in ferrying drunk revelers and harried air travelers with their Transit Connect Taxi in its debut in Hong Kong.
Reuters has reported that Chinese automaker Dongfeng and the French government will be taking equity stakes in PSA/Peugeot-Citroen after injecting $4.1 billion into PSA. Under the draft agreement, which is still being negotiated, Dongfeng Motor and the French government will each put 1.5 billion euros into the French automaker, with each of those parties getting a 20 to 30 percent share in the company.
Stefan Jacoby, whose most recent job was CEO of Volvo, has been hired by General Motors to head their international operations. Jacoby replaces Tim Lee who is slated to become chairman of GM China as that unit is split off from the rest of GM International. Lee will continue to head global manufacturing for the Detroit based automaker. The business unit that Jacoby will be running will still have operations in more than 100 markets in Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
For the 16th consecutive quarter, Ford Motor Co. profits have risen, with the Dearborn automaker reporting a 2nd quarter 2013 profit of $1.23 billion, up 18.6% from 2012, working out to 45¢ per share, exceeding analysts’ projections of 37 cents a share. Pretax profit for the quarter was up 40% to $2.56 billion. The company said that it set records for pre-tax profits in both the 2nd quarter and 1st half of 2013, making $4.8 billion in the first six months of the year.
As far as emerging markets go, Indonesia is one of the hottest. “The country of 240 million people bought one million cars last year, and sales by some estimates are expected to double over the next three years,” says Reuters. The only trouble: Most of the cars are and will be Toyotas. GM wants to do something about it with a no-frill people mover designed in Brazil. Read More >
Ad Age is reporting that Ford’s advertising agency, JWT, has fired the ad agency staffers behind a pair of offensive ads showing bound and gagged women in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback. Ford is not, however, looking to change advertising companies over the fiasco. The images were created by JWT staffers in India and then uploaded to the ad agency’s website. Such ads are often created without client approval as a way for ad designers to bolster their portfolios and were never intended to become part of Ford’s official campaign to promote the Figo.
Yesterday I shared with you dear, reader, one of my favorite games, the $5000 Craigslist Fantasy Challenge and you responded with a lot of great cars. Today I thought I would step it up just one more notch and introduce you to that game’s Japanese cousin – the “Goo Game.” Won’t you come and pray with me?