Though MINI’s lineup hasn’t (literally) lived up to its name since its reboot by parent BMW, product boss Pat McKenna would like to see the Rocketman — a MINI that truly is mini — appear in showrooms all over the world.
The Great Recession has given us so much since it began five years ago with the fall of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, from underwater mortgages and high unemployment, to bailouts of the financial and automotive manufacturing sectors and credit freezes.
Remember when Lincoln had cars with names such as Mark, Continental, Zephyr, Town Car and Versailles? Alas, unless you want to own a body-on-frame SUV from the newly renamed Lincoln Motor Company, your choices begin with MK, and end with a letter that somehow corresponds to the model in question.
Once upon a time, one man rose from the realm of sales to helm Ford’s truck division. With his iron fist, he divided the F-150 range into several specialized units, reaping the rewards as his dominion over the light truck market expanded.
GM wants to move Opel upmarket (again,) to allow more breathing space for Chevrolet in Europe, Reuters reports. Frustrated Opel dealers say GM needs to declare what it wants, and stick with it for a change. Read More >
Each year, 24/7 Wall Street predicts which brands will disappear next year. It does so to dubious success. Of the 10 brands predicted to disappear in 2012, eight are still alive (more or less.) Only Saab is gone (some say it is not), and Sony Ericsson is now Sony. Of the 10 brands predicted to disappear in 2014, two are car brands, one is a buff book. Read More >
The Chinese-Israeli co-production Qoros has not sold a single car yet, but it already finds itself in the legal hot seat. Via a temporary injunction of a court in Hamburg, Germany, Audi precluded Qoros from using – the letter Q.
Ford will have to deviate from its “One Ford” strategy if it wants to break into the Chinese market in a serious way, says Reuters. Ford is developing what it calls a “Value B” model that is aimed at the increasingly important sub $10,000 market in China. And that’s only the beginning … Read More >
Toyota will launch two China-only brands next year, one for each of its two Chinese joint ventures, a Toyota executive told Reuters today. Toyota had been one of the last hold-outs in the China-only business, after most other makers had caved in to the strong suggestions of the Chinese government that China-only brands are good for the Chinese joint venture. Read More >
“If Chinese carmakers will do what they say – and they appear to be utterly committed – then China will soon wallow in a sea of car brands nobody has ever heard of, and nobody will ever be able to remember. Sometimes, it feels as if it is the long-term goal to give each and every of the 1.3 billion Chinese his or her individual car brand.”
A year later, the brand disease claims its first victim, and it is Chery. Read More >