Monday, February 28, 2011

Marchionne takes no pay from Chryser for 2010

 Sergio Marchionne received no compensation while serving as the chief executive officer of the Chrysler Group in 2010, according to report filed voluntarily with Securities Exchange Commission.
 However, Marchionne was granted 361,446 shares of Chrysler shares tentatively valued at $600,000, noted in the filing, which was a tentative first step towards Chrysler’s effort to sell stock later this year.
  Marchionne also received $4.8 million from Fiat in 2010, which is about 27 percent less than he made in 2009.
 “TARP Compensation Standards prohibit the payment of any cash incentive or bonus to our five “senior  executive officers” and any of the next 20 most highly compensated employees until Chrysler Group has no  remaining obligations under TARP,” Chrysler said in a voluntary filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.
  “Our named executive officers did not participate in any annual cash incentive compensation plan in 2010 and did not receive any cash compensation other than the base salaries  described below.
 In addition,  half of each named executive officer’s total 2010 direct compensation is comprised of cash base  salary, and half is comprised of restricted stock unit and deferred phantom share awards, which assume applicable performance goals are achieved.
 The compensation of four other Chrysler executives also was disclosed in the SEC filing. Richard Palmer, Chrysler’s chief financial officer, made $500,000 salary and other $520,00 from restricted stock units and phantom share awards, while Holly Leese, Chrysler’s general counsel and was paid $455,000 plus an additional $460,750 in restricted and phantom share, while executive vice president Nancy Rae’s totaled $455,000 and an additional $453,000 in restricted and phantom shares and Michael Manley, president of the Jeep brand and head of international operations made $410,000 in salary and  $408,000 is restricted and phantom shares.
 The SEC document specified that Palmer, Leese, Rae and Manley were the highest paid Chrysler executives last year. By Joseph Szczesny

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hyundai ready for Oscar telecast

By Joseph Szczesny
 Hyundai, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary selling cars in the U.S. is  is the  exclusive automotive sponsor of the 83rd Academy Awards, broadcast on Sunday on ABC. Nine Hyundai ads will air throughout the coverage - two pre-show and seven during the awards ceremony itself. In accordance with Academy rules, and to ensure that Hyundai's long-time "voice" gets to enjoy the spotlight for his second consecutive Oscar nomination, Hyundai cast a guest star for a portion of the evening
"Hollywood's biggest night is a pillar of our 'Big Voices in Big Places' strategy, positioning Hyundai in the most-watched, high-profile advertising venues," said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. "With the compelling TV ratings combined with the glamour of the event and its attendees, it's an ideal venue to show off the stars of our vehicle lineup."
  The two red carpet ads include "Good Things Come in Threes" featuring Sonata's three distinct powertrains, and "Comfy Home" featuring the luxurious Equus flagship sedan.
 All of Hyundai's Academy Awards commercials feature Hyundai's 2011 "New Thinking. New Possibilities." brand vision.  Innocean Worldwide Americas, Hyundai's agency of record, is responsible for all creative. To view Hyundai's Super Bowl ads, please visit,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicago Auto Show attendance climbs 10 percent

 One piece of news that could bode well for future car sales, the 2011 Chicago Auto Show closed Sunday night and enjoyed a 10 percent increase in attendance over its 10-day run when compared to a year ago.  Overall, auto show tend to attract shoppers, who are likely to be in the market for a new vehicle in the next six to 12 months, experts suggest.
 "We enjoyed an opening weekend stronger than in 2010, but gave some of those gains back on Valentine's Day," said auto show general manager Dave Sloan. "But heightened interest in a recovering auto industry, coupled with a warmer-than-normal February and strong buzz in the community helped achieve the show's gains. Our closing Saturday was among the best days we've ever had. Our manufacturers and dealers had hoped to see a bump in interest this year, and they weren't disappointed."
  "But now we have to see how this translates into sales at local dealerships. If the boost in our attendance is any indicator, I predict we'll see a continuation of the increases we've been observing in monthly sales," Sloan said. The Chicago Auto Show is produced by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, which represents the area's franchised new-car dealers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ford,Sollers create JV in Russia

By Joseph Szczesny
 Eager to expand sales in emerging markets, Ford Motor Co. planning a 50-50 joint venture with Sollers, one of Russia's leading automotive companies The proposed Ford Sollers  joint venture will manufacture and distribute Ford passenger cars and light-duty commercialFord and Sollers local production facilities in the St. Petersburg region and in the Republic of Tatarstan.
 "We are delighted to be taking this next step for Ford in Russia with our proposed partner, Sollers," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.  "This is a great opportunity, and will provide Ford customers in Russia with more products and better service.
 "The benefits provided by the proposed joint venture and the new Industrial Assembly policy will be key enablers to build the Ford brand in Russia and create a profitably growing business. It also will help to strengthen the Russian automotive industry and its local supply base," Odell added.
 "We are inspired by the opportunity to work with Ford," said Vadim Shvetsov, general director of Sollers.
 "We are confident that our mutual efforts on the development of manufacturing facilities, new product launches and localization of parts content will ensure success for our strategy, and a leading position for the future joint venture company on the Russian market," Shvetsov said.
 In 2002, Ford became the first foreign auto manufacturer to start producing cars in Russia, and since then it has built a solid base in the country. 
 Sollers, the second largest producer of passenger and light commercial vehicles in Russia, has considerable experience in the Russian automotive industry. Ford's Russian partner will support the proposed joint venture through its manufacturing capabilities, knowledge of the Russian market, experience in distribution and working with the Russian supply base. This significant contribution will strengthen the proposed joint venture strategy and be important for its future success, Ford officials said.
 “We believe the partnership will benefit from blending Ford's distribution channels with Sollers' manufacturing plants and local experience and connections. While it is not clear what start up costs will be, we believe Ford will benefit from increased presence in the expanding Russian auto market. J.D. Powers, like S&P, an independent unit of the McGraw-Hill Companies, forecasts the Russian auto market to rise 6 percent in '11 and will exceed Germany's large market before decade-end,” said Efraim Levy,  Standard & Poors automotive analyst.

Jeep's facebook fan base tops 1 million

 By Joseph Szczesny
 Chrysler’s Jeep brand reached a milestone Feb 18  as fans on the brand's Facebook page surpassed the 1 million mark. By reaching more than 1 million fans on its Facebook page, the Jeep brand exceeds the next closest domestic automotive brand fan's total by more than 450,000, Chrysler official said.
 "We are honored to be the first and only domestic automotive brand that can claim more than 1 million Facebook fans," said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "This reinforces the fact that Jeep is clearly one of the most well-known and loved brands throughout the world, and comes as we continue to gain sales momentum and begin to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the brand."
 The  Jeep brand experienced triple digit growth in its fan base on Facebook in 2010, Manley added. The brand continues to foster a vibrant and innovative social community for its passionate fans and owners. In July, Jeep brand fans tested the size limits of Facebook's photo album, "Photos by Others." Fans exceeded the 20,000 photo-limit resulting in a need for Facebook to accommodate the increased number of images.
 Along with Facebook, the Jeep also uses Twitter, You Tube and foursquare web sites to keep in touch with its fans. The Jeep brand was the first automotive brand to have an official profile on, the popular location-based social network that allows users to "check-in" at any location. The official Jeep brand You Tube channel is among the top 10 sponsored-channels with over 4.3 million video views, Manley said.
 In addition, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been named the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been named the Official Winter Vehicle of New England by the New England Motor Press Association  "The Jeep Grand Cherokee is quiet, luxurious and comfortable," said John Paul, NEMPA Winter Vehicle Awards Team Leader. "During one of toughest New England winters on record, it handled everything Mother Nature could put in its way."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Five automakers cited for service

 By Joseph Szczesny
  Five automakers – Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz – are among the 40 companies identified as Customer Service Champions in J.D. Power & Associates inaugural “Cross-Industry Report on Best Practices in Customer Service Across More than 20 Industries.”
 “To be good in any industry, it makes sense to look at the best practices across industries,” said Gary Tucker, senior vice president of global services and emerging industries at J.D. Power and Associates.
 “Every day, consumers interact with companies from a myriad of industries. Invariably, they compare the quality of these service experiences. Industries and companies should be doing the same if they expect to keep pace in today’s increasingly competitive environment,” he said.
 Among the other brands cited in the study were Auto-Owners Insurance, Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s, Caribou Coffee, Eddie Bauer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Erie Insurance, Four Seasons, Indianapolis International Airport, JetBlue Airways, Detroit-based, Quicken Loans, Shea Homes, Southwest Airlines, Sprint Nextel, The Ritz-Carlton, T-Mobile, United Community Bank. U.S. Cellular and the Veterans Administration Mail-Order Pharmacy


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eminem to use Dodge Durago at Grammies

Word is Chyrsler and Eminem are talking about a deal  that could have the Detroit Rapper appear in more television spots for the automaker.  The Chrysler Super Bowl spot, featuring Eminem has drawn more than one million unique visits on "You Tube" and the number is still climbing. Eminem,though, doesn't have a contract with Chrysler for more spots. Nevertheless, the lack of signed contract  apparently won't stop Eminem and Chrysler from doing some additional business. Word from inside Chrysler is that Eminem and his "posse" are  now scheduled to arrive at Grammy awards this weekend in four, brand-new Dodge Durangos, which are made at Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly.
 Eminem is expected to get plenty of attention during the Grammy telecast because of his last CD has proven wildly popular and has been termed both a financial and artistic success. Interestingly  Eminen apparently hasn't forgotten his days working in a Detroit auto parts plants and actually prefers to help promote vehicles that are actually made in the Detroit Metropolitan area.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chevy follows Super Bowl with terrific spot

 It didn't get rated in the Super Bowl ad sweepstakes Chevrolet wrapped up a big day Sunday with a  tie-in during a special post-Super Bowl episode of "Glee," the FOX hit musical comedy.  Glee diva Lea Michele sung "See the USA in Your Chevrolet," one of Chevrolet's most famous ditties during the spot, which ran for two minutes.  The Camaro convertible, Cruze, and Volt were featured in a dream sequence commercial in which the "Glee" cast sings "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet," bringing to life for a new generation the classic jingle popularized by Dinah Shore in the 1950s.
"We saw this as an opportunity to cap off an unprecedented day for Chevrolet," said Joel Ewanick, global chief marketing officer of General Motors. "The ads shown during the Super Bowl highlighted key Chevrolet products in a traditional way, but the 'Glee' tie-in is a new realm for integration with a hot show on the big day," he said.
"That strategic collaboration threaded Chevrolet's presence in the Super Bowl with its ongoing 'Glee' sponsorship resulting in one of the most unique integrated marketing initiatives of its kind, marrying their brand messaging with one of our hottest programs on the most-watched day of the year," Ewanick said.
  The  Chevrolet spot aired during the special "Glee" episode with silver Chevys on a white background in a scene reminiscent of a 1930s Hollywood musical.  In conjunction with "Glee" creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy and the "Glee" production team, the ad was created by Chevrolet's agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.  Chevrolet's media agency partner, Starcom, negotiated the "Glee" partnership in addition to handling media planning and buying.