June 30, 2008
World Mobile Leaders to create one Open Mobile Software Platform
Foundation to be established to provide royalty-free open platform and accelerate innovation.
Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO have just announced in London their intent to unite Symbian OSTM, S60, UIQ and MOAP(S) to create one open mobile software platform. Together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone they plan to establish the Symbian Foundation to extend the appeal of this unified software platform. Membership of this non-profit Foundation will be open to all organizations. This initiative is supported by current shareholders and management of Symbian Limited, who have been actively involved in its development. Plans for the Foundation have already received wide support from other industry leaders.
To enable the Foundation, Nokia announced plans to acquire the remaining shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own and then contribute the Symbian and S60 software to the Foundation. Sony Ericsson and Motorola announced their intention to contribute technology from UIQ and DOCOMO has also indicated its willingness to contribute its MOAP(S) assets. From these contributions, the Foundation will provide a unified platform with common UI framework. A full platform will be available for all Foundation members under a royalty-free license, from the Foundation's first day of operations.
Contributions from Foundation members through open collaboration will be integrated to further enhance the platform. The Foundation will make selected components available as open source at launch. It will then work to establish the most complete mobile software offering available in open source. This will be made available over the next two years and is intended to be released under Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0.
The Foundation's platform will build on the leading open mobile software platform, with more than 200 million phones, across 235 models, already shipped by multiple vendors and tens of thousands of third- party applications already available for Symbian OS-based devices.
"Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry", said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. "Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today's announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation which is at the heart of everything we do."
"Establishing the Foundation is one of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. "Nokia is a strong supporter of open platforms and technologies as they give the freedom to build, maintain and evolve applications and services across device segments and offer by far the largest ecosystem, enabling rapid innovation. Today's announcement is a major milestone in our devices software strategy."
"The complete, consistent platform that the Foundation plans to provide will allow manufacturers to focus on their unique differentiation at a device level" said Dick Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson. "Sony Ericsson believes that the unified Symbian Foundation platform will greatly simplify the world for handset manufacturers, operators and developers, enabling greater innovation in services and applications to the benefit of consumers everywhere."
"Motorola has long been a leader and advocate of open software for mobile platforms. We're excited to be joining Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DOCOMO and others in leading this open source effort to form the new Symbian Foundation and unite the Symbian ecosystem," said Alain Mutricy, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Technology Office, Motorola Mobile Devices. "Also, Motorola, together with Sony Ericsson, will be contributing UIQ technology to the Foundation and will work with UIQ as they are refocusing as an important supplier in the new Symbian ecosystem. This will be a great addition, as the Foundation will be able to leverage UIQ's unique experience, which includes expertise in touch technology."
"DOCOMO welcomes this development and we look forward to moving our Symbian based devices and service onto the Foundation platform. We are also willing to contribute our MOAP(S) assets to the Foundation. This is a very positive step in further increasing the adoption of the Symbian software and creating an even more open, consistent and complete platform. The Foundation software will enable us to enjoy the benefits of a global platform in bringing new, leading-edge services to the Japanese market. It will increase efficiency and help us provide our wide customer base with the most advanced mobile experiences." said Toshio Miki, Associate Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Communication Device Development Department of NTT DOCOMO.
"Mobile phones have turned into sophisticated multimedia computers and smart phones continue to grow in popularity," said Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President of Architecture and Planning at AT&T. "The Symbian Foundation will reduce fragmentation in the industry and holds the promise of incorporating leading technology and the most mature software into a unified platform for the entire industry. This will create an environment that will encourage and enable developers to build compelling applications that will positively affect our customers' lives and support AT&T in offering its differentiated services to consumers."
"Joining the Symbian Foundation is an ideal opportunity for LG to broaden our commitment to providing our customers with the best possible mobile experience" said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "We believe that open mobile platforms will contribute to advance the mobile industry. At LG we will play a leading role in creating a better mobile environment, working with the Symbian Foundation to provide our customers with smart new features based on this open platform."
"Samsung Electronics is committed to Symbian as one of the future platforms for our mobile devices and believes that establishing the Foundation is a visionary move in positioning the platform as a proven open platform for future development. We are delighted to be playing a significant role in that future by joining the Foundation board. We have already used Symbian and S60 software successfully to deliver appealing devices and see these steps making the platform even more attractive for bringing the latest technologies and services to the market" said Dr. Do Hun Kwon, VP & Managing Director, Samsung Electronics Research Institute.
"ST sees strong consumer demand, across all segments, for a richer multimedia experience," said Monica de Virgiliis, General Manager of the Wireless Multimedia Division, STMicroelectronics. "This new foundation synchronizes and harmonizes the mainstream software approach to address this need and makes the software widely available. We anticipate this will fuel the growth of multimedia-capable devices and we are excited about being able to leverage our long-standing leadership in consumer digital multimedia to satisfy more and more consumers."
"TI has long supported open platforms, and we are excited about the formation of the Symbian Foundation. We believe the new structure will remove barriers to innovation in the mobile industry by providing a common platform on which exciting next-generation applications and services can be built," said Greg Delagi, senior vice president of TI's Wireless Business Unit. "Manufacturers can get a head-start on development with TI's proven OMAP-based Symbian S60 software development platform. Combined with the Foundation's open collaboration model, this will allow more developers to harness the performance and multimedia capabilities of the OMAP family to accelerate improvements in the mobile user experience."
"Vodafone believes this is a significant step in driving mobile innovation for the Internet as well as creating a richer mobile experience for our customers" said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone's Global Director of Terminals. "We have been challenging the industry to reduce complexity and focus on fewer operating systems. This step will help to drive even faster innovation, as well as enable operators to accelerate time-to-market for compelling and varied new services."
"Fujitsu is pleased to be one of the first supporters of plans for the Symbian Foundation," said Hideyuki Saso, president of the Mobile Phones Unit at Fujitsu Limited. "Fujitsu has long been an innovator in the development of handsets based on the Symbian OS, launching our development efforts in 2001 and commercializing the world's first Symbian OS-based 3G smartphone in 2003. Over the past seven years, we've brought a broad range of innovative, high-performance Symbian smartphones to market while collaborating with NTT DOCOMO on the development of MOAP(S). As a handset vendor, Fujitsu looks forward to supporting the development of the unified Foundation platform, and to developing future products based on the platform."
"This new initiative brings together the rare combination of a proven software operating system and an open source model, creating a unique platform to drive innovation in the mobile handset," said Scott Bibaud, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Mobile Platforms Group, Broadcom. "Broadcom's participation in the Symbian Foundation is consistent with our goals of enabling differentiated software solutions while providing a time-to-market advantage with our advanced mobile platform products."
Foundation members share the vision that the Foundation will unify the software platform, supercharge innovation and accelerate the availability of new services and compelling experiences for consumers and business users around the world. The combined platform is already one of the most advanced and widely used mobile platforms, making it highly attractive for all ecosystem partners, including developers, mobile operators, content and service providers and device manufacturers.
The Foundation is expected to start operating during the first half of 2009, subject to the closing of the acquisition of Symbian Ltd by Nokia.
Symbian is a software licensing company that develops and licenses Symbian OS, the market-leading open operating system for mobile phones. Symbian licenses Symbian OS to the world's leading handset manufacturers. Symbian has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom, with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, Korea, and Japan.
June 21, 2008
U.S. Olympic Team Advertising Campaign by Bank of America
Advertising celebrates America's strong voice of support for Team USA.
Bank of America, the Official Bank Sponsor of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, has announced the debut of its U.S. Olympic-themed advertising campaign.
The multimedia campaign rallies support for Team USA(TM) through the company's signature Olympic-themed programs -- America's Cheer(TM) and U.S. Olympic Team Banking -- and includes a new national television commercial, as well as print, radio, online and point-of-sale advertisements.
"Unlike any other sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games are the only time when an entire nation cheers for one team," said Anne Saunders, Brand and Advertising executive, Bank of America. "Our new campaign captures the passion and spirit with which Americans everywhere are cheering on the extraordinary athletes who will represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games."
Created by BBDO New York, the campaign features images of Americans showcasing their spirited expressions of patriotic support for Team USA, with a voiceover that enlists America to "cheer your head off with America's Cheer dot-com and the U.S. Olympic Team will hear you all the way to China."
In addition to America's Cheer, the new campaign promotes U.S. Olympic Team Banking only available at Bank of America. The suite of U.S. Olympic Team-branded checks and Visa(R) Check Cards and credit cards enable customers to support America's Olympic athletes with every purchase with their card, while earning special rewards.
Photo: An image from Bank of America's U.S. Olympic-Themed TV commercial.
Bank of America's new campaign makes its debut on June 21 in conjunction with NBC's coverage of the U.S. National Team Trials for Diving. Thereafter, the new campaign will continue to run leading up to and during NBC's national broadcast of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and on NBC affiliates around the country in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
America's Cheer: America's Cheer is Bank of America's grassroots campaign that provides an opportunity for all Americans to cheer on the nation's finest athletes as they prepare to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Whether it's an energetic video or audio recording, heartfelt letter or inspiring photo, America's Cheer invites the entire country to express their support for Team USA(TM) through the act of cheering.
Photo: Soccer Spectators looking at a Large TV Screen
To upload a cheer, individuals or groups can visit http://www.americascheer.com/. Cheers can also be recorded by visiting the America's Cheer(TM) mobile tour which is currently visiting 19 cities and 26 events, traveling 27,000 miles before its final stop in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 24, 2008, a date that coincides with the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.
U.S. Olympic Team Banking: In recognition of what the U.S. Olympic Team means to its customers, Bank of America has developed U.S. Olympic Team Banking, a new suite of Team USA-branded checks and Visa(R) Check Cards and credit cards that enables customers to support America's Olympic athletes with every purchase with their card, while earning special rewards for themselves. With every U.S. Olympic Team credit card purchase, customers can earn points to redeem WorldPoints(R) rewards for cash, airline tickets, hotel stays and for Bank of America U.S. Olympic Team merchandise, memorabilia and exclusive experiences. Customers can also generate contributions to the U.S. Olympic Team when they open a new U.S. Olympic Team checking account and with every U.S. Olympic Team Visa Check Card or credit card purchase at no additional cost to themselves. (One may visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/olympics to sign-up or to learn more about the many features and benefits of U.S. Olympic Team Banking.)
Bank of America's U.S. Olympic Team Sponsorship: Bank of America is widely recognized as a major corporate sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, creating opportunities for the nation's best athletes to represent the United States in world-class competition. Bank of America's earliest known involvement with the U.S. Olympic Movement dates back to 1921, when the bank provided leadership and financing for the Los Angeles Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. In 1992, Bank of America signed on as an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Barcelona, Spain, and has supported every U.S. Olympic Team since, including the American athletes who will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Fortune Global 500.
Source: Bank of America
June 16, 2008
2009 CADILLAC CTS -- DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND CRAFTSMANSHIP
Cadillac is a brand of luxury vehicles, part of General Motors, produced and mostly sold in the United States and Canada. In the United States, the name became a synonym for "high quality", used in such phrases as "the Cadillac of watches," referring to a Rolex. Cadillac's current slogan is "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit," in reference to the inalienable rights mentioned in the United States Declaration of Independence. (Wikipedia).
Thanks to a remarkable blend of dramatic design, technology and craftsmanship, Cadillac CTS enters 2009 riding a wave of acclaim from critics and consumers.
According to Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager, "CTS is earning the acclaim of luxury buyers, the most discerning critics. It has earned a position as one of the premier luxury sports sedans, further strengthening Cadillac's historic resurgence into the top tier of global luxury brands."
The redesigned CTS has also been lauded for its safety. Features such as a robust body structure that helps absorb crash energy and six standard air bags - including a segment-first dual depth passenger frontal air bag, active headrests and head curtain side air bags - helped it earn a Top Safety Pick recognition by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
According to GM, CTS sales are rising sharply, with monthly sales increases consistently exceeding 50 percent. Changes to 2009 Cadillac CTS are evolutionary, comprising content and feature revisions that reflect market demands.
Photo: The Cadillac CTS Launch in China.
• Cadillac's award-winning luxury sedan
• Advanced 3.6L V-6 engine with gasoline direct injection technology
• Six-speed transmissions paired with all powertrains
• Rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models
• Six standard air bags including dual depth front passenger air bag
• Leading-edge electronics with Bluetooth connectivity
• Handcrafted cut-and-sewn interior trim
Design: At a glance, there is no mistaking the CTS for anything but a contemporary Cadillac. Signature exterior cues include vertically oriented "light pipes," horizontal spline lines and a dihedral-shaped hood. It also strikes a sporting stance, with a wide track, communicating a dramatic presence unlike most traditional luxury sedans and the car's performance capabilities
Interior elements: The CTS' interior emphasizes technical precision with elegant, hand-crafted details. Analog instrumentation is streamlined and defined by bright accents. An integrated center stack design, with either a satin metallic finish or genuine Sapele Pommele wood, blends into the lower instrument panel that sweeps forward and away of front-seat occupants. The hand-assembled center console leads seamlessly into the center stack, providing a sportier "cockpit" feel for the driver and passenger without compromising space.
Available heated and ventilated seats incorporate "thin-seat" technology for maximum occupant comfort and enhanced rear-seat leg, knee and foot room.
Clean, white ambient light emitting diode (LED) accent lighting is available, positioned in the door pulls, foot wells and recessed between the upper and lower instrument panels. The result is a dramatic effect similar to recessed lighting used in contemporary homes.
Powertrains: Direct injection technology helps the CTS offer more power while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. The standard 3.6L VVT engine that produces 263 horsepower (196 kW) and 253 lb.-ft (343 Nm) of torque serves as the base engine in North America and is available in rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts.
All CTS engines are matched with fuel-saving six-speed transmissions, including an Aisin six-speed manual or an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic. The Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic features driver shift control, which enables on-demand clutch-less manual shifts.
Craftsmanship and quietness: Every CTS features Cadillac's "cut-and-sew" interior process that combines advanced technology with the hand-rendered precision of expert craftsmen. Coverings for components such as the instrument panel, center console and door trim are cut, sewn and wrapped by hand. This enables details such as decorative French stitching and the near elimination of gaps and seams, for a superbly tailored appearance.
Quietness is another measure of CTS' craftsmanship. Detailed analysis of sound and vibration was lavished on the CTS during its development. This reduced overall cabin noise via improved body sealing and sound insulation. It also focused on tuning the quality of the remaining sound.
Driving dynamics: The CTS chassis enables a great balance of performance and luxury. The CTS features advanced chassis technology in the form of Cadillac's StabiliTrak electronic chassis control system.
Infotainment and vehicle technology: CTS incorporates the best attributes, advanced technologies and electronics, including:
• Integrated iPod/MP3 capability - Designed in consultation with the engineers behind the iPod and other computer and entertainment industry experts, the center console of the CTS is tailored for MP3 players, iPods or other digital music devices. They can be charged via a USB port, which also enables playlists to appear on the car's touch-screen, and steering wheel controls can be used to advance tracks.
• Hard drive audio system - A 40-gigabyte hard drive allows pausing and rewinding of live radio, as well as "ripping" tracks from CDs. The hard drive enables 60-minute "buffering" of the car's radio, meaning that passengers can "pause" a live broadcast in order to take a phone call, or even leave the car to run an errand, or simply rewind to listen again.
• Navigation system - The navigation system includes 3D imaging of more than 800 major landmarks in 39 U.S. cities, voice recognition and real-time traffic and weather data. This available system uses an eight-inch diagonal, high-resolution full VGA infotainment display head with full touch-screen operation. The screen can retract into the instrument panel when not in use.
• Adaptive forward lighting system - When equipped with the uplevel HID headlamps, the CTS also includes an advanced forward lighting system that automatically adjusts headlamp direction for improved nighttime driving visibility. The system is capable of turning the headlamps a maximum of 5 degrees inboard and 15 degrees outboard on each lamp.
• Available Bluetooth connectivity - CTS is equipped from the factory for Bluetooth wireless connectivity of cell phones and other electronic data devices. It enables hands-free phone connectivity, providing easier and safer calling and dialing.
Safety features: The 2009 CTS is designed to enhance Cadillac's reputation for providing safe occupant environments in luxury vehicles. Details include:
• Dual-stage driver front air bag
• Segment-first dual depth front passenger air bag
• Driver and front passenger side seat-mounted pelvic/thorax side air bags
• Roof-rail side curtain air bags, cover front and rear seating rows
• Front safety belt pretensioners
• Tire pressure monitoring system
• Body structure with strategically placed high-strength steel
As with other Cadillac models, the 2009 CTS comes standard with OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers' vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle's stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system's GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
June 14, 2008
Paris Beach Volleyball Grand Slam: Henkel is the Main Sponsor
The Henkel Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament 2008 will be held in Paris from June 16-22. This year is the fourth time the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament will be held in the French capital. And for the third time, Henkel is the main sponsor of the event, and will present its corporate brand name and seven product brands: Fa, Mir, Le Chat, Pattex, SuperGlue, Loctite and Schwarzkopf.
More than 200 matches will take place on the grounds of the "Champs de Mars," against the fantastic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. The arena has a capacity exceeding 6,500 spectators, who will be able to experience world-class beach volleyball free of charge. The best 130 teams from 40 countries will travel to Paris to pit their skills against each other. For the athletes, the tournament is important in terms of the qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in August. The winners will not only qualify for the Summer Olympics, but also earn 600,000 euros in prize money. Accordingly, the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament in Paris ranks among the most lucrative beach volleyball competitions worldwide.
As the main sponsor, Henkel also offers fans a diverse range of fringe events. These include instructions given by Le Chat on maintaining health at the same level as top athletes, the opportunity to relax in the wellness zone hosted by Fa, or a visit to the Henkel Cafe.
Beach volleyball attained the status of an Olympic sport in 1996. Since the 1980s, the game has emerged as a highly popular sporting event, which appeals to a large audience. In addition to the playing surface, the main difference compared to indoor volleyball is the number of players on the team. In beach volleyball, each team consists of two players, not six as is the case with its indoor counterpart.
Henkel has been sponsoring national and international sports events for many years. Besides the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam tournaments in Paris and Klagenfurt, Austria, Henkel has also been involved with the Ice Hockey World Championship in Canada and the World Handball Championship in Germany last year.
Henkel, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, has about 55,000 employees worldwide and counts among the most internationally recognized German-based companies in the global marketplace. People in approximately 125 countries around the world use the brands and technologies from Henkel. Henkel is organized into three globally operating business sectors: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics & Toiletries, and Adhesive Technologies.
Source: Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
June 12, 2008
DuPont Car Color Update: White is Still Tops but Blue is Gaining in Popularity
Consumer Feedback Alerts Auto Designers to Possible Color Trends.
Photo: Suzuki XL7 -- White.
Photo: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Sedan. White cars, such as this, remain the top color choice for consumers.
Although white, silver and black dominate the global mass auto market, car enthusiasts around the world are leaning toward various treatments of blue, according to leading auto industry designers and a global team of DuPont (NYSE:DD) color designers.
Photo: Ford Fusion 2008 -- Black.
"This year, we thought it would be interesting to ask car and color designers in mid year about automobile buyers' color preferences," said Karen Surcina, color marketing and technology manager -- DuPont Automotive Systems. For the last 55 years, the DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report has provided a year-end, data-based snapshot of mass market car color preferences. DuPont is one of the world's largest global suppliers of paints and coatings to new car manufacturers and the automobile collision repair industry.
Asia Pacific: Emily Hung, DuPont color designer for the Asia Pacific region, says dark blue metallic is popular and is being fine-tuned for that region. Candy whites and tri-coat pearl finishes also are extremely popular, confirming the 2007 DuPont Global survey finding that white had overtaken silver as the most popular color in Asia and North America. Luxury car buyers in Asia-Pacific countries continue to favor black and mid-tone metallic grays while champagne is favored over light silver in medium-size cars.
"In India and China, the booming economies are reflected in the wide range of colors offered to attract young buyers to compact cars," Hung said.
Europe: Blue is the most important chromatic color in Europe, with 12 percent of the market, reports Elke Dirks, DuPont color designer for Europe. Chromatic colors are those with hue, unlike white, grey and black.
"Black, which overtook silver in popularity in Europe last year, is seen as a trendy newcomer there and could double in volume," Dirks said. Long-term, she predicts, European consumers will ask for a more colorful and individualistic palette from car makers. At the moment, though, preferences are highly influenced by ecological concepts, with demand growing for light, pure and sophisticated looks.
Photo: 2007 Chevrolet Aveo Hatchback (Venezuela) -- Yellow.
Latin America: Wolstano Marin, DuPont color designer for Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, says the "achromatic range," including white, silver, gray and black, dominates consumer preference in that area of Latin America. While green led the chromatic colors for several years, "blue now seems to be the most popular in that family," he said. Personal preference, fashion and resale value seem to be the major factors contributing to car color choice in the region.
Photo: Chrysler Aspen 2008 -- Blue.
North America: Blue also plays a role in American tastes, says Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color designer for North America. She sees lighter blues emerging with a reddish accent representing a clean, fresh trend. Medium and dark shades of blue are more greenish, evoking a modern feel.
White tri-coats such as pearls are chosen by buyers for their luxurious, yet unpretentious presentation. Oranges and golds are also important and reddish gold is an emerging influence, she said.
"While current economic conditions in North America are not being felt in car color choices, people are clearly being influenced by the 'green' movement, with natural versions of bold colors taking hold," Lockhart said. "For example, copper seems to be replacing flashier gold finishes and royal blues will give way to lighter, cleaner and more water-like blues. Even white will change, with ultra whites and yellowish whites giving way to cleaner versions."
"White seems to be the most prominent color on the road and on everyone's mind in design," said Mollie Engel, senior color designer for Kia Design Center America. "It is the new luxury color and it is also ecological. The lighter the colors we use, the less 'solar gain' is encouraged, and that means less gas we use to cool our cars."
Photo: 2009 SATURN ASTRA XR 3-DOOR -- Red.
Economic uncertainty in North America seems to be influencing people to return to basics such as white and red, according to Engel, "but they are new versions of these common color spaces." While Engel doesn't see car buyers moving toward blue, she sees a growing importance of "olive greens" as well as earth tones such as dark grey, bronze and dark browns as "part of this new, classically modern palette."
Auto Manufacturer Perspectives: Christopher Webb, General Motors lead color and trend designer, interior and exterior, says "customers are embracing color again," with brown, orange and blue selling well. Webb seeks first-hand color preference information from consumers by interacting with car enthusiasts at auto shows around the United States. He has also done several GM blogs on color.
GM takes consumer input seriously. Several years ago, Webb polled Corvette Car Club members to find out which color they would most like to see on their vehicles. Their request for orange came at a time when an "orange trend" was developing in other areas of product design. The result was a color, developed with DuPont, called "Atomic Orange."
"Blue will continue to be strong in the marketplace along with a growing trend in natural and authentic colors," said Jim Parker, senior manager, color and trim design, Chrysler LLC. "The 2009 Dodge Ram will be offered in several new colors like Deep Water Blue Pearl and Austin Tan Pearl, which will accentuate its distinctive, bold design and reflect these color trends."
Photo: Jeep Wrangler 2008 -- Green.
Although he has not yet seen any economy-related trends in consumer color choices, consumer buying tends to lean toward more conservative choices during economic downturns. Regardless of the economy, says Parker, Chrysler(R), Dodge(R) and Jeep(R) offer a wide variety of color choices, allowing consumers to express their own personalities.
Aftermarket Color Choices: Aftermarket color choices, such as those selected for custom cars and high-end restorations, are also highly individualistic, but don't conform to color trends seen in the new car market, according to Janine Little, marketing manager for the DuPont(TM) Hot Hues(TM) line of automotive finishes.
Some colors are more expensive than others because of the pigments needed to produce the right color - mostly in the red and silver ranges, Little said. "But to these enthusiasts, spending more on the perfect color for your car is a sacrifice worth enduring. They are also willing to pay for the newest coatings technologies, such as special metallic flakes and candy colors, to differentiate their vehicles and give them personality."
The 2007 DuPont Global Color Popularity Report, released in December, tracked color across vehicle segment, and also reported by geographic region, the only report of its kind to do so. The report remains the industry's authoritative standard for analyzing and predicting vehicle color trends based on consumer choices. The annual DuPont study is a benchmark for the automotive industry. Its influence reaches beyond the automotive segment to other industries including home furnishings, consumer electronics and fashion. The 2008 DuPont Global Color Popularity Report will be issued later this year.
June 10, 2008
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Strikes Energy Drink Market With Venom
Venom Introduces New Re-sealable Aluminum Bottle.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group today introduces Venom, an energy drink for those wanting to experience "thrill seeking adventures". Venom is supposed to provide "hard-core energy" and is available in Black Mamba, regular, and Mojave Rattler, low-carbohydrate/calorie.
"Venom will accelerate Dr Pepper Snapple's entry into the fast growing energy drink market by delivering a jolt of energy in new killer packaging," said Charlotte Dimery, director of marketing for Venom. "Its piercing energy that strikes back in a new re-sealable bottle delivers something new and functional in the competitive energy landscape."
Photo: Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. Makes a Splash on the New York Stock Exchange -- May 7, 2008; Beverage business separated from Cadbury Schweppes plc to become stand alone company.
Venom's 16.9 ounce re-sealable aluminum bottle allows consumers to enjoy the product during multiple occasions, unlike most energy drinks in cans.
The Venom energy blend contains caffeine, l-carnitine, guarana, ginseng and taurine, the hard-core ingredients that consumers are looking for in their energy drink.
Venom Black Mamba and Mojave Rattler will be available at retailers nationwide USA for a suggested retail price of $2.29.
In addition to Venom, the beverage portfolio of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. includes the flagship Dr Pepper, Snapple, 7UP, Mott's, A&W, Sunkist Soda, Hawaiian Punch, Canada Dry, Schweppes, Squirt, RC Cola, Diet Rite, Penafiel, Rose's, Yoo-hoo, Clamato, and Mr & Mrs T. Based in Plano, Texas, Dr Pepper Snapple Group operates 24 bottling and manufacturing facilities and more than 200 distribution centers across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Source: Dr Pepper Snapple Group
June 4, 2008
P&G's Folgers Business to Merge into The J. M. Smucker Company
Photo: Co-CEOs Richard & Tim Smucker welcome Folgers into the Smucker family of brands. (The J.M. Smucker Company)
The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to merge the Folgers coffee business ("Folgers") into The J. M. Smucker Company in an all-stock reverse Morris Trust transaction valued at approximately $3.3 billion, including the assumption of an estimated $350 million of Folgers debt. As part of the transaction, Smucker will issue a one-time special dividend of $5 per share to Smucker shareholders as of the record date, prior to the merger, a clear indication of the strength of the combined businesses. Following this one-time special dividend, P&G shareholders will receive approximately 53.5 percent of Smucker in a tax-free stock-for-stock merger.
Folgers is the leading producer of retail packaged coffee products in the United States with a 150 year history. Folgers' broad portfolio of products are sold primarily under its flagship Folgers(R) brand. This brand joins a widely recognized portfolio of brands that include Smucker's(R), Jif(R), Crisco(R), Pillsbury(R), Eagle Brand(R), Hungry Jack(R), Robin Hood(R) and Bick's(R). The proposed transaction creates a powerful portfolio of brands and an even stronger Smucker Company with annual sales approaching $5 billion, and greater scale that will benefit all of its businesses. With the addition of Folgers, the total size of the categories in which Smucker participates increases to approximately $15 billion as compared to $1 billion in 2002. The addition of Folgers, a billion dollar brand, is consistent with Smucker's strategy to own and market number one food brands in North America.
"Folgers is a perfect strategic fit within our portfolio of leading and iconic North American food brands," said Tim Smucker, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Smucker. "Folgers will become our tenth number one brand in North America and will further enhance the high quality, great tasting, diverse product offerings that consumers expect from Smucker. We are proud to welcome the talented Folgers employees to the Smucker Company where brands and people are about more than making and marketing products. We believe the many common values shared by our organizations represent a great foundation for a smooth integration."
Source: The J. M. Smucker Company; The Procter & Gamble Company
June 1, 2008
Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09: Fan Pier Boston is U.S. Stopover Venue
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
The Volvo Ocean Race has confirmed Fan Pier in Boston as the sole North American stopover when the race visits the US East Coast port city in April-May 2009.
Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping in 11 ports around the world and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier global race for professional racing crews.
Agreement between race organizers to bring the race to Fan Pier has been backed by the city of Boston and has been made possible by the efforts of the local developer Joe Fallon, who is working closely with city officials to ensure a successful, world-class event at the coveted waterfront location - Fan Pier.
The entire stopover facility including berthing for the seven-boat fleet, race village, entertainment complex and haul-out area will be accommodated on a five-acre Volvo Ocean Race zone within the development site.
Two weeks of festivals and local events are planned for the beginning of May 2009, to celebrate the arrival and departure of the Volvo Ocean Race, Boston's maritime history and the sport of sailing.
The Fallon Company is owner and developer of the large-scale, 21-acre Fan Pier site. Fallon's plans for the area include a five-star hotel, offices, designer boutiques, restaurants and luxury condominiums with 360-degree views of the Boston skyline and harbour.
Fan Pier also brings to life new public parks, a Harbor Walk, a state-of-the-art marina and the internationally acclaimed Institute of Contemporary Art. It is a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly area, and as the newest neighborhood in the city of Boston is the ideal spot to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Boston.
The visit of the Volvo race, Fallon says, will bring heightened awareness to Boston's waterfront, Fan Pier, extreme ocean racing and the sport of sailing in general. "I'm extremely proud and excited that Fan Pier and the city of Boston will join world-class ports like Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Singapore and Stockholm as hosts of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race," Fallon said.
"Fan Pier represents the best of Boston's ability to bring new global events with international audiences to historic Boston Harbour," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "We believe this race will showcase Boston and the waterfront as a global destination to residents and tourists alike."
Photo: © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo: © Rick Tomlinson. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Boston is the only North American port stopover for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA, which headquarters its North American operations in the greater Boston area, has entered the race with their boat il mostro representing the U.S. The boat is skippered by Ken Read who has strong ties to the greater Boston area.
At the completion of its stopover at Fan Pier, the re-start of the race continues onto its next port stopover, Galway, Ireland.
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it will, for the first time, take in Kochi, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Car Corporation