December 2, 2009
Los Angeles International Auto Show: Porsche Boxster Spyder Makes World Debut
Photo: Porsche Launched the New Boxster Spyder to World Media in Los Angeles.
Today, at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche took the wraps off one of its most nimble and sportiest mid-engine cars: the 2011 Boxster Spyder.
• Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG.
Photos: Porsche rolled out its new Boxster Spyder for the first time at a press conference at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. Helping usher in the sports car for this world debut was Austria's freestyle rock drummer Alfred Vogel. (Porsche Cars North America, Inc., Axel Koester)
"The new Boxster Spyder looks distinctly different from its Boxster siblings," said Klaus Berning, Porsche's executive board member responsible for worldwide sales and marketing, speaking at the Los Angeles Auto Show press conference today. "Our designers borrowed from the rich history of our mid-engine sports and race cars of the '50s, but under the skin it has our most advanced technology so that its performance matches the Spyder's looks, making it the quintessential purist Porsche."
"When equipped with Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission and the Sports Chrono Package, the new Spyder, using Launch Control, accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Top track speed is 166 mph -- with the roof open."
Weighing only 2,811 lbs. and delivering 320 horsepower, it goes on sale in February 2010 and will join the Boxster and Boxster S that made their world debut here last year.
November 26, 2009
Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games: Panasonic to Deliver Full Lineup of HD Equipment
Photo: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Mascots Quatchi, Sumi and Miga (© VANOC/COVAN).
Photo: Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Whistler Olympic Park (© VANOC/COVAN).
Photo: Panasonic to Deliver Full Lineup of HD Equipment to Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Panasonic Corporation, the Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, announced it is providing a full lineup of High-Definition (HD) equipment to support the broadcast of the Olympic Games; delivering the largest supply of AV equipment for any Winter Games in the company's history.
Through cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) and Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver (OBSV), Panasonic will supply its HD video equipment to the competition venues and broadcasting locations, making the Vancouver Games the first Olympic Winter Games to be broadcast completely in HD format.
Following Beijing 2008, all international video signals for the 2010 Winter Games will be produced and distributed in HD format from the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) to rights-holding broadcasters around the world. In addition, the HD video signals will also be used for the first time for display on the LED Large Screen Display Systems in the competition venues and BC Place Stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place; making the 2010 Winter Games the first "HD Olympic Winter Games" with all the Olympic videos to be delivered completely in HD.
In addition, Panasonic will support a safe and secure Olympic operation by providing high-quality picture and high-sensitivity surveillance camera systems for the indoor and outdoor Olympic facilities, the surrounding areas and highways.
Sources: Panasonic Corporation; Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
"Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will take place in February 2010. Relevant consumer-oriented businesses targeting audiences in participating countries (especially those in North America) may timely explore this advertising opportunity."
© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.
November 19, 2009
Bridget Moynahan is the Newest Spokesmodel for Garnier Nutritioniste
Moynahan will be the face of the Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift product collection.
Global skincare company Garnier Nutritioniste is introducing actress Bridget Moynahan as the latest spokesmodel for the brand. Moynahan will appear in print and TV campaigns for the brand's top-selling Ultra-Lift skincare collection, set to debut July 2010.
Moynahan joins an impressive roster of Garnier spokesmodels, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Bar Rafaeli and Alana de la Garza.
"We are thrilled to partner with the beautiful Bridget Moynahan," says Maybelline New York-Garnier President David Greenberg. "Her class, grace and accessibility make her a model representative of the Garnier brand. Most importantly, she exhibits a likeable, healthy beauty that speaks to our consumer in such a positive way."
Moynahan is an all-American girl raised in the East Coast town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Before earning international recognition in films and TV, she had a successful modeling career, appearing on the covers of numerous magazines including Glamour, Vogue, Elle and Self. Moynahan has since appeared in a number of major films, such as Serendipity, The Sum of All Fears, The Recruit, I, Robot, and Lord of War. She is the star of the upcoming 2010 film Ramona and Beezus and is currently shooting the film Battle: Los Angeles.
November 12, 2009
Volkswagen Group of America Invests $125 Million for New Dealer Storefronts in New York City
Flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships reinforce commitment to U.S. market.
Photo: Volkswagen Group of America Invests $125 Million for New Dealer Storefronts in New York City.
• Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. announced today that it is investing in flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships in New York City, as part of its strategic plan to grow business in the U.S. market.
The $125 million deal is for the 265,000 square-foot building formerly housing Potamkin General Motors. The building is strategically sited in the highest traffic area of 11th Ave., making it a convenient location for Volkswagen and Audi customers.
• Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's third largest automaker and the largest carmaker in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen.
"As Volkswagen and Audi move forward on our aggressive plan to increase sales in the U.S., there is no better place to demonstrate our commitment than in Manhattan -- a town synonymous for bold actions and big thinking," said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "New York has always been a leading market for the Volkswagen and Audi brands, and these new store fronts will serve to strengthen our business even more. We are proud to be investing in the New York economy, excited to showcase our brands and look forward to seeing more Volkswagens and Audis on the streets of New York."
The new dealerships will showcase Volkswagen and Audi's new showroom concepts, known respectively as "white frame" and "terminal." The dealerships will be part of one of the largest dealers in the area, the Open Road Auto Group. The Group will target to begin selling vehicles in early 2010.
Source: Volkswagen Group of America
AN AUTOMAKER SHOULD MAKE A POTENTIAL CAR BUYER POSITIVELY LOOK UPON ITS MARKETING.
Should an Automaker make a potential car buyer look upon its marketing as that from an Established, Confident Car Company that believes that its products are very much in demand and that trusts that when someone buys its new car, he or she is already in love with it?
Or, Should an Automaker make a potential car buyer look upon its marketing as that from a Struggling, Jittery Car Company that believes that its products are not in demand and that is why it is forcing the consumers to become artificially interested in them by saying, "If you buy a new car from us and you don't love it, you can bring it back within a specified time, and we we'll refund your money, though, of course, we would do it after a frightening refunding process you would never dare to undergo!"?
© GlobalGiants.Com. All Rights Reserved.
October 21, 2009
Tokyo Motor Show: Honda CR-Z Concept 2009 Makes World Debut
• Stylish hybrid coupe will arrive in North America in 2010 as 2-seat model.
Honda today debuted CR-Z Concept 2009, the second concept version of the stylish, sporty hybrid coupe, at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show. While the vehicle displayed at the show is a global concept with a rear seat, the production version that will be introduced to North America in the second half of 2010 will be packaged as a sporty, 2-seat hybrid that provides a personal driving experience for North American customers.
"The Honda CR-Z will expand our lineup of hybrid vehicles and reinforce the fun-to-drive values associated with the Honda brand," said Erik Berkman, vice president of Automobile Corporate Planning and Logistics for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Beyond great styling and features, CR-Z will bring new levels of engagement and fun to customers interested a small car or a hybrid vehicle."
The production version of the Honda CR-Z will make its world debut at the January 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Source: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
September 20, 2009
German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel officially opens the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. AutoWeek Editors Honor the Best.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Jean-Marc Gales, PSA (PSA Peugeot CitroÃ«n, France).
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Petra Roth, Mayor of the city of Frankfurt at the inauguration.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of Board, BMW and Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Bernhard Mattes, Management Chairman, Ford.
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, VW, Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management, VW (Volkswagen Group).
Photo: 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany at the stand of VW (Volkswagen Group}.
• The AutoWeek Editors' Choice Awards recognize Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.
Photo: A model at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The AutoWeek editorial staff has announced its 2009 Frankfurt motor show Editors' Choice Award winners.
AutoWeek editors have been walking the show floors in Detroit, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo, selecting winners in four categories: Best in Show, Best Concept, Most Significant and Most Fun.
The 2009 AutoWeek Editors' Choice Award winners for the Best of Frankfurt are:
• BEST IN SHOW: Ferrari 458 Italia
It is rare when there are more than a few in the race for this coveted title, but that was the case at Frankfurt when no fewer than eight manufacturers had vehicles in the final. When the scrapping was over, Ferrari's 458 Italia triumphed. The 458 wears voluptuous, organic shapes tied together with technical and efficient lines. No matter when you see this car in the future -- in five years or 50 years from now on a concours lawn -- it will always be the one that debuted at Frankfurt in 2009.
Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Aston Martin Rapide, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Lamborghini Reventon Spyder, Audi R8 Spyder.
• BEST CONCEPT: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
Maybe the most pure concept car at this year's Frankfurt show, BMW's glimpse into the performance sedan of the future uses technology, and design cues, that we'll see in production BMWs in the near future. Powered by a three-cylinder turbodiesel with a hybrid synchronous motor on the front axle and a full-hybrid system at the rear, this 2+2-seater also reveals some hints as to the exterior design features we'll see on future BMW passenger cars. With a top speed of 155 mph, this car shows that the future emphasis on fuel efficiency can offer a lot of fun as well.
Other Finalists Considered: Peugeot BB1, Citroen REVOLTe, Volkswagen E Up.
Photo: Volkswagen E Up in Frankfurt.
• MOST SIGNIFICANT: Renault EV family of four production electric cars
To think about which manufacturer was making the greatest impact and statement with their exhibit, it had to fall to Renault (and by default, though not exhibiting, its Nissan sister company.) With no fewer than four vehicles destined to come to market in three short years, Renault is putting an electrified stake in the ground and showing the rest of the world that while it might not be all in with this bet, it is not leaving much on the table.
Other Finalists Considered: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, Jaguar XJ, Opel Astra, Saab 9-5, Ford Grand C-Max.
• MOST FUN: Porsche 911 Turbo
As is the case with all of the categories this year, a number of strong contenders vied for the title of Most Fun. When the smoke cleared, the new Porsche 911 Turbo came out on top as the one car whose keys we all wanted for a spirited ride. Surely it would brighten the sourest disposition. How can anyone argue with a choice like this?
Other Finalists Considered: Maserati GranCabrio, Peugeot BB1, Mini Roadster, Mazda Superlight, Volkswagen Golf R, Alfa-Romeo Mito Cloverleaf and Lamborghini Reventon Spyder.
• AutoWeek magazine is a fortnightly automotive-enthusiast publication based out of Detroit, Michigan, and is one of nearly 30 titles published by Crain Communications Inc.
Sources: AutoWeek, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)
September 17, 2009
'May the Best Car Win' Marketing Campaign from GM
• GM Launches 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee.
• 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year vehicles.
• Covers all vehicles sold by Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
• Program runs Sept. 14 through Nov. 30.
• Offer covers 2009 and 2010 Model Year Chevys, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs (except medium duty trucks).
• Customers (one per household) can return their vehicle between 31 and 60 days with less than 4,000 miles.
Photo: 2009 Cadillac CTS-V.
Photo: 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL Special Edition.
General Motors has announced that it will offer a Satisfaction Guarantee to eligible buyers of new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The guarantee allows customers to return their vehicle to their dealer between 31 and 60 days of purchase and receive a refund of the purchase price for the vehicle.
The announcement is part of a larger "May the Best Car Win" marketing campaign.
• GM says that it is demonstrating its confidence in its vehicles when compared head-to-head with the most competitive vehicles in each vehicle segment.
Photo: 2009 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ.
Photo: 2010 GMC Terrain SLE.
"We think if consumers give us a fair chance and look at the facts on the things that matter most to them, like design, fuel economy, warranty and safety, our vehicles are the best choices - that's what makes an offer like this possible," said Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, Marketing and Communications. "The Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon, the Buick LaCrosse, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, for instance, are all outstanding new products. This new marketing effort should help us communicate these facts to consumers.
"We know that we'll need to work very hard to get people's attention and encourage them to give Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC a try. We think the 'May the Best Car Win' campaign and the Satisfaction Guarantee offer should help re-instill confidence in the excellence of our products. We're putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don't absolutely love it, we'll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul," Lutz said.
Source: General Motors Company
"This Sunday, General Motors launched a new marketing campaign, 'May the Best Car Win,' and will offer car buyers a 60-day money-back guarantee. Perhaps a more fitting slogan is 'Taxpayers, You Lose.'
Normally a strategy like this would be a bold move to compete in the marketplace - one that consumers and shareholders ultimately decide to reward or punish. Unfortunately, with this 60 percent government-owned company, taxpayers don't have the option of 'pulling out' of GM and putting their investments elsewhere; unless, of course, they'd like to be prosecuted by the IRS and spend a few years in jail. As a pro-market organization, we would applaud GM's gutsy approach - if only GM hadn't rigged the market in the first place.
Given that rigged market, it's no wonder GM can afford to offer money-back guarantees. After all, it's got $50 billion in bailout money. And it's probably not going to pay it back, according to a report last week from a Congressional Oversight Panel.
Since the federal government owns 60 percent of GM, maybe it ought to consider offering a money-back guarantee to the taxpayers as well. Instead, with this money-back guarantee GM continues to flaunt the enormous taxpayer investment in it.
According to the State of New York Banking Department, a new car loses up to 20 percent of its value the second it drives off a dealer's lot. Should taxpayers be footing this bill for GM's Zipcar-like incentive program?
If GM has money to burn on this type of program, perhaps it doesn't really need the $50 billion it received from the Treasury."
-- NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION, 108 North Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314, USA.
Money-Back Guarantee from a Car Manufacturer?
Italian Jewelry Designer Roberto Coin Selects Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns as the Face of the Company
Leading Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin has signed on with advocate, entrepreneur and model Christy Turlington Burns for a second time to shoot his upcoming advertising campaign for 2009-2010. Turlington Burns has graced the covers of over 1,000 top fashion magazines.
For 2009-2010, the Roberto Coin campaign will support CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. According to Roberto Coin, Chairman & Co-Founder of Roberto Coin Inc., "Our previous campaign with Christy was so successful and widely received. We are so pleased to be working with her again. We are proud to be in partnership with an organization such as CARE for all their extraordinary work they have done to empower women worldwide through education, healthcare, increased economic opportunities and human rights."
CARE fights root causes of poverty in the world's poorest communities. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In nearly 70 countries, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.
"At Roberto Coin, we believe that a cause related campaign has much more impact than straight consumer advertising," said Peter Webster, President & Co-Founder. "This campaign recognizes both the work of Christy Turlington Burns and that of CARE."
The campaign was shot by photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, whose past credits include advertising campaigns for Gucci, Givenchy, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein and editorial spreads for the pages of American, French, and Italian Vogue, W, and the New York Times.
The advertisements will appear in October 2009 fashion publications that include Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, and Town & Country.
Roberto Coin's jewelry designs include his signature Appassionata Collection. According to Coin, his designs have also been worn by celebrities such as Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Brooke Shields, Jennie Garth, Jenna Fischer, Demi Moore, Melissa Etheridge, and Jennifer Hudson.
The company, Roberto Coin, is headquartered in Vicenza, Italy.
September 4, 2009
Climate Change: Helena Christensen Witnesses its Impacts in Peru
Photo: Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled to Peru with humanitarian organization Oxfam to document the impacts of climate change on poor people ahead of an important global conference on climate. Photo Credit: Jason Mcdonald/Oxfam.
Model and photographer Helena Christensen traveled with international humanitarian organization Oxfam to her mother's native country to witness and document the dramatic effects that climate change is having on poor people today in Peru.
"The impacts of climate change are extremely severe in the areas we visited," said Christensen in Peru today. "The farmers we met and talked to are already living very hard lives, and are now being forced to adapt to the effects of the rapidly changing climate."
Christensen has documented the trip with a series of photographs that will be exhibited in New York, Washington, London and at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen this December. A short film of the expedition, captured by award-winning Director Richard Bullock, will also be shown.
"One of the women I spoke to, Elizabeth Ayma, told me that because rainfall are less frequent now and impossible to predict due to the climate changes, this is having a huge effect on crop production," said Christensen. "As a result, her family has less food to eat and less produce to sell, resulting in her not being able to afford her children's school fees. The lack of nutritional vegetables also affects her family's health."
"Climate change in Peru is already devastating and we welcome Helena's commitment to show this to the rest of the world. Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem," said Frank Boeren, Oxfam's coordinator in Peru. "It is crucial that rich leaders do the right thing at Copenhagen so that we can begin to stop run away climate change and protect vulnerable people around the world."
"We are at a critical tipping point. We need to put pressure on our governments in order for them to take the necessary, radical steps that are needed. There's no time left, it is absolutely imperative to act now," said Christensen.
Source: Oxfam America
September 2, 2009
Virtuoso Violinist Itzhak Perlman and New York Philharmonic to Join Rotary's Effort to End Polio
Rotary International is joining violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic, led by Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Daniel Boico, to present the Concert to End Polio. It will be a benefit performance supporting the global effort to eradicate this disabling childhood disease.
The Concert to End Polio will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 7:30 p.m. in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City. Program information will be announced at a later date.
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. The Orchestra is also renowned around the globe, having appeared in 425 cities in 59 countries on five continents.
Polio eradication resonates strongly with Mr. Perlman, who contracted the disease at age four and overcame serious physical challenges to become one of the world's most celebrated musicians. In this historic, one-night-only performance -- his first with the New York Philharmonic in four years -- Mr. Perlman will help Rotary in its effort to raise $200 million to match a $355 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All of the resulting $555 million will fund critical eradication activities in developing countries where polio still threatens children.
Rotary International, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. Since then, ending polio has been Rotary's top priority, and tremendous progress has been made.
Rotary is an international humanitarian service organization made up of more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, with a total membership of 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.
Source: Rotary International
August 31, 2009
Babolat Welcomes Back Kim Clijsters to Her First Grand Slam Since 2007
Photo: Kim Clijsters with her Babolat tennis racquet at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Clijsters is preparing for her first Grand Slam tournament since coming out of retirement. The US Open starts Monday, August 31.
Babolat, leading manufacturer of tennis racquets, welcomed tennis star Kim Clijsters to New York City for the U.S. Open. Just days before her first Grand Slam appearance since 2007, Clijsters posed for pictures with Eric Babolat, president and CEO of Babolat, at the iconic Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
With the picturesque Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, Eric Babolat personally welcomed Clijsters back to professional tennis. "We have been working together since 1999 when Kim was only 16 years-old. She's a player with outstanding athletic and personal qualities. Our relationship is based on mutual trust. We are very glad to be with her for her comeback on the Tour," said Eric Babolat.
Today, Kim Clijsters will make her first Grand Slam appearance since pausing her professional career to devote time to her family. According to Babolat, Clijsters is returning with her familiar Babolat Pure Drive racquet in hand, strung with Babolat's VS Natural Gut.
Clijsters expressed that "Babolat has always supported me during my career. When I made the decision to go back to competition, there was no question for me, it would be with Babolat. It's great to feel the sensation of my Pure Drive again!"
Photo: Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA)
Photo: Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP)
Inventor of tennis racquet strings 134 years ago in Lyon, France, Babolat is among the world leaders in tennis racquets. Today, the brand includes a complete tennis offering for competition and club players alike: racquets, strings, shoes, bags, and accessories. Babolat equips 20% of the top 100 players in the ATP and WTA including Rafael Nadal (Spain, #3 ATP), Andy Roddick (USA, #5 ATP) and Dinara Safina (RUSSIA, #1 WTA).
September 13, 2009
Kim Clijsters Wins U.S. Open Women's Title
Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who won the U.S. Open women's title in 2005 before taking a sabbatical from tennis, defeated Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 7-5, 6-3, in the women's final on Sunday night (September 13, 2009) to reclaim the title.
August 28, 2009
Ford Taurus 100-City Tour
Photo: Mark Fields, Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company Showcases 2010 Ford Taurus at New York Stop of 100-City Tour.
Mark Fields, executive vice president and president of The Americas, Ford Motor Company, is in New York Friday, August 28, to showcase the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus for one stop of the company's 100-City Taurus Tour.
Mr. Fields kicks off the Taurus publicity tour in New York by giving a speech at the New York Press Club at in the Associated Press Conference Center.
"The new Taurus sets the pace for Ford's growing new car launch momentum," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. "This sedan completely redefines expectations of what Taurus stands for - and helps further define what Ford is capable of delivering - quality, fuel-efficient vehicles featuring the latest technologies and head-turning design."
Mr. Fields is responsible for all operations involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America.
Source: Ford Motor Company
On Eve of The US Open, Tennis Icon Maria Sharapova Debuts Signature Fashion Collection by Cole Haan in New York City
Photo: Maria Sharapova unveils her new advertising campaign for Cole Haan.
Just days before taking the court for the US Open Championships, tennis star Maria Sharapova unveiled her Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan collection of handbags and footwear - at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Fans, tourists, and onlookers burst into cheers as Sharapova was introduced by celebrity MC Quddus on a specially constructed stage where Maria unveiled her new advertising campaign for Cole Haan.
"Everyone loves Maria. It's great to be working with her and adding a new dimension to Cole Haan's history," states Jim Seuss, Chief Executive Officer.
"It's my hope that other young women will embrace the spirit of the collection; it's fun, chic, fashionable and most importantly, able to take you from day to night," says Sharapova.
The Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan footwear collection, featuring Nike Air technology, includes a ballet flat, an ankle-wrapped stiletto, a flat over-the-knee boot, an ankle bootie and a strappy platform sandal.
Cole Haan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nike, Inc., is a style and luxury brand offering handcrafted men's and women's footwear, accessories and outerwear.
Source: Cole Haan
July 23, 2009
APPEAL OF NEWLY LAUNCHED CAR MODELS HAS IMPROVED: J.D. POWER
Industry's top study measuring customer satisfaction in design, content, and vehicle performance.
Photo: 2010 Porsche 911 GT3.
The automotive industry achieves a three-year high in appeal for new and redesigned models, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
In 2009, the APEAL score for all-new and redesigned models averages 790 on a 1,000-point scale--11 points higher than in 2008 and 15 points higher than the 2009 score for carryover models. In addition, seven all-new and redesigned models rank highest in their respective segments, including the Dodge Challenger, Ford F-150 (in a tie), Ford Flex, Hyundai Genesis, Nissan Maxima, Volkswagen CC and Volkswagen Tiguan.
"Most automakers are on track in terms of designing new models that are highly appealing," said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. "The greater challenge for manufacturers lies in creating models that launch with both strong appeal and high quality, which ultimately lead to improved sales through greater customer loyalty and advocacy."
"Throughout the years, vehicle models achieving high APEAL scores have been shown to benefit from faster sales, less need for cash incentives and higher profit margins on each vehicle sold."
The average APEAL score for all models in 2009 has improved considerably to 779 from 770 in 2008, driven primarily by increased owner satisfaction with fuel economy. This higher satisfaction comes from three main sources. First, fuel prices have decreased significantly during the past year, which has reduced owner concerns about gas mileage. Second, owners are switching to more fuel-efficient vehicles--in 2009, more than one-half of all vehicles included in the study are powered by four-cylinder engines, compared with just 39 percent in 2008. Third, automakers are designing models to be more fuel efficient than their predecessors.
Photo: BMW X6M at the 2009 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
"Although lower fuel prices and the switch to smaller vehicles have undoubtedly helped, there are also many individual vehicles that have made strong improvements in fuel economy ratings," said Sargent. "For example, the Ford F-150, Cadillac Escalade, Volkswagen Jetta and redesigned Dodge Ram have all made major strides in owner satisfaction with fuel economy through the introduction of more efficient powertrains."
In 2009, domestic brands comprise the four most-improved nameplates. Dodge posts the largest improvement, followed by Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac, respectively. In addition, the three most-improved models are from domestic manufacturers, including the Dodge Ram, Buick Lucerne and Ford F-150.
"Consumers have a great array of appealing vehicles to choose from by both domestic and import brands," said Sargent.
The overall gap in APEAL scores between domestic and import models has narrowed considerably during the past several years and is just five index points in 2009, compared with 15 points in 2008 and 27 points in 2007. Among premium models, import nameplates retain a slight edge, while among non-premium models, domestic brands have a similar edge.
Photo: All-New 2009 Audi Q5 Crossover Vehicle.
Photo: Hyundai all-new 2010 Genesis Coupe.
Volkswagen captures four segment-level awards--more than any other vehicle nameplate in 2009--for the CC, GTI, Passat and Tiguan. Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan each garner two awards. Ford receives model-level awards for the F-150 (in a tie) and Flex. Honda models receiving awards are the Odyssey (for a fifth consecutive year) and Ridgeline (for a fifth consecutive year). Mercedes-Benz earns awards for the S-Class (for a third consecutive year) and SLK-Class. The S-Class achieves the highest APEAL score of any model in the industry. Nissan receives awards for the Armada and Maxima.
Also receiving awards are the Chevrolet Avalanche (for a second consecutive year), in a tie; Dodge Challenger, Hyundai Genesis, MINI Cooper (for a second consecutive year); Porsche Cayenne (for a second consecutive year); and smart fortwo.
Porsche is the highest-ranking nameplate in APEAL for a fifth consecutive year.
The APEAL Study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 90 vehicle attributes. The 2009 APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2009 from more than 80,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2009 model-year cars and trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership. The APEAL Study complements the recently released J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership.
Photo: Members of the Maxima launch team hold the banner as the first all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima rolls off the line at the Nissan Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tenn.
2009 APEAL Nameplate Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Porsche ------ 869
Jaguar ------ 859
Cadillac ------ 852
Audi ------ 846
BMW ------ 844
Mercedes-Benz ------ 841
Lexus ------ 837
Infiniti ------ 828
Land Rover ------ 822
Lincoln ------ 820
Acura ------ 818
MINI ------ 817
Volkswagen ------ 807
Buick ------ 801
Volvo ------ 793
Ford ------ 785
Dodge ------ 784
GMC ------ 784
Saturn ------ 779
Industry Average ------ 779
Honda ------ 778
Mazda ------ 778
HUMMER ------ 773
Scion ------ 772
Pontiac ------ 769
Nissan ------ 768
Mitsubishi ------ 767
Smart ------ 767
Chevrolet ------ 764
Hyundai ------ 763
Mercury ------ 763
Chrysler ------ 757
Toyota ------ 756
SAAB ------ 754
Kia ------ 748
Subaru ------ 738
Jeep ------ 727
Suzuki ------ 715
• Top Models per Segment
Highest Ranked: smart fortwo
Highest Ranked: MINI Cooper
Compact Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen GTI
Compact Premium Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Entry Premium Vehicle
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen CC
Midsize Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Dodge Challenger
Midsize Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Hyundai Genesis
BMW 5 Series
Large Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen Passat
Highest Ranked: Nissan Maxima
Photo: Y'Anna Crowley, winner of BET's 'Sunday Best' Competition in front of the 2009 Lincoln MKS, Lincoln's Flagship Luxury Sedan.
Results from the study show the Ford brand improving by 17 points and moving up six rank positions among nameplates from last year. The Lincoln brand improved by 18 points and climbed two spots in the survey from a year ago. Mercury improved by eight points and Volvo's score increased by two points.
The Ford Flex and F-150, both segment leaders, scored better than the segment average in every category, performing especially well in fuel efficiency and exterior styling. Ford's new F-150 improved 52 points from last year and scored 16 points better than all redesigned trucks in this survey.
"Ford's quality rankings continue to climb consistently year after year and we intend to keep the momentum going to become the best in the industry," said Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Global Quality. "To do so, we're raising the stakes and redefining what it means to deliver a quality product by giving consumers more than just defect-free cars and trucks; we're exceeding their expectations with features they would expect to find only in high-priced luxury lines."
APEAL asks customers what they like about the performance, execution and layout of their new vehicle after the first three months it is in service. Customer's rate their level of "gratification" on a variety of vehicle attributes, including safety, fuel economy, cargo space and roominess, exterior styling and price.
Photo: 2010 Ford Fusion.
"At Ford, we are accelerating the development of vehicles customers will fall in love with at first sight and grow even fonder of over time," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "To deliver on that promise, our goal is nothing less than product excellence in design, feature content, safety and quality--all at an exceptional value."
Ford explains that since "gratification" is difficult to define and even harder to measure, Ford looked for new ways to understand how customers define it. Researchers combed through surveys, looked at historical trends and studied customer satisfaction rates. They spoke with people who recommended Ford to their friends, and to those who dismissed the brand out of hand. By discovering what makes customers feel good about their cars, Ford was able to develop a unique set of criteria that came to be known as product DNA.
"This strict set of guidelines is designed and built into every vehicle for a consistent feel and sound that is unmistakably Ford. Every Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicle, from sub compact cars to full size crossovers, is designed to evoke a positive emotional response from its owner."
This "emotional engineering", which focuses on the senses of sight, sound and touch, is helping Ford deliver vehicles that are satisfying to own and drive.
To ensure the company's quality criteria are met, Ford says it formed a Global Craftsmanship team of engineers who examine how harmoniously the vehicle is put together. "Like assembling a puzzle, the team analyzes every inch of the vehicle to check for gaps, mismatches or inconsistencies of all of the parts individually and as a whole. Their work is divided into four interior and exterior vehicle review categories: visual quality; touch and feel quality; sound quality, and illumination harmony."
Photo: 2010 Volvo XC60.
To add structure to its DNA strategy and increase customer satisfaction, Ford put its quality criteria into three categories:
• Basic quality - the fundamental reliability of a vehicle.
• Performance quality - includes attributes such as fuel economy and quietness.
• Excitement quality - those unexpected convenience features that surprise and delight the customers.
While continuing to improve on basic quality and performance quality, Ford has increased its focus on excitement quality - the parts of the vehicle that surprise and delight. According to Ford, "Excitement quality includes features ranging from seats specially designed for comfort, materials and surfaces that look good and feel right, interiors with ambiance and paint that flows like liquid across the vehicle's surface."
"When applying the three categories, it's never about either/or; it's all three," said Kuzak. "We're still consumed with basic quality, but we're now also very focused on providing appeal and excitement."
"Creature comforts, good fuel economy, elegance, style, durability and quality craftsmanship, all come together to complete the ownership experience." says Ford.
Sources: J.D. Power and Associates and Ford Motor Company.
"FORD ADVERTISING: Now, when the advertising of its domestic competitors is low-key (they have just emerged from bankruptcy), Ford Motor Company is in an advantageous position to strike in North America and consolidate its nameplates and brands."
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July 19, 2009
Steinway White House Grand Pianos of 1903 and 1938
Steinway & Sons are promoting the Steinway piano as a cornerstone of American music and culture.
According to them, since 1853, Steinway pianos have set an uncompromising standard for sound, touch, beauty and investment value and Steinway remains the choice of 9 out of 10 concert artists, and it is the preferred piano of countless musicians, professional and amateur, throughout the world.
"We've always known that Steinway & Sons is a great American original," says Todd Sanders, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Steinway & Sons. "By producing the finest handcrafted instruments available, our factory in Queens has contributed to a significant part of American culture for more than 156 years. Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Billy Joel, among many other legendary composers and performers, have all drawn their inspiration from the Steinway piano. We're proud to take a moment to consider how important our company has been in our nation's history. The White House pianos are also a great reminder of this."
Photo: White House Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano, designed by Architect Eric Gugler. The piano was presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, commemorating the production of Steinway's 300,000th piano. The case is made of Honduran Mahogany, with gold leaf accents by artist Dunbar Beck. This magnificent instrument currently resides in the East Room of the White House. Photo courtesy of the White House Historical Association.
• In 1903, to celebrate the creation of the company's 100,000th piano - and the 50th anniversary of the firm's founding - Steinway & Sons offered to transform its standard concert grand piano into an artwork suitable for use in the East Room of the White House. The "Gold Grand" was presented to the White House, and President Theodore Roosevelt accepted the $18,000 Steinway "on behalf of the nation." The piano served through the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt; it was then donated to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
• The second White House piano was built and presented to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 to commemorate the production of Steinway's 300,000th piano. The new piano, designed by New York architect Eric Gugler, was more than nine feet long, with a case of Honduran mahogany and gold leaf by artist Dunbar Beck. Last renovated in 1992 during the administration of George H. W. Bush, the piano remains today in the East Room of the White House.
Source: Steinway & Sons
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."
-- Ludwig van Beethoven
June 29, 2009
U.S. News Media Group Launches Online University Directory
• Portal Links Students with Degree Providers
U.S. News Media Group has launched Online University Directory, an online portal focused entirely on higher education and professional and continuing education opportunities.
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, USNews.com, and RankingsandReviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group is a leading provider of service news and information. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its "News You Can Use(R)" brand of journalism and its "America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, and health plans.
Complementing the U.S. News rankings, the long-preferred tool for the assessment of excellence in higher education, the University Directory helps potential college-bound students and working adults further invest in their future by serving as an online marketplace where they can directly interact with colleges and universities.
The new portal (distinct from USNews.com) will provide consumers with a full range of education options, including information about both online and offline educational institutions, and will provide educational institutions with an opportunity to showcase their degree and certificate programs in a co-branded forum jointly created by U.S. News Media Group, "America's Authority on Education(R)", and Bisk Education, a facilitator of online degree and certificate programs from some of America's leading universities.
The University Directory organizes schools in multiple ways including an alphabetical directory of ranked and unranked schools in various categories.
"Not everyone is looking for a ranked school," said Brian Kelly, Editor of U.S. News. "While the University Directory has ranking information, it also provides a resource for many different kinds of students."
The site also includes interactive features and expanded sorting abilities, and will present content about degree and certificate programs from U.S. News & World Report's vast collection of the 'News You Can Use(R)' service journalism that has justifiably made it the leading source of news and information about educational opportunities in the United States. It will also feature informative content focused on providing information to consumers who are actively looking for educational opportunities.
"U.S. News & World Report is the leading resource - both in print and online - for students looking at college as well as adults searching for continuing education opportunities, and we wanted to create a website focused on these consumers and institutions," said Bill Holiber, president of U.S. News Media Group. "With Bisk Education, we found a company focused on online education with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities to create a dynamic education-focused portal. Their proven success in working with colleges and universities to bring their schools' online degree and certificate programs to students made for a natural collaboration."
Holiber explained that USNews.com - the U.S. News Media Group's flagship website - will continue to feature rankings and other college and graduate school information, along with the public policy analysis, money, and health content that has distinguished it as a leading provider of information for consumers. "However, we realized that we needed to create a site with navigation and design that was focused specifically on consumers who were in the market for higher education opportunities," Holiber said.
As part of the partnership, all advertising from colleges and universities at USNews.com and the University Directory will be sold by Bisk under the U.S. News brand. Bisk Education is the world's largest exclusive provider of professional education online. Bisk's University Alliance division facilitates the promotion and online delivery of associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as professional certificate programs from the leading traditional universities and institutions in the USA.
"Higher education institutions need a credible and trustworthy marketplace in which they can showcase educational opportunities and connect with potential students that are suited to their programs," said Nathan Bisk, Founder and Chairman of Bisk Education. "For the past 15 years, we have been at the forefront of creating and executing online and distance-learning marketing and recruitment campaigns for some of the nation's leading universities. We know how to market in the digital age and we understand the need to protect the integrity of each institution's brand while helping them connect with qualified students. The new U.S. News Directory will allow educational institutions the opportunity to meet the ever increasing demand for university based education and workforce retraining that is in such demand in today's economy."
Source: U.S. News Media Group
"Rankings attempt to quantify the value of an education. Although the collection and publication of information about such things as location, class size and programs offered is useful to students and their parents, the statistics used in the rankings do not offer that kind of information. How can the interaction between faculty and students be quantified? What kind of numbers tell you about the interests students discover as they explore new ideas and participate in scholastic and extracurricular programs? Do statistics reflect the skills in thinking, writing and analysis that students develop during the course of a well-designed and cohesive program of study?
The kinds of data used to rank schools in the U.S. News and World Report survey are not indications of educational excellence."
-- Presidents of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland and St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
"Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them."
"The first duty of government is to see that people have food, fuel, and clothes. The second, that they have means of moral and intellectual education."
-- JOHN RUSKIN
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June 27, 2009
BENETTON PLAYLIFE COLLECTION SUMMER/FALL 2009
Benetton Playlife's summer/fall collection gets its inspiration from the simplicity of the past as well as the creativity of today, and yet it is loyal to the brand's mood and character. It is a sophisticated combination of the two, producing the environment of an American college.
• Collection for Men
Everything is white, red, blue and bright green, not forgetting classic denim. Outerwear features cotton blazers, gym sweatshirts and check barracudas. They're worn with denim or canvas work trousers or with knee-length Bermudas in the same fabrics. Underneath are jersey polo shirts sewn like shirts, with vintage chambray collars; distressed plain or striped T-shirts with appliqués, badges, embroidery; knitted rugby-stripe sweaters with numbers, neckline reinforcements and vintage details. Lastly, cotton shirts with a logo on the inside cuff.
Colors are bigger and brighter in summer. Purple, lime and turquoise make their appearance. Fabrics are worn-out from extreme washing or crisp and cool.
Rather than long trousers, there's a preference for military-look detailed Bermudas in plain colors or patchwork checks or impeccable white, parachutist-style. They're worn with short-sleeved piqué polo shirts; T-shirts embellished with prints or decorations; heavy-cotton loose tartan shirts paired with pastel-striped light pullovers.
• Collection for Women
Lots of stripes: all-over or highlighting cuffs, edges or lapels. There's the blazer with a badge or the short, double-breasted, collarless knitted jacket with frills around the bottom or the short pinstripe jacket with floral piping. They're worn with cigarette pants, figure-hugging jeans, baggy sailor trousers featuring a halyard instead of a belt. Casual sweaters and polo shirts have gold accents and luxury details. Summerwear revels in romanticism. Here come balloon or tiered plain or tartan mini skirts with embroidered edges; long dresses with a smocked bustier; ultra-oversize chambray trousers. Sweaters, be they jersey or knitted, display crochet decorations and broderie anglaise borders; loose blouses have a dicky, a jabot and frills. As for outerwear, there's the choice of a linen safari jacket or a split-leather blouson. White, pastels and bright colors form a cool, elegant palette.
Source: Benetton Group, Villa Minelli, Ponzano, Treviso, Italy.
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Hilton Hotels Corporation: Doubletree Hotels To Offer Free Doubletree Cookies On July First And Fourth
Celebrate Your National Pride in Canada and The United States With Complimentary Chocolate Chip Cookies from Doubletree Hotels.
On the First and Fourth of July, two days filled with patriotic traditions in Canada and in the USA respectively, Doubletree Hotels is offering the "sweet treat" of complimentary, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies to anyone who walks into any of its more than 200 locations on Canada Day and Independence Day USA. No purchase is necessary. Limit one fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie per person. People may simply walk into any Doubletree hotel between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1 at Canadian Doubletree hotels and Saturday, July 4 at U.S. Doubletree locations to be welcomed with a "delicious, warm chocolate chip cookie" to commemorate each country's beloved holiday, while supplies last.
According to Hilton Hotels, the Doubletree tradition of greeting guests at check-in with its legendary, warm chocolate chip cookie has set the standard for welcoming hotel guests. And more than 200 million of the 2 Â½ ounce cookies, which boast an average of 20 chocolate chips, have been presented to travelers during the past two decades.
"Our "Free Cookies on the First and Fourth" promotion is a fun way to celebrate patriotism and satisfy chocolate cravings across Canada and the United States, without even needing to be a guest," said Mary Beth Parks, vice president of marketing for Doubletree Hotels. "We're expecting to give out thousands of cookies to our guests and our communities this Canada Day and Independence Day - certainly more likely than any bakery or cookie company will sell on these special days!"
With a growing collection of contemporary, upscale accommodations in more than 200 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America, Doubletree Hotels, Guest Suites and Resorts aim to provide "true comfort" to today's business and leisure travelers.
Doubletree is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, a leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,300 hotels and 550,000 rooms in 77 countries. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known hotel brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton™ and The Waldorf-Astoria Collection™.
Source: Hilton Hotels Corporation
June 18, 2009
Fiat Group to sponsor G8 Summit
Photo: The G8 Summit Venue in L'Aquila, Italy.
Italy, which took over the Presidency of the G8 in January, is responsible for hosting and organizing the annual Summit and also the preparatory meetings ahead of the three-day summit.
[The G8 is not an international organization, nor does it have an administrative headquarters with a permanent secretariat. It is rather a process that culminates in an annual Summit at which the Heads of State and Government of the member countries hold talks with a view to finding solutions of the main world issues.
The main industrialized countries taking part in this process are known as G8 -- the Group of Eight (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, United Kingdom, Russia, United States of America). Over recent years, the Group of Eight has involved the main countries with emerging economies, known as the Group of Five (G5), in a process of dialogue. The Group of Five (G5) comprises Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.]
Top management of Fiat has offered the Group's sponsorship of the G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, to the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi.
Photo: Fiat Alfa Romeo - Murphy & Nye
Present at the meeting, held at Palazzo Chigi, were the Under Secretaries to the Prime Minister, Gianni Letta and Paolo Bonaiuti, as well as the Chairman of Fiat Group, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the Deputy Chairman, John Elkann, and the Chief Executive Officer, Sergio Marchionne.
As a symbol of the Fiat Group's support for the G8, the Prime Minister was presented with an Executive version of the Lancia Delta, made to the exacting standards of comfort and drivability and recently chosen as the Official Car of the 9th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
Concrete operational support for the Summit, which will be held on July 8, 9 & 10 at the Guardia di Finanza's Camp Coppito, will consist of an entire fleet of vehicles - consisting of 221 passenger cars, electric vehicles, off-road vehicles, commercial vehicles and buses - being made available to the Department of Civil Defense by Fiat Group for transportation of the participants at the G8 Summit.
The fleet will consist of: 90 Lancia Deltas, 85 Fiat Professional light commercial vehicles, 10 Iveco Massif off-road vehicles and an array of electric vehicles, including an Iveco Daily, two Iveco Europolis buses and 33 "GEM e4" vehicles produced by Global Electric Motorcars, part of the Chrysler Group.
A large part of this fleet has already been employed over the past few months at the preparatory ministerial sessions leading up to the Summit which are being held in various cities around Italy on specific topics such as labour, agriculture, the environment, economic development, justice and internal affairs, science and technology, finance and foreign affairs.
With the exception of the electric vehicles, which will be used within the Camp compound, all other vehicles will be used to transfer delegates to and from airports and the L'Aquila heliport. The entire fleet will be managed 24 hours a day by specialized Fiat Group personnel who will provide assistance and maintenance services, including for the armored Lancia Thesis vehicles already in use by the Italian government.
• The Fiat fleet for the G8:
90 Lancia Deltas will be used as courtesy cars.
Photo: Fiat Lancia Delta
Among these will be several models of the Executive version, designed with users such as businessmen, diplomats and government officials in mind. This version was also chosen at the Official Car for the 9th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held 11-13 December 2008 in Paris, of which Lancia was the main sponsor.
33 electric-powered "GEM e4" vehicles will be used inside Camp Coppito to transport Heads of State and Heads of Delegation. This zero emissions vehicle is produced by Global Electric Motorcars, part of the Chrysler Group, and has a range of 50km and can fully recharged in just 8 hours from a standard domestic 220v socket.
Photo: Fiat IVECO Daily
Three other electric vehicles, an Iveco Daily for luggage transport and two Iveco Europolis buses, will also be used inside the military compound. Distributor panels equipped with electric sockets have also been provided to recharge these vehicles.
Photo: Fiat Professional Ducato
The 85 Fiat Professional vehicles include 75 Scudo Panorama, DoblÃ² Cargo and Ducato Cargo commercial vehicles and 10 natural gas Fiat Ducato Panorama 140 Natural Power vehicles, which provide high performance, reduced fuel consumption and low emissions.
Photo: Fiat IVECO Massif
The G8 fleet is completed by 10 Iveco Massifs (5-door Station Wagon) already in use by the Civil Defense. This 4x4 vehicle is capable of operating in extreme off-road conditions with gradeability at full-load of 100%.
Photo: Fiat Lingotto Building.
Photo: Fiat Abarth Plant
As a pioneer of the car industry, Fiat built its first car in 1899. Over 90 million cars and light commercial vehicles have been produced since then and many of its models have marked important milestones in motoring history.
Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) designs, produces and sells automobiles under the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth brands, and light commercial vehicles under the Fiat Professional brand. Each brand has its own unique identity and distinct commercial and marketing practices.
Source: FIAT S.p.A., Turin, Italy.
May 20, 2009
RENAULT: OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF THE 62nd CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
Photo: Renault Vel Satis, official car of the Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)
French automaker Renault has fostered the growth of the Cannes Film Festival for 26 years. This year too, since May 13, 2009, a fleet of about hundred vehicles, including 70 Vel Satis and 30 Espace, are driving the actors and Festival guests to and from the red-carpeted steps. In addition, about a dozen Kangoo be bop are supplementing the official fleet.
Photo: Kristin Scott Thomas, getting out of Ranault Vel Satis. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)
Photo: Hafsia Herzi, french actress who declared opened the 62nd Cannes Film Festival with Charles Aznavour. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)
The relationship between Renault and the movie industry is more than a century old. According to the company, Louis Renault's Voiturette appeared in early films in 1899, when the first film studios were built in Boulogne-Billancourt at the same time as the first Renault factory on the Ile Seguin.
Renault informs that it is continuing its commitment to film and television production today through an active policy of sponsorship and product placements. Several models from the Renault range are in the films in the Festival's official selection, such as Les Herbes Folles by Alain Resnais.
Photo: Renault New Grand Scénic painted in the colors of Up, the opening film of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)
Photo: Renault New Grand Scénic painted in the colors of Up, the opening film of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. (Credits: Stéphane Kossmann)
This year, Renault, and especially the latest model in the range, New Grand Scénic, is also teaming up with Disney Pixar and the 3D animated feature Up, screened at the Opening Ceremony. According to Renault, the arrival of members of the Disney teams in front of the red carpet on board the three New Grand Scénic models decked out in the colors of the film marks the beginning of an international collaboration in communications interfaces that spans more than 20 countries and that is boosting traffic in Renault showrooms.
The Atelier Renault situated at the Champs Elysées has also been set up in Cannes for the 62nd festival. Located on the beachfront of the Majestic, in the middle of the Cannes atmosphere, the Atelier is open to all visitors and is exhibiting photography featuring celebrities from around the world mounting the famous Steps.