Tag Archives: Cars

Honda and Sony Collaborate to Build EVs

In an exciting revelation, Honda and Sony have just announced plans to partner up and develop electric cars. The two Japanese companies have not yet announced the name of their upcoming entity. The vehicles will be manufactured in Honda’s facilities and Sony will provide the mobility service platform. Their goal is to team together this year and begin selling the first car in 2025.

While the joint venture is unique, the announcement is not entirely surprising, as there has been an international push for zero emission vehicles as well as systems that provide more advanced features. This gives tech companies like Sony an opportunity to enter the automobile market. Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida reiterated the vision, remarking: “In the joint venture, we would like to lead the mobility evolution by combining our technology and experience with Honda’s long experience in mobility development and vehicle body manufacturing technologies.” When asked about the possibility of others joining the partnership, Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe responded, “In the future, we would like to expand our business with an open mindset,” while adding that the focus remains on building the electric car model for now.

Dany Bahar: Chief Investor in Italian Specialty Car Company Ares

Dany Bahar, along with his fellow former Lotus employees, designer Mihai Panaitescu and research and development star Wolf Zimmermann, are the movers and shakers behind Ares, an Italian car company offering something different.

Modena-based Ares is offering its clients a new way to personalize the luxury cars they purchase. They will take a high-end car such as a sports car like Bugatti or Aston Martin Rapide, or a sedan like a Bentley Continental GT or a Rolls Royce, and it give it a makeover to the specific requirements of each owner. The finished product is as unique as the client’s own fingerprints.

“The client is fully involved and that is something really exciting,” says Bahar. “These clients are wealthy people, important people but you touch them on an emotional level, where they become like children. They say, ‘I want the rear lamp, like this, not like this’.”

Dany Bahar’s clients have the money to spend on any car they wish. It is not a problem to go the extra distance budget-wise, to get the car that is a true and complete reflection of their inner driver.

“Even if a client is buying a £2 million car they are really not that interested in how it works… as long as it’s fun to drive and it works. His concern is sitting in the car and enjoying the environment he has created on his own. To sit in these four small walls and to enjoy it and call it his own, designed by himself,” Bahar explains.

Ares and Bahar are exploiting a trend which has been propelling a move towards customization. As he states:

“Individualization is becoming so big – you can do everything, shoes, shirts, watches, everything,” he says.

With cars, however, until Ares came along, buyers could only choose the car’s color, wood trim, leather seats, and the like. Even if there were only 400 or so cars manufactured in that series, there can still be many cars that are exactly the same. Bahar and Ares correct this problem.

“If I spent £2 million on this car and I am in central London I don’t want to see two more Bugattis. I don’t want to see the same,” Bahar says. “Having something you cannot buy anywhere else is what fascinates clients. This was the main reason we launched Ares… to take, for example, a Bugatti and give it a makeover, a real makeover.”


Wonderful Walt Does It Again

Big Time Marketing Sales for New Movie

Cars 2 is due out at the end of next month with a bit of a difference. For Cars and Toy Story lovers alike, the six-minute bonus will surely delight. All of a sudden, viewers will be privy to their buddies from Toy Story giving an appearance. Toy Story 3 characters will “romp and joke about Ken and Barbie’s failed attempts to hitch a ride to Hawaii inside their owner Andy's book bag.” This is a good marketing technique. The plan is that it will “keep sales humming for merchandise.” Toy Story franchise as it is already brings in more money than mega characters from Disney such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh. Indeed, anticipated retail sales from Toy Story 3 merchandise is sitting at $7.3 bn.

Clever Tactics

The new movie, Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation is being hailed as Disney’s attempt to work with how Americans love buying all these movie-related goodies, such as lunchboxes and toys. According to former president of Nickelodeon Film & Television Entertainment and founder of Worldwide Biggies Albie Hecht, “showing those shorts is a super-smart strategy for Disney…It’s a way to extend the characters and the brand without its fans waiting two or three years for a new movie.” In addition, these shorts are enabling Pixar to provide the consumer with “great entertainment experiences while prolonging the brand’s relevance.” It’s going to be screened a little more than a year after the release of Toy Story 3, which is just in perfect time to remind people of how much they loved Buzz and Woody. Costing an estimated $6m to produce (for the short), it seems like the returns are going to be worth it when looking at how much the film grossed in worldwide ticket sales alone ($1.06bn, rendering it Disney’s “biggest animated film ever”). There are additional Toy Story shorts in the planning stage as keeping these characters in the limelight seem to just make good marketing sense. On Thanksgiving weekend when The Muppets premiers, another Toon will be played too.