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December 3, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Huntington Beach surf apparel company Quiksilver Inc. said it sold its snowboard subsidiary, Mervin Manufacturing, for $58 million and plans to sell other non-core businesses as it refocuses its strategy on its top-selling brands. Quiksilver Chief Executive Andy Mooney said the downsizing will enable the company to concentrate on its three core brands - Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes. He said the planned unloading of Surfdome Shops Ltd., Hawk Designs Inc. and its Moskova brand are part of the changes.
December 1, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
This is not your grandfather's Jeep. The 2014 diesel Grand Cherokee Summit points the brand in a very different direction than its beginnings as a bare-bones World War II gadabout. The same can be said for this new version's $57,000 price tag. Today's Jeep comes with trinkets that were beyond fantasy in the 1940s, including adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled leather seats and an adjustable air suspension. The hope is that goodies like these will draw buyers out of sport utility vehicles from established German luxury brands and establish Jeep as a competitor in the cut-throat, $50,000-plus arena.
November 29, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Things are a bit dry at the Volvo well at the moment. The automaker, which was bought by Chinese brand Geely in 2010, won't have a completely new product until 2015 . That's when the next-generation XC90 SUV is due, which will finally replace the long-in-the-tooth model that's been around since 2003. This dearth of new sheet metal has hurt Volvo's sales in the U.S. Through October, annual sales are down nearly 7% compared to the first 10 months of 2012. Despite this decline, 2013 sales are about the same as Jaguar's.
November 29, 2013 | By Doug Smith
Of all the memories of the 1960s, nothing stirs as much fondness as the magic of AM radio pouring out the rough-cut exuberance of doo-wop, the English invasion, surf music and anti-war ballads. We all had our favorite call signs: KRLA, "Color Radio" KFWB, 93/KHJ. And then, there was KGFJ, the station that carried the rich sounds of rhythm and blues. I was reminded of all that recently when I heard from Master Blaster, the ambassador of soul who brought singers like James Brown to the mix of counterculture, psychedelic, anti-war and hurdy-gurdy sounds that paced that chaotic time.
November 26, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Hands-free is so last year. For 2013, Apple's Eyes Free voice commands have started to trickle into new cars. On Tuesday, Honda announced it would be the latest automaker to bring Siri into your daily commute. The 2013 and 2014 Honda Accord and the 2013 Acura ILX and RDX will all be available with this voice-activated system as a dealer-installed accessory, Honda said. "With technology becoming further integrated into people's lives, we are happy to provide next-generation connectivity and meet our customer's ever-changing needs,” Art St. Cyr, vice president of Honda's product planning and logistics, said in a statement.
November 25, 2013 | By Charles Fleming
Nothing says "love" quite like theft. And motorcycle thieves just love their Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis. They particularly love stealing them in California -- especially Los Angeles. The state and county led the nation in bike thefts for 2012. The three Japanese marques were the most-stolen brands in the top locations last year, according to a new study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which reported that overall thefts of two-wheelers dropped slightly from 2011. Honda led the league, representing 20% of all motorcycles stolen, with Yamaha (16%)
November 24, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn
For menswear aficionados, Italian luxury label Ermenegildo Zegna has long stood for a high-quality yet understated gray-flannel sensibility. But for colorful, personality-driven runway fashion? Not so much. Which is why it's significant that, after 103 years, the brand has decided to put a face with its name for the first time in a branding initiative that was unveiled earlier this month in the razzle-dazzle capital of the world, Los Angeles. The new star is Stefano Pilati, who spent eight years as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent and who joined the Zegna Group in January as head of design for the Ermenegildo Zegna brand and designer of Couture, its premium menswear line of handmade suits, shirts, outerwear and accessories, which was shown on the runway for the first time during Milan fashion week in June.
November 24, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
With eco-friendly cars taking center stage at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show, it was no surprise luxury carmakers wanted to tout their stuff too. And not just far-off concepts that drivers will need to wait years for, either. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac each brought production-ready fully electric or plug-in hybrid models. FOR THE RECORD: Electric vehicles: In the Nov. 23 Business section, an article about new electric cars said the BMW i3 is front-wheel-drive. The BMW i3 is a rear-wheel-drive car. - It's not hard to see why they chose to do this at the Los Angeles show.
November 22, 2013 | By David Pierson
Prepare for the onslaught of Wonderful Halos. Roll Global and its subsidiary, Paramount Citrus, have launched a $100-million advertising blitz to promote their brand of seedless mandarin oranges. The Halos come months after the company sold its share of the popular Cuties brand of mini, easy-to-peel oranges. Paramount plans to spend one-fifth of its $100-million budget this year on a national ad campaign that includes television commercials and a mobile app called Halos Fun (think of Angry Birds but with clementine oranges being flung instead of birds and you get the idea)
November 20, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
Names like Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln bring to mind flashy cars with formidable pedigrees and even more formidable price tags. But for the first time, all these storied luxury brands are focused on - of all things - compact crossover vehicles. Each is rolling out a new one at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens this week. It's not hard to figure out why: The segment's market share has quadrupled in the last five years and is forecast to keep growing for the next five years.
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