Last year Maerklin, German manufacturer of high quality toy trains slipped into bankruptcy. As the Financial Times Germany reports, former US rival and market leader in the United States, Lionel has shown keen interest in acquiring the ailing German company. While there seemed to be tangible urgency to find a new owner originally, 2009 has […]
As has been reported, the Kraft-Cadbury takeover battle is almost over. After Kraft has upped its offer, the board of British chocolatier Cadbury has approved the takeover. Only very few voices remain opposed to the deal now, including its founder’s, George Cadbury’s great-granddaughter, Felicity Loudon. In an interview she said that Kraft had no idea what […]
As readers of this blog know, I enjoy reporting the blunders companies make in international markets. But I have to admit that it’s almost as much fun to find examples of multinationals adapting their products for host markets. Such adaptation (a.k.a. local responsiveness) is one of the key choices such firms face (along with decisions […]
I just realized something. With all the discussion around Google’s threat to leave China, many people seem to have forgotten (including myself, I admit), that this may indeed be China’s century. With an abundance of qualified labor, smart (albeit not always fair) economic policies, unlimited foreign reserves and much more, China is on the way […]
Cultural awareness is key in any international business activity. Cultural divides should be accounted for in marketing, negotiations, product design, and other important decisions. One must analytically consider the best way to promote a product given the target audience. It is argued that differences among cultures can be explained according to four dimensions of culture: 1. Individualism – “I” […]
Following Google’s threat to leave China, the International Herald Tribune reports that many foreign companies confirm growing hurdles to doing business in China. Complaints range from intellectual property theft to pressures to source locally to blunt breeches of contracts by joint venture partners. There are allegationns that many of these practices are not just due […]
Amsterdam-based brewer Heineken announced that it will acquire the beer operations of Mexican Femsa through an all-share transaction. The hope is not only to strengthen some of Femsa’s brands in Central and Latin American markets, but also to build out the premium market for Heineken’s own brand. And yes, as usual, there’s talk of cost-saving synergies.
German toymaker Steiff, famous for its teddybears and other stuffed animals, announced that it will pull out of the Chinese market soon. Like many other companies, Steiff entered China (in 2004) in an effort to reduce costs and remain competitive with its range of high-quality toys that are often more collectors items rather than toys. […]
As the German paper Handelsblatt reports, Volkswagen intends to increase it’s marketshare in India from currently less than 2 percent to about 10 percent. Ambitious plans, especially when one looks at the competitive environment. Although Volkswagen will be introducing the base model of its new Polo at just under 7,000 Euros, its competitors are still […]
Volkswagen just announced that it will acquire a 20 % stake in Suzuki of Japan. The move is expected mainly driven by VW’s intent to increase its presence in the Asian market for small trucks.
Something may have gotten past me, but does Chrysler really have a lot of wiggle room for experiments on their customers? It’s recent commercial for the Chrysler 300 features former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former Polish leader Lech Walensa and is a call for freedom for Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi. The commercial is an […]
As reported earlier (on this blog and elsewhere) Chinese automaker SAIC will enter into a 50:50 joint venture with GM to sell small cars and light trucks in India. There’s not only the GM angle to this move. Viewed from the SAIC angle, memories from the recent past arise. In 2004, SAIC purchased a majority […]