The death of Tata Motors' Managing Director Karl Slym in Bangkok, Thailand, is being investigated as a potential suicide. Slym's body was found Sunday morning at his hotel. Slym, 51, joined Tata in October 2012 to help revamp the company's product portfolio. Prior to that, Slym held leadership positions at General Motors in China and India as well as at Toyota in the United Kingdom.
Pernod Ricard is toying with the "Internet of things." How about a connected cocktail dispenser? As part of a plan to invest 20% of its global marketing in digital, the companying is doing R&D in wearable tech to at-home drinking appliances. The cocktail dispenser, the "Guttenburg Project" internally, can be linked to a computer or smartphone to help mix cocktails at home by dispensing liquor.
Claiming that "Arsenal have been a key strategic target for Puma for a number of years," the global sports apparel and footwear company signed what it called a "long-term partnership" with Arsenal Football, one of world's most iconic soccer clubs, to become the team's official kit partner. The alliance takes effect July 1. Puma replaces Nike, which has been Arsenal's kit supplier since 1994.
Several retail groups, including the Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association, renewed their calls for changes in the definition of "full time" for the purposes of the Affordable Care Act. Their calls came as the House Ways & Means Committee was scheduled to discuss the matter Tuesday.
Despite concerns over security, politics, human rights issues and logistics, NBC Sports Group's coverage of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi is in line to set records among Winter Games in ad spend, broadcast coverage and social media support, with the biggest percentage of marketing money over more than 535 hours of airtime expected to come from automotive, financial services, telecom, retail and restaurants and the top spenders predicted to include AT&T, Visa, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Comcast.
Honda says it is now exporting more vehicles from the U.S. than it is importing. Its U.S. subsidiary American Honda exported 108,705 vehicles to 50 countries outside North American last year while importing just 88,537 vehicles from Japan. With the midsize Accord leading the way, Honda has increased the export of American-made vehicles nearly six-fold since 2009 while reducing imports by more than 50% over the same period. The value of those exports reached $2.66 billion last year.
Since 2011, 7-Eleven has been pushing into Manhattan. There are now 37 Manhattan stores. In the past six months alone, five new stores have opened, according to Crain's. The company is taking a someone for everyone appraoch. Two years ago, 7-Eleven launched an innovation group focused on the digital experiences of customers. It began testing Amazon Lockers two years ago.
Has the casual-dining industry worn out its welcome? Customer traffic to these restaurants has declined in nine of the past 13 years, according to retail-research firm Black Box Intelligence. Even as the U.S. economy began healing and consumer spending recovered, beginning in 2010, same-store sales were stagnant, based on Black Box estimates. In December, industry-wide sales at restaurants open at least a year slid by 2%, even as the unemployment rate hit a five-year low and the stock market hit all-time highs.
Super Bowl XLVIII is getting as much attention for the outdoor location of the game as for the participants in the game. But that could translate into bigger dollars than usual for the host Super Bowl region and for the NFL. This year, the direct spending in the New York metropolitan area related to Super Bowl XLVIII is expected to top $210 million, a new high-water mark for the Big Game, according to global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
There are growing signs that Americans are less and less interested in owning cars. The number of U.S. households going without a vehicle has increased nearly every year since 2007-providing further evidence that motorization may have peaked in the United States, according to research by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI. The study found that 9.2% of U.S. households were without a vehicle in 2012, up from 8.7% in 2007. Further, the proportion of such households increased in 21 of the 30 largest American cities.