Orange County Business Journal

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November Mixed for OC Carmakers

Two out of four Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace on new-vehicle sales in November, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Tilly’s Beats on Q3

Tilly’s Inc. surpassed analyst expectations on third-quarter revenue and profit, and hiked its 2016 forecast, sending its shares up more than 35% in Thursday trading to more than $13 a share and a $371 million market cap.

Kia Spreads Word on Hybrid SUV Through App Bot

Sings Praises of Niro Via AI-Powered Text Chats

Kia Motors America Inc.’s new Niro hybrid SUV is getting lots of marketing attention these days.

Mazda Makeover Unifies Marketing

AUTOS: Irvine HQ takes new shape after trim of 100 staffers

Chief Executive Masahiro Moro’s vision to transform Mazda North American Operations from an automaker “that just sells cars to a company that delivers a great experience” has taken its next steps following staff cutbacks and a restructuring at its headquarters in Irvine.

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Acquisition May Stem American Apparel Cuts

American Apparel LLC said a $66 million bankruptcy sale to Gildan Activewear Inc. could help it stave off a round of layoffs, including of 332 workers at its dye house in Garden Grove.

Hyundai’s New Take on Tech

AUTOS: Carmaker forms IT ‘subdivision’ at FV headquarters

Here’s what the world didn’t see when Hyundai Motor America Inc. showed off its first self-driving vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week:

OHL Leads on $1.2B Plan to Widen 405

CONSTRUCTION: Expected to bring 800 trade jobs over 6 years

The Irvine office of OHL USA Inc. is part of the joint venture whose $1.2 billion bid for the I-405 Improvement Project was deemed “best value” last week by the Orange County Transportation Authority’s board of directors.

Marketing Groups Grow Effort to Court SF Travelers

Dana Point Organization Joins Concerted Campaign

Visit Dana Point recently joined a consortium of local destination marketing organizations on a campaign that aims to attract visitors from the San Francisco area.

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Acquisition May Stem American Apparel Cuts

American Apparel LLC said a $66 million bankruptcy sale to Gildan Activewear Inc. could help it stave off a round of layoffs, including of 332 workers at its dye house in Garden Grove.

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Hyundai Joins New Waive

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in January will place 150 of its IONIQ EVs in the WaiveCar car-sharing fleet in Los Angeles with an option for 250 more cars in additional cities by the end of 2017.

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Hyundai Plans Self-Driving Car

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley introduced its Autonomous IONIQ concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

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Emerald Buys Again

Emerald Expositions LLC in San Juan Capistrano bought RFID Journal LIVE event and several regional expos from RFID Journal LLC in Hauppauge, New York on undisclosed terms.

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Hyundai Owners Get Voice Controls

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley will work with to offer remote voice-control features on its entire 2017 lineup.

OC Retail Keeps Streak

Biggest Shopping Centers Post 1.7% Increase, Top $8B in Sales

The largest shopping centers in Orange County managed a seventh straight year of growth in taxable sales with a 1.7% gain.

Sold on Corporate Lawyering

Young GC Anything But Stock-Still in Retail-Based Career

Libby Stockstill didn’t just join Billabong International Ltd.’s in-house legal team in Irvine—she built one.

Black Belt, Fast Rise

St. John Knits’ Zabat-Fran Brings Varied Background to General Counsel’s Job

Christina Zabat-Fran brought a black belt in taekwondo and an exhibition-quality art portfolio to go with her law degree when she took the job as the in-house counsel at St. John Knits International Inc. in Irvine.

No More Mannequins? Virtual Alternatives Turn Heads

RAJ Swim Goes with Digital Everyday Women

SwimSpot, the retail arm of Tustin-based swimwear manufacturer RAJ Swim, replaced mannequins at its Fashion Island flagship location with 5-foot digital displays showing footage of “real women of all ages, shapes and sizes” in swimsuits and active wear.

Downshift on Sales Gains for Auto Dealers

AUTOS: 1.5% hike for biggest; Karma top automaker for jobs

The 40 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, a 1.5% increase that marks a significant slowdown from recent years, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

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Blizzard to Start eSports League

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Inc. plans to establish a professional esports league for Overwatch, its team-based shooter game that attracts some 20 million players.

Yamaha Shifts Gears for Trip to L.A. Auto Show

MARKETING: To set up shop in section dubbed ‘Garage’

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA will bring just about everything but automobiles to the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.

Karma Revero Takes Cross-Country Spin to Woo Buyers

2017 Model Debut Car Of Revived OC Automaker

Karma Automotive LLC in Costa Mesa is taking its 2017 Revero on a Driven by Intention tour, giving prospective owners a chance to experience the $130,000 sports car.

HB Media Buyer Gains Steam With Analytics

MARKETING: Expects billings to Jump to $500 million this year

Ocean Media appears to have found a course through the choppy seas of change.

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Automakers’ October Sales Mixed

Three out of four Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace on new-vehicle sales in October, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Quiksilver Adds to Board

Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach added the former chief executive of Danone to its board of directors.

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Apparel Firm Takes Over LA Plant

AST Sportswear Inc. in Brea plans to resume operations at the former American Apparel’s dyeing and finishing plant in Hawthorne in Los Angeles County, after acquiring its equipment in an auction.

NextVR Goes Beyond Tech to Tell Own Story

MARKETING: Next phase follows $80M round, deals with NBA, Fox

NextVR is done explaining the “how” of the broadcasting in virtual reality, and now is moving on to “why” it should be among consumers’ top sources for live entertainment, alongside ABC, CBS and other traditional media powerhouses.

Agency Gets Creative With Its Growth

ADVERTISING: Rauxa picks up accounts as it charts new paths

Ask the folks at Vans Inc. in Cypress about Rauxa, and they’ll likely say it’s a tech company developing their “Customs” website for shoppers to personalize the classic slip-on shoe.

I Spy a Turbo-Charged Advertising Campaign

Spots Highlight Mitsubishi Outlander Safety Features

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. launched several “I Spy” TV commercials that highlight safety features on its 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander.

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Hyundai, Kia Settle With States

Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will pay $41.2 million to 33 states and the District of Columbia to settle an investigation of the automakers’ “2012 restatement of fuel economy ratings and related advertising.”

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Porsche Motorsport Decamps

Porsche Motorsport North America has left Santa Ana for Carson, a move first announced in 2012.

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OC Car Sales Up 1.1%

Sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers for the first nine months of the year increased 1.1% to 147,360, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Volcom Down in Q3

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. posted $76.5 million in revenue for the September quarter, a 13.6% decrease from the same period last year, according to Kering, its Paris-based parent.

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Vans’ Sales Up

Vans Inc. revenue was up 7% in the third quarter, leading the Greensboro, N.C.-based parent, VF Corp.’s outdoor and action sports group that includes the North Face and Timberland brands and had $2.3 billion in revenue for the period.

Kia Gets Clever

Automaker Plans ‘Full Blend’ for Marketing To Stand Out Among Bigger Rivals

Kia Motors America Inc. is preparing to tap into a “full blend” of marketing channels—including virtual reality—as it launches the Niro hybrid SUV and other vehicles scheduled to debut in the coming months.

New Shade of Grays: Emphasis on Proprietary Retail

APPAREL: Mother-daughter label now has four stores open

Kelly and Marie Gray are taking a breather after a whirlwind year that saw their Grayse LLC in Irvine realign its retail strategy to focus on a flock of fledgling brick-and-mortars.

Shoemaker Inspires Longer Runs to Help Girls Group

ASICS to Donate Pair For Every ‘Extra Mile’ Logged

ASICS America Corp. in Irvine launched a marketing campaign that encourages athletes to add a mile to their workouts.

Auto Group Poised for Growth With Buys, Build

AUTOMOTIVE: Shelly beefs up luxe footprint with moves

Shelly Automotive Group is on the move in every sense of the word.

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NBA Games to Air in VR

Laguna Beach-based virtual reality content maker NextVR Inc. has struck a multi-year deal with NBA Digital in New York to live-stream National Basketball Association games in virtual reality during the upcoming season.

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Holiday Pop-Ups for Wet Seal

Wet Seal LLC in Irvine plans to open 13 temporary stores during the upcoming holiday season.

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New Boss for Speedo USA

Speedo USA in Cypress promoted John Graham to role of president.

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Interim Venue to Replace Irvine Meadows

Five Point Communities Management Inc. in Aliso Viejo said part of its property bordering Orange County Great Park would be available for the operation of an “interim amphitheater,” pending approval by the city of Irvine.

Advantage Solutions Aims to Take Data Marketing Up a Notch

MARKTING: New media unit to devise real-time pitches to shoppers

Irvine-based Advantage Solutions has launched a business unit that relies on data collected monthly from some 150 million mobile devices to advertise to specific customers when they’re most likely to make a purchase.

El Pollo Loco Taps San Diego Ad Shop

MARKETING: New campaign to aim for ‘Main Street foodies’

El Pollo Loco in Costa Mesa hired Vitro as its creative agency of record following a competitive review.

Campaign Aims to Boost Pursuit of People’s Passions

Boost Mobile Says It’s There ‘Where You At’

Boost Mobile in Irvine launched a “We Are Where You At” marketing campaign that “celebrates consumers pursuing their passions.”

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OC Company Buys Las Vegas Expo

San Juan Capistrano-based Emerald Expositions LLC acquired Digital Dealer Conference & Expo from Dealer Communications in Boca Raton, Fla. on undisclosed terms.

Zillow Sells Software Unit Amid Expansion in Irvine

MARKETING: Seattle brand’s local office up to 250 OC workers

A software firm that served as the springboard for Zillow Group Inc. to establish a major presence in Irvine has been sold—but don’t expect the online real estate marketer to close up shop in OC.

Irvine-Based Avocado Board Eyes China’s Potential

MARKETING: Talks set for Chicago later this month

The Chinese language has several names for avocado—“è lí,” which literally translates to “crocodile pear”; “niú yóu guǒ,” the “butter fruit”; and “lào lí,” the “cream pear.”

Campaign Promotes BJ’s Chain as Chock Full of Value

Ads By New Agency Let the Good Times Roll

BJ’s Restaurants Inc.’s new “Moments That Count” marketing campaign was developed by its new advertising agency of record, DDB San Francisco, and features ads that emphasize the importance of consumers’ time off and that BJ’s is just the right place to enjoy it.

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Ranking Shows Automakers’ Climb

The brand value of Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. is up this year, according to Interbrand’s 17th annual Best Global Brands report

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FAO Schwartz Brand to Irvine Outfit

Irvine-based ThreeSixty Group Inc. acquired the FAO Schwarz brand from Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. in Wayne, N.J on undisclosed terms.


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