Orange County Business Journal

Kia Blazes Alt Fuel Trail With Cross-Country Drive

Lands Guinness Record For Least Fuel for Hybrid

Kia Motor America Inc.’s 2017 Niro received a Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption for a hybrid car driving the U.S. from coast to coast.

Marketing: Kevin Bailey

How Bailey Got Vans to $2 Billion

Kevin Bailey oversaw Vans Inc.’s upward trajectory to $2.2 billion in sales during a 7-year stint as president of the footwear and apparel brand—a performance that earned him a recent promotion and honors this week as the Business Journal’s Business Person of the Year in the marketing category.

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Kawaski, Citi to Offer Credit

Foothill Ranch-based Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. has arranged for Citi Retail Services to offer consumer financing via Kawasaki-branded credit cards at motorcycle manufacturer’s 1,100 authorized dealers.

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Hyundai CEO Out

Hyundai Motor America Inc. has parted ways with Chief Executive Dave Zuchowski, who led the Fountain Valley-based automaker for the past three years.

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Autobytel Sells Specialty Product

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine sold its specialty finance leads product to El Segundo-based Internet Brands Inc. for $3.2 million.

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Yamaha Unit Buys Engine Maker

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA in Cypress said its Kennesaw, Ga.-based Outdoor Power Equipment division acquired Subaru Industrial Power Products on undisclosed terms.

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UCI Applications Set Record

The University of California-Irvine received a record 102,210 admission applications and expects the number to grow by the Jan. 3 deadline for the fall 2017 term.

City of Santa Ana Calls in the Pros for Profile Refresh

Hires Nashville Shop to Work on Its Public Image

Santa Ana hired North Star Destination Strategies in Nashville, Tenn., to develop a “community brand” for the city to market itself to residents, businesses and visitors.

Fashion Island Tests Interactive User Tech For Irvine Company

RETAIL: Chatbot helps navigate guests’ brick-and-mortar experience

Irvine Company is using Fashion Island as a testing ground for a concierge chatbot that helps shoppers find brands, stores or services offered at the outdoor mall in Newport Beach.

2017 Preview: RETAIL & MARKETING

Orange County will have a prominent role in the marketing industry’s deepening use of artificial intelligence as more tools emerge to help brands connect with consumers on a personal level.

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Fashion Island Unveils Chatbot

Fashion Island launched a concierge chatbot that helps shoppers find a specific brand, store or service offered at the outdoor mall in Newport Beach.

Oakley In Deal At Big Bear Resort

Oakley Inc. has signed on as the official eyewear and goggle brand of the Big Bear Mountain Resort, which includes the Bear Mountain, Snow Summit and Snow Summit Bike Park venues.

El Pollo Loco Goes Crazy on Mobile Ordering Trend

Latest Chain to Embrace On-the-Go Business

El Pollo Loco launched a mobile app that customers can use to place orders, and revamped its website to support online ordering. New York-based marketing technology firm Olo developed both features.

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Blizzard Branches into Books

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. in Irvine launched a book-publishing label, Blizzard Publishing, which will develop and release new and out-of-print titles related to the company’s “Warcraft,” “StarCraft” and “Diablo” games, both directly and through ongoing global partnerships.

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Vans Boss Moves to Parent Co.

VF Corp. in Greensboro, N.C. promoted Vans Inc. President Kevin Bailey to the same post for the parent company’s Asia-Pacific region.

Stance Steps Into Classic Disney Character Lineup

Sock Maker Debuts Duds For Men, Women, Kids

Stance Inc. in San Clemente is collaborating with Disney Consumer Products Inc. on a men’s, women’s and kids collection featuring Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Goofy.

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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.

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.

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.

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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 Amazon.com to offer remote voice-control features on its entire 2017 lineup.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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