Monday, January 26, 2015

National Gallery Melbourne to Celebrate the Aussie Car

Holden Hurricane coupe, concept car 1969.
Photo: Courtesy General Motors.
In a first for an Australian art gallery, the NGV will honour the history of the Australian car with an exhibition titled: Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car.
23 of Australia’s most iconic vehicles together with photographs, models, sketches, illustrations and archival material will be displayed.
The exhibition will also look toward the future of the Aussie automobile industry as it moves from manufacturing to being a global contributor through specialist design knowledge.
Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to experience many of the stories behind the development of some of the county’s most iconic vehicles and the designers who styled them.
They include Lewis Bandt who designed the hugely successful Ford coupe utility or ‘ute’ which was quickly copied by local and international OEMs.
Some exceptionally rare vehicles that were never manufactured will include the Holden Hurricane designed by Don Daharsh, the Holden Efijy devised by Richard Ferlazzo and the Brian Tanti-designed FR-1, a 21st century hotrod created to showcase the future of motoring Down Under.
Australia also engineered its fair share of high-performance production cars starting in the late ‘60s and continuing until the early ‘70s. They included the Chrysler Valiant Charger E49 acknowledged at the time to be the world's fastest accelerating car, the Holden Monaro and Holden Torana.
Shifting Gear will also cover the roles played by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) and the numerous niche manufacturers who produced fully manufactured vehicles and original body styles such as the two-seater Bolwell Nagari.
A series of public programs will accompany the exhibition along with a landmark publication that will trace the 100-plus year history of Australian car design.

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square from 6 March 2015 to 12 July 2015.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Digital Revolution is Still to Come

DLD founder Steffi Czerny presents her opening speech at the DLD Conference in Munich.
- 11th DLD conference takes place from 18 - 20 January 2015 in Munich - 1,000 participants and over 150 international speakers

Entitled "It's Only The Beginning", the DLD (Digital, Life, Design) innovation conference from 18 - 20 January 2015 will focus on the influence of digitalisation on society, the world of work, industry, mobility, art and design.

In her opening speech, DLD founder Steffi Czerny explained: "The real digital revolution has not yet taken place - it is just beginning. But there is no reason to fear. We can shape the future and the digital revolution ourselves."

Publisher Hubert Burda is one of Germany's digital pioneers, and was one of the first to predict the fundamental changes the Internet would bring to the media. His new book Notizen zur digitalen Revolution (Notes on the Digital Revolution), presented at DLD15, is a collection of his thoughts on media developments from 1990 to 2015. After the invention of printing and the Internet, the Internet of Things is the next innovation to have a profound impact on the media landscape.

The far-reaching changes in the media landscape were also in evidence during the terrorist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The role of print, online and social media was tackled by Ulrich Reitz, editor-in-chief of FOCUS, US journalist Jeff Jarvis and Bruno Patino of France Televisions, who admitted that: "The footage of the attack appeared on Facebook [ ] before reaching the traditional media." The greatest challenge faced by journalists is to regain the public's trust.

Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of taxi app Uber, spoke about the opportunities presented by digitalisation for the job market, mobility and environmental protection. He announced his wish to create 50,000 European jobs this year through Uber, and to create the necessary conditions in cooperation with European legislators. Uber is currently available in 270 countries worldwide.

Ed Vaizey (Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, UK) discussed entrepreneurship and the digital ecosystem in Europe alongside Axelle Lemaine, French Deputy Minister for Digital Affairs, and Timotheus Hottges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. The central question was which political regulations can help further the digital economy in Europe.

Monday, 19 January will see a discussion of the influence exerted by digitalisation on health, the financial market, art and advertising. This will involve speakers such as David Marcus (Facebook), Oliver Samwer (European Founders Fund), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn/Greylock), Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), Stewart Butterfield (Slack), Peter Barron (Google), David Hayes (Tumblr), Ian Robertson (BMW), Markus Braun (Wirecard), Julia Stoschek (Julia Stoschek Collection), Troy Carter (Atom Factory) and music producer Giorgio Moroder.

In addition, the Aenne Burda Award of Creative Leadership and the FOCUS Digital Star Award will both be presented.

Sessions will be streamed live by DLD Media at Images from the conference can be downloaded free of charge at

DLD 2015 at a glance
- Main topics at DLD15: Digital Revolution, Entrepreneurship & European Digital Ecosystem, The New Consumer, Rethinking Mobility, Machines & Humanism, Healthcare's Age of Enlightenment 
- Talks, discussions, workshops: more than 150 international trailblazers will come together with over 1,000 attending opinion leaders - influential women and men from the economy, art, media, technology, society, politics and science.
- Patrons: Investor Dr Yossi Vardi, publisher Dr Hubert Burda and Board Member Dr Paul-Bernhard Kallen
- Events during DLD: Chairmen & speaker dinner in the Residenz (18 January), presentation of the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership (19 January), presentation of the FOCUS Digital Star Award (19 January) and the DLD campus lecture (20 January). The 2015 DLD conference will close with the DLD FOCUS Nightcap during the World Economic Forum in Davos (21 January). 


DLD is the international conference and innovation platform of Hubert Burda Media. DLD Media organises DLD (Europe's leading digital conference), the DLDwomen conference and international network events in cities such as Palo Alto, New York, London, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. DLD Media produces conference content including publications, online and video formats and studies, and advises DLD partner companies, start-ups, investors and institutions. It is managed by Stephanie Czerny, one of the co-founders of the DLD conference back in 2005.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The rebirth of Palm

Palm brand has always been synonymous with innovation throughout its history. As such it has consistently acted as a pioneer of mobile technologies. Now is the time to revive and bring back this pioneer spirit.

To do so, TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited ("TCL Communication" or the "Company" which, together with its subsidiaries, is referred to as the "Group"; HKSE stock code: 02618) is very proud to announce that it will create a new Palm Inc., a US-based company that will take ownership of the Palm brand. New Palm Inc. will remain a truly Californian, Silicon Valley, based company leveraging on the talents and partnerships of the area.

Palm has always carried a lot of affect and emotions. That's why TCL has set the direction to rebuild the brand involving Palm's very own community, making it the largest scale crowd-sourced project ever seen in the industry.

The objective goes far beyond proposing a more advanced device. It is to deliver absolute breakthrough innovations in Technology, Design, User Experience, Eco-system, Marketing, Supply Chain, and Business Models.

Palm will be fully supported by the various assets of TCL Communication:

-- A best in class R&D organization, rich with 5000 engineers across 7 R&D centers around the globe 
-- The most modern and efficient mobile devices manufacturing facility 
-- A top level quality record recognized by the global tier 1 carriers and retailers around the world 
-- A cutting-edge supply chain ready for the flexibility required by the market today 
-- A global network already serving more than 170 countries and the most demanding customers of the industry with local Sales, Marketing and Technical teams

The exact timeline of the roll-out of the Palm project will be communicated at a later date.

TCL Communication, the 5th largest global handsets vendor, is operating globally under the ALCATEL ONETOUCH brand and TCL brand. It has already reached breakthrough positions, in multiple regions of the world.

During the past 3 years, TCL Communication has evolved from a leading position in feature phones to a top player in Smart Devices with a comprehensive portfolio of Smartphones, Tablets, IoT, Wearables, Mobile Routers.

Today the company is adding new dimensions to its legacy hardware capabilities, turning itself into a true mobile Internet player with applications and cloud services in areas such as health care, education, smart home, video conferencing, music, etc.

About TCL Communication
TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited ("TCL Communication" or the "Company"; HKSE stock code: 02618) together with its subsidiaries (collectively the "Group") designs, manufactures and markets an expanding portfolio of mobile and internet products worldwide under two key brands -- ALCATEL ONETOUCH and TCL.

The Group's portfolio of products is currently sold in China and over 170 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, TCL Communication operates its highly efficient manufacturing plant and R&D centers in various provinces of the PRC. It employs over 16,000 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and overseas.

TCL Communication is one of the few companies in Hong Kong or mainland China who owns or licenses 2G, 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G and 4G-patented technologies. It is also able to independently develop products and solutions for the GSM, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, WCDMA, TDSCDMA and LTE. For more information, visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

German automaker predicts another uplifting year

Following a fourth consecutive record year of sales in 2014, the BMW Group is confident that 2015 will see further sales growth. 

The company delivered more than two million vehicles to customers last year with a total of 2,117,965 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles sold, more than ever before in the Group's history (prev. yr.  1,963,798 / +7.9%).

"With the launch of 15 new models planned for the year, we are confident that 2015 will see the momentum we've generated in the last years continue and that we will increase sales in all major sales regions, despite ongoing volatility in some markets", said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing BMW, at the Detroit Motor Show.

"In Europe overall, sales should continue to recover, especially in those southern European markets which are starting from a fairly low level", Robertson continued. "The market in the USA had a strong year in 2014 and we believe it will continue to grow. Asia is also set to deliver further sales increases."

Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for MINI, BMW Motorrad and Rolls-Royce said in Munich on Monday, "Following last year's model change of our core MINI 3 door model and the introduction of the new MINI 5 door, MINI had its best ever fourth quarter in 2014.
We take that momentum into the new year. The average age of our model range in 2015 is around 2.5 years - that's the youngest we've had for a long time - and we'll be introducing the new MINI Clubman later this year.
I'm confident that MINI sales will set a new record in 2015. The same goes for Rolls-Royce. With over 4,000 units delivered in 2014, the marque set a new sales record and I believe that success will be built on further this year.
BMW Motorrad sold more maxi-scooters and motorcycles in 2015 than ever before. We are launching five new Motorrad models this year - they will ensure we keep the momentum of the last years going."

2014 was the best year ever for the BMW brand. Deliveries of BMW vehicles totalled 1,811,719, an increase of 9.5% on the previous year (1,655,138). Sales in December also achieved a new high, up 14.2% on the same month last year (177,954 / prev. yr. 155,835).

In its first full year on the market, the BMW 2 Series Coupé has been delivered to a total of 27,933 customers while 13,091 customers have taken delivery of the 2 Series Active Tourer during the three months it has been on sale.
Sales of the segment-leading BMW 3 Series were up on last year, totalling 476,792 (prev. yr. 467,672 / +2.0%). Deliveries of the BMW 4 Series models totalled 119,580 in 2014. The BMW 5 Series, which also leads it segment globally, saw sales increase 1.7% this year, with a total of 373,053 delivered to customers worldwide (prev. yr. 366,992). 

The BMW X4, which went on sale in July, has been delivered to 21,688 customers while the new third-generation of the BMW X5 has increased sales by 37.4% compared to last year (147,381 / prev. yr. 107,231).
Around 17,800 customers have taken delivery of an innovative BMW i vehicle in 2014. 

Global deliveries of the BMW i3 total 16,052; nearly three-quarters of those sales occurred in the second half of the year, following the vehicle's late-spring market launch in several major markets including the USA. The keys to a total of 1,741 BMW i8s have been handed over to customers since it went on sale in the summer.  

Despite the change in the core MINI model this year, annual sales remained around last year's record level with a total of 302,183 vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 305,030 / -0.9%). MINI has had its best ever December with sales up 20.7% compared to the same month in 2013 (36,773 / prev. yr. 30,455).
In December, sales of the 3 door MINI were up 33.9% (16.418 / prev. yr. 12,262) while a total of 6,954 customers took delivery of a new 5 door MINI in the last month of 2014. The MINI Countryman saw sales grow 5.0% across the year (106,995 / prev. yr. 101,897) while deliveries of the MINI Paceman totalled 15,567 in 2014, an increase of 6.0% (prev. yr. 14,687).

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced record sales results for a fifth consecutive year, with 4,063 units (prev. yr. 3,630 / +11.9%) sold globally during 2014, more than ever before in the brand's 111-year history. Strong sales were reported worldwide, with double-digit increases in most regions. This exceptional growth means that deliveries have more than quadrupled since 2009. 

Sales were driven by strong orders for Ghost Series II, launched in November, and Wraith, which enjoyed its first full year of sales, while the Phantom remains the company's pinnacle product.

BMW Motorrad has achieved a fourth successive sales record, selling 123,495 motorcycles and maxi-scooters in 2014, an increase of 7.2% (prev. yr. 115,215). In December, 7,032 vehicles were sold, 10.9% more than in the same month last year (6,343).

The BMW Group achieved growth in all major sales regions in 2014. 

In Europe, a total of 913,803 BMW and MINI brand vehicles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 858,990 / +6.4%). All European markets have experienced growth in 2014. The BMW Group's home market, Germany, saw sales increase 1.7% across the year with 273,433 new vehicles registered (prev. yr. 268,838).
Sales in the region's second biggest market, Great Britain, grew 8.4% in 2014 (204,749 / prev. yr. 188,837) while a total of 67,449 BMW and MINI vehicles were delivered in France, an increase of 5.3% (prev. yr. 64,082).

Sales of BMW and MINI vehicles in Asia grew by 13.8% in 2014 with sales totalling 656,395 (prev. yr. 576,616). This level of sales growth was reflected in the December figures - deliveries in the last month of the year totalled 61,295 (prev. yr. 54,546 / +12.4%). The year saw sales in Mainland China grow by 16.7%, with a total of 455,979 BMW and MINI vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 390,713). Strong sales growth was also experienced in South Korea, where 46,400 customer deliveries were made, an increase of 17.3% on the previous year (39,558).

Sales growth of 3.9% was recorded at year-end in the Americas (481,056 / prev. yr. 462,891). The USA was the region's main growth driver in 2014, annual sales there were up 5.3% to total 395,850 (prev. yr. 375,782). Canada also saw positive growth of 1.2% (38,188 / prev. yr. 37,723) while sales in Mexico increased by 6.5% compared to the previous year (14,902 / prev. yr. 13,992).

Double-digit growth was recorded in the Middle East region with a total of 30,148 BMW and MINI vehicles sold in 2014, an increase of 22.6% compared to the previous year (24,596). December sales in the region were up 30.4% with a total of 2,511 vehicles delivered to customers in the last month of the year (prev. yr. 1,926).

With its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group is the world's leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 30 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2014, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.118 million cars and 123,000 motorcycles worldwide. 

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.