Blogs

Gen Y guru entertains, informs

Posted 4:23 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 21
blogs Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News.
 
Who knew that demographics could be so funny? Jason Dorsey led a room of 100 or so car dealers through a keynote address on Generation Y during Automotive News’ Best Dealerships To Work For event last week in Chicago. It was a mixture of detailed demographics, data-driven insights -- and stand-up comedy. It was so dynamic and thought-provoking that it has stuck with me for days. I’ve ...
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Sizing up the field for 2015 Car, Truck of Year honors

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 21
blogs Richard Truett covers engineering for Automotive News
 
HELL, Mich. -- Many of the jurors who select the North American Car and Truck of the Year convened in this small town northwest of Ann Arbor last week to test drive the class of 2015. There are 22 vehicles in contention. The twisty, undulating roads to Hell, from Hell and around Hell are paved with good indentions. You can really wring out a chassis on the variety of surfaces. The finalists will ...
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Why Wrangler’s Toledo decision may depend on keeping the money spigot flowing

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 18
blogs Larry P. Vellequette covers Chrysler for Automotive News.
 
It’s been just over two weeks since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne casually revealed that he might have to move Jeep Wrangler production out of its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. In his comments, Marchionne said that it would be prohibitively expensive to build an aluminum Wrangler in Toledo, if that’s what Jeep decides to do with the 2017 redesign. I think everyone ...
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In praise of the Best Dealerships To Work For

Posted 3:07 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 17
blogsModerator Jim Treece is retail editor for Automotive News.
 
Here’s why I love Automotive News’ annual special section and event to honor the Best Dealerships To Work For: We’re celebrating the good guys. These are the folks who give car dealers a good name. These are dealers who treat their people well. Call me naive, but I honestly believe that employees who are treated well are more likely to treat their customers well. Moreover, the ...
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Hyundai scrambles for more crossover turf

Posted 2:45 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 16
blogs Richard is print editor of Automotive News.
 
CHICAGO -- Hyundai’s no longer growing by leaps and bounds in the United States, in part because it’s only a bit player in the crossover boom. “Mix is definitely a piece of it,” Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said on the sidelines of Automotive News’ Best Dealerships To Work For event here. “We’re very short on all of our Santa Fe and Tucson and ...
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The joy of being a Jeep dealer in 2014

Posted 3:35 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 15
blogs Richard is print editor of Automotive News.
 
CHICAGO -- Holy Toledo, what's it like to be a Jeep dealer in 2014? Andy Shaver, president of the Shaver Group, just smiles when I ask. A smile that says: "Awesome and then some." "It's really great," he says. "We were just talking about this and someone said Jeep is the strongest domestic brand right now." Understatement alert! Of course, this fourth generation dealer remembers when Jeep was, ...
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Visions of a paper-free auto finance world

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 15
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
What will auto finance look like in 2020? Chase Auto Finance exec Bill Jensen did some speculating last week at the Auto Finance Summit in Las Vegas. One idea he proffered was that by 2020, auto loans would be “completely paperless” -- something the auto finance industry has tried but failed to do for a couple of decades. Not only will loans be paperless, Jensen said, customers will ...
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Volvo's new engine: Turbocharger? Supercharger? What is this thing?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 14
blogs
Valeo calls its device, left, an electric supercharger. It uses an electric motor -- not exhaust gasses -- to spin the impeller. A traditional supercharger looks like the one from Eaton, middle. It is driven by a fan belt connected to the front of the engine. Turbocharges like the one made by Honeywell, right, have an exhaust gas driven turbine on one side and an impeller on the other.
RICHARD TRUETT:  Perhaps you saw the news last week about an experimental engine under development at Volvo. It’s a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered four-cylinder that cranks out an amazing 450 horsepower. At 225 horsepower per liter, it would be one of the most power-dense engines ever produced, if Volvo decides to build it. How Volvo engineers boosted the output of the engine is ingenious. Two turbochargers pl ...
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Why Dale Pollak recommends a call center that employs blind workers

Posted 6:42 am U.S. ET, Oct. 14
blogs David Barkholz is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
CHICAGO -- Near the end of vAuto’s Access: Velocity three-day conference here, vAuto founder Dale Pollak made a very personal appeal to the 170 hand-picked dealers present. Please consider, Pollak said, signing up for call center services from a nonprofit in Orlando that employs blind and visually impaired people to handle calls for private companies. Pollak, who lost his sight to a geneti ...
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Crash recorder video craze hits Japan

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, Oct. 10
blogs Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.
 
TOKYO -- Count Japan as the latest entrant to the dash cam craze. Across the country, drivers are uploading and swapping video footage taken through their vehicle crash data recorders. But these videos aren’t gruesome scenes of blood and twisted metal. They capture romantic sunsets, lonesome country roads, neon-lit streetscapes and the occasional scary near miss. Of the 4,600 clips upload ...
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In Chicago, Cox execs hear dealers' concerns -- and praise

Posted 10:26 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 9
blogs David Barkholz is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
CHICAGO -- vAuto’s Access: Velocity conference here has been an eye-opening experience for the senior management of Cox Automotive -- formerly the AutoTrader Group -- as well as the 160 dealers who are attending by invitation only. Executives from AutoNation, Mullinax Group and scores of other dealerships have both lauded Cox Automotive for the things it does right and pulled no punches abo ...
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Sergio has been the glue that kept Fiat Chrysler intact

Posted 3:16 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 8
blogs Dave Guilford is news editor for Automotive News.
 
Sergio Marchionne’s declaration that he will leave his job as head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at the end of 2018 sent my memory back nearly a decade to an ornate love fest in Las Vegas. In November 2005, Chrysler Group dealers of what was then DaimlerChrysler said an affectionate goodbye to Dieter Zetsche, who was heading back to Germany to lead the parent company. The gathering at the e ...
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Subprime is no runaway train

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 8
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
There it goes again, as Ronald Reagan might have said. The New York Times is still hammering a theme that subprime auto loans will endanger the U.S. economy in the way that subprime mortgages helped bring about the Great Recession. In an article last week -- the latest of several on subprime auto loans -- the paper said “some of the same dynamics” that led to the subprime mortgage cr ...
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What's in a name? Cadillac CT6 creates fervor

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 7
blogs Richard Truett covers engineering for Automotive News.
 
MGB. 500. 280SL. G8. XK120. 2002Tii. TR6. 318is. 2CV. 300TD. XLR. GT6. Car names derived from letters, numbers, and letters and numbers have been with us since at least the 1950s. The blowback from Cadillac’s recent announcement that it will name its big new sedan CT6 has been hurricane force on GM’s luxury brand boss Johan de Nysschen. Why the big fuss? On one hand, I can sympathiz ...
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Wrangler is so engrained in its DNA, the city should be spelled Toledo, OIIIIIIIO

Posted 12:12 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 3
blogs
In Toledo, it's not an overstatement to say Jeep and its local plant -- a mainstay for decades -- are a big deal to local residents.
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:  PARIS -- My hometown completely freaked out Thursday. Lost its mind, flipped its lid, blew a gasket -- pick any phrase you like, because they all apply. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed here in Paris that the next-generation Jeep Wrangler might have to be manufactured somewhere else other than in its historic home in Toledo, Ohio. Nobody would lose their jobs if it happe ...
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Why U.S.-European auto harmony is still just a dream

Posted 1:06 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 3
blogs
A Ford Mustang on display at the Paris auto show this week. (REUTERS)
DAVE GUILFORD:  Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Wolfgang Schneider's title with Ford of Europe.  PARIS -- Wolfgang Schneider remembers when French cars had yellow-tinted headlights and German cars had white lights. Then the two countries decided to allow each other’s cars on their streets. Eventually, says Schneider, Ford of Europe’s head of governmental af ...
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Musk's mysterious 'D' is probably an awd Model S

Posted 2:53 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 2
blogs
An image tweeted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday hinting at something to come from the EV maker.
GABE NELSON:  With his 1 million-plus Twitter followers and his celebrity status, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has a tendency to act like a one-man marketing department. He set the Internet abuzz Wednesday night with a tweet declaring that it was "about time to unveil the D," accompanied by an image of a car behind a garage door and a date: Oct. 9, 2014. Speculation instantly began about what the “D&rdquo ...
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Will the customer buy what governments demand?

Posted 7:30 am U.S. ET, Oct. 2
blogs Dave Guilford is news editor for Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says that after a global wave of new emissions and fuel economy regulations, the automotive industry needs a break. In doing so, he's warning about the unintended consequences of rapid regulatory change. Stadler's not looking for a break from meeting standards like the U.S. 54.5 mpg CAFÉ goal, or the European Union's target of 95 grams of CO2 emissions per ...
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What the new Opel Corsa and next-gen Chevy Volt have in common

Posted 1:33 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the two Corsa models unveiled Wednesday. PARIS -- It wasn't long ago when the smallest engine in one of General Motors' smallest European cars wouldn't have stood a chance of showing up under hoods in U.S. showrooms. But times have changed, thanks to tightening fuel-economy and emissions standards. Opel unveiled three-door an ...
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The Nissan Leaf's top-selling town?

Posted 10:31 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs
The Leaf's U.S. sales rose 36 percent to 21,822 units through September.
RICHARD JOHNSON:  PARIS -- It's true that sales of Nissan's Leaf have picked up momentum this year in the U.S., but what is the geographic mix across the country? Where is the Leaf doing well? At the Renault-Nissan dinner‎ tonight, CEO Carlos Ghosn challenged the scrum that engulfed him to name America's No. 1 Leaf-loving town, the place where 1,000 of the electric vehicles were sold in August alone. The repo ...
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Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent

Posted 5:53 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Richard is print editor of Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- How does Carlos Ghosn feel about the high-level executives who have left Renault-Nissan of late? He takes it all in Ghosn-like stride, which is to say: analytically, not emotionally. "We are obviously a target for headhunters, but we are‎ simultaneously recruiting the best and the brightest," he said. Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen recently went to‎ Cadillac and Nissan planni ...
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Making a splashy entrance in Paris

Posted 6:16 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs

DIANA T. KURYLKO:  PARIS -- Land Rover pulled the wraps off its new compact Discovery Sport at a pre-show event for journalists, hauling it up the Seine River on a massive barge. The Discovery Sport sprinted out of a grassy mountain, through several feet of water, to be greeted by seven giant boots -- or wellies as the Brits call them. The Discovery Sport was introduced by supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who h ...
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Ford puts refreshed C-Max in the Phantom's spotlight

Posted 6:00 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Larry P. Vellequette is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday lifted the mask on its next-generation C-Max at a special event at the Opera National de Paris, the setting for the fictional The Phantom of the Opera. The irony may have been lost on the Ford execs on hand, who also showed off the next-generation European S-Max and Grande C-Max before their scheduled press conference Thursday at the Paris auto show. Like the ...
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The Big (Detroit) 3 are back on top, with nudge from Fiat

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Nick Bunkley is an enterprise reporter for Automotive News.
 
The Big 3 are back. Though maybe not for long. The top of September’s U.S. sales chart would look fairly routine to anyone who was asleep for the past decade and plans to spend this weekend browsing dealer ads in the Sunday newspaper for a good deal on a new PT Cruiser. No. 1: General Motors. No. 2: Ford Motor Co. No. 3: Chrysler Group. You know, just like it’s always been. Excep ...
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Lenders must look through consumers' eyes

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
In the second of what’s shaping up to be a series of attacks on subprime auto finance -- the first was in July -- The New York Times last week made a breathless page one story out of a years-old device: the vehicle starter interrupt. Starter-interrupt devices enable auto lenders to remotely disable a vehicle’s ignition if a subprime borrower misses a payment. The devices have been aro ...
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