Blogs

How the 'Chevy Guy' became, you know, a hit and stuff

Posted 10:51 am U.S. ET, Oct. 30
blogs
Struggling to read from a notecard in his hand, "Chevy Guy," aka Rikk Wilde, awkwardly boasted that the Colorado offers “class-winning and -leading, um, you know, technology and stuff.”
NICK BUNKLEY:  Late Wednesday night, General Motors introduced America to the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado -- the dependable, all-new pickup that comes with “you know, technology and stuff.” Forget Madison Bumgarner, the 25-year-old pitcher who had just given the San Francisco Giants their third World Series championship in five years with a dazzling Game 7 performance. A much more unlikely hero emerged ...
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Ferrari will go public but remain private

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 30
blogs Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
 
Soon it will be possible to own a stake in Ferrari, but even when it is publicly listed the Italian supercar maker probably will remain a family-owned carmaker. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to spin off 10 percent of its 90 percent stake in Ferrari by June 2015 via a listing in New York and perhaps a few other stock exchanges. The remaining 80 percent will be distributed at no cost to Fiat Chry ...
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The story behind that list of dealership slang

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 29
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
F&I managers -- mostly appalled, but at least partly amused -- recently passed around online a link to a “Car Dealer Dictionary” of dealership slang, including terms that are supposedly in use in F&I departments. Some entries are harmless, such as “Up” for “potential customer.” Some of the terms are familiar in auto industry circles, such as the notori ...
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Why the stick shift's days may be numbered

Posted 9:00 am U.S. ET, Oct. 28
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RICHARD TRUETT:  DETROIT -- Two cars I have test driven recently finally convinced me the good old-fashioned manual transmission will soon be dead. General Motors let auto writers test drive the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette with its new eight-speed automatic transmission. And among our rotating fleet of test cars here at work, a 2014 Jaguar F-Type has been a well-liked visitor. The F-Type also is equipped with an eigh ...
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Why the XC90 can't come soon enough for Volvo dealers

Posted 12:24 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 28
blogs Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News.
 
Some Volvo dealers are expecting the brand’s image to blossom this spring with the arrival of its redesigned flagship crossover. And they can’t wait to see what image emerges. The 2016 XC90 goes on sale in the U.S. in April. Volvo’s U.S. dealerships will get about a third of the 80,000 XC90s built annually when production is running at full capacity. Many Volvo dealers say the ...
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New Subaru marketing could foreshadow upmarket push

Posted 10:24 am U.S. ET, Oct. 28
blogs Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.
 
TOKYO -- If you liked the quality of Subaru cars before, you’re going to love the “new” quality the brand aspires to. That’s the marketing meme Subaru is cultivating in Japan under a “New Subaru Quality” push aiming to move its image upmarket. The pitch was unveiled at last week’s Japan-market launch of the redesigned Legacy sedan and Outback crossover, ...
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Rick Case to sell first N.A. 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C for charity's sake

Posted 4:09 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 24
blogs Arlena Sawyers covers remarketing for Automotive News.
 
The first new Alfa Romeo to be sold in this country in 20 years will be auctioned next week for charity. That’s thanks to Rick and Rita Case, owners of Rick Case Automotive Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rick Case says his Alfa Romeo dealership in Davie, Fla., is the first store to receive one of the highly anticipated 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Italian supercars. It will be sold to the highest bi ...
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Why Honda is venturing into Oculus' virtual world

Posted 11:56 am U.S. ET, Oct. 23
blogs Gabe Nelson is a staff reporter for Automotive News.
 
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- From the back seat of an Acura MDX, I peered out at a stone house on a cliff, fields of wind-swept grass and blue butterflies close enough to touch. All of it was a mirage. In reality, I was in the parking lot of the Honda Silicon Valley Lab here. Strapped to my head was a virtual reality headset called the Oculus Rift, which looks like a pair of black ski goggles but bu ...
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Three factors in Daimler's $780M sale of Tesla stock

Posted 8:39 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 22
blogs Gabe Nelson is a staff reporter for Automotive News.
 
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG announced late Tuesday that it had sold its 4 percent stake in Tesla Motors Inc. for a handsome $780 million, people naturally rushed for a simple explanation. Was there a business dispute? Did investors warn that Tesla’s stock was overvalued? Did the German automaker lose faith in Tesla’s future prospects? Or, on the con ...
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Why loan length doesn’t matter

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 22
blogs News Editor James B. Treece oversees Automotive News' coverage of auto retailing.
 
Here’s another reason not to fret over longer loans: Their numbers are misleading. Consider these comments from Dave Mondragon, executive director of U.S. sales for Ford and Lincoln at Ford Motor Co. Speaking at Automotive News’ Best Dealerships To Work For event last week in Chicago, Mondragon noted that the most recent data show that 60 percent of all vehicle finance contracts are ...
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Why Daimler doesn't share investors' love affair with Tesla

Posted 9:14 am U.S. ET, Oct. 22
blogs Christiaan Hetzner is Automotive News Europe's Germany correspondent.
 
Are Tesla shares overvalued? If you ask Daimler, investors have gotten ahead of themselves with their exuberant love for Elon Musk’s California-based manufacturer of sporty electric cars. On Tuesday, Daimler decided to cash out on its 4 percent stake for the price of $780 million. Not a bad haul considering they paid almost $50 million for the stake back in May 2009. The gain was already l ...
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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
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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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