Tesla strikes while the iron's hot
Posted 1:11 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 13
| Gabe Nelson covers four Korean and Japanese brands, plus Tesla and automotive technology, from Automotive News' bureau in San Francisco.|
At certain points in their lives, even obsessive billionaires like Elon Musk must come to terms with the fact that some things are beyond their control.
No matter how talented their people, and no matter how well those people execute on the business plan, everything can be ruined by something unpredictable: a stock-market collapse, a natural disaster, a failing supplier.
With today’s annou ...
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Sales legend rings up with advice on cars, marriage, cars
Posted 10:03 am U.S. ET, Aug. 13
| Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News.|
It was just another day here in the newsroom when my phone rang. Caller ID said it was J. Girard.
Mr. Girard was a reader calling for clarity about a story I’d written. I answered him and was about to sign off, when he asked me if I knew the name Joe Girard.
I vaguely recalled his name from past Automotive News stories. He proceeded to refresh my memory. From 1966-77, Girard won the annual ...
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A case for using single staffer for sales, F&I
Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, Aug. 12
| Hannah Lutz is a staff reporter covering finance and insurance for Automotive News.|
One employee per customer.
That’s the way that Barry Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep- Ram does it.
At the Ephrata, Wash., dealership, the sales staff handles financing. Store owner Denver Morford wants his customers to work with the same employee throughout the entire transaction to build a relationship and customer retention, he says.
The practice zeros in on the salesmen’s role as “the ...
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Audi's 605-hp S8 Plus dials the power up to 11
Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
The S8 Plus has a few distinguishing elements on the outside, including a redesigned rear diffuser and carbon fiber-accented fender inlets. (Audi)
Is the performance of the Audi S8 not enough for you? The German automaker is introducing an even more powerful version unimaginatively dubbed S8 Plus.
The stock Audi S8 already produces 520 hp and 481 pounds-feet of torque courtesy of its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, with power sent to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission; it's not exactly lac ...
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CTS-V sticker reflects shift in Cadillac pricing
Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
If you squint hard at the label on the Cadillac CTS-V high-performance sedan that hits showrooms soon, you will see a subtle but telling shift in Cadillac’s pricing strategy.
The sticker starts at $83,995, including shipping. That’s about $11,000 below BMW’s M5 and about $9,500 less than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
In recent years, Cadillac has tried to price its new entries at ...
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For Honda, technology isn't just for the young
Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
Honda's 2016 Accord lineup allows smartphone users to plug their phones into the car using a USB cord, and to access some of the phone's apps through a new seven-inch touch screen in the dashboard. With a second display screen above it, users can access two functions at once, such as the phone's navigation system and the car's music system.
When it comes to the changes Honda made to its freshened 2016 Accord, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Look past the chrome-ier grille and LED taillights and you’ll notice Honda has integrated both Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto into the dashboard.
This makes the new Accord -- which goes on sale next week -- one of the first few vehicles on the market to offer comp ...
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CarMax dodges a bullet, thanks to NADA, NIADA and NAAA
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 8
| News Editor James B. Treece oversees Automotive News' coverage of auto retailing and used cars.|
CarMax Inc. owes the National Automobile Dealers Association, the National Auto Auction Association and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association an enormous thank you.
Those associations last week helped CarMax dodge what could have been a devastating bullet.
Oh, that wasn’t their objective. The associations’ goal was to scuttle the so-called Blumenthal Amendment.
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When Johanna Quandt turned an ambitious Henry Ford II down
Posted 5:45 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 5
Johanna Quandt, right, in 2010, once politely turned down Henry Ford II's offer to buy BMW.
Her hair tied up in a tight bun, Johanna Quandt looked like a character out of The Sound of Music as she greeted Henry Ford II at her home in Bad Homburg, Germany, in the summer of 1987.
The billionaire widow, whose late husband acquired the struggling BMW in 1959, died this week at 89.
The meeting in 1987 took place just a few weeks before Ford died of complications from pneumonia in Baden Bade ...
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Sergio is right, but industry avoids consolidation
Posted 2:07 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 5
| Bradford Wernle is a supplier reporter for Automotive News.|
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne set the industry on its ear recently when he said it has a dangerous problem: a chronic addiction to burning capital at an unsustainable rate.
A panel of analysts at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars here wouldn’t argue with Marchionne’s assertion. But they’re not so sure the industry can change its ways any time soo ...
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Why Hyundai sticks by its warranty offer
Posted 5:30 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 5
KRISHNAN M. ANANTHARAMAN:
With Hyundai racking up awards for its quality and reliability, could the brand get away with watering down its industry-leading warranty coverage?
Extra-long warranties are handy marketing tools for challenger brands or those that have become tarnished by questions about reliability. They were Chrysler’s ticket back to respectability in the late 1980s and drove Hyundai’s comeback in ...
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Back when Detroit had to learn efficiency from Japan
Posted 9:26 am U.S. ET, Aug. 5
| Lindsay Chappell is the Mid-South bureau chief in the U.S. for Automotive News.|
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Here at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars, people are talking about the urgency to embrace new information technologies to run better factories, reduce wasteful practices and empower workers to make processes work better.
I’d like to point out how easy these ideas and tools are to come by today. Especially in contrast to a moment 30 years ago when the North Americ ...
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- You think your job is tough? Try walking in Chris Grundler’s shoes.
As director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, nothing his department proposes goes unopposed by an assortment of well-funded trade groups who don’t want their business models disrupted.
Dramatically reducing the sulfur content, first in diesel fuel and then in gasoli ...