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Japanese automakers fear new outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China

Posted 7:51 am U.S. ET, May 25
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Hans Greimel is Automotive News' Asia editor.
TOKYO -- Three years ago this September, Japanese automakers learned a nasty lesson about the power of history and nationalism in China. Their sales in the world’s No. 1 market plunged amid a violent public backlash against Japanese cars following a territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing. Their market share has yet to recover. Unfortunately for the Japanese auto ...
     Continue reading "Japanese automakers fear new outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China" » May 25, 2015 7:51 am U.S. ET
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How BMW saleswoman builds rapport, trust and her brand on social media

Posted 12:02 pm U.S. ET, May 22
The chance to leave a lasting impression on a potential buyer perusing the dealer lot doesn’t have to end when a salesperson hands over a business card. That should only be the start nowadays -- especially in the age of social media, where salespeople can showcase their personalities and product knowledge through videos and candid photos. Social media allows salesp ...
     Continue reading "How BMW saleswoman builds rapport, trust and her brand on social media" » May 22, 2015 12:02 pm U.S. ET
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Fixing Takata fiasco must become top priority

Posted 2:30 pm U.S. ET, May 21
The Takata airbag crisis continues to mushroom into the largest safety recall disaster in auto industry history. That’s no small feat just a year after the General Motors ignition switch scandal. This is the auto industry at its absolute worst -- both in Japan and in the U.S. The industry knew as far back as 2008 that Takata’s airbags were highly questionable ...
     Continue reading "Fixing Takata fiasco must become top priority" » May 21, 2015 2:30 pm U.S. ET
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Uber, credit-challenged drivers walk the subprime tightrope

Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, May 20
While some auto industry experts fear that too many subprime loans could help trigger another financial crisis, Uber is throwing more risky loans into the mix. According to a story last week by American Public Media’s Marketplace.org, ride-sharing company Uber joined the subprime market in late 2013 with a finance program that aims to help credit-challenged drivers ...
     Continue reading "Uber, credit-challenged drivers walk the subprime tightrope" » May 20, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET
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How auto dealerships can 'starve' a union drive

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, May 20
While researching a recent story on how Ernie Boch Jr. beat a union drive at his Boch Honda store, I learned that organizing a dealership is at least as difficult as organizing an auto plant in the South. The odds are stacked astronomically against a successful campaign. Let me state upfront that my father was a UAW-represented electrician at a General Motors plant in De ...
     Continue reading "How auto dealerships can 'starve' a union drive" » May 20, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET
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Honda works smart to fill UK plant

Posted 4:52 am U.S. ET, May 20
Honda has reduced the problem of drastic undercapacity at its factory in Swindon, England, by inviting suppliers to utilize the empty space. Honda has been building cars in Swindon since 1992, and in 2001 it responded to rising demand for its models by building a second plant to lift capacity by 100,000 units to 250,000 cars. But the Japanese automaker was hit hard by th ...
     Continue reading "Honda works smart to fill UK plant" » May 20, 2015 4:52 am U.S. ET
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The easiest path to good supplier relations? Meet your targets!

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, May 19
The latest “Henke Report” on automaker-supplier relations has just come out, giving us the most recent update on that perpetually tense realm. That document, formally the “Planning Perspectives” report, grades each automaker on metrics such as sharing cost savings and avoiding late-breaking engineering changes. That sounds logical. I’m sure ...
     Continue reading "The easiest path to good supplier relations? Meet your targets!" » May 19, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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A new golden age for high performance

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, May 19
Sometimes you can’t really see something for what it is when you are in the middle of it. Right now, we are truly in the golden age of high-performance cars, be they gasoline, electric or hybrid. Who knows how long it will last? The original muscle car era spanned from 1964 -- when Pontiac dumped a big engine in a midsize car (a V-8 in the Tempest) and created the ...
     Continue reading "A new golden age for high performance" » May 19, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 19
The Ford GT was introduced five months ago at the Detroit auto show. We can’t remember any car that received more attention in the following weeks. Ford is trying to keep that momentum strong until the GT goes sale next year, lest we have an Acura NSX situation where we see the car dozens of times before getting behind the wheel. To keep our attentio ...
     Continue reading "The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT" » May 19, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 18
David Letterman’s professed passion for cars may not be on a par with that of his former late-night TV rival, Jay Leno. But Letterman, whose final “Late Show” airs Wednesday night, is quite a car buff, keeping his collection hidden away, a CBS spokesman says. And Letterman -- whose Top Ten List is a nightly segment -- featured plenty of automotive follie ...
     Continue reading "Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments" » May 18, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang

Posted 1:00 pm U.S. ET, May 17
DETROIT -- In an unusual move, Chevrolet on Sunday allowed auto writers to test drive one pre-production version of the redesigned 2016 Camaro before the final calibrations are made. With the revamped 2015 Ford Mustang handily outselling the outgoing 2015 Camaro, Chevrolet is trying to build buzz around the new car, which, like the Mustang, will be offered with a choice o ...
     Continue reading "Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang" » May 17, 2015 1:00 pm U.S. ET
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Volvo finally gets its American factory

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 16
Volvo has wanted an American car factory for decades. But complications and setbacks have gotten in the way -- including an entire decade spent as a brand owned by Ford Motor Co. More than half a century before telling the world this week that it will build a $500 million vehicle assembly plant in Ridgeville, S.C., Volvo opened a small-volume final-assembly plant in Halif ...
     Continue reading "Volvo finally gets its American factory" » May 16, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer

Posted 3:51 pm U.S. ET, May 15
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The F-150 isn’t the only Ford Motor Co. icon that’s been changed to aluminum this year. Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum, which goes on sale in a few months, and you’ll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval. For the most expensive Explorer series ever, with a starting price of more than ...
     Continue reading "Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer" » May 15, 2015 3:51 pm U.S. ET
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Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting

Posted 9:43 am U.S. ET, May 13
Ferdinand Piech did it again. The 78-year old patriarch upstaged his younger cousin Wolfgang Porsche and former protege Martin Winterkorn by missing the annual meeting of the family holding company that holds a majority stake in Volkswagen Group. Wolfgang Porsche had to field questions that almost solely dealt with his missing relative at the Porsche SE shareholders meeti ...
     Continue reading "Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting" » May 13, 2015 9:43 am U.S. ET
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Is the F&I product space overcrowded? Views differ

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, May 13
How hot is the competition getting in the F&I product space? So hot that “the future of finance is in consulting,” said Damien Bullard, co-founder of IDDS Group. That’s a bold statement given that part of IDDS’ business comes from selling finance and insurance products from other providers. The New York company also consults and trains in deal ...
     Continue reading "Is the F&I product space overcrowded? Views differ" » May 13, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting

Posted 9:43 am U.S. ET, May 13
Ferdinand Piech did it again. The 78-year old patriarch upstaged his younger cousin Wolfgang Porsche and former protege Martin Winterkorn by missing the annual meeting of the family holding company that holds a majority stake in Volkswagen Group. Wolfgang Porsche had to field questions that almost solely dealt with his missing relative at the Porsche SE shareholders meeti ...
     Continue reading "Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting" » May 13, 2015 9:43 am U.S. ET
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Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 12
Nearly every part of the Ford Shelby GT350’s suspension is purpose-built for the sports car: It has the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a Ford, the lightest wheels and probably the most aggressive tires anywhere south of a V-8 supercar. Ford invited journalists to Allen Park, Mich., near Detroit recently for a deeper dive into its latest high-performance pony ca ...
     Continue reading "Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?" » May 12, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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The secrets behind all that camouflage

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, May 12
This is a story about what you see and what you can’t see; what you’d like to see and what they don’t want you to see. And mostly, it’s a story about the lengths people go to make sure you can’t see what they don’t want you to see. Yet. See? The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. All have high-speed ovals, paveme ...
     Continue reading "The secrets behind all that camouflage" » May 12, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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The evolution of the Hellcat logo

Posted 2:53 pm U.S. ET, May 11
The Hellcat was never meant to be a tame kitty. Judging by the early sketches of the logo that now adorns the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, the attitude was there from the start. While most of the logos show aggressive, roaring Hellcats that are befitting of the beastly 707-hp engine, one took on a more playful theme. The sketch in the upper right-hand corn ...
     Continue reading "The evolution of the Hellcat logo" » May 11, 2015 2:53 pm U.S. ET
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Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, May 8
The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April, and so far this year, the compact sedan is moving off dealer lots 52 percent faster than it was the year before. So, if you’re Dodge, do you need to fix a car that’s doing those things three years after its launch? Why, yes. Yes, you do. According to Dodge’s five-year product plan that it presented ...
     Continue reading "Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger" » May 8, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET
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BMW's days of easy money in China are over

Posted 6:30 am U.S. ET, May 8
Investors alarmed by a substantial drop in profits from BMW's Chinese joint venture with Brilliance received few reassurances that this will change anytime soon, as BMW executives braced the market for a profit-eroding performance in China weighed down by rising investment costs and an aging product lineup. BMW's earnings from its joint venture with Brilliance China Autom ...
     Continue reading "BMW's days of easy money in China are over" » May 8, 2015 6:30 am U.S. ET
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Why VW tops rivals Toyota and GM in workforce size

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 7
Volkswagen Group, Toyota and General Motors each sell about 10 million vehicles annually around the world, yet VW has more global employees than Toyota and GM combined. Clearly, the weak profitability at its VW brand stems from its low productivity. Yet because of the powerful role unions play at Volkswagen, that surplus of workers is unlikely to change anytime soon. Not ...
     Continue reading "Why VW tops rivals Toyota and GM in workforce size" » May 7, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Longtime auto journalist, racecar driver Denise McCluggage dead at 88

Posted 10:02 am U.S. ET, May 7
Autoweek's Mark Vaughn remembers his colleague Denise McCluggage.  Word came late Wednesday that our friend, colleague, mentor and favorite staff racecar driver Denise McCluggage had passed away. She was 88. The news was something of a shock because we, and maybe you, too, always believed she would be with us forever. Indeed, she had been on staff at Autoweek and it ...
     Continue reading "Longtime auto journalist, racecar driver Denise McCluggage dead at 88" » May 7, 2015 10:02 am U.S. ET
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CFPB plays up auto finance complaints

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 6
A new report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau covering more than three years of complaints by military service members shows that although gripes about auto loans were a small part of the mix, they were a large part of the CFPB’s enforcement actions. In the report released last week, which lists 29,500 complaints collected from July 2011 to Dec. ...
     Continue reading "CFPB plays up auto finance complaints" » May 6, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Lithia reaches out to women in step toward industry evolution

Posted 12:13 pm U.S. ET, May 6
Lithia Motors Inc. has taken a step in the right direction. On May 11-14, the dealership group hosts its first Lithia Women’s Leadership Week. The company has invited 70 of its female managers to the conference at its Medford, Ore., headquarters. “The primary motivation is to offer an enrichment opportunity to the women we already have,” said Tom Dobry, ...
     Continue reading "Lithia reaches out to women in step toward industry evolution" » May 6, 2015 12:13 pm U.S. ET
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