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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers celebrated its 35th birthday this week here at its annual conference.
Dealers -- 345 of them -- and 395 of their friends, family and associates showed up to conduct some business, pay homage to the group’s past and celebrate its future.
Representatives of several manufacturers were on hand ... Continue reading "Minority dealers association celebrates 35th year " » Jul 10, 2015 3:31 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Despite a government vow to have 1 million electric cars on Germany’s roads by 2020, Europe’s biggest car market has been painfully slow to offer any significant incentives to push sales in the segment.
But now one popular discount supermarket chain, Aldi, has introduced something that could be a major step in helping to popularize EV take-up in Germany: free ... Continue reading "Germany's EV drive gets a supermarket's help" » Jul 10, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
If the Japanese want to enforce their drug laws, they are perfectly entitled to do so. But they had better be prepared for other countries to enforce their own laws, too.
Japan Inc. should be embarrassed about the treatment of former Toyota communications boss Julie Hamp. Her saga ended this week with her release by Japanese authorities who took her into custody for alleg ... Continue reading "What do Julie Hamp and price fixing have in common?" » Jul 9, 2015 2:20 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
In case you missed it, this week brought more reminders that the used-car market is in flux.
First, there was an article on Monday in Crain’s Chicago Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, about yet another online startup seeking to help dealers find specific used vehicles. “A new model for used cars” proclaimed the headline.
Next was a Bloomberg ar ... Continue reading "Startups just keep coming in the used-car market" » Jul 9, 2015 7:14 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Grupo Antolin’s planned purchase of most of Magna International’s interiors operations and Johnson Controls Inc.’s possible sale of its seating business are just the beginning of the upheaval in the automotive interiors world. The sector, however, will remain competitive, said an expert with vast experience in mergers and acquisitions.
“I don&rsquo ... Continue reading "Interiors sector will get smaller, but not too small" » Jul 9, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand.
If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals -- and I&rs ... Continue reading "Alfa's last chance?" » Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand.
If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals – and I’m not ... Continue reading "Alfa's last chance?" » Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
From the outside, the Supreme Court’s ruling last month upholding disparate impact claims in housing discrimination lawsuits may look like a headache for auto dealers, but a provision in the decision could give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a hurdle that could work in dealers’ favor.
The disparate impact theory says that a policy can be considered d ... Continue reading "Has high court raised bar for CFPB in auto bias cases?" » Jul 8, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
In a column released this week on LinkedIn.com, former CEO Bob Nardelli takes credit for turning around Chrysler Corp. and guiding it back to where it is today.
Nardelli’s column, “What I learned leading a Company like Chrysler through Bankruptcy -- and Revitalization,” is the type of revisionist history that would do the former Soviet Union’s Prav ... Continue reading "No, Bob Nardelli. Just no." » Jul 7, 2015 12:23 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
So now that the Alfa Romeo plan is more fully hatched and the strategy is clear -- horsepower and hair-raising versions come first, and mainstream models follow -- here's a nagging question: Do we have Ferdinand Piech to thank for all of this?
Are the fingerprints of the former Volkswagen supervisory board chairman all over the Alfa bet?
Vielleicht, as the Germans say. M ... Continue reading "Did Piech's prodding revive Alfa?" » Jul 7, 2015 4:56 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Nearly everyone thought there would be a rush to aluminum after Ford last year switched the skin and bones of the venerable F-150 pickup from steel to the lightweight material.
It didn’t happen.
Fiat Chrysler is sticking with steel for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler due out in 2017 as a 2018 model.
Nissan stayed with steel for the redesigned Titan pickup arriving this ... Continue reading "So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel" » Jul 7, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Ford stumbled with the EcoSport and was forced to make rapid changes to address poor sales. So what went wrong? The simple answer is that Ford didn't get the design right. In response, the revised EcoSport no longer has a rear-mounted spare tire and Ford has made styling, comfort and equipment changes to the interior just a year after the small SUV went on sale.
Ford took ... Continue reading "Why Ford stumbled with the EcoSport" » Jul 3, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
There is a big misconception that Germany's export-reliant carmakers favor another Greek bailout at any cost since a deal would serve their own narrow interests.
It is wrong to believe they want to prevent a so-called Grexit by keeping Athens on permanent life-support as a way to maintain the appearance of a stable eurozone economy, perpetuate demand for German goods, and ... Continue reading "German carmakers are right: Grexit can save Europe" » Jul 3, 2015 3:39 am U.S. ET Post Comment