Opinion

KEITH CRAIN

Just in time isn't foolproof

It does not seem that long ago that the world marveled at the Japanese system known as just-in-time manufacturing. As more troubles have occurred in supplier plants, its clear that the process isn't without problems.

KRISHNAN M. ANANTHARAMAN

Industry can't escape responsibility for preventing CO deaths

People are erring and dying, and the auto industry can't disavow this risk any more than it could avoid fitting vehicles with seat belts and shatterproof glass.

KEITH CRAIN

Everyone finds the hidden jewels

My guess is that it has been going on for years — new-car dealers have been making more money on used cars than new. It has been the industry's great secret.

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Sent early Monday mornings, this newsletter contains a summary of key stories from our weekly edition.

MORE OPINIONS EDITORIALS COLUMNISTS BLOGS
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Small cars? Ford just isn't interested

The commentaries by Michael Martinez and Richard Truett made several good points about why Ford is discontinuing its car lines. They forgot one thing: Ford doesn't want to be bothered.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Losing sedans is not a good move

As a Ford shareholder who counts three four-doors in his household fleet, I regard Dearborn's decision to discontinue nonluxury sedans as its dumbest since the Edsel, or at least since last year's firing of Mark Fields.

EDITORIAL
How not to run purchasing

Automaker-supplier relations have dipped, according to the latest North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index. But why?

EDITORIAL
Octane opportunity: Don't blow it

The prospect of reaching a consensus on setting a new national octane standard -- with benefits for the environment, fuel economy and vehicle performance -- is tantalizing indeed.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
Just in time isn't foolproof

It does not seem that long ago that the world marveled at the Japanese system known as just-in-time manufacturing. As more troubles have occurred in supplier plants, its clear that the process isn't without problems.

BLOG: Wesley Wren
Audi hints at Q8 styling

Judging from the design study, the Q8 will be a two-row crossover with a focus on style and personal luxury rather than utility.

COMMENTARY: James B. Treece
Got any leads on that profit statement?

Providing sales leads to dealerships is hardly new. Third-party companies have done it for years, if not decades. But first-quarter earnings statements from four publicly traded lead providers — TrueCar, CarGurus, Cars.com and AutoWeb — read at times like statements from Internet startups.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Ford is making the right choice

As a Ford dealer for decades, I'm excited to hear the company's vehicle plans. Every day, we see a growing number of customers shift their interest to pickups and utilities. Ford's decision to revamp its lineup while preparing for future mobility is the right one.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
EVs have makings 
of a failed product

I've been reading with fascination Keith Crain's recent columns about the rush to electric vehicles by just about every manufacturer on the planet.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
Everyone finds the hidden jewels

My guess is that it has been going on for years — new-car dealers have been making more money on used cars than new. It has been the industry's great secret.

COMMENTARY: Douglas A. Bolduc
A quest to ban banality

Former BMW chief designer Chris Bangle has strong feelings about the future of car design. He believes companies should be doing more to stand out from their rivals. This includes doing away with something he was once in charge of at his former employer: establishing a common design language for the entire brand.

BLOG: Michael Martinez
A final goodbye to the Ford Focus, C-Max

Ford marked a milestone Friday when the final Focus sedan and C-Max Hybrid rolled off the line at Michigan Assembly Plant -- one the automaker would apparently rather not acknowledge.


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