Automotive News Table of Contents

November 20, 2017

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AutoNation's Jackson: 'I feel like the Cheshire cat'
Author: Hannah Lutz

Where do vanishing new-vehicle profits, a slumping market and an uncertain retail future leave AutoNation? CEO Mike Jackson says he's been preparing for years and likes the company's odds.

Dude, where's my flying car?
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

After a century of failed efforts to make vehicles that can soar above gridlocked traffic, the idea that such contraptions are "just around the corner" might not be so far-fetched.

Tesla: A distraction from desperation?
Author: David Undercoffler

Few companies can propose to take on both Freightliner and Ferrari in one night. But the dollars-and-sense business of automaking remains a deep and daily challenge for Tesla.

Ghosn's ace for growth: Suppliers
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Carlos Ghosn has big visions for the growth of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. And to make it happen, he knows he must lean on parts suppliers like never before.

GM maps route to profitable EVs
Author: Michael Wayland

The ambitious forecasts suggest that GM has surmounted some of the cost hurdles that make electric vehicles difficult to sell at prices that are affordable to consumers and profitable to the manufacturer. But other big challenges remain.

Infiniti plays with power
Author: Richard Truett

Nissan engineers have succeeded in commercializing variable compression engine technology for the new Infiniti QX50.

Jackson will speak at AN World Congress

Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation and one of the industry's most influential leaders, will speak at the Automotive News World Congress in January.

Economists expect sales of used cars to rise in '18
Author: Jesse Snyder

In contrast to new-vehicle sales, U.S. used-vehicle sales will rise in 2018, even as prices soften, on rising volumes of off-lease vehicles, economists forecast.

How critical is the EV tax credit?
Author: Sebastian Blanco

Salespeople would be sad to see the federal tax credit on plug-in electric vehicles disappear. But they're not so sure it's necessary to keep customers interested in EVs.

Volvo turns up the heat on Tesla
Author: Katie Burke

Volvo may be the one brand that can usurp Tesla's reign as the king of cool electric cars.

Camry, Accord ready to rumble
Author: David Undercoffler

The marketing efforts underway at Toyota and Honda aren't just about the horse race or bragging rights. They're about keeping these titans of the midsize car segment — both of them just redesigned for the 2018 model year — relevant in a marketplace where crossovers are king.

NAFTA defense strategies face political pitfalls
Author: Eric Kulisch

The business community may have some options in trying to save the North American Free Trade Agreement from potential termination at the hands of President Donald Trump. But they are neither clear nor easy.

Waymo sketches out long-range business plan
Author: Shiraz Ahmed

The first fully self-driving cars will be in ride-hailing fleets, which Waymo says will lead to learning more about the tech and how consumers use it.

Mercedes pickup aims to mimic SUVs' success
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Daimler hopes the new Mercedes-Benz X class will be a game-changer for its light commercial vehicles division by entering the booming global segment of midsize pickups.

Ford dropping C-Max in U.S.
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford's decision ends a six-year run for a once-promising nameplate doomed by sluggish electrified vehicle demand and overstated mileage claims.

Mercedes to open Atlanta HQ in March
Author: Amy Wilson

By next fall, about 1,000 employees of the brand's U.S. distribution arm should be back under one roof for the first time since July 2015,

PSA closes failing Berlin car sharing
Author: Peter Sigal

While PSA Group works on fine-tuning its mobility services in the United States, it is learning from at least one failed operation launched in Europe.

Lithia a winner on Wall St.
Author: Jamie LaReau

Of the six publicly traded new-vehicle dealership groups, Lithia Motors — which prioritized US acquisitions over share buybacks — has drawn the most applause from Wall Street.

Dealership's refresher class lures buyers back
Author: Jack Walsworth

Subaru Superstore of Chandler has found a way for its customers to willingly come back to the store in droves.

Ghosn pressing to bring Renault, Nissan, Mitsu closer
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Carlos Ghosn retired this year as Nissan CEO, but as CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, he's laying out strategies to make the three automakers larger and more profitable.

'Industry' series is just what we need

I would like to commend the entire Automotive News team for “Redesigning the Industry”.

Consumers treated unequally, unjustly in antitrust case

A consumer or auto dealer in Texas or Ohio shouldn't be denied compensation because of where they live or transact business.

End the wait for safety technology
Author: Keith Crain

If an automaker has developed automatic braking and can install it as an option, then it can make the same technology standard on all its vehicles.

Lutz has freedom to speak honestly

Even at age 85, Bob Lutz continues to have a crystal-clear view of the future.

Lutz's vision needs problem-solving

Throughout my automotive life, Bob Lutz has been my go-to guy for anything in the past, present or future of the auto industry.

Newbies fall short on manufacturing

The problem with Bob Lutz’s bleak outlook for the automotive community is that whether vehicles are autonomous or human-driven, they still need to be manufactured.

Dealer cull also hurt customers

To many of us Chrysler dealers, past and present, Tom Pappert was our favorite “factory man.” I totally agree with him that there was no need to terminate all those dealers.

People will still want personal cars

Everyone respects Bob Lutz, but I am disappointed that he is adding his personal credibility to projections of the death of the car.

Will Baidu beat Waymo?
Author: Michael Dunne

Consultant Michael Dunne said he is betting on China's Baidu, known in the West as the Google of China, to outmanuever Waymo in the self-driving wars.

The industry's second chance to be first in safety
Author: John Creamer Daniel Malone

U.S. automakers failed to get out in front of the safety push of the 1960s, and paid a big price. They have a chance to take a different approach in the era of autonomous driving.

How factory can help turn browsers into buyers
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

A study points to a lack of coordination between automakers and retailers on presenting inventory, messaging, search engine marketing and website layouts.

At Bosch, to err can be divine
Author: Douglas A. Bolduc

Bosch wants to stimulate creative new ideas for the coming era of autonomous vehicles. To get there, it's willing to accept a few unsuccessful efforts.

Autoliv goes back to school on lean manufacturing
Author: Jim Henry

Autoliv adopted lean manufacturing practices years ago -- and then found out that it needed a refresher course.

New technology shakes up the purchasing department
Author: Jack Walsworth

As automakers look for advanced technologies, their unfamiliar suppliers are bringing new ideas to old purchasing departments.

Why is this catalytic converter supplier smiling?
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Tougher fuel economy and emissions regulations will require new engine designs, and more work for the company.

Dealer puts managers on path to ownership
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealer Jim Gramm did what few are able to do: Go from sales to ownership. Now, as he grows his group, he wants to help other GMs do what he did.

A century of promises
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Here's just a taste of a century's worth of unfulfilled flying-car promises. A few are fictional, but every one of them is a promise of a future that as yet hasn't come to be.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Jim and John Warfield of Frederick Motor Co., in Frederick, Md.; Dealer Principal Chris Hoeye and Wally Henkel, general manager, of Big Two Toyota of Chandler in Chandler, Ariz.; Dealer principal Robert Vardaman of Vardaman Buick in Hattiesburg, Miss.

GM's parting with Russia has been such sweet sorrow

General Motors pulled out of Russia in 2015, but still does pretty well there.

Lamborghini on the fast track to heaven?

When you're the pope, you tend to get lavish gifts from visitors. Lamborghini just took it up a notch.

Sign of the 'Times'

The New York Times devoted its Nov. 12 Sunday magazine to the future of cars — self-driving cars — and the outsized impact they'll likely have on society.

Some early insight into Geely's Li
Author: Richard Johnson

Few Westerners know more about the Chinese auto industry than Michael Dunne.