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David Phillips

Automotive News Online Managing Editor
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207-2997 Detroit, Mich.
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Phone: 313-446-0477
E-Mail: dphillips@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Toyota's chopping block: The prime candidates

The gradual flip in Toyota Motor Corp.'s product and sales mix in the U.S. over the past decade has exposed some weak performers on the car side.

Kia preps a 7-seat, 3-row SUV

Kia Motors Corp. tells U.S. dealers on Nov. 6, 2007, that it will begin selling a seven-seat, three-row SUV in the United States starting in 2008.

U.S. sales edge up; SAAR hits highest level of year

UPDATED: 11/2/2018 11:12 am ET

U.S. light-vehicle sales, behind strong light-truck demand, higher fleet shipments, and elevated incentives, edged up 0.4 percent in October, signaling the second-half slowdown that began in July is moderating.

Saturn pads coupe with extra door

Saturn hatches plans on Oct. 30, 1998, to offer what it called the auto industry's first three-door coupe and end production of its slower-selling two-door cars.

Toyota unveils GM-built Cavalier in Japan

Toyota Motor Corp. unveils the Toyota Cavalier, a compact car built by General Motors in the U.S., on Oct. 16, 1995. It went on sale in Japan in January 1996.

NHTSA launches new tests to measure, rate light-vehicle rollover risk

The U.S. government on Oct. 7, 2003, began a new test to assess light vehicles for rollover risk, focusing particularly on SUVs that are more prone than cars to overturn.

Sales fall as second-half slowdown takes root; SAAR hits 17.54M

UPDATED: 10/3/2018 11:24 am ET

U.S. light-vehicle deliveries last month fell 5.5 percent, slightly better than analysts' forecast for a 7 percent decline compared to September 2017, when sales spiked as consumers replaced vehicles destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. The SAAR came in at 17.54 million, far exceeding forecasts, and rose above 17 million for the seventh time this year, after two months below that level.

Lincoln launches Continental

The Lincoln Continental, one of Ford Motor Co.'s most revered nameplates, is introduced Oct. 2, 1939, with a price of $2,840.

Virgil Exner, noted Chrysler designer who shook up 1950s styling, is born

Virgil Exner, the designer behind the clean "Forward Look" styling of Chrysler's 1955 models and the spectacular fins of the 1957 that caught General Motors off guard, is born on Sept. 24, 1909, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

VW to end Beetle output in 2019

UPDATED: 9/13/18 3:49 pm ET

With more and more Americans gravitating to light trucks, Volkswagen will end production of the venerable Beetle in 2019, closing another chapter for one of the auto industry's most storied nameplates.

VW to end Beetle output in 2019

UPDATED: 09/13/18 2:43 pm ET -- Adds Canadian sales

Volkswagen is ending production of the iconic Beetle in 2019, closing another chapter for one of the auto industry's most storied nameplates.

Volume dips on weaker car demand, declines at GM, Toyota

UPDATED: 9/5/18 10:02 am ET

U.S. auto sales slipped 0.2 percent in August behind a plunge in car demand and lower volume at GM and Toyota. The SAAR came in at 16.69 million.

Sales dip to start 2nd half amid car slump

UPDATED: 8/3/2018 12:25 pm ET -- adds details

Paced by declines at Ford, the Japan 3, General Motors and Hyundai-Kia, light-vehicle sales fell in July as the auto industry lost speed going into the second half of a year projected to be weaker than the robust first six months. The SAAR fell to 16.73 million, in line with projections. Light-truck demand rose while car deliveries skidded 18 percent.

Chrysler buys the Dodge Brothers, forging the Detroit 3

Chrysler acquires the Dodge Brothers for $170 million on July 31, 1928, growing fivefold overnight and becoming the third of Detroit's Big 3 automakers, after General Motors and Ford.

Ford retools North America product lineup amid soaring gasoline prices

Ford, after reporting a staggering second-quarter loss from automotive operations as high gasoline prices drove consumers from its more profitable light trucks, discloses plans on July 24, 2008, to add six small European vehicles and large Lincoln crossover in North America.

John Cooper, engineer behind chic, high-tuned Mini line, is born

John Cooper, the automotive engineer, enthusiast and sports-car driver who created one of the more notable chic fashion statements of London's swinging '60s, the Mini Cooper, is born July 17, 1923, in Surrey, U.K.

U.S. awards patent for 3-point seat belt

Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin is issued patent No. 3,043,625 for his three-point automobile safety belt "for use in vehicles, especially road vehicles" on July 10, 1962, by the United States Patent Office.

June sales advance 5.2%; SAAR soars

UPDATED: 7/3/18 4:44 pm ET - adds details

U.S. light-vehicle deliveries, boosted by healthy deals, America's surging appetite for light trucks and an extra weekend of sales, rose 5.2 percent in June as the auto industry closed out the first half of 2018 on a high. The SAAR for June came in at 17.47 million, up sharply from June 2017 and May.

The first car, Karl Benz's Patent Motor Car, hits the road

The first car, Karl Benz's Patent Motor Car, hits the street publicly on July 3, 1886, on the Ringstrasse in Mannheim, Germany.

Ram christens outgoing 1500 pickup 'Classic' for 2019

FCA is giving a formal name to the outgoing Ram "DS" half-ton pickup: Ram 1500 Classic, and will target it at entry and commercial buyers.

Ram 'Classic' to be name of outgoing 1500 pickup

Fiat Chrysler is giving a formal name to the outgoing Ram "DS" half-ton pickup: Ram 1500 Classic.

Congress clears path for U.S. interstate highway network

Congress on June 26, 1956, approves the Federal Highway Act, dedicating more than $30 billion to build some 41,000 miles of

Tucker prototype bows in Chicago

Entrepreneur and auto designer Preston Tucker unveils the radical Tucker 48 Turbo prototype in Chicago on June 19, 1947.

FCA, Ford, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, trucks drive industry gain

UPDATED: 6/2/18 3:28 pm ET - add details

Led by strong Jeep sales at FCA and smaller gains at Ford, Honda, Hyundai-Kia and the VW brand, U.S. new-vehicle sales jumped 4.7 percent last month behind robust light-truck demand and holiday deals. The SAAR for May totaled 16.91 million.

A Stutz paces the 2nd Indy 500, in 1912

Carl Fisher, the visionary behind what would become the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, drives a Stutz to pace the field for the second running of the Indianapolis 500 race, on May 30, 1912. The Stutz Series A roadster was powered by a 390-cubic-inch, 60-hp straight-four engine produced by Wisconsin Motor Co.

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