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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

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.

Hurst/Olds Cutlass sets pace for 58th Indy 500

A Hurst/Olds Cutlass paces the 58th Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 1974. The 1974 pace car featured a 455-cubic-inch Rocket V-8 that produced 230 hp.

Construction begins on Italy's Temple of Speed

Construction on Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, the longtime home of the Italian Grand Prix and synonymous with European motor racing, begins on May 15, 1922.

Cadillac scraps ATS sedan

General Motors will discontinue the Cadillac ATS sedan after the 2018 model year, just six years after introducing the small car as a worthy rival to the strongest German competitors.

Cadillac scraps ATS sedan

UPDATED: 5/10/18 11:13 am ET

General Motors will discontinue the Cadillac ATS sedan after the 2018 model year, just six years after introducing the small car as a worthy rival to the strongest German competitors.

Chrysler hatches midpriced DeSoto brand

Chrysler hatches plans to introduce the DeSoto brand on May 6, 1928, in what turned out to be a momentous year for one of Detroit's

U.S. sales slip in April; SAAR remains healthy

UPDATED: 5/1/18 4:48 pm ET

U.S. auto sales fell about 4.8 percent in April on weaker car and fleet volume, and two fewer selling days, but the pace of sales remained strong as the spring selling season continued to unfold with some gusto.

A red Alero marks the end of Oldsmobile

The last Oldsmobile, a dark metallic cherry red Alero sedan, is produced on April 29, 2004, in Lansing, Mich., ending America's oldest automotive brand after a 106-year run. Along with Daimler and Peugeot, Oldsmobile was among the world's oldest auto brands.

Retooled QX50 fills Infiniti's 'biggest void'

Infiniti has turned its aging QX50 into a true competitor in the compact premium crossover space, with an advanced engine, new safety technologies and an attractive sticker.

GM seeks faster Cadillac revival, parts with de Nysschen

UPDATED: 4/19/18 7:21 am ET - adds details

GM, seeking an accelerated revival at its flagship luxury brand, appointed Steve Carlisle president of Cadillac, replacing Johan de Nysschen, who will leave the automaker.


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