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Jim Henry

E-Mail: autonews@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Expect a sales plateau — a healthy one

U.S. new-vehicle sales should be a healthy 16.7 million in 2018, then stay in a range of 16.5 million-16.7 million in the next couple of years, according to Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist.

Hurry up, say lidar customers to supplier

Customers of lidar supplier LeddarTech are urging the company to move faster in its technology development.

Remote software updates help build service business, suppliers say

Automakers could use over-the-air software updates to prompt owners with customized messages directing them where to take their vehicles for service, suppliers say.

Malcolm Bricklin and the early days of Subaru

Malcolm Bricklin's most lasting contribution to the auto industry came in the 1960s, when he co-founded Subaru of America with business partner Harvey Lamm.

Where are they now?

Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm have slowed down a step or two, but neither is ready to fully retire.

Panasonic exec: More EV battery plants are coming

Panasonic Corp. is ready to add battery capacity as automakers announce new EVs.

Harvey Lamm and the 3 transformative Subaru ideas

Subaru of America co-founder Harvey Lamm not only drove the U.S. distributor's success, he instituted changes that affect the entire industry today.

Panasonic's one-brain runs many functions

Panasonic has unveiled Spydr -- a single-brain solution to the usual vehicle architecture of multiple controllers.

Lincoln suppliers guided by drivers

Lincoln brand managers are taking a keener interest in their vehicle parts these days, and in watching consumers use them in the real world.

Clock watchers

Software enables fixed ops managers and service customers to monitor the progress of repairs in real time, answering the eternal question: "When will my car be ready?"

Aptiv, Valens working to slash car wiring

Aptiv has partnered with Israeli tech firm Valens Automotive to rewire future vehicles with fewer wires.

Lenders relieved by used-car price strength

UPDATED: 12/13/17 3:19 pm ET - corrected

Lenders who have been watching used-vehicle prices closely are breathing more easily, after prices held up better than expected in the second half.

Why lenders enjoy high used prices

Used-vehicle values have largely outperformed expectations this year, and there are at least four reasons for that, according to Tom Kontos, chief economist at ADESA Analytical Services.

The birth of a captive finance company

GMAC, launched in 1919, became the model for the modern captive finance company and helped popularize the idea of mass-market consumer financing.

Sloan: Willys-Overland first to fill credit 'vacuum'

GM wasn't the first car company to figure out its customers and dealers needed a finance source they could rely on and do something about it. That honor goes to Willys-Overland Motor Co.

How online credit applications took off

The auto finance industry takes online credit applications for granted today, but Dealertrack and RouteOne helped popularize the technology.

N.Y. agency frames settlements as new approach to 'predatory' lending

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs said it took a new approach to "predatory" practices when it pursued claims against three lenders that bought installment contracts from dealerships it said misled customers.

Short product life cycles coming, Panasonic chief says

Panasonic North America CEO Tom Gebhardt says short cycles are used to fix errors.

Autoliv goes back to school on lean manufacturing

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

Subprime pressuring delinquencies, N.Y. Fed says

The overall delinquency rate for auto loans is slowly increasing, but not alarmingly, and that's masking a worse performance for subprime auto loans, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

New-car down payments climb

Customer down payments on new-vehicle loans rose more than 10 percent year over year in October, and the average interest rate increased, Edmunds says.

Ford Credit boosts Q3 pretax profit despite lending cutback

Ford Motor Credit increased its pretax profit in the third quarter despite sticking to a strategy of "disciplined" lending, including buying fewer finance contracts from dealers.

Capital One, GM Financial boost originations

Capital One Bank and GM Financial both said this week they are continuing to grow auto finance. The companies' moves are in contrast with banks that are cutting back on auto loans.

OEMs in the service bay

The National Automobile Dealers Association chairman says automakers are improperly muscling into service departments.

Consumer group wants set pricing for F&I products

A consumer advocacy group wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies to regulate pricing of F&I products, such as extended service contracts, based in part on data that allegedly show dealerships have...

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