Ditching quirky Scion is the right call for Toyota

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Toyota's decision to pull the plug on Scion should come as no surprise. It was at the very least a distraction to busy Toyota dealers and probably a drain on engineering and marketing resources.... Read More »


Cheap fuel forces industry to make tough choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2016

Fiat Chrysler's product shift to more trucks and fewer cars rests on the conclusion that low oil prices are permanent. Set aside considerations of why FCA made such a strong commitment. Focus on a larger question: Is it certain that oil prices will stay low?... Read More »


Monthly reports should give fleet, retail sales details

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 25, 2016

Auto manufacturers and suppliers complain that Wall Street consistently undervalues the industry, arguing that automotive stocks unfairly trade at earnings multiples below those of companies in other sectors.... Read More »


VW must do better than this to fix scandal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 18, 2016

The responsibility to get Volkswagen square with U.S. regulators rests on the shoulders of new CEO Matthias Mueller. But he has been slow to respond to regulators in Washington and California. And last week, things got worse.... Read More »


Rule-breakers' costs go far beyond the fines

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 11, 2016

In 2015, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, American Honda and Volkswagen were found to have violated U.S. auto safety or environmental rules. Toyota and General Motors remain under government supervision following their safety scandals while Ford and Hyundai-Kia not long ago were caught gaming the fuel economy ratings system.... Read More »


Enjoy good times, and keep an eye on the road ahead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 4, 2016

It is easy to look back at a robust 2015 across much of the auto industry and conclude that the same good fortunes also must lie ahead in 2016.... Read More »


And for 2016, I do solemnly resolve to ...

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 28, 2015

New Year's resolutions we may or may not hear for 2016.... Read More »


Fed's interest rate hike not a threat to autos just yet

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 21, 2015

The Fed's interest rate hike will increase consumer and corporate borrowing costs, but it's unlikely to derail strong auto demand.... Read More »


VW can't afford to turn its back on dealers now

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 14, 2015

It's appropriate to take an internal deep dive to determine which technologies were compromised, how many vehicles are affected globally, and how to fix all of them so they fully comply with regional regulations. But VW cannot desert its dealer body in the meantime.... Read More »


Labor pacts give the auto industry what it needs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 7, 2015

The just-completed four-year U.S. labor agreements between the UAW and Detroit 3 automakers generated little enthusiasm. Neither management nor labor got all they wanted. But the overall U.S. auto industry got what it most needed.... Read More »


FCA's degrees program a smart move all around

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 30, 2015

FCA's expansion of its Degrees@Work program to all of its dealerships, and to include employees' spouses and children, looks like a win-win-win.... Read More »


Harmonized tailpipe rules are worth the fight

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 23, 2015

The Volkswagen cheating scandal has created an important opportunity to forge a single global standard for auto emissions.... Read More »


NHTSA finally puts foot down on propellant

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 16, 2015

Federal regulators are taking over efforts to recall 19 million U.S. vehicles and replace 23 million potentially faulty airbag inflators. But they are going beyond that. Regulators also set a deadline for halting the use of ammonium nitrate as an airbag propellant.... Read More »


Winners and losers in VW scandal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 9, 2015

Volkswagen Group's diesel emissions scandal is so complex and wide-reaching that it will take months -- if not years -- before the company settles all matters related to its cheating on diesel emissions tests.... Read More »


Sage advice: Mind people, cash

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 9, 2015

U.S. auto sales rocked again in October, but I didn't sense much glee in the dealership folks I met. Their fear: This streak won't last forever.... Read More »


CEO revelations increase burden on JCI's board

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 9, 2015

The Johnson Controls board must be diligent and engaged as the company executes an audacious strategy to exit its primary industry to focus on another.... Read More »


How will VW use energy unleashed by diesel crisis?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 2, 2015

Once a crisis has passed for a car company -- that is, once public condemnation and humiliation are endured, penalties are assessed, root causes identified, new policies put in place and a new executive team is installed (maybe) -- the automaker has an opportunity.... Read More »


A new breed of dealership buyer fits the industry's needs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 26, 2015

The purchase of a majority interest in Morrie's Automotive Group in Minneapolis by the family behind construction giant Bechtel Corp. signals a new type of buyer, one that appears to fit the needs of automakers and the industry overall.... Read More »


VW strains shaky tie with regulators

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2015

The premeditated nature of VW's cheating has upset an uneasy but workable relationship between auto manufacturers and industry regulators because it violated the basic assumption that automakers are operating in good faith.... Read More »


Another urgent to-do for VW: Pay governments back

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2015

Volkswagen AG has a long list of things to do after admitting it systematically cheated on emissions testing on 11 million diesel vehicles. One challenge to address quickly: VW must reimburse governments for subsidies they made to encourage citizens to buy “clean diesels” that weren't.... Read More »


As times change, it's time to do better

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2015

Following last year's record number of safety recalls and now Volkswagen's emissions testing debacle, one thing has become clear: The auto industry needs to adopt higher standards for conducting business.... Read More »


Clarity on recalls

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2015

AutoNation's decision not to sell any auto with an unrepaired recall is a good idea. But it's not an easy path. U.S. recalls aren't sorted by severity. AutoNation shouldn't have to hold a recalled vehicle that just needs its owner's manual updated.... Read More »


A more cooperative safety approach supplements rules

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 21, 2015

Ten automakers voluntarily agreeing to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature is a blueprint for a more cooperative approach to improving auto safety for manufacturers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and independent watchdogs. This approach should only supplement normal rule making, but the benefits are worthwhile.... Read More »


Dealerships must police F&I -- it's too costly not to

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 14, 2015

Illegal finance and insurance activity at U.S. dealerships is decreasing. It's not gone, but it has been greatly reduced over the last decade or so. This positive development has been driven by a combination of carrot and stick.... Read More »


In an uncertain future, carmakers have choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 7, 2015

When one examines the challenges facing the auto industry in coming years, perhaps the most important finding is that companies are charting individual approaches to address them.... Read More »

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