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SAN FRANCISCO -- Chung Mong-Koo sought to imbue Hyundai with Gangnam style.
Instead, Hyundai Motor Group’s $10 billion bid for a 19.6-acre plot in Seoul’s prestigious Gangnam district backfired on the company that Chung has elevated into a global powerhouse.
It should serve as a warning to the industry: Using profits to build a Babel-like headquarters, instea ... Continue reading "Hyundai's hubris -- $10B land deal backfires" » Sep 22, 2014 4:08 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
On Thursday night, I watched dealer Karl Zimmermann officially dedicate his refurbished George Matick Chevrolet building in Redford Township, Mich.
Like every grand opening, it was highly predictable: food, drink, balloons, local performers, extra shiny vehicles and some speechifying.
Like every grand opening, it was unique. Highly personal to all gathered.
Pick a day, ... Continue reading "Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers" » Sep 20, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Here is something that will happen in 2015 upon which you can bet serious money: The UAW will strike one -- and likely all three -- Detroit automakers before reaching a deal on a new labor agreement.
And here’s the thing: There is nothing that any of the automakers could offer that would avoid that inevitability.
The 2015 strike(s) will not be long. They will not b ... Continue reading "Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered" » Sep 19, 2014 10:22 am U.S. ET Post Comment
LOS ANGELES -- No sooner had we left our hotel and hit the streets in West Hollywood when we began to notice people noticing us. Granted, it was hard to miss our 2015 Ford Mustang painted in Competition Orange -- seemingly bright enough to be picked up by a satellite orbiting above.
As we sat and waited at a traffic light, a man in the next lane lowered the window of his ... Continue reading "2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets" » Sep 19, 2014 11:50 am U.S. ET Post Comment
DETROIT -- We've known about Cadillac's plans for a big, rear-wheel drive, range-topping sedan for more than two years now. For most of that time, we've been referring to it by its internal codename, LTS.
But here's a bet: When the wraps come off the car sometime in the first half of next year, it won't sport an LTS badge.
Here's my thinking.
First, the basics. The firs ... Continue reading "Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name" » Sep 19, 2014 2:46 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Editor's note: The horsepower and torque ratings on the Ford F-150 with V-6 engines were incorrect in the chart accompanying earlier versions of this story.
DETROIT -- It’s rare when Toyota admits defeat and folds -- especially when it comes to engines and fuel economy.
But that’s what happened last week when Toyota introduced the 2015 Tundra pickup and reve ... Continue reading "Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15" » Sep 18, 2014 11:58 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Auto lenders complain they hate it when dealership F&I managers send them credit applications outside their preferred range of credit scores.
Yet Greg Goebel, CEO of DealerStrong, a dealership training and consulting firm, advised finance managers to do just that at last week’s Industry Summit in Las Vegas. According to an analysis Goebel did with a database of ... Continue reading "The case for casting a wider net with credit apps " » Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
News broke this week that Nissan and Renault are debating the future of their electric-vehicle battery technology sourcing.
Frankly, it would be bigger news if the two automaker partners weren’t debating it.
According to the news reports, Nissan purchasing leaders believe Nissan and Renault can be most competitive continuing to source EV battery technology from Jap ... Continue reading "Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly" » Sep 17, 2014 3:23 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Well, well. The word “strike” has returned to the UAW lexicon.
The union struck on Saturday at a Lear Corp. plant in Hammond, Ind., that makes seats for Ford Motor Co.’s Chicago Assembly Plant.
By Monday, the 760 Lear workers of UAW Local 2335 were back on the job. In hand was a tentative contract that met their primary demand: an end to a two-tier wage ... Continue reading "Strike shows restless UAW is going after two-tier wage system" » Sep 16, 2014 3:30 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Opel and Vauxhall’s harmonious relationship was tested recently by the naming of their new minicar. Vauxhall fought against using a name that just wouldn’t work in Britain -- and won.
Germany-based Opel picked the name Karl for the brand’s budget minicar, which debuts next year. Opel and Vauxhall have shared vehicle names since 1995, but the German-sound ... Continue reading "Vauxhall flexes its muscles" » Sep 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- Take a look at who’s been increasing incentives lately and you will see a larger trend in U.S. vehicle strategy.
The guys who stepped up their incentive spending last month are brands that are counting on strong sedan strategies in an era of crossover growth.
Honda, one of the most powerful brands in the American market, raised its incentives-to-transa ... Continue reading "Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies" » Sep 13, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Car dealers are sitting on a gold mine: their idle inventories.
The tool to turn that gold mine into gold is the smartphone.
Increasingly, people are using their smartphones to solve their transportation needs rather than relying on traditional personal car ownership.
Ride-summoning services such as Uber and Lyft are slowly replacing the need for taxis in some maj ...