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Even auto industry darling BMW has to obey the laws of physics: a rear-wheel-drive car that is compact yet roomy is a paradox. So for traditional fans of the luxury brand, the 2-series Active Tourer minivan is nothing less than a heresy on wheels -- the first modern-era BMW-badged car where power from a transversely mounted engine is applied to the front axle.
The 2-serie ... Continue reading "With its new minivan, BMW ditches rwd for practicality" » Jul 20, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Spend a few minutes with Chrysler Group’s new monster power plant -- the 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 -- and you will be left, as I was, with one overriding question:
What else can you put it in?
Not to say that it’s out of place in the 2015 SRT Challenger. It’s not. It absolutely belongs there and fits like a glove. But very few automakers t ... Continue reading "Let's hope for a litter of Hellcat kitties" » Jul 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Is it conceivable that Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is both a lawmaker and lawyer, has only a tenuous grasp of the law?
How else to explain the Connecticut Democrat’s persistence in arguing that General Motors should waive -- as if by magic wand -- the liability shield it gained upon exiting Chapter 11 in 2009?
That shield protects today’s General Motors from ... Continue reading "GM waive liability shield? It can't" » Jul 18, 2014 3:22 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Johan de Nysschen is barely a week into his new job as president of Cadillac. It will take some time to learn what he will attempt to do there.
But keep your eye on the small-vehicle end of the luxury spectrum. That will be de Nysschen’s most likely play for the American premium king.
As the global leader of Infiniti for the past two years, de Nysschen made clear a ... Continue reading "Will de Nysschen take Caddy into small cars?" » Jul 16, 2014 1:01 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
A Florida credit union’s ad campaign beating up dealers and auto lenders for “rate markups” is hard to look at, but dealers and lenders should check it out to see what they’re up against in terms of public perception and in case the approach catches on in other states.
The Space Coast Credit Union ads treat dealer reserve -- the small amount of int ... Continue reading "Credit union ads highlight misperceptions of dealer reserve" » Jul 16, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Carmakers are always defining segments and claiming sales crowns for their own purposes, and here's the latest instance.
Acura is touting the MDX as “America's All-Time Best-Selling 3-Row Luxury SUV.”
It's certainly a nice SUV, we won't argue that. Acura released a statement late last week stating that the MDX is not only outselling all other luxury SUVs with ... Continue reading "Acura claims a sales honor with MDX" » Jul 15, 2014 11:55 am U.S. ET Post Comment
In economics, it’s known as the law of diminishing returns, the shrinking benefit you get when you pour ever-increasing resources toward achieving a singular goal.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency showed a good mathematical example of the principle today with a graphic it released about the consumer benefits of fuel economy.
For consu ... Continue reading "Why fuel economy faces law of diminishing returns" » Jul 11, 2014 3:02 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
TOKYO -- It’s unsettling when a newly-hired executive bolts for the door after a short stay, without achieving his goals.
Dealers and employees at Infiniti understandably may feel some unease following today's news that President Johan de Nysschen is leaving the brand after just two years to take over as president of Cadillac.
To be sure, de Nysschen's unexpe ... Continue reading "How Infiniti will move ahead without de Nysschen" » Jul 11, 2014 6:55 am U.S. ET Post Comment
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s future could be brighter following the departure of its influential former chairman Thierry Peugeot from the automaker’s supervisory board.
Thierry’s departure signals the end of dissent among Peugeot family members over the automaker’s capital tie-up with China’s Dongfeng Motor, industry watchers say.
Thierry publicly ... Continue reading "PSA may be better off without Thierry Peugeot" » Jul 11, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
WASHINGTON -- With its defeat at the ballot box in Chattanooga this February, the UAW lost what seemed to be its most winnable organizing battle at a Southern assembly plant.
But at Solidarity House, the war isn’t over.
Today’s surprising news that the UAW will set up a union local for Chattanooga’s Volkswagen AG factory -- despite losing the organizing ... Continue reading "How UAW can leverage minority support in Chattanooga and elsewhere" » Jul 10, 2014 2:15 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Here’s an automotive exercise: Think of the most practical product you own, something you use every day.
Maybe it’s a pen you keep in your pocket, or a garment, a briefcase, a handbag -- whatever.
Do you like it? Probably, or you’d switch to an alternative. Is it stylish? Maybe, but it doesn’t really have to be in order to be practical. Yet, becau ... Continue reading "Minivans are too practical to have the reputation they have" » Jul 9, 2014 3:13 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Even though broccoli is better for them, lots of people won’t eat it when they can have ice cream instead.
The scenario is playing out more often these days in the auto finance world, too.
That’s according to top executives of America’s Car-Mart, the giant buy-here, pay-here used-car retailer based in Bentonville, Ark., as more consumers pass on the bro ...