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Auto dealers and lenders have a reputation of resisting change, especially when it comes to technology.
But maybe that reputation is undeserved now. The march toward digital operations in the F&I space is picking up, with electronic contracting and starting the F&I process online.
For years, e-contracting has been on the horizon without much ... Continue reading "Why industry's trudging tech rep no longer applies" » Aug 19, 2015 12:15 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Chris Grundler, who heads the EPA’s office of Transportation and Air Quality, the agency’s top automotive regulator, doesn’t hold out much hope for harmonized global emissions standards for the auto industry.
Grundler isn’t opposed to one global set of clean-air standards, a move that could save automakers billions in product development costs. But ... Continue reading "How to solve global emissions rift, without dealing in reality" » Aug 18, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET Permalink
Jaguar Land Rover's selection of Nitra, Slovakia, for its next assembly plant dashed hopes in the U.S., Mexico and Poland. Was Slovakia's pick just another low-wage choice? Hardly. Sure, Slovak wages are lower than those in the U.S. or Mexico, maybe even Poland. But focusing on that misses a bigger point. The auto industry is on the cusp of global manufacturing parity. If ... Continue reading "Why Jaguar Land Rover picked 'Detroit East'" » Aug 17, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Classic Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula is always extra-special for Mazda, what with the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca being a main attraction.
Jim O'Sullivan, dean of U.S. import brand CEOs, seems to relish every minute of it, especially watching his guys Robert Davis, Jeremy Barnes and Weldon Munsey on the track.
But the other thing that has O'Sul ... Continue reading "Why Mazda's Jim O'Sullivan is big on new subcompact CX-3" » Aug 16, 2015 6:52 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Last month, security researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller remotely hacked a Jeep Cherokee. The pair disabled the SUV’s transmission. On the highway. At highway speeds. The headlines were, and are, everywhere.
Cybersecurity and the threat of chaos is a new reality in the age of connected and autonomous cars. The key word in that last sentence is "reality."
T ... Continue reading "Autonomous cars will crash and be hacked ... and that's OK" » Aug 15, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
Many European cities have lost their auto shows in recent years. The big exhibitions once held in places such as Turin, London and Madrid are now part of history.
Others such as the Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna and Brussels shows have downsized because they cannot compete with Europe’s Big Three – Frankfurt, Paris and Geneva.
Automakers have focused their mo ... Continue reading "Turin auto show reboot provides hope" » Aug 14, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
So I was driving an unfamiliar car with a telematics voice-communications system, and I accidentally brushed my hand against a control button on the steering wheel.
That turned off the music I had been listening to. Involuntarily I blurted out, “Oh, [bleep]!”
Next thing I knew, a voice came into the car, giving me a canned, Siri-like rebuke for funky language ... Continue reading "Another car-hack issue to ponder: In-car eavesdropping" » Aug 14, 2015 12:11 pm U.S. ET Permalink
At certain points in their lives, even obsessive billionaires like Elon Musk must come to terms with the fact that some things are beyond their control.
No matter how talented their people, and no matter how well those people execute on the business plan, everything can be ruined by something unpredictable: a stock-market collapse, a natural disaster, a failing supplier.
... Continue reading "Tesla strikes while the iron's hot" » Aug 13, 2015 1:11 pm U.S. ET Permalink
It was just another day here in the newsroom when my phone rang. Caller ID said it was J. Girard.
Mr. Girard was a reader calling for clarity about a story I’d written. I answered him and was about to sign off, when he asked me if I knew the name Joe Girard.
I vaguely recalled his name from past Automotive News stories. He proceeded to refresh my memory. From 1966- ... Continue reading "Sales legend rings up with advice on cars, marriage, cars" » Aug 13, 2015 10:03 am U.S. ET Permalink
Skoda is one of the first automakers to offer a range of safety accessories to attract dog-loving motorists to the brand.
The move could become a worthwhile moneymaker for Skoda if European countries and insurance companies start making it mandatory for dogs to be restrained when traveling in vehicles.
Currently, the laws regulating dogs riding in cars differ from countr ... Continue reading "Skoda is poised to profit from protecting dogs in cars" » Aug 12, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
One employee per customer.
That’s the way that Barry Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep- Ram does it.
At the Ephrata, Wash., dealership, the sales staff handles financing. Store owner Denver Morford wants his customers to work with the same employee throughout the entire transaction to build a relationship and customer retention, he says.
The practice zeros in on the salesmen&rs ... Continue reading "A case for using single staffer for sales, F&I" » Aug 12, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET Permalink
Is the performance of the Audi S8 not enough for you? The German automaker is introducing an even more powerful version unimaginatively dubbed S8 Plus.
The stock Audi S8 already produces 520 hp and 481 pounds-feet of torque courtesy of its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, with power sent to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmiss ...