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CHICAGO -- Holy Toledo, what's it like to be a Jeep dealer in 2014?
Andy Shaver, president of the Shaver Group, just smiles when I ask. A smile that says: "Awesome and then some."
"It's really great," he says. "We were just talking about this and someone said Jeep is the strongest domestic brand right now."
Of course, this fourth generation dealer ... Continue reading "The joy of being a Jeep dealer in 2014" » Oct 15, 2014 3:35 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
What will auto finance look like in 2020? Chase Auto Finance exec Bill Jensen did some speculating last week at the Auto Finance Summit in Las Vegas.
One idea he proffered was that by 2020, auto loans would be “completely paperless” -- something the auto finance industry has tried but failed to do for a couple of decades.
Not only will loans be paperless, Jen ... Continue reading "Visions of a paper-free auto finance world" » Oct 15, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Perhaps you saw the news last week about an experimental engine under development at Volvo. It’s a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered four-cylinder that cranks out an amazing 450 horsepower.
At 225 horsepower per liter, it would be one of the most power-dense engines ever produced, if Volvo decides to build it.
How Volvo engineers boosted the output of the engine is ingeni ... Continue reading "Volvo's new engine: Turbocharger? Supercharger? What is this thing?" » Oct 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
CHICAGO -- Near the end of vAuto’s Access: Velocity three-day conference here, vAuto founder Dale Pollak made a very personal appeal to the 170 hand-picked dealers present.
Please consider, Pollak said, signing up for call center services from a nonprofit in Orlando that employs blind and visually impaired people to handle calls for private companies.
Pollak, who l ... Continue reading "Why Dale Pollak recommends a call center that employs blind workers" » Oct 14, 2014 6:42 am U.S. ET Post Comment
BMW’s U.S. factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has altered so much since I visited it nearly 20 years ago that the only way I recognized it was because of the company logo.
The factory has changed from being a small plant building a niche roadster into the global production base for all BMW SUVs, apart from the German-built X1.
By the end of 2016, Spartanburg w ... Continue reading "Reithofer's vision made U.S. plant into a global giant" » Oct 11, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
TOKYO -- Count Japan as the latest entrant to the dash cam craze.
Across the country, drivers are uploading and swapping video footage taken through their vehicle crash data recorders.
But these videos aren’t gruesome scenes of blood and twisted metal. They capture romantic sunsets, lonesome country roads, neon-lit streetscapes and the occasional scary near miss.
... Continue reading "Crash recorder video craze hits Japan" » Oct 10, 2014 11:45 am U.S. ET Post Comment
CHICAGO -- vAuto’s Access: Velocity conference here has been an eye-opening experience for the senior management of Cox Automotive -- formerly the AutoTrader Group -- as well as the 160 dealers who are attending by invitation only.
Executives from AutoNation, Mullinax Group and scores of other dealerships have both lauded Cox Automotive for the things it does right ... Continue reading "In Chicago, Cox execs hear dealers' concerns -- and praise" » Oct 9, 2014 10:26 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Sergio Marchionne’s declaration that he will leave his job as head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at the end of 2018 sent my memory back nearly a decade to an ornate love fest in Las Vegas.
In November 2005, Chrysler Group dealers of what was then DaimlerChrysler said an affectionate goodbye to Dieter Zetsche, who was heading back to Germany to lead the parent company ... Continue reading "Sergio has been the glue that kept Fiat Chrysler intact" » Oct 8, 2014 3:16 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
There it goes again, as Ronald Reagan might have said.
The New York Times is still hammering a theme that subprime auto loans will endanger the U.S. economy in the way that subprime mortgages helped bring about the Great Recession.
In an article last week -- the latest of several on subprime auto loans -- the paper said “some of the same dynamics” that led to ... Continue reading "Subprime is no runaway train" » Oct 8, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
MGB. 500. 280SL. G8. XK120. 2002Tii. TR6. 318is. 2CV. 300TD. XLR. GT6.
Car names derived from letters, numbers, and letters and numbers have been with us since at least the 1950s.
The blowback from Cadillac’s recent announcement that it will name its big new sedan CT6 has been hurricane force on GM’s luxury brand boss Johan de Nysschen. Why the big fuss?
On ... Continue reading "What's in a name? Cadillac CT6 creates fervor" » Oct 7, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Dieter Zetsche and Carlos Ghosn believe they are no longer needed to ensure the long-term continuation of the industrial partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance.
The two CEOs dispelled speculation that the partnership could crumble once they are not around to instill a sense of unity in their teams.
Zetsche said the alliance was dependent on cooperati ... Continue reading "Carlos and Dieter show goes from strength to strength" » Oct 6, 2014 5:34 am U.S. ET Post Comment