Columnists

Self-driving vehicles: Why the rush?

The idea that the public will share the roads with thousands of driverless vehicles being tested should put a shudder through everyone, writes Keith Crain.

 

Feds don't need new powers over self-driving cars

Government regulations for highly automated vehicles will need to be limited and carefully crafted, lest they stand in the way of progress, writes Bill Kohler.

A car-crazy kid remembers the Chicago show

As a car-crazy lad born and raised in Chicago, the old Chicago auto show was something very special to me. That show was my first real taste of cars,

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Opel was once the little engine that could

Europe has been a drain on General Motors for a long time, but Opel did have its glory days and at least once helped keep GM afloat. Automotive News Print Editor RIck Johnson was there when it happened.

COMMENTARY:
Dealers, consumers will pay for FCA store expansion

A manufacturer's power to create a new dealership location is the power to destroy any number of existing dealerships within the market, writes Jim Appleton president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
A car-crazy kid remembers the Chicago show

As a car-crazy lad born and raised in Chicago, the old Chicago auto show was something very special to me. That show was my first real taste of cars, and there was nothing quite like it. There still isn't.

COMMENTARY: Richard Truett
Auto writer leaves lasting influence

Jim Mateja, one of the nation's most trusted auto writers, and a fixture at the Chicago Tribune for four decades, had that tough-as-nails Chicago persona. Mateja, 71, who died last week at age 71 after a battle with cancer, turned a deaf ear to the musings of automaker marketing departments and PR spin-meisters. The only spin he was interested in was where the tire met the road.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
NADA looks ready for next century

The most striking part of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention was the large number of vendors offering digital or electronic services to dealerships.

COMMENTARY: Larry P. Vellequette
What happens if Mexican plants close?

Over the course of my career, I have witnessed firsthand both the good and the horrible results of what is known as "free" trade. But in this brave new world we now find ourselves in, those demanding a "return of manufacturing" to the U.S. may not get exactly what they expect.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Ryan Kerrigan
How manufacturers affect store values

The complex and symbiotic relationship between dealers and manufacturers is a unique and challenging element of the U.S. auto retail industry. As dealers run increasingly large, complicated businesses, and make increasingly larger capital commitments, manufacturers can prove unpredictable.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
Get ready for a retail revolution

Anyone who has spent time in January at CES, the Detroit auto show or the National Automobile Dealers Association convention will realize that things are changing in the auto world far more rapidly than anyone expected.

COMMENTARY: Lindsay Chappell
NAFTA: An accounting can of worms

Auto parts cross the U.S.-Mexico border, sometimes more than once or twice, get added touches in one place and turned into modules at another. Subcomponents used in Illinois might rely on imported materials from Thailand or China or Mexico. Determining domestic content is an accounting morass.

COMMENTARY: Jamie LaReau
Profit gap lets best stores out-hire the rest

The act of recruiting and securing talent has never been as critical and competitive for dealers as it is now, due to a growing gap in profits allowing the best to out-hire the rest.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
NADA: 100 and still going strong

This week the auto retail industry will converge on New Orleans to honor and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Automobile Dealers Association. That is quite a milestone.

Moray Callum's retro ride

Moray Callum, Ford chief designer, is cruising around in a 1976 Bronco SUV as he oversees design of the nameplate's 2020 revival.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
At Detroit show, something for everyone

The consumer has spoken, and the auto industry has responded. Americans want SUVs and crossovers, and you'll see them at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Lots of them.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Dale Kardos
In Trump era, NHTSA must lead on safety

To get a hint at how 2017 will play out, we should take a look at what transpired when George W. Bush took office, regulatory affairs consultant Dale Kardos writes.

COMMENTARY: Dave Guilford
Points for tweeter-in-chief to consider

U.S. automakers are competing against very tough rivals in an intense, complex, global market. And global trade itself is replete with unintended consequences. In the future, there are several points that Team Trump ought to consider.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
The Motor City is the place to be

More than 5,000 journalists are descending on Detroit this week to participate in the North American International Auto Show. Thousands of auto executives are coming to find out what car companies plan to offer the car-buying public.

COMMENTARY: J Ferron
Dealerships bleed too much data

The digital world challenges dealers' capabilities for gathering and analyzing market insight faster than other data acquirers. Every marketing company wants to have the customer information that's generated at the retail level.

COMMENTARY: Dave Guilford
China tension poses threat to automakers

It's an uneasy time for automakers that have a lot of chips on the table in China in the wake President-elect Donald Trump's recent phone conversation with the president of Taiwan.

COMMENTARY: Keith Crain
Expect change in Washington to be slow

When President-elect Trump takes office in January, we will see lots of new faces in Washington, including those of cabinet members and new heads of key agencies with auto industry oversight.

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