Automotive News Table of Contents

November 28, 2016

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VW charts its long journey back
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Volkswagen's global strategy pegs the U.S. as a critical market and production base, but recognizes that a full recovery there will be a long-term project at best.

RETAIL SPREE
Buy-sell market: Deep pockets fuel bulk deals
Author: Jamie LaReau

Look for deep-pocketed buyers to snatch up more dealership groups over the next 12 months, and for foreign investors and outsiders to scope out the U.S. auto retailer landscape, say buy-sell advisers.

Few takers for Cadillac buyouts
Author: Nick Bunkley

Fewer than 20 of the 400 Cadillac dealerships that were offered cash to give up their franchises agreed to buyouts, leaving the brand with a fraction of the throughput enjoyed by most other luxury brands.

JK Wrangler’s final act: Special editions
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Jeep is stretching out consumer interest in the outgoing JK Wrangler by offering a number of special limited-edition packages over the next year while consumers await the arrival of the redesigned JL Wrangler in the second half of 2017.

NADA's Welch in congress lineup

Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, will speak at the Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Fuel-cell champions still hedge their bets
Author: David Undercoffler

Toyota, Hyundai and Honda are all committed to a multifaceted approach that includes a mix of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles.

Honda views its CR-V and sedans as equals
Author: David Undercoffler

Honda is riding high on the crossover trend, with a CR-V that has been one of the nation's most popular utility vehicles and a redesigned version queued up to go on sale this month. But Honda doesn't see the CR-V replacing either the Accord or the Civic as its most notable seller.

Mini's redesigned Countryman stretches into new segment
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

The redesigned Mini Countryman has grown enough in size to compete in the compact crossover segment where it will take on both premium and volume players.

Toyota adjusts car-truck ratio
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota is working to rebalance its U.S. portfolio and production to get its roughly 50-50 car-truck sales split more in line with a market that's running 60-40 in favor of light trucks.

BMW's X7 large crossover takes shape
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

Spy photos of an X7 prototype show the seven-seat model that will be based on the same platform as BMW's range-topping 7-series sedan.

Ford develops next Bronco in Australia, report says

The revived Ford Bronco may be a few years away, but development of the next-gen SUV is underway in Australia, according to Motoring, an Australian website.

Mercedes CLS successor to come in 2018
Author: Amy Wilson

The successor to the Mercedes-Benz CLS, a four-door sedan with coupelike styling, will arrive in 2018 on a new platform that's lighter, longer and roomier.

NextEV plans Tesla Model X fighter for U.S. in late '18 or early '19
Author: Nick Gibbs

Chinese electric vehicle specialist NextEV will target the U.S as the first foreign market for its SUV rival to the Tesla Model X.

Court blesses contested Infiniti store in Fla.
Author: Jamie LaReau

A court has ruled that dealer Bernie Moreno can open a new Infiniti store in Coral Gables, Fla., ending a long bid by South Motors Infiniti of Palmetto Bay, Fla., to block it. South Motors had argued that Nissan's cash deal with Moreno violated Florida's franchise law.

Ford dives into city of tomorrow
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford Motor Co.

Mexico prepares its defense of NAFTA
Author: Laurence Iliff

Mexican auto industry officials are lining up their arguments to defend the North American Free Trade Agreement as Donald Trump prepares to move into the White House.

Porsche poised for another sales gain in '17
Author: Amy Wilson

Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer says the brand can increase sales again in 2017 despite a declining luxury market. He forecasts sales comebacks for Panamera, 911 and Boxster, which all have been down in 2016 due to changeovers.

Trump's auto team comes together
Author: David Sedgwick

Trump's pick of Wilbur Ross to head Commerce puts a powerful auto industry investor in a role where he will influence trade talks and the U.S. business climate. But Ross' business moves have not been purely Trumpian.

EDITORIAL
Ideals are at stake in the Trump era

We may have gotten ahead of ourselves this month by sounding off on globalization and deregulation without stopping to comment on the tenor of the U.S. election campaign we just witnessed or the character of the man who won it.

COMMENTARY: KEITH CRAIN
Isn't there a better idea than cash back?
Author: Keith Crain

I just saw an ad offering $11,000 in rebates. Another offered 20 percent off sticker. It would seem to be time for some creative genius to come up with something a little different.

COMMENTARY: JESSE SNYDER
Make America's roads great again
Author: Jesse Snyder

If the Trump administration launches a massive U.S. infrastructure program, the U.S. auto industry must ensure that our roads and bridges get their fair share of the funding.

LEGAL FILE
Markup checks bring charges
Author: Eric Freedman

The former general manager of Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler dealerships in Jasper, Ala., faces prison, a $250,000 fine and $914,000 in restitution if convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud in an alleged scheme to rip off the stores.

Sales staff slips into something more comfortable
Author: Dana Robinson

By blending a casual-attire work environment with a collection of high-end art on the walls, World Subaru in Tinton Falls, N.J., has outperformed other regional dealerships and achieved high customer-satisfaction ratings.

AutoNation to leap into auction business
Author: Amy Wilson

AutoNation is getting into the auction business in a much bigger way with plans to open four AutoNation-branded auto auctions over the next two years, going to five sites from one now. AutoNation expects to sell more than 20,000 vehicles annually at each of its auction locations.

CarMax expands used-car store footprint
Author: Arlena Sawyers

CarMax, extending its lead over other publicly held auto retailers entering the stand-alone used-car store market, continues its expansion, opening its first store in Michigan this month. Store No. 167, near Grand Rapids, puts the retailer closer to its goal of becoming a national brand.

2016 ALL STARS | CEO, EUROPE
Hakan Samuelsson

Hakan Samuelsson has led Vovo Cars' revival, making him an Automotive News All Star.

2016 ALL STARS | CEO, ASIA
Li Shufu

His greater accomplishment was continuing to oversee the stunning rebirth of Volvo.

2016 ALL STARS | INDUSTRY LEADER OF THE YEAR and CEO, NORTH AMERICA
Mary Barra

Under CEO Mary Barra, 54, GM is delivering -- not only on the Chevrolet Bolt, which went into production this month, but on profit goals and quality gains as well.

2016 ALL STARS | MARKETING
Andrea Riley

Andrea Riley, chief marketing officer for Ally Financial, has given the auto lending community a face-lift through Ally's marketing efforts.

2016 ALL STARS | U.S. EXECUTIVE, EUROPEAN AUTOMAKER
Dietmar Exler

Dietmar Exler has only held the top U.S. job at Mercedes-Benz since January, but he was No. 2 for the past two years and has helped put Mercedes on a path to reclaim the top spot in the U.S. luxury sales race.

2016 ALL STARS | BRAND
Duncan Aldred

In two years, Duncan Aldred has given new life to Buick, a brand that had limped along with a thin lineup and a reputation for being the car grandma drives.

2016 ALL STARS | DESIGN
Gorden Wagener

Under its 48-year-old design chief Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz has become increasingly adept at walking the line of pushing the brand into the future without alienating buyers.

2016 ALL STARS | U.S. EXECUTIVE, ASIAN AUTOMAKER
John Mendel

As co-leader of Honda's Takata response committee, Mendel pushed for action and transparency to find the 10.7 million Hondas and Acuras impacted.

2016 ALL STARS | DEALER, PUBLICLY HELD
Bryan DeBoer

Bryan DeBoer has continued Lithia Motors Inc.'s acquisition push, buying the Carbone Auto Group, making him an Automotive News All Star.

2016 ALL STARS | DEALER, PRIVATELY HELD
Melinda Holman

Melinda Holman's dealership group got a lot larger this year.

2016 ALL STARS | ENGINEERING
Pamela Fletcher

Pamela Fletcher has accomplished the same feat two years in a row: popularizing an electrified vehicle.

2016 ALL STARS | GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Anthony Foxx

As autonomous and connectivity technologies reshape how automakers think about personal mobility, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has ensured that regulators follow suit.

2016 ALL STARS | FINANCE
Joy Falotico

Joy Falotico, Ford Credit's CEO and chairman, has quickly climbed the ranks this year. She was promoted to CEO and chairman of Ford's captive finance company in October after being promoted to COO less than a year earlier.

2016 ALL STARS | PUBLIC RELATIONS
Tony Cervone

Tony Cervone returned to General Motors in 2014, when it needed an experienced hand to guide the company and its newly minted CEO, Mary Barra, through its ignition-switch crisis.

2016 ALL STARS | SALES
Alan Batey

General Motors -- yes, that General Motors -- has become the industry's most unlikely model of self-discipline this year, and the results are flowing straight through to the company's bottom line.

2016 ALL STARS | SUPPLIERS
Amnon Shashua

The co-founder and chief technology officer of Mobileye stood up to Tesla's public attacks, countering that Tesla was "pushing the envelope in terms of safety" and asserting that Mobileye argued against Tesla's decision to allow its Autopilot system to offer hands-free driving.

2016 ALL STARS | SERVICE AND PARTS
Frank Ferrara

How about this for a tough assignment: Launch a brand-new customer care package for a brand-new luxury brand -- Genesis -- that competes against Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Lexus, roll it out at 800 dealerships nationwide, and get noticed.

2016 ALL STARS | LABOR
Jerry Dias

When Unifor President Jerry Dias entered 2016 labor negotiations with the Detroit 3 in Canada, he faced an auto manufacturing sector on the verge of collapse. He won agreements that at least stopped the bleeding.

2016 ALL STARS | INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Ron Lamb

Ron Lamb is leading a major revamp of Reynolds and Reynolds business model, making him an Automotive News All Star.

2016 ALL STARS | MINORITY BUSINESS
Vinnie Johnson

They called Vinnie Johnson the "Microwave" back in his days as the Detroit Pistons' sixth man because of his ability to spring from the bench and quickly heat up the action. Lately, Johnson, 60, appears to be using the same skills in the auto business.

2016 ALL STARS | MANUFACTURING
Yoshi Yamane

Yoshi Yamane is reinventing one of the things Honda does best: flexible manufacturing, making him an Automotive News All Star.

2016 ALL STARS | REMARKETING
Jim Hallet

Jim Hallett has made safe, accident-free environments at physical auction sites a top priority at KAR Auction, the parent company of ADESA.

2016 ALL STARS | PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Mark Reuss

General Motors' product development chief Mark Reuss, 53, is not afraid to take chances -- and it's paying off.

2016 ALL STARS | ENVIRONMENT
Robert Mueller

As the court-appointed special settlement master, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, 72, steered the talks that produced the record-setting $14.7 billion settlement of VW's 2.0-liter diesel emissions violations in a matter of months.

2016 ALL STARS | FINANCE & INSURANCE
Rodolfo Dominguez and Johan Swart

Daimler's U.S. captive finance arm, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, completed a $150 million project this past spring to replace its legacy contract management systems with updated technology.

2016 ALL STARS | PURCHASING
Steve Kiefer

After hitting a low point in 2013, General Motors' relations with suppliers are on the upswing. In May, Planning Perspectives Inc.'s annual purchasing report card gave GM, one of the six biggest automakers, a significantly better grade.

2016 ALL STARS | ADVERTISING
Tim Mahoney

In June, Chevrolet hit Ford where it hurts -- in the aluminum bed of the F-150 pickup.

VW to export U.S.-built Atlas to Russia
Author: Nick Gibbs

Volkswagen will export the seven-seat Atlas crossover to Russia from the United States starting at the end of next year, a source close to the company told Automotive News Europe.

Ford steps up effort to hire people with autism
Author: Dustin Walsh

Ford Motor Co. is expanding a program to employ adults with autism, bringing on an additional 12 to 24 hires next year.

Jaguar I-Pace to be built by Magna Steyr
Author: David Jolley and Luca Ciferri

Jaguar, a British brand owned by an Indian company, will use a Canadian-owned contract manufacturer to build full-electric crossovers in Austria.

Mercedes finds a better way around the 'chicken tax'
Author: Jim Henry

Mercedes-Benz is investing in South Carolina after years of producing vans through an odd global supply stream to sidestep U.S. tariffs.

Porsche's 4-cyl. Macan tops expectations
Author: Amy Wilson

Since arriving this summer, the four-cylinder-powered Porsche Macan has become 40 percent of the nameplate's mix, answering the question of whether U.S. customers would accept a four-cylinder engine in a Porsche. Many of the buyers are new to the brand.

2017 Honda CR-V

If the Honda Civic's dominance of the compact-sedan segment is any indication, the CR-V is set to dominate the compact-crossover space.

Which brands generate the best profits?
Author: Jamie LaReau

Profits at Toyota and Honda dealerships are growing, while BMW, Lexus and many luxury brands are seeing double-digit profit declines this year, estimates by Haig Partners show. It's the first time the buy-sell advisory firm has calculated and compared profits by franchise.

Dealer anniversary

Prince Automotive Group celebrates 50 years with Chevrolet

Age of U.S. vehicles rises again as quality improves
Author: Jack Walsworth

The U.S. vehicle fleet continues to get older as quality improves and consumers keep their rides longer.

O say does that Guinness world record yet stand?

In September, Chevrolet earned set a spot in the Guinness World Records by using a diesel-powered Silverado HD pickup to tow a nearly 40-foot-by-80-foot American flag for four laps around the Texas Motor Speedway. You didn't think Ford was going to just sit back and take that, did you?

MICHAEL MARTINEZ
Primer for the new president, if only he would listen
Author: Michael Martinez

If you ask Donald Trump, he just saved thousands of U.S. jobs that big, bad Ford Motor Co. was about to move from Louisville, Ky., to Mexico. To borrow a line from his recent debate performances: Wrong.

That thing got a Hemi? If not, refer to Bulletin No. 23-053-16

Technical service bulletins are usually a complex set of instructions from automakers to service technicians on how to fix a common problem with a specific vehicle.

What to make of these Fiat tweets?

Why is Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks going around Europe taking photos with distressed Fiats and posting them on Twitter, claiming to be “excited about my new car”?

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