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BLOG: Lindsay Chappell
Posted 10:05 am U.S. ET, Dec. 4
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 6
Posted 10:20 am U.S. ET, Dec. 5
Six short years ago, it looked like the entire U.S. banking system might crash like a pyramid of champagne glasses.
Dubious mortgage practices all over the country had caused the pyramid to sway in the breeze, and mortgage defaults wrecked the American economy. There has been good reason to watch lending practices ever since.
This year, as car sales sail toward the 17-mi ... Continue reading "Dealer missteps do not a lender meltdown make" » Dec 6, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- People in the car business are so used to being lectured on how they are doing things wrong -- social media, customer service, what have you -- that it’s notable whenever an automotive company sets a new benchmark for the rest of the world.
Zoom in for a closer look at the McLaren Racing pit crews doing their lightning-speed maintenance work the next ti ... Continue reading "Prepare to embrace McLaren's anticipate-and-act tactics" » Dec 5, 2014 10:20 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- Jeremy Tucker was still in college the last time Nissan ran an ad during the Super Bowl back in 1997.
Now 38 and vice president of U.S. marketing for the automaker, Tucker will execute Nissan’s return to the high-profile advertising stage in February. Tucker says the Super Bowl offers Nissan a “big moment” to show America what it has to offe ... Continue reading "Why it will be a different Nissan that returns to the Super Bowl" » Dec 4, 2014 10:05 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Six feet of snow in Buffalo. And then a seventh. And then floods of melted snow. November blizzards up the East Coast just in time to ruin Black Friday sales.
They call all this “freakish” weather. But is it? Or is it that science-fictiony “climate change” thing that alarmists are always warning is on the way?
Pick your point of view, but consider ... Continue reading "Bad weather will shape future retailing" » Nov 27, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Cheaper gas is being widely credited with October’s gains in the sales of crossovers, SUVs, pickups. And no doubt, lower pump prices are figuring into consumer thinking right now.
But sometimes the easiest explanation of the month’s sales trends isn’t always the most satisfying.
Does anyone really observe that gas is suddenly down 25 cents a gallon and ... Continue reading "Cheaper gas led to increased light-truck and crossover sales? Not necessarily" » Nov 6, 2014 11:51 am U.S. ET Post Comment
News broke this week that Nissan and Renault are debating the future of their electric-vehicle battery technology sourcing.
Frankly, it would be bigger news if the two automaker partners weren’t debating it.
According to the news reports, Nissan purchasing leaders believe Nissan and Renault can be most competitive continuing to source EV battery technology from Jap ... Continue reading "Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly" » Sep 17, 2014 3:23 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- Take a look at who’s been increasing incentives lately and you will see a larger trend in U.S. vehicle strategy.
The guys who stepped up their incentive spending last month are brands that are counting on strong sedan strategies in an era of crossover growth.
Honda, one of the most powerful brands in the American market, raised its incentives-to-transa ... Continue reading "Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies" » Sep 13, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- A plan by Mercedes-Benz USA to award a dealer franchise in Alabama to Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban and a business partner can move forward now that litigation with a longtime Mercedes dealer there has been settled.
With three national titles for the Tide, Saban occupies a social position in Alabama that is approximately equal to Julius Caesar’ ... Continue reading "Settlement allows Mercedes to award dealership to Alabama's Saban" » Aug 23, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Fiat aside, Italian cars live in a rarefied world of the very rich and the very few.
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Pagani, Zagato -- those luminary brands barely add up to a percent of a percentage point worth of sales in America.
But oh, the mystique.
Oh, the power of the Italian design -- the curves of the Italian body and the seducti ... Continue reading "Why Americans are rediscovering Italian cars" » Aug 16, 2014 8:52 am U.S. ET Post Comment
The world's automakers are going to be doing a lot of cringing now that J.D. Power plans to criticize them for one of the most poorly executed technologies they peddle to consumers -- voice recognition. In brief, vehicle voice-recognition technology is awful. It was lousy when it emerged in the early 1990s. And after 15 years of inclusion in vehicles across the price spect ... Continue reading "Automakers to face intensified scrutiny over voice recognition" » Aug 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET Post Comment
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Check your pride at the door Wednesday afternoon when J.D. Power plans to lay into the auto industry for one of the most poorly executed technologies it peddles to consumers -- voice recognition.
In brief, vehicle voice recognition technology is awful. It was lousy when it first emerged in the early 1990s. And after 15 years of inclusion in vehicle ... Continue reading "Automakers to get rude wake-up call on voice recognition" » Aug 5, 2014 11:41 am U.S. ET Post Comment