Posted 5:50 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 7
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BLOG: Lindsay Chappell
Posted 1:06 pm U.S. ET, April 16
Posted 1:03 pm U.S. ET, May 2
Posted 9:48 am U.S. ET, April 17
NASHVILLE -- After all the sensible explanations about why Toyota is closing down its manufacturing headquarters in Erlanger, Ky., there is still one other factor: the consolidation of the U.S. airline industry.
Blame it on Delta.
For 18 years, Toyota has run a robust organization in Erlanger -- which is really a commuter community just south of the Ohio River from Cinci ... Continue reading "Toyota goes where the jets fly" » May 2, 2014 1:03 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW YORK -- First a New York judge blocked a deal to make the Nissan NV200 the city’s official taxi last year. Now the cops want to write one of the van’s drivers a ticket.
A stiff-upper-lipped Nissan is rolling out a couple of mock NV200 yellow New York taxis this week to carry visitors and VIPs around the city during the New York auto show.
But the pretend ... Continue reading "Some New Yorkers really want that Nissan cab" » Apr 17, 2014 9:48 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW YORK -- There’s a new buzzword trending through the car business right now: velocity.
It has been popping up in conversations and presentations for a while, and is on the lips of visitors here at the New York auto show. And it might be a good thing.
In its new use, velocity simply means the speed with which auto dealers can process a customer from tire-kicker i ... Continue reading "Brace yourself for 'velocity'" » Apr 16, 2014 1:06 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
Analysts, pundits and commentators have been mesmerized of late by two very big issues facing Tesla Motors. Issue 1: Will state dealer laws allow Tesla to go on selling its cars direct, without a retail franchise network? And Issue 2: How will little Tesla build its $5 billion “Gigafactory” -- a breathtaking plan to build batteries on a scale that vastly outrea ... Continue reading "Why new world Tesla needs old world factory relief" » Apr 12, 2014 7:27 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- There’s no getting around the fact that General Motors is taking a clubbing right now.
A huge recall, several lawsuits, a blistering congressional hearing, apologies to consumers, potential criminal investigations -- it’s all bad.
But then there are the retailers.
The image of 2.6 million cars being recalled is ugly. But the prospect of 2.6 mill ... Continue reading "Why GM dealers have a chance to shine" » Apr 5, 2014 7:30 am U.S. ET Post Comment
CHICAGO -- A new groundswell is taking place for sporty trucks.Of all the vehicles on display this week at the Chicago Auto Show, the pickup segment stands out. There are General Motors' redesigned mid-sized pickups, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, getting back into the game.There is Toyota's new batch of off-road-capable TRD Pro Series trucks. There is the Ford F-150 S ... Continue reading "In Chicago, trucks get their mojo back" » Feb 7, 2014 1:53 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
NEW ORLEANS -- It’s frightening to consider how much time is being wasted on the typical car sale.It’s a wonder sales personnel -- or even the dealership, for that matter -- manage to make any money, says retail consultant Mark Rikess.Rikess’ firm, the Rikess Group was hired to conduct an efficiency study of more than 100 dealerships not long ago. Conside ... Continue reading "Why the sales process still wastes so much time" » Jan 25, 2014 10:57 am U.S. ET Post Comment
If you see Michael Bartsch at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans this weekend, you will probably find him empty-handed.That's because Bartsch, Infiniti's new vice president for North America, says he comes to NADA without an agenda, without a formal presentation for his dealers, and most certainly without a PowerPoint presentation."I thin ... Continue reading "Just whose NADA is this?" » Jan 24, 2014 9:40 am U.S. ET Post Comment
Over the past several years, the Detroit auto show's press preview has evolved into a neatly compact event that celebrates new cars for about 36 hours, give or take.That’s very efficient. Very considerate to executives who have important meetings somewhere. But it’s a missed opportunity.The Detroit show ought to be longer -- not shorter.It ought to be a week-lo ... Continue reading "Why Detroit’s auto show should be longer -- not shorter" » Jan 17, 2014 4:02 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
DETROIT -- With key new products some two years away, Infiniti is showing audiences a concept car that heralds the brand's new racing direction.The Q50 Eau Rouge, unveiled at the Detroit auto show, remakes the recently introduced Q50 sedan into a Formula One racing-inspired sports sedan, with sculpted body-side rocker wings, carbon-fiber body components, ceramic exhausts a ... Continue reading "Eau Rouge points to sportier Infiniti portfolio" » Jan 14, 2014 7:37 am U.S. ET Post Comment
NASHVILLE -- All according to Nissan's 2013 marketing schemes, the automaker has managed to create a viral buzz about the launch of its Versa Note.Internet readers have become fascinated with images of very large cardboard boxes from Amazon.com sitting on the back of flatbed delivery trucks -- very large as in "roughly the size of a Versa Note."That was the plan, as we rep ... Continue reading "How Nissan thought outside the Amazon box" » Jan 7, 2014 5:50 pm U.S. ET Post Comment
My wish for the holidays is that the auto industry will get its act together next year on electronics and cabin controls.As in -- just put a doggone “OFF” switch on the thing.Who out there thinks I want to go through two display screens to reach the command that enables me to turn off the defroster?Why do I have to press a button that says “audio” a ...