BLOG: Lindsay Chappell

How can VW fix this mess? Cash, cash and more cash

Posted 3:38 pm U.S. ET, Dec. 17
blogs Lindsay Chappell is the Mid-South bureau chief in the U.S. for Automotive News.
 
Will anything ever get Volkswagen out of the scandalous pit it has thrown itself into? Yes. One thing will for sure: -- cash. A lot of cash. And yes, of course there is flaming outrage around the world. Protesters standing outside the company’s front gate in Germany, for example, holding up giant signs of a lying Pinocchio to shame the surviving executives. Even w ...
     Continue reading "How can VW fix this mess? Cash, cash and more cash" » Dec 17, 2015 3:38 pm U.S. ET
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As Takata crashes, Japan's keiretsus lose some luster

Posted 4:10 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 10
Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda have decided to stop using airbag components supplied by Takata Corp. That’s a catastrophic turn of affairs for Takata after a run of quality glitches that have resulted in 19 million vehicle recalls and as many as eight deaths. But it’s also a dramatic twist in what the auto industry has long assumed about Japanese keiretsus. ...
     Continue reading "As Takata crashes, Japan's keiretsus lose some luster" » Nov 10, 2015 4:10 pm U.S. ET
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New sales put used sales in the spotlight

Posted 10:16 am U.S. ET, Nov. 8
Selling all the new cars and trucks that U.S. dealers are now moving has to have an impact, sooner or later, on the real cash streams of the retail business -- used cars and repair work. But not just yet. October books closed with a seasonally adjust selling rate of 18.2 million auto sales. All good news. But just to point out the sand in the ointment, where does this ...
     Continue reading "New sales put used sales in the spotlight" » Nov 8, 2015 10:16 am U.S. ET
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Why Nissan will keep one eye on VW's diesel scandal

Posted 4:08 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 25
The news of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions-cheating scheme was still coming into focus this week when Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, took to the podium for an upbeat press luncheon in Detroit to tell reporters about product enhancements to the 2016 Nissan Altima sedan. One had nothing to do with the other. But Munoz is savvy enough to know that when ne ...
     Continue reading "Why Nissan will keep one eye on VW's diesel scandal" » Sep 25, 2015 4:08 pm U.S. ET
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Back when Detroit had to learn efficiency from Japan

Posted 9:26 am U.S. ET, Aug. 5
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Here at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars, people are talking about the urgency to embrace new information technologies to run better factories, reduce wasteful practices and empower workers to make processes work better. I’d like to point out how easy these ideas and tools are to come by today. Especially in contrast to a moment 30 years ...
     Continue reading "Back when Detroit had to learn efficiency from Japan" » Aug 5, 2015 9:26 am U.S. ET
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Honda's formula for recruiting assembly workers

Posted 10:46 am U.S. ET, Aug. 4
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Jeff Tomko is one of the CAR Management Briefing Seminars speakers who got deleted from the program by the chaos of the local power outage. That’s too bad, because he would have been a good counter-point to some of the comments heard here about the difficulty of recruiting manufacturing workers. Tomko is president of Honda’s light-truck ...
     Continue reading "Honda's formula for recruiting assembly workers" » Aug 4, 2015 10:46 am U.S. ET
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Nissan wants you to know that size matters

Posted 10:26 am U.S. ET, Aug. 3
TRAVERSE CITY -- Nissan executives have grown fond of telling audiences that their vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn., is now North America’s largest. Last year’s output: 648,000 cars and SUVs. But it’s not mere bragging. Maybe it is a little. What it really is is strategic messaging. Nissan keeps repeating it because it needs the auto industry t ...
     Continue reading "Nissan wants you to know that size matters" » Aug 3, 2015 10:26 am U.S. ET
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Who was Kirk Kerkorian? He was a money man

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 18
It was always about the money for Kirk Kerkorian, the auto industry provocateur who died Monday at 98. Maybe that’s the naked reality of high-stakes business. Kerkorian, a Las Vegas speculator and takeover mogul, took a powerful investment position at Chrysler Corp. in the 1990s. It looked to Kerkorian like a promising return. Kerkorian pressed Chrysler’s boa ...
     Continue reading "Who was Kirk Kerkorian? He was a money man" » Jun 18, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Nissan Leaf sales surged -- and yet fell 33%

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, June 11
NASHVILLE -- A number of news sites reported last week that U.S. sales of the Nissan Leaf and other electric-drive vehicles looked good in May -- “surging” was one of the words they used to describe it. The opposite was true. Leaf sales fell 33 percent from year-earlier levels, and that’s dramatic. Nissan has its hands full with the car right now, and th ...
     Continue reading "Why Nissan Leaf sales surged -- and yet fell 33%" » Jun 11, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Volvo finally gets its American factory

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 16
Volvo has wanted an American car factory for decades. But complications and setbacks have gotten in the way -- including an entire decade spent as a brand owned by Ford Motor Co. More than half a century before telling the world this week that it will build a $500 million vehicle assembly plant in Ridgeville, S.C., Volvo opened a small-volume final-assembly plant in Halif ...
     Continue reading "Volvo finally gets its American factory" » May 16, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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The president should have said 'Mexico'

Posted 11:23 am U.S. ET, April 28
Is China really the competitive threat that will spur Congress to sign off on the proposed new free-trade pact with Japan and other Asian nations? That’s what President Barack Obama recently said as he tries to win over Democrat and Republican skeptics in Congress. Obama warned that if the United States fails to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japan, Viet ...
     Continue reading "The president should have said 'Mexico'" » Apr 28, 2015 11:23 am U.S. ET
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Traditional sedans fading away? Not in New York

Posted 12:10 pm U.S. ET, April 1
NEW YORK -- One of the more troubling sales trends for car buffs lately has been a shift away from sedans. Especially larger sedans. But watch the runway at this year’s New York auto show. There is a hot new sedan from Cadillac -- the CT6. A stylish new Kia Optima. An eighth-generation Nissan Maxima with an unprecedented collection of bells and whistles. A retooled ...
     Continue reading "Traditional sedans fading away? Not in New York" » Apr 1, 2015 12:10 pm U.S. ET
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India's Mahindra stills wants to sell in the U.S.

Posted 10:24 am U.S. ET, March 19
Pawan Goenka has not given up on the idea of entering the U.S. auto market. The head of automotive operations for India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, Goenka acknowledges that the company is “still in the middle of it” on the legal fallout from his first attempt at entering. Mahindra was scheduled to introduce an Indian-built compact pickup with a four-cyli ...
     Continue reading "India's Mahindra stills wants to sell in the U.S." » Mar 19, 2015 10:24 am U.S. ET
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Jaguar will discover the magic of U.S. production

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 7
Do not hesitate to build that North American vehicle assembly plant, Jaguar Land Rover. You will be amazed. Trust me on this one. I can’t tell you how many times history has repeated itself on this count. The story always goes like this: Automaker X wonders whether it has the chops to build vehicles in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. Automaker X shyly doubts its ow ...
     Continue reading "Jaguar will discover the magic of U.S. production" » Mar 7, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Renault should plan a U.S. return

Posted 2:07 pm U.S. ET, March 6
France’s Renault brand will eventually return to the U.S. market, I do predict. Not any time soon, I will concede. But sooner or later. To be sure, nobody at the Renault-Nissan Alliance has uttered a word publicly to indicate that this is being planned. And Carlos Ghosn, who runs both Nissan and Renault, has plainly stated that it will not happen. But sooner or la ...
     Continue reading "Why Renault should plan a U.S. return" » Mar 6, 2015 2:07 pm U.S. ET
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Infiniti gives a glimpse of Geneva's QX30

Posted 6:43 am U.S. ET, Feb. 5
NASHVILLE -- Infiniti retailers face a product drought for most of 2015. And if most of them don’t seem particularly worried about it, it is because of images like this one, released Thursday by Infiniti, teasing a peek of the upcoming QX30 crossover. The barely discernible shape is that of a compact crossover concept that Infiniti will unveil at the Geneva auto sho ...
     Continue reading "Infiniti gives a glimpse of Geneva's QX30" » Feb 5, 2015 6:43 am U.S. ET
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Sometimes success comes from a loving push

Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 24
SAN FRANCISCO -- A few months ago, I interviewed a West Virginia car dealer named Mike Wood. You might have caught the article we ran in Automotive News. Wood struck me as a dynamo. He is building a dealership group the old-fashioned way -- long hours. Wearing many hats. Doing without. Getting by on too little sleep. Praying for good weather. Celebrating every little move ...
     Continue reading "Sometimes success comes from a loving push" » Jan 24, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET
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The other side of the digital ad craze

Posted 7:15 am U.S. ET, Jan. 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- Car dealers will be deluged with talk of digital advertising this week at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention here Digital ad spending by dealers will increase 25 percent this year, according to a recent forecast by market watchers Borrell Associates. But ad agency owner Terry Lancaster has some different advice for reta ...
     Continue reading "The other side of the digital ad craze" » Jan 23, 2015 7:15 am U.S. ET
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