BLOG: Dave Guilford

Why we won't 'put' credence in GM-FCA merger talk

Posted 10:26 am U.S. ET, April 15
blogs Dave Guilford is a news editor at Automotive News.
 
Maybe Sergio Marchionne is banking on a loss of institutional memory at General Motors. That’s the only way I can see that he might expect GM to consider buying Fiat Chrysler. Perhaps Marchionne sees an opening because the Whitacre-Akerson administrations purged nearly all the old GM executive team. You know, the ones who twitch when they hear the words “GM-Fi ...
     Continue reading "Why we won't 'put' credence in GM-FCA merger talk" » Apr 15, 2015 10:26 am U.S. ET
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Cox's Schwartz urges 3 dealer changes

Posted 5:15 pm U.S. ET, March 31
NEW YORK -- Sandy Schwartz has been campaigning this year with a stump speech that drives home a simple message: Auto dealers have to change the way they do business, and today’s good times represent an opening to do so. You could argue that Schwartz, as president of the vast Cox Automotive empire, has a vested interest in getting dealers to adopt new ways of sellin ...
     Continue reading "Cox's Schwartz urges 3 dealer changes" » Mar 31, 2015 5:15 pm U.S. ET
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Ford, Farley hope for success in U.S.-Russian diplomacy

Posted 8:36 pm U.S. ET, March 2
GENEVA -- In one of those uncanny coincidences, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met at the Hotel President Wilson here Monday to discuss the ceasefire in the Ukraine. A few hours later, Ford Motor Co. held its pre-Geneva show reception at the same hotel. Jim Farley, newly installed as head of Ford of Europe, vowed that the los ...
     Continue reading "Ford, Farley hope for success in U.S.-Russian diplomacy" » Mar 2, 2015 8:36 pm U.S. ET
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Russia, weak euro form backdrop for Geneva show

Posted 12:28 pm U.S. ET, March 2
Automakers don’t overreact to international tensions and currency fluctuations. They’re playing the long game, making decisions that many times will be in place for decades. That’s why the comments coming from auto execs on the verge of the Geneva auto show are so striking. They indicate that, behind the hoopla and posturing at the show, automakers are p ...
     Continue reading "Russia, weak euro form backdrop for Geneva show" » Mar 2, 2015 12:28 pm U.S. ET
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F-150 a winner? Too soon to tell

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 7
Everybody wants to know if the launch of Ford’s 2015 F-150 pickup is a success, and for good reason. Huge volume. Huge profits. Aluminum body. New manufacturing processes. Tricky factory makeovers. In the U.S. auto industry, this is high drama, indeed. Ford, for its part, is playing up early results. CFO Bob Shanks said last week after the release of the company&r ...
     Continue reading "F-150 a winner? Too soon to tell" » Feb 7, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Volvo and the 'sweet hereafter'

Posted 12:59 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 30
Excruciatingly long product lead times have always challenged automakers, who have to figure out what will sell four or five years hence. But they’re tough on dealers, too, who face lengthy product droughts while hearing -- literally for years -- about the really sweet stuff that’s on the way. Take Volvo, for instance. At the National Automobile Dealers Assoc ...
     Continue reading "Volvo and the 'sweet hereafter'" » Jan 30, 2015 12:59 pm U.S. ET
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Money's cheap, so here come the store upgrades

Posted 9:30 am U.S. ET, Jan. 24
Editor's note: An earlier version of this blog misstated Chip Walker's last name. Also, it misstated where Custom Facilities is based.  SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the better indicators of the health of a business is its willingness -- and ability -- to make capital expenditures. By that measure, auto retailers are doing well. There’s all the activity at the Mosco ...
     Continue reading "Money's cheap, so here come the store upgrades" » Jan 24, 2015 9:30 am U.S. ET
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Navigating the great digital divide

Posted 3:30 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- The data vs. the gut. As auto dealers gather for the NADA convention here in the heart of the United States’ disruptive, digital culture, it’s clear that they have to navigate between those two styles of management. Again and again, speakers at the Automotive News Retail Forum on Thursday explained how they were adapting to the shopping style ...
     Continue reading "Navigating the great digital divide" » Jan 23, 2015 3:30 pm U.S. ET
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Volt led the way for today's plug-in hybrids

Posted 7:57 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 7
General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt team will no doubt be slammed during the Detroit auto show press days next week. The Volt-sters will have a lot to talk about as the second-generation Volt rolls out. GM has been teasing the advances in battery power, range and quietness. I’m guessing that GM made price reduction a priority, too -- but we’ll see. Neverthel ...
     Continue reading "Volt led the way for today's plug-in hybrids" » Jan 7, 2015 7:57 pm U.S. ET
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Why Russia's crash is just part of the emerging markets drill

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Dec. 23
Russia is the latest developing market to go through convulsions. Several automakers have stopped or limited sales as the ruble declines. When fourth-quarter earnings are reported, you’ll hear executives bemoan hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and profits. First-quarter 2015 earnings will be a rerun if the turmoil persists. But automakers invested in ...
     Continue reading "Why Russia's crash is just part of the emerging markets drill" » Dec 23, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why lower oil prices might not be good for automakers

Posted 7:02 am U.S. ET, Dec. 2
Oil prices have fallen precipitously, from over $100 per barrel last summer to under $70 for some types of crude. You can find some predictions that the price will go as low as $40. Despite the rich retail sales mix that follows lower gas prices, this may not be entirely good for the auto industry. Car-shoppers are understandably more inclined to buy a bigger vehicle the ...
     Continue reading "Why lower oil prices might not be good for automakers" » Dec 2, 2014 7:02 am U.S. ET
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Ghosn sets the record straight on price-fixing conspiracy

Posted 12:53 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 20
NEW YORK -- In our package of stories on supplier price-fixing published Monday, one report said Carlos Ghosn inadvertently created the bid-rigging tradition. The argument went thus: Ghosn arrived in 1999 as CEO of Nissan and broke up the cozy keiretsu culture, demanding competitive bidding. In response, suppliers started price fixing. It’s an intriguing scenario. ...
     Continue reading "Ghosn sets the record straight on price-fixing conspiracy" » Nov 20, 2014 12:53 pm U.S. ET
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Lower gas prices, longer alt-power payback

Posted 3:32 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 5
A couple weeks ago on vacation, I encountered $2.69 per gallon gasoline in Virginia. Subsequently I’ve enjoyed seeing fill-ups cost $10 to $15 less than I’ve come to expect. As a consumer, I like that. I’m sure that people selling bigger vehicles do, too. But one group probably isn’t cheering: Anyone marketing alternative powertrain vehicles. The ...
     Continue reading "Lower gas prices, longer alt-power payback" » Nov 5, 2014 3:32 pm U.S. ET
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Why U.S.-European auto harmony is still just a dream

Posted 1:06 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 3
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Wolfgang Schneider's title with Ford of Europe.  PARIS -- Wolfgang Schneider remembers when French cars had yellow-tinted headlights and German cars had white lights. Then the two countries decided to allow each other’s cars on their streets. Eventually, says Schneider, Ford of Europe’ ...
     Continue reading "Why U.S.-European auto harmony is still just a dream" » Oct 3, 2014 1:06 pm U.S. ET
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Will the customer buy what governments demand?

Posted 7:30 am U.S. ET, Oct. 2
PARIS -- Audi CEO Rupert Stadler says that after a global wave of new emissions and fuel economy regulations, the automotive industry needs a break. In doing so, he's warning about the unintended consequences of rapid regulatory change. Stadler's not looking for a break from meeting standards like the U.S. 54.5 mpg CAFÉ goal, or the European Union's target of 95 gr ...
     Continue reading "Will the customer buy what governments demand?" » Oct 2, 2014 7:30 am U.S. ET
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Maybe the EPA should just hire Consumer Reports for mpg ratings

Posted 10:10 am U.S. ET, July 23
Maybe the federal government should adopt Consumer Reports as a model for fuel economy testing. Or just outsource the task to the magazine. The EPA seems to be feeling the heat over its miles-per-gallon ratings, which adorn new-car window stickers. As just about anyone who has checked their fuel economy can attest, EPA numbers are at best rough indicators of actual perfo ...
     Continue reading "Maybe the EPA should just hire Consumer Reports for mpg ratings" » Jul 23, 2014 10:10 am U.S. ET
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Despite Ford's apology, recent mpg downgrades are troubling

Posted 3:32 pm U.S. ET, June 18
When Ford Motor Co. lowered window-sticker mpg ratings for six vehicles last week, it was refreshingly forthright. As Raj Nair, group vice president for global product development, put it: “This was our mistake, plain and simple, and we apologize to our customers for it.” That was candid and appropriate. But, frankly, there’s a troubling undercurrent in ...
     Continue reading "Despite Ford's apology, recent mpg downgrades are troubling" » Jun 18, 2014 3:32 pm U.S. ET
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At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers

Posted 7:15 am U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- From the moment that Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne pulled off the audacious deal to gain control of a deeply damaged Chrysler Group in 2009, the new ownership has confounded expectations. The company’s very survival has surprised many observers, of course. So has its continuing streak of sales increases, now at 48 months of year-over-year gains. And the ...
     Continue reading "At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers" » Apr 17, 2014 7:15 am U.S. ET
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Autos' enthusiasm for emerging markets hits brakes

Posted 2:11 pm U.S. ET, April 15
NEW YORK -- It’s been common for years to hear that emerging markets will power global growth in auto sales. Global automakers have jostled to position themselves for that growth, particularly in the much-touted BRIC markets -- Brazil, Russia, India and China. But that growth formula has been looking a little less solid lately. Tension with Russia over the annexati ...
     Continue reading "Autos' enthusiasm for emerging markets hits brakes" » Apr 15, 2014 2:11 pm U.S. ET
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