BLOG: Richard Johnson

Hyundai scrambles for more crossover turf

Posted 2:45 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 16
blogs Richard is print editor of Automotive News.
 
CHICAGO -- Hyundai’s no longer growing by leaps and bounds in the United States, in part because it’s only a bit player in the crossover boom. “Mix is definitely a piece of it,” Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski said on the sidelines of Automotive News’ Best Dealerships To Work For event here. “We’re very short on all of ou ...
     Continue reading "Hyundai scrambles for more crossover turf" » Oct 16, 2014 2:45 pm U.S. ET
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The joy of being a Jeep dealer in 2014

Posted 3:35 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 15
CHICAGO -- Holy Toledo, what's it like to be a Jeep dealer in 2014? Andy Shaver, president of the Shaver Group, just smiles when I ask. A smile that says: "Awesome and then some." "It's really great," he says. "We were just talking about this and someone said Jeep is the strongest domestic brand right now." Understatement alert! Of course, this fourth generation dealer ...
     Continue reading "The joy of being a Jeep dealer in 2014" » Oct 15, 2014 3:35 pm U.S. ET
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From boosting Renault to designing boats

Posted 4:02 am U.S. ET, Oct. 3
You could argue that the reason Renault was able to shock the auto world in 1998 by acquiring Nissan was the emergence of a delightful Renault design language in the 1990s. And you could give credit for that look to the man shown here -- former Renault styling chief Patrick Le Quement, the erstwhile Ford of Europe design boss. To be more specific, the shape and package, a ...
     Continue reading "From boosting Renault to designing boats" » Oct 3, 2014 4:02 am U.S. ET
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Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent

Posted 5:53 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
PARIS -- How does Carlos Ghosn feel about the high-level executives who have left Renault-Nissan of late? He takes it all in Ghosn-like stride, which is to say: analytically, not emotionally. "We are obviously a target for headhunters, but we are‎ simultaneously recruiting the best and the brightest," he said. Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen recently went to‎ C ...
     Continue reading "Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent" » Oct 1, 2014 5:53 pm U.S. ET
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The Nissan Leaf's top-selling town?

Posted 10:31 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
PARIS -- It's true that sales of Nissan's Leaf have picked up momentum this year in the U.S., but what is the geographic mix across the country? Where is the Leaf doing well? At the Renault-Nissan dinner‎ tonight, CEO Carlos Ghosn challenged the scrum that engulfed him to name America's No. 1 Leaf-loving town, the place where 1,000 of the electric vehicles were sold i ...
     Continue reading "The Nissan Leaf's top-selling town?" » Oct 1, 2014 10:31 pm U.S. ET
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Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent

Posted 5:53 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
PARIS -- How does Carlos Ghosn feel about the high-level executives who have left Renault-Nissan of late? He takes it all in Ghosn-like stride, which is to say: analytically, not emotionally. "We are obviously a target for headhunters, but we are‎ simultaneously recruiting the best and the brightest," he said. Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen recently went to‎ C ...
     Continue reading "Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent" » Oct 1, 2014 5:53 pm U.S. ET
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New M&A lingo: 'nontraditionals' and 'family offices'

Posted 7:16 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 26
Tim Lamb of Tim Lamb Group, whose stand was crawling with acquisitive dealers, says he's beginning to see signs of it.George Chaconas of Performance Brokerage has noticed it "just in the last six months."These deal makers are starting to hear from "nontraditional" dealership buyers.Of course, the market doesn't need buyers; it needs sellers. But owners of those privately h ...
     Continue reading "New M&A lingo: 'nontraditionals' and 'family offices'" » Jan 26, 2014 7:16 pm U.S. ET
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Why George Chaconas is such a busy man

Posted 4:24 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 25
NEW ORLEANS -- Sit with dealmaker George Chaconas of Performance Brokerage Services at the Starbucks outside the convention hall, and you discover a busy guy."Well, the dealers just got out a meeting," he says as a herd of well-dressed retailers stream by -- a couple of whom seem anxious to meet up with Chaconas right then and there.A lot of dealers want to check in with b ...
     Continue reading "Why George Chaconas is such a busy man" » Jan 25, 2014 4:24 pm U.S. ET
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How Granatelli broke the code, saved his life

Posted 11:07 am U.S. ET, Jan. 3
Andy Granatelli, the renowned race-car owner and STP oil treatment mogul who died last week at age 90, is best remembered for the cars that won the Indianapolis 500 in 1969 and 1973, and for building and sponsoring Parnelli Jones' radical turbine car that almost won the 500 in 1967.But my favorite Granatelli story was the one he told about his brief stint as a driver at th ...
     Continue reading "How Granatelli broke the code, saved his life" » Jan 3, 2014 11:07 am U.S. ET
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Special Report
No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

Texas dealer Greg May encourages his staffers to provide input and solve problems on their own. Mon., October 20
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