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BLOG: Nick Bunkley
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Five months into the year, 2015 is on pace to be one of the U.S. auto industry’s best years ever. And Detroit’s two biggest automakers are finding themselves locked in a number of close races, even switching places in a few important segments.
General Motors may not be the world’s largest automaker anymore, but it still can get plenty of satisfaction fro ... Continue reading "GM vs. Ford and the latest sales rivalries " » Jun 4, 2015 2:25 pm U.S. ET Permalink
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The F-150 isn’t the only Ford Motor Co. icon that’s been changed to aluminum this year.
Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum, which goes on sale in a few months, and you’ll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval.
For the most expensive Explorer series ever, with a starting price of more than ... Continue reading "Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer" » May 15, 2015 3:51 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Ford Motor Co.’s first-quarter earnings report is a reminder that the redesigned F-150 is still made of the same thing it always has been.
Ford CFO Bob Shanks said the automaker could have earned at least $1 billion more in North America if it had built the same number of F-150s and Edge crossovers as in the first three months of 2014. Inst ... Continue reading "The F-150, Ford's heavy-duty profit hauler" » Apr 28, 2015 2:33 pm U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- Does the Lincoln Continental mark the beginning of the end of the brand’s confusing “MK” naming scheme?
Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas, today gave the strongest hint yet that the company is ready to bring back real words, possibly by reviving iconic names such as the Town Car.
“Without divulging the futur ... Continue reading "Why Lincoln is ready to toss the alphabet soup" » Apr 21, 2015 2:44 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Even Ford Motor Co. executives admit being surprised at how fast transaction prices on pickups keep rising.
Not that they’re complaining, of course. Ford execs are more than happy to find somewhere to stash all that money. (Though it could be awkward to show up at the UAW bargaining table in a few months with crumpled $100 bills falling out of their pockets.)
But F ... Continue reading "Why the F-150 pricing 'gravy train' will eventually slow down" » Mar 12, 2015 3:35 pm U.S. ET Permalink
Don’t blame General Motors for the Year of the Recall.
At least not entirely.
Sure, GM started it. But like those predictable, out-of-control TV sitcom parties that begin by “just inviting a few friends over” when someone’s parents go out of town, it turns out that GM didn’t actually make most of the mess.
The finally tally of 2014’s ... Continue reading "Why you can't blame only GM for the Year of the Recall" » Feb 13, 2015 10:31 am U.S. ET Permalink
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cars are emotional purchases for consumers. A Wisconsin dealer told me he got clear evidence of that this week, after the Green Bay Packers were eliminated from the NFL playoffs is heartbreaking fashion.
Until then, sales had been going well at Rapids Ford-Lincoln, owner Allen Taylor said. "We were just clicking away all month," he said.
Then, the Packer ... Continue reading "Could a Super Bowl loss deflate car sales in New England or Seattle?" » Jan 24, 2015 4:45 pm U.S. ET Permalink
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeb Bush and Jay Leno are the keynote speakers at this weekend’s NADA convention, which is great, because car dealers tend to love Republicans and bad jokes.
If there’s one thing many car dealers can’t stand right now, it’s Tesla. Yet here they are, thousands of them, spending a few days right in Elon Musk’s backyard. It&rsqu ... Continue reading "NADA, Tesla, pitchforks and torches -- a missed opportunity" » Jan 23, 2015 1:00 am U.S. ET Permalink
DETROIT -- There’s drone drama at the Detroit auto show.
Ford Motor Co. is delivering toy models of its F-150 Raptor by drone, but the city’s fire marshal briefly grounded the stunt. And after some people didn’t like the drone flying throughout the stand, its flight path was restricted to an area in which no one would be underneath.
Meanwhile, ... Continue reading "Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama" » Jan 13, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET Permalink
While most big auto show unveilings are leaked or telegraphed ahead of time, Ford Motor Co. kept its GT supercar mostly a surprise until this morning’s introduction in Detroit.
That’s because even within Ford, only a small number of people had seen or even heard about the GT before it was revealed.
“Nobody knew this was coming,” Ford sales analyst ... Continue reading "Ford's GT: 'Nobody knew this was coming' " » Jan 12, 2015 11:46 am U.S. ET Permalink
For 11 years, Jean Averill’s family had no idea that her death was connected to a defective ignition switch.
For the past five months, Averill’s name sat in a footnote at the bottom of Page 103 in the Valukas report, which details the findings of General Motors’ investigation into that defective ignition switch. But her name, and the name of every other ... Continue reading "GM victim's family left in the dark with compensation clock ticking" » Nov 11, 2014 4:12 pm U.S. ET Permalink