BLOG: Nick Bunkley

Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer

Posted 3:51 pm U.S. ET, May 15
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Instead of blue plastic, the Blue Oval is made of brushed aluminum to match accents used elsewhere in the cabin. (Nick Bunkley)
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
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The F-150, Ford's heavy-duty profit hauler

Posted 2:33 pm U.S. ET, April 28
Forget aluminum. 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. Money. 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
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Why Lincoln is ready to toss the alphabet soup

Posted 2:44 pm U.S. ET, April 21
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
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Why the F-150 pricing 'gravy train' will eventually slow down

Posted 3:35 pm U.S. ET, March 12
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
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Why you can't blame only GM for the Year of the Recall

Posted 10:31 am U.S. ET, Feb. 13
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
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Could a Super Bowl loss deflate car sales in New England or Seattle?

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 24
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
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NADA, Tesla, pitchforks and torches -- a missed opportunity

Posted 1:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 23
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
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Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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
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Ford's GT: 'Nobody knew this was coming'

Posted 11:46 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
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
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GM victim's family left in the dark with compensation clock ticking

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, Nov. 11
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
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How the 'Chevy Guy' became, you know, a hit and stuff

Posted 10:51 am U.S. ET, Oct. 30
Late Wednesday night, General Motors introduced America to the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado -- the dependable, all-new pickup that comes with “you know, technology and stuff.” Forget Madison Bumgarner, the 25-year-old pitcher who had just given the San Francisco Giants their third World Series championship in five years with a dazzling Game 7 performance. A much m ...
     Continue reading "How the 'Chevy Guy' became, you know, a hit and stuff" » Oct 30, 2014 10:51 am U.S. ET
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The Big (Detroit) 3 are back on top, with nudge from Fiat

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 1
The Big 3 are back. Though maybe not for long. The top of September’s U.S. sales chart would look fairly routine to anyone who was asleep for the past decade and plans to spend this weekend browsing dealer ads in the Sunday newspaper for a good deal on a new PT Cruiser. No. 1: General Motors. No. 2: Ford Motor Co. No. 3: Chrysler Group. You know, just like it&rs ...
     Continue reading "The Big (Detroit) 3 are back on top, with nudge from Fiat" » Oct 1, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why Honda's John Mendel wants customers to buy a Treasury bond on wheels

Posted 3:28 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 19
Shaky stock market got you jittery? It may be time to take your money out of Google, Apple and Tesla -- and put it in Hondas. Not Honda stock. Actual Hondas. They’re like Treasury bonds on wheels, with cupholders. That’s basically how John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, described the company’s products today. Mendel was responding ...
     Continue reading "Why Honda's John Mendel wants customers to buy a Treasury bond on wheels" » Aug 19, 2014 3:28 pm U.S. ET
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Why GM is re-engineering its 'political punching bag'

Posted 2:30 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 7
The next-generation Chevrolet Volt will have a trunk and the word “Volt” on the back of it, according to the teaser photo that General Motors released today. I assume -- but can’t confirm from the photo -- that it also will have approximately four wheels, multiple doors and possibly an interior. The redesigned Volt will be fully unveiled at the Detroit a ...
     Continue reading "Why GM is re-engineering its 'political punching bag'" » Aug 7, 2014 2:30 pm U.S. ET
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Compensation, yes, but no happy endings for GM crash victims' families

Posted 3:07 pm U.S. ET, July 3
Daryl Chansuthus bristled at the word “compensation” when we spoke on the phone this week. Compensation doesn’t fill the void created on a rainy December night five years ago, when her 25-year-old daughter’s Chevrolet Cobalt SS hit a tree off Interstate 24 in Tennessee and no airbags deployed. More than compensation, Chansuthus wants accountability ...
     Continue reading "Compensation, yes, but no happy endings for GM crash victims' families" » Jul 3, 2014 3:07 pm U.S. ET
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