BLOG: Nick Bunkley

The disappearing GM gender pay gap that wasn't

Posted 1:43 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 12
blogs Nick Bunkley is an enterprise reporter for Automotive News.
 
In a shocking surprise to no one who was actually aware of the facts, General Motors did not really cut CEO Mary Barra's pay when it promoted her to CEO.Nor is GM paying Barra significantly less than her male predecessor, as some media outlets recklessly claimed. In fact, Barra stands to make significantly more money than Dan Akerson did as chairman and CEO, GM revealed th ...
     Continue reading "The disappearing GM gender pay gap that wasn't " » Feb 12, 2014 1:43 pm U.S. ET
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GM lets a convoluted statement do all the talking

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 3
General Motors' January U.S. sales results on Monday looked a lot like the record-low temperatures across the Midwest for much of last month.In other words, there were a whole lot of negative numbers.What did GM have to say about its largest year-over-year decline in more than three years? Virtually nothing.As of this month, GM has discontinued its monthly conference calls ...
     Continue reading "GM lets a convoluted statement do all the talking" » Feb 3, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Is Chrysler American, Italian, Dutch or … ?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 30
Yesterday was certainly a big day for the venerable Dutch auto industry.Chrysler, the once undeniably American company that suffered through a decadelong marriage to a German, then had a taxpayer-supported shotgun wedding with an Italian, is settling down in the Netherlands.It's now part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a Dutch holding company with a tax domicile in the UK, a ...
     Continue reading "Is Chrysler American, Italian, Dutch or … ?" » Jan 30, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Is Chrysler American, Italian, Dutch or … ?

Posted 3:16 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 29
There’s an occasional saying in western Michigan, where I grew up: “If you’re not Dutch, with a tax domicile in Great Britain, you’re not much.”It’s something like that, anyway.Regardless, today was a big day for the venerable Dutch auto industry.Chrysler, the once undeniably American company that suffered through a decadelong marriage t ...
     Continue reading "Is Chrysler American, Italian, Dutch or … ?" » Jan 29, 2014 3:16 pm U.S. ET
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Why Honda's 'pretty great' image of Detroit was so weird

Posted 11:57 am U.S. ET, Jan. 27
Today is pretty great -- as long as you drive a Honda Civic and don't live in Detroit.That seemed to be the message of American Honda's latest commercial, or at least that's how some people here in Bankruptville, USA, interpreted it. Honda reacted quickly, pulling the spot and tweaking it to remove a brief clip of Detroiters protesting outside hearings for the city's landm ...
     Continue reading "Why Honda's 'pretty great' image of Detroit was so weird" » Jan 27, 2014 11:57 am U.S. ET
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Why Barra's pay isn't a gender equity issue

Posted 2:29 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 20
Women who are CEO of General Motors make just 94 cents for every dollar that a male GM CEO earns, according to the Internet.After GM released some details of Mary Barra's compensation in her first year as CEO, a few stories began popping up citing the numbers as proof that the automaker is not really that progressive after all.Here are the numbers:Barra's base salary for 2 ...
     Continue reading "Why Barra's pay isn't a gender equity issue" » Jan 20, 2014 2:29 pm U.S. ET
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All the wrong things pay off for Tesla

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
DETROIT -- Among the unspoken rules that automakers typically follow at an auto show:Don't put an executive onstage holding note cards.Don't tell the world you plan to be reckless.Don't hand the microphone to journalists who want to ask about vehicles catching fire and a new recall.Do show a new car.Tesla Motors broke all of those rules Tuesday with perhaps the least rehea ...
     Continue reading "All the wrong things pay off for Tesla" » Jan 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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2014 Detroit auto show: Nissan again the focus of protests by union organizers

Posted 3:29 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
A group of workers and union activists trying to organize Nissan North America's plant in Mississippi returned to the auto show for a second year, but without making much of a public spectacle.At a press conference across the street from the show, members of the group, known as the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, went through a list of grievances against the a ...
     Continue reading "2014 Detroit auto show: Nissan again the focus of protests by union organizers" » Jan 13, 2014 3:29 pm U.S. ET
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GM's caravan for 'the big nasty'

Posted 11:56 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
As if it's not hard enough to make sure an auto show press conference goes off without a hitch, General Motors decided to add freeway traffic to the equation as it unveiled the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 today.Shortly before it was scheduled to pull the wraps off the Z06, GM loaded a camouflaged Z06 on a trailer behind a Chevrolet Silverado at its suburban Detroit tech center. ...
     Continue reading "GM's caravan for 'the big nasty'" » Jan 13, 2014 11:56 am U.S. ET
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From doom to boom: New Chrysler 200 rescued a plant destined for shutdown

Posted 11:56 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
Most auto show reveals make it seem as though the car or truck being shown will just magically appear at dealerships when it goes on sale. But Chrysler Group, in unveiling its redesigned 200 sedan today, took time to highlight the suburban Detroit assembly plant that will build the car.Chrysler brand chief Al Gardner said the company is investing more than $1 billion in it ...
     Continue reading "From doom to boom: New Chrysler 200 rescued a plant destined for shutdown" » Jan 13, 2014 11:56 am U.S. ET
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What will Mary say, and where's Krafcik?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 9
DETROIT -- New cars and trucks aren't the only things that the thousands of journalists converging on Detroit for the big auto show will be looking for.Many of us in the media spend a great deal of the show doing exciting jobs such as trailing executives and politicians around the show floor or waiting in hallways tucked behind the stands for interviews that were supposed ...
     Continue reading "What will Mary say, and where's Krafcik?" » Jan 9, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Can Edmunds.com's crazy promise lead to higher grosses, happier customers?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Nov. 23
Editor's note: An earlier version of this blog gave the wrong title for Seth Berkowitz. He is COO of Edmunds.com.Edmunds.com's new Price Promise program sounds bizarre: Basically, dealers tell a customer the price of a car, then -- try to stay with me here -- actually charge that price when the customer comes in to buy the car.Crazy, right?Edmunds says 54 percent of people ...
     Continue reading "Can Edmunds.com's crazy promise lead to higher grosses, happier customers?" » Nov 23, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Is SMU horsing around with the Mustang's history?

Posted 1:11 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 25
Did inspiration strike Lee Iacocca during a football game at the University of Michigan 50 years ago?At the time, Iacocca was a vice president with Ford Motor Co., which was preparing to roll out a new sports car the following spring. On Sept. 28, 1963, after Michigan defeated Southern Methodist University, 27-16, SMU says Iacocca entered the visitor's locker room to addre ...
     Continue reading "Is SMU horsing around with the Mustang's history?" » Oct 25, 2013 1:11 pm U.S. ET
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A pesky problem of plug-in priority

Posted 11:14 am U.S. ET, Sept. 20
A priest, a Chevy Volt and a Tesla Model S walk into a bar.Which one gets to use the electric charging station?Even General Motors concedes that the Tesla should win this battle.In a list of "EV etiquette" tips put out by GM this week, the company says common practice dictates that when multiple vehicles reach a charger at the same time, a pure electric vehicle gets priori ...
     Continue reading "A pesky problem of plug-in priority" » Sep 20, 2013 11:14 am U.S. ET
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Breakfast to go: Ford fries up the Bacon Fiesta

Posted 11:34 am U.S. ET, Aug. 28
It's no Weinermobile.But as pork-related vehicles go, it's pretty close.Behold, the Bacon Fiesta. The perfect car for your upcoming, uh, bacon fiesta.As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmm, Ford Fiesta.""FORD INTRODUCES FIRST BACON-WRAPPED CAR, SATISFYING EVEN THE MOST INSATIABLE APPETITE," shouts the headline of a totally real, honestly not-made-up, genuine Ford news release is ...
     Continue reading "Breakfast to go: Ford fries up the Bacon Fiesta" » Aug 28, 2013 11:34 am U.S. ET
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Like GM, bankruptcy can only help Detroit

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, July 18
Rick Wagoner said bankruptcy could spell the end for General Motors, because people wouldn't buy cars from a bankrupt automaker.But GM ultimately did go bankrupt, and people still bought its cars. Four years later, GM is riding high again, posting healthy sales increases and generating billions of dollars in profits.A quick trip through bankruptcy court let the company fin ...
     Continue reading "Like GM, bankruptcy can only help Detroit " » Jul 18, 2013 4:45 pm U.S. ET
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Why a new phone trumps GM's $200 map

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 13
Three years ago, I bought a car with an in-dash navigation system.I hate it.I got it mainly because I preferred the touch screen to the ugly standard audio system that Chevrolet offered at the time. Plus, it came as part of a reasonably priced package that included other things I wanted.But I hate it.It obnoxiously locks out many functions when the car is moving in a misgu ...
     Continue reading "Why a new phone trumps GM's $200 map" » Jul 13, 2013 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Lutz: GM nice-guy Wagoner fell victim to bad timing, bad luck

Posted 1:45 pm U.S. ET, June 4
Bob Lutz put a chapter about his old boss, Rick Wagoner, in his new book, which has the word "idiots" in the title.But Wagoner is no idiot, Lutz writes. He was just too passive, too data-focused and "too nice" to lead General Motors through the toughest period in its history."Rick trusted his direct reports and rarely micromanaged, sometimes to a fault," Lutz writes in Ico ...
     Continue reading "Lutz: GM nice-guy Wagoner fell victim to bad timing, bad luck" » Jun 4, 2013 1:45 pm U.S. ET
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Why Chevy execs are suddenly watching 'Mad Men'

Posted 2:19 pm U.S. ET, May 7
One of Joel Ewanick's big moves in his brief reign as chief marketing officer of General Motors was to combine two rival ad agencies and give them the Chevrolet account, ousting Campbell Ewald after decades of experience.It turns out that Don Draper had that exact same idea in 1968.On the latest episode of AMC's Madison Avenue drama "Mad Men," Draper, the show's top creati ...
     Continue reading "Why Chevy execs are suddenly watching 'Mad Men'" » May 7, 2013 2:19 pm U.S. ET
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Lincoln shoots for a happier ending after troubled MKZ launch

Posted 4:30 pm U.S. ET, May 1
How far off track did the launch of the redesigned Lincoln MKZ get? The car, whose chassis bears the burden of a once-thriving luxury brand now trying to prove it's still relevant -- originally was supposed to start arriving at dealerships last fall, around the same time Steven Spielberg's movie Lincoln was hitting theaters around the country.But by the time many customers ...
     Continue reading "Lincoln shoots for a happier ending after troubled MKZ launch" » May 1, 2013 4:30 pm U.S. ET
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In the computer age, it's time to analog-off

Posted 3:04 pm U.S. ET, April 5
My 2-year-old son recently started asking about the clock hanging on the wall of his bedroom.He always just liked the train on it, but now he has realized that the numbers around it somehow tell Mama and Dada what time it is (usually, "past your bedtime"). So I told him to look at whatever number the little hand is pointing to, and we'll worry about the other hand later, a ...
     Continue reading "In the computer age, it's time to analog-off" » Apr 5, 2013 3:04 pm U.S. ET
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