Thinking outside the customers' box

Innovation drives the automotive industry. But what drives innovation? I get that question all the time in the Automotive News PACE Awards Program, now in its 22nd year, where independent judges study companies that commercialize innovative products ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | July 27

The connected car will get better with age

DETROIT -- In the 1990s, America Online helped to bring the dull desktop personal computer to life, offering ordinary people their first taste of Internet connectivity. And with its incessant stream of upgrade CD-ROMs in the mail, it also accustomed ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | June 22

Raise recall repair rates to prevent deaths, injuries

Our first meeting was a little awkward, taking place just moments before we both testified before a U.S. Senate committee investigating deaths and injuries from rupturing Takata airbag inflators. One of us was injured by an inflator in a car ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2

Why can't dealers shake the shady rep?

Auto dealers are pillars of their communities. They sponsor Little League teams. They fund scholarships for disadvantaged children. They donate vehicles to first responders. They pay their taxes and fly big flags. So why do so many consumers leave ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 2

China dealers fight back as stock piles up

SHANGHAI -- The China Automobile Dealers Association has been a weak and loose organization. Its main job was to produce an annual list of China's top 100 dealerships and to hold a few national conferences for dealers. But it is not feckless anymore. ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 26

'Hive mind' could help cars expect the unexpected

LAS VEGAS -- Perhaps the key obstacle to the adoption of self-driving cars is fear of the unexpected -- a road encounter with an unfamiliar object that the vehicle's computer can't classify and thus can't anticipate. But what if each autonomous car ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12

In D.C., Takata finds no friends, just cross hairs

Years from now, automotive historians will agree that Takata Corp.'s fate in the U.S. was sealed during a congressional hearing on Dec. 3, 2014. One hour into the hearing, Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., leaned toward his microphone, stared at the witness ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15

Poached from BMW, Diess in position for VW CEO job

Volkswagen's decision to poach BMW product development chief Herbert Diess to run its flagship VW brand puts the 56-year-old manager in the pole position to succeed Martin Winterkorn as head of what could soon be the world's largest automaker. ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15

Luxury cars go the way of free-trade coffee

LOS ANGELES -- Luxury automobiles typically offer customers a combination of high performance, advanced technology and plush comfort. But now they may offer wealthy car buyers something else: a clearer conscience. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volvo ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 1

China's fuel economy goal will punish foreign imports

SHANGHAI -- For many years in China, vehicle imports have soared as rising incomes whetted consumers' appetite for luxurious cars that proclaimed their status. But foreign automakers -- especially producers of big, gas-guzzling sedans -- soon will ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3

'14 honorees raise the bar for worker engagement

My firm, Best Companies Group, measures employee engagement and satisfaction. In determining the 2014 Best Dealerships To Work For, we surveyed more than 55,000 dealership employees. To determine how emotionally connected or "engaged" the employees ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15

Dissecting what it means when Buffett grabs the wheel

Wherever Warren Buffett goes, investors follow. Such is the power of the Oracle of Omaha's reputation. True to form, Berkshire Hathaway's recent purchase of the Van Tuyl car dealership group has pushed up the share value of large dealership ... 11:27 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4

How one pol championed China EV sales

SHANGHAI -- Until recently, China's electric vehicle industry was nothing more than a hobby. In 2013, automakers produced only 17,600 EVs and plug-in hybrids. Automakers halfheartedly built them while bureaucrats dithered over proposals to jolt the ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15

Why Google cars? The software, stupid

Does Google really want to become an automaker, or does it have some other goal for its driverless cars? Last May, the Silicon Valley company announced plans to produce at least 100 fully autonomous vehicles, a fleet that reportedly will be ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15

The New York Times editorial got it wrong

An editorial in the Saturday, Aug. 9, issue of The New York Times made unreasonable demands on dealers and automotive lenders while grossly misrepresenting automotive lending.The Times editorial, titled "When a Car Loan Means Bankruptcy," argued ... 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 18

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