News

Toyota readies cheaper EV motors by halving rare-earth metal use
Feb. 20

Toyota is readying electric motors that use as much as 50 percent less in rare-earth metals amid concern of a supply crunch as automakers race to expand their EV lineups.

AutoNews Now: Tesla's delay could be Chevy Bolt's gain
Feb. 20

Tesla's delay could be Chevy Bolt's gain; Beating Benz, BMW; Marchionne gets $12M in pay, $36M in stock; VW's electric Vizzion; Lexus, Kia product teases; Stymied by stink bugs.

Israeli startup Otonomo takes on Google in rush to process car data
Feb. 20

Israeli startup Otonomo is taking on giant software companies including Google in the rush to process and monetize the mass of data being produced by today's connected cars.

Quick Shift: London says no to self-driving cars
Feb. 20

Good morning from Quick Shift, your source for daily news on the future of transportation.

VW bid to delay first U.S. diesel emissions trial rejected
Feb. 20

A Virginia judge rejected a request by VW to delay several of the company's trials over excess emissions because of "inflammatory" comments made by a lawyer representing car owners.

Toyota recalls Tundra, Sequoia for seat and traction-control problems
Feb. 20
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota will recall 8,800 Tundra pickups from the 2017 model year for a seat problem, and 65,000 2018 Tundras and Sequoia SUVs for a glitch that could turn off stability control and other systems.

Lexus will debut UX crossover with taillamp fins
Feb. 20
Author: Hans Greimel

Lexus plans to commit to its belated entry in the hot small crossover segment by debuting its UX at the Geneva auto show on March 6.

NBA All-Star Weekend boosts Autotrader's new site
Feb. 20
Author: Jackie Charniga

Autotrader took advantage of its long-standing NBA sponsorship to promote its redesigned website and set a record in online traffic during All-Star Weekend.

Marchionne collects $36 million stock award, $12 million in base pay
Feb. 20

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne collected shares valued at about 29 million euros ($35.7 million) for the three-year period ended in 2016, according to the Italian-American automaker's 2017 annual report.

Deadly cobalt mines linked to child labor thrive in rush for EV batteries
Feb. 20

The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor -- a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen to Tesla.

GM plans to build 2 new models in S. Korea, says lawmaker
Feb. 20

General Motors plans to produce two new models in South Korea, a local lawmaker quoted GM executive Barry Engle as saying at a meeting with South Korean members of parliament.

Net soars at ADESA's parent on tax gains
Feb. 20
Author: Jesse Snyder

Net income at KAR Auction Services, ADESA's parent, soared in the fourth quarter because of a special gain related to the changes in federal corporate taxes.

GM offers $2.2B debt-for-equity swap in return for S. Korea's support, report says
Feb. 20

General Motors has offered to convert debt of about $2.2 billion owed by its ailing South Korean operation into equity in exchange for financial support and tax benefits from Seoul, Reuters reported.

First Shift: A lifeline for GM Korea?
Feb. 20

GM said to offer debt-for-equity swap to buoy Korea unit; Toyota finds way to cut EV battery costs; Hyundai Nexo rolling tech showcase; World without Camrys?; Cars, pets and Google.

Hyundai Nexo is a rolling showcase of self-driving eco-car technology
Feb. 19
Author: Hans Greimel

The Hyundai Nexo fuel cell vehicle marries futuristic fuel cell technology to next-generation autonomous-driving systems in a rolling showcase that aims to quash notions the automaker is a straggler.

Don't expect Nissan to ditch dealer incentives
Feb. 19

Just as car dealership sales personnel are offered incentives to increase business, Nissan has offered its dealers incentives to reach higher. And in recent years, they did and sales climbed.

Slow gearing up
Feb. 19
Author: Alex Kwanten

Augmented reality's journey to dealership service departments has included several false starts.

Industry's bitter pill
Feb. 19

The writer of a December letter to the editor seemed to imply that young people should flock to become service technicians if they are not in tune with four years of college.

Draining oil fast is key to ultraexpress service
Feb. 19
Author: Richard Truett

The key to express service at Motorcars Honda is the Engine Vac, a machine that removes motor oil from a hot engine in just over two minutes.

Service Counter
Feb. 19

How critical to a dealer's business is fixed operations?

Shop talk
Feb. 19
Author: Anisa Jibrell

What are you doing this year to increase the profitability of your quick-service operation?

VIRTUAL FIXES
Feb. 19
Author: Alex Kwanten

New technologies are speeding the resolution of unfamiliar or complicated service problems. Techs at some Audi and Porsche dealerships can call on a factory tech to join them, virtually.

Dodging a bad review, Subaru fell into awd country
Feb. 19

In 1969, Consumer Reports gave the Subaru 360 a rare designation: "not acceptable." Oh, and the magazine also called it "the most unsafe car on the market."

Fixed in time
Feb. 19

Chevy operated regional garages across the country where factory technicians performed diagnostic tests on the brand’s pickups.

Battery-swapping for urban dwellers
Feb. 19

I agree with Keith Crain that the electric vehicle industry “will need something that is not yet developed or commercialized.”

Obituary
Feb. 19

Jenny Wegner, a fourth-generation owner of the oldest Buick dealership in the U.S., died Feb. 4. She was 62

Missed add-on opportunities
Feb. 19

Accessories sales not only should be incentivized for every dealership employee, as mentioned in the December article “Auto add-ons,” but all departments should be having that conversation with the customer.

QUICK CHANGE ARTISTS
Feb. 19
Author: David Kushma

A dedicated quick-service operation has become a common feature of most new-vehicle dealerships' service departments — and an increasingly vital source of fixed operations profits as vehicle sales cool.

Toyota-Mazda venture offers opportunities
Feb. 19
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Toyota and Mazda's planned north Alabama auto plant will operate as a separate entity, making its own supply chain decisions.

LEGAL LANE
Feb. 19
Author: Eric Freedman

An Ohio detailer has lost its case alleging breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation by Honda and Hyundai dealerships and their dealership group.

SELLING SPEED
Feb. 19

Dealerships generally shy away from advertising how long it takes to perform an oil change and other minor maintenance. But factory express service programs typically set internal targets to get vehicles in and out in an hour or less.

First service visit: Who cares?
Feb. 19

About two years ago, I leased an Acura MDX. I do not remember whether people at the dealership asked me about scheduling a service visit. If they did, I would have said no.

We don't have the words for Rolls' new SUV
Feb. 19

A new Rolls-Royce model in a new segment is a rare occurrence.

EVs and dealerships
Feb. 19

After reading the cover story in the December issue, “Electrical storm,” I am not so pessimistic about the impact of electric vehicles on fixed ops revenue, at least in the intermediate term.

Electric garbage trucks?
Feb. 19
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Detroit's heavy-duty and off-road axle and brake maker AxleTech is being reborn as a supplier to electric garbage trucks, buses and construction vehicles.

FUTURE EXPRESS
Feb. 19
Author: Richard Truett

Motorcars Honda has blended cutting-edge innovations with assembly line technology to offer ultrafast service — a recipe the dealership's owners are preparing to sell to other dealers nationwide.

Month-end close in just 1 day? Yes
Feb. 19

One giant dealership group manages to handle its month-end close in one day. Here's how.

DOING IT RIGHT
Feb. 19

Successful express service depends on technicians working within a well-choreographed routine. Automakers offer brand-specific training for dealership quick service techs to ensure they know and follow the rules.

A design of the times? Why all the talk about Jaguar's I-Pace
Feb. 19
Author: Richard Johnson

It's intriguing when, without prompting, designers talk up a rival vehicle. And that's happening with the Jaguar I-Pace electric crossover.

That's a wrap: Art scores for accessories
Feb. 19
Author: Amy Wilson

A Chicago BMW dealership uses art to increase accessory sales.

Sergio's final lap
Feb. 19
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

One thing about Marchionne stands out as the onetime tax accountant and philosophy student prepares to step aside after nearly 15 years running first Fiat and now FCA: The guy knows how to make money.

Lexus testing new hybrid math
Feb. 19
Author: Laurence Iliff

Lexus has quietly changed the math for the 2018 model year, significantly lowering the hybrid premium for its two most popular crossovers and rolling out a sporty new hybrid platform for its LC halo coupe and LS flagship sedan.

OVER THE AIR
Feb. 19
Author: Jim Henry

Automakers could use over-the-air software updates to prompt owners with customized messages directing them where to take their vehicles for service, suppliers say.

Pininfarina preps another Asian tiger
Feb. 19

Italian design house Pininfarina will help to develop a sedan and SUV for VinFast, which aims to be Vietnam's first domestic automaker.

COUPON COUP
Feb. 19
Author: Jesse Snyder

Costco is working with new-vehicle dealerships to expand its members-only discount program beyond auto purchases to service and parts sales. More than 900 franchised dealerships are enrolled in the warehouse club's service and parts plan.

UAW leadership faces a time of reckoning
Feb. 19
Author: Michael Wayland

UAW dissidents see the situation as an opportunity for profound change. They're urging rank-and-file members to "take back" the union from leaders they claim are overly willing to comply with employers' requests.

'PARTS FOR LIFE'
Feb. 19
Author: Jackie Charniga

A new parts warranty for the 350,000 Saabs still on the road in North America is intended to keep Saab service centers — and the vehicles themselves — from vanishing. The initiative also could offer ideas to active automakers about holding onto service customers.

Conti bracing for world of bugs
Feb. 19
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Continental needs software engineers. There will be a world of software bugs to keep them busy.

FIXING AUTOMATED VEHICLES
Feb. 19

Automakers, dealers, industry groups and academics agree that a significant gap exists in education and marketing of careers for automated vehicle service technicians.

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