Automakers and Suppliers

FIVE YEARS LATER

Auto economists eye troubling signs on horizon

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Business is booming for auto dealers five years after the national economic crisis, so what could go wrong? Plenty, warns a number of auto industry economists.... Read More »

 

FIVE YEARS LATER

GM's loss, Hyundai's gain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Stores targeted for closure by one troubled brand were snapped up by a rising brand.... Read More »

 

N.A. Sept. output rises 7 percent

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
North America car and truck production in September rose 7 percent from the year-earlier month, to 1,524,207 vehicles. It marked a record 38th month in a row for production to top 1 million vehicles.... Read More »

 

Impala the king of rental cars? No, not that Impala, GM says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Since the stylish, redesigned Chevrolet Impala sedan rolled out in the spring of 2013, General Motors executives have been telling anyone who will listen that its days as a rental-lot staple are over. So this headline in The New York Times last week couldn't have gone over well at GM headquarters.... Read More »

 

LaSorda's fund finds new investor -- an old friend

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Dieter Zetsche's Chrysler days are long over, but he's pretty good at maintaining ties with old colleagues from Auburn Hills, Mich. The Daimler chairman is investing in the venture capital fund run by Tom LaSorda, who replaced Zetsche as Chrysler's CEO in 2006 when Zetsche returned to Germany to head Chrysler's then-parent.... Read More »

 

China's policies are pushing out pickups

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
When Beijing implemented its Road Traffic Law in 2003, it granted city governments the liberty to decide whether to permit pickups to drive in their cities. A loophole in the law allowed traffic regulators in most Chinese cities to simply classify pickups as commercial vehicles and bar them from entering their cities. The practice has stifled pickup sales in China.... Read More »

 

Hollywood comes calling for car designers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Detroit's automakers face tough competition from an unlikely but glamorous source when it comes to hiring hot young car designers: Hollywood.... Read More »

 

Ford steers C-Max ads away from mpg

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Since Ford was forced to restate the estimated fuel economy of its C-Max Hybrid -- first in August 2013 and again in June -- the brand's marketers have rethought how to sell their hybrid-only nameplate.... Read More »

 

EDITORIAL

A long, painful trip

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
U.S. auto dealers have been on a difficult, painful journey for the past five years. But it has been a positive one -- at least in the aggregate. That qualifier is important.... Read More »

 

EDITORIAL

Factories should take long view using 1st refusal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Automakers are replacing dealership buyers in active deals with preferred purchasers more than ever before, say dealers, buy-sell advisers and dealer lawyers.... Read More »

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

China, UC Davis collaborate on EVs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
In China and the U.S. alike, the commercialization of EVs is happening through a collaboration of automakers and government policymakers to produce and incentivize their increased adoption by consumers.... Read More »

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Keep the Wrangler in Toledo

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Collectors take note: If you want a real Jeep Wrangler, better buy it now. The Wrangler is special, and it has a large following. The company should improve powertrain efficiency but otherwise leave it alone, and customers will continue to buy it.... Read More »

 

Concept to signal new era for Audi design

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Audi will introduce a new design direction with a concept car debuting next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept will be the first Audi vehicle styled under Marc Lichte, who took over as Audi's design chief in February after leading exterior design at Volkswagen.... Read More »

 

Rolls-Royce renews the Ghost

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Rolls-Royce has made extensive styling and technical changes to the Ghost Series II for its midcycle freshening. The 2015 model shown at a press event here has newly styled adaptive headlights, pushed farther outboard and ringed with white LED daytime running lights; a new hood with a stylized center section Rolls calls a "wake channel"; and redesigned front fenders, bumper and grille that give the car a wider appearance.... Read More »

 

NAMAD's 2nd film chronicles history for next generation

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
The nation's largest minority dealership group has released the second in what it hopes will be a series of documentaries chronicling the history of minority dealers in the United States. The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers released Making Tracks II in September, about nine years after the first installment in 2005.... Read More »

 

JCI-Yanfeng could be first domino

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
The major joint venture between Johnson Controls Inc. and China's Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. has created momentum for further consolidation of the auto interiors business, says Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls' seating and interiors business.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Ford shrinks its supplier 'watch' list

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Despite a blitz of model launches this year -- topped by the aluminum F-150 pickup -- Ford Motor Co. has fewer vendors on its "watch" list of suppliers that are struggling to meet production targets. Ford purchasing chief Hau Thai-Tang says the company learned its lesson about unreliable parts supply from the troubled Lincoln MKZ launch last year.... Read More »

 

Pulling the plug: EV battery module exchange put to test

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
A team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego, plans to make a cross-country trip in an electric vehicle -- without plugging the car in once. Instead of going by the traditional plug-and-wait protocol for EVs, the engineers will swap out rechargeable, briefcase-size battery modules on the fly as they travel from San Diego to the coast of South Carolina in less than 60 hours.... Read More »

 

Startups see opportunities flowing from data port

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Some startups, impatient with automakers' progress and promising to bring older vehicles into the data-driven age, are racing to market with hardware and apps that tap into the OBD-II diagnostic port built into all new U.S. light vehicles' dashboards beginning in 1996.... Read More »

 

MIKE WOOD: How hard are you willing to work?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Long hours and hard work in the past few years turned Mike Wood from a dealership manager into a dealer with four stores. The market has been loaded with acquisition opportunities, he says, provided the buyer is willing to put in the sweat and hustle.... Read More »

 

JERRY VITZTHUM: Out, in and then back out again

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Ask former small-town car dealer Jerry Vitzthum whether the auto industry is better or worse today than it was before the national economic crisis, and he shrugs.... Read More »

 

BILL LEA: Keep stores modern

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
"People keep asking us for our store designs," says Bill Lia, the 78-year-old CEO of Lia Auto Group in Albany, N.Y., which just finished building its 19th dealership. "We want to keep everything modern and up to date.... Read More »

 

FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACK

Dealers pursued opportunities from the rubble of '09

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
In the five years that have passed since the economic crash of 2009, the auto retailing sector has emerged from the ashes. The transition has been painful. There are fewer car dealers in 2014. Many have been pressed by automakers to invest in new stores. But what was a bitter industry shakeout for some in 2009 has led to better times in auto retailing in 2014 for others.... Read More »

 

Porsche expects to hit U.S. sales goal early

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Porsche will meet its goal of selling 50,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2015 -- three years earlier than originally envisioned, says Andre Oosthuizen, the brand's top U.S. marketing executive. "We would foresee 2015 would definitely be the year to surpass that threshold."... Read More »

 

TEAR-DOWN TEAM

Ford and suppliers jointly benchmark competitors' vehicles

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2014
Ford is inviting suppliers to help benchmark other companies' vehicles and parts before Ford launches new models -- a move that is starting to pay dividends.... Read More »

 

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