TRUCK BATTLE BREWING

Countering Chevy's Silverado surge

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

General Motors gained a chunk of share in the full-sized pickup segment last year. But it faces stiffer competition from Ford and Ram in 2016.... Read More »

VW dealership valuations slide; some smell opportunity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Volkswagen's diesel scandal has dinged the company's sales, profits and image. Now, as the scandal enters its sixth month with few signs of a resolution, the effects are trickling down to the value of its U.S. dealerships.... Read More »

Where Toyota, Lexus got their leaders

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

While Scion served Toyota as a test bed for marketing and retail innovations, it was also an effective proving ground for executives. A truckful of current Toyota suits cut their teeth at the young brand, and movement between Scion and Lexus was fluid.... Read More »

Cash for Nissan's preferred dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

In its drive to grab a larger slice of the U.S. market, Nissan North America is quietly forming alliances with selected dealers who get favorable treatment, and sometimes millions of dollars, from the company. Nissan says strengthening its retail networks is critical to its growth plans.... Read More »

Chicago auto show preview

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Expected this week at the show are an updated Ram heavy-duty pickup, a freshened Hyundai Santa Fe crossover, a special-edition Ford Explorer Sport crossover and a new version of the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup. Nissan may unveil a redesigned Armada SUV.... Read More »

Honda Ridgeline: Not your teenager's truck

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Honda hopes its marketing campaign for the Ridegline will grab buyers with a little more gray in their hair and green in their wallets than the prototypical Toyota Tacoma fan.... Read More »

Conti must ration parts for recall fixes

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Summary: Supplier Continental is recalling five million airbag control units that affectvehicles made by companies including Volkswagen, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Fiat Chrysler. But the German parts-maker says its action is nothing like the Takata airbag recall that has roiled the industry.... Read More »

Bentley at work on a sporty SUV

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Bentley is developing a sportier, coupelike version of the Bentayga, the ultraluxury brand's first SUV.... Read More »

Toyota Q3 earnings hit by N.A. incentives

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

North America emerged as the only major growth market for Toyota in the latest quarter. Revenues and net rose, but rising incentives and foreign-exchange losses drove global operating income 5.3 percent lower during the period.... Read More »

N.A., Takata, currency sway Japanese earnings

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Better business in North America helped Subaru, Mazda and Mitsubishi in the October-December quarter. But spiraling costs for the recalls of Takata airbags tempered earnings, and foreign exchange rates were a double-edged sword.... Read More »

Used-car loophole for recalls tightens up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

While a proposed federal law to close the used-car loophole is dead for now, efforts to keep unrepaired recalled vehicles out of circulation are stirring. And with powerful players mobilizing on the issue in an era of high-volume, high-profile recalls, dealers and automakers may face pressure to revisit their policies.... Read More »

A boost in fleet helps Jan. sales stay afloat

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Strong fleet volume lifted overall sales of new light vehicles in the U.S. in January -- almost enough to overcome a shortened calendar and a winter storm.... Read More »

Toyota's Carter to speak at Retail Forum

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., will be a featured speaker at the Automotive News Retail Forum on March 31.... Read More »

LUXURY LAGS

Premium brands face challenges as incentives rise and trucks rule the day

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Luxury sales are slowing down, particularly on the car side. Can the luxury automakers keep a lid on their incentives and inventories?... Read More »

TIER 2 BLOCKBUSTER

For FCA, no one brand was big enough for 'Star Wars'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

December is not only prime time for blockbuster Hollywood releases; it's also a crucial month for auto sales promotions. That's why FCA, which partnered with Lucasfilm to co-promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens alongside five of its brands in a global effort, didn't have to think too hard about what direction to take with its campaign. The timing, said FCA marketing boss Olivier Francois, was perfect for Tier 2.... Read More »

EDITORIAL

Ditching quirky Scion is the right call for Toyota

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Toyota's decision to pull the plug on Scion should come as no surprise. It was at the very least a distraction to busy Toyota dealers and probably a drain on engineering and marketing resources.... Read More »

Suburban is the granddaddy of them all

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

When Land Rover built the last Defender off-roader on Jan. 29 at its Solihull plant in the U.K., it ended a production run spanning 68 years. But the Defender, originally named Series 1, wasn't the longest-running vehicle on the road. Not even close.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

A recall for wheel chocks? Maybe we've rolled off the deep end

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

In a sign of Fiat Chrysler's new hypersensitivity to safety, the automaker said last week it would voluntarily supply owners of 441,578 Dodge Chargers from the 2011-16 model years in the U.S. with free wheel chocks. Let that sink in a minute.... Read More »

A rocky start, but, hey, at least it's fast

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

The much drooled-over 2017 Ford GT revealed a few technical issues at its very public debut - the 24-hour Rolex endurance race in Daytona Beach last month.... Read More »

The inventory is too low? Oh, the irony

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Wall Street analysts tend to keep a wary eye on automakers' vehicle inventory. If it creeps up, it can be a sign that profit-eroding incentives are coming to help move the metal. So it felt like opposite day last week when an analyst asked General Motors executives during the company's fourth-quarter conference call whether they were concerned that inventories were running too lean.... Read More »

Just because rebadging hasn't worked so well before ...

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Fiat Chrysler's plan to replace the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 with vehicles built under contract by other automakers faces long odds. In fact, it's hard to think of a rebadged or “captive import” that has been successful.... Read More »

Dual-sourcing dilemma hits Japan again

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Toyota is suspending production at all assembly lines in Japan because of an explosion at a steel plant. The six-day shutdown raises questions as to whether Toyota learned, as it claimed after Japan's 2011 earthquake, the value of dual sourcing all components.... Read More »

Q&A: NISSAN'S RICHARD CANDLER

Nissan plans big strides in connectivity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Nissan is working to leverage its early lead in electric vehicles for bigger strides in autonomy and connectivity. Richard Candler, Nissan Europe's head of advanced product planning, provided details in an interview.... Read More »

Compliance, accuracy trump F&I speed

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Speeding customers through the F&I process is often a top priority for dealerships as they strive for higher customer satisfaction. But F&I insiders caution that speed should not shortchange compliance.... Read More »

Toyota Motor Credit settles lending bias charges

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 8, 2016

Toyota Motor Credit Corp. has agreed to pay up to $21.9 million and to limit its retail margins on auto loans to settle U.S. Department of Justice and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allegations that it overcharged thousands of minority borrowers on their auto loans.... Read More »

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