Staff Commentary

NICK BUNKLEY

Year of the Recall wasn't all GM's fault

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015

The final tally is in. In 2014, automakers sent out some 64 million recall notices in the United States, more than double the previous calendar-year record. GM was a big part of that, but plenty of others also contributed.... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

Has diesel had its day in Europe?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Pollution is one reason why the diesel engine has perhaps peaked at 50 percent of new-car sales in most of Europe.... Read More »

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

In the rush to digital, a defense of the old media

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 9, 2015

Digital, digital, digital was the clear, repetitive marketing message for auto dealers at this year's National Automobile Dealers Association convention. But ad agency owner Terry Lancaster had a different message for retailers: Don't be so quick to change horses.... Read More »

BRADFORD WERNLE

Bentley joins VW's party of quirky names

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 19, 2015

Now we can add a new head-scratcher name to the list: the Bentley Bentayga. That's what Bentley is christening its first-ever SUV, which will be introduced later this year and will go on sale in 2016.... Read More »

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

A million Jeep sales means hard choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

Hitting the 1 million mark -- which you have to pronounce one meeell-yon -- blasted Jeep's previous record of 731,565 set the previous year.... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

Why falling fuel prices are bad, bad news

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

Cheap gasoline usually brings higher incentives on hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars -- making it harder for automakers and suppliers to sell them at a profit.... Read More »

HANS GREIMEL

Exchange rate windfalls a mixed bag for Japan's Big 3

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

After trading at record highs for several years, the Japanese yen has tanked against the dollar and many other foreign currencies. The shift is generating huge windfalls for Japan's Big 3 automakers: Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. But the jackpot won't benefit the rivals equally.... Read More »

JESSE SNYDER

Strong margins signal more strong growth

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

The counting's done, so it's official: 2014 was a great year.... Read More »

JAMES B. TREECE

NHTSA had lots of help making roads safer

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 29, 2014

Here's some good news you didn't read much about this year: U.S. roads are safer. The number of people who died in U.S. traffic crashes fell 3 percent in 2013.... Read More »

LARRY VELLEQUETTE

'Chrysler' gone, but definitely not silent

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 22, 2014

After bearing Walter P. Chrysler's name in one form or another since 1925, the U.S. automaker that the great man formed has dropped the pretense of independence and become simply FCA US.... Read More »

JESSE SNYDER

How auto dealers gained our esteem

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Several trends in business and technology favor local merchants, including auto dealers, over national conglomerates in terms of treating customers right.... Read More »

HANS GREIMEL

Lexus RC: Nifty lighting, walk-in seats -- and more

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014

Design is always subjective, but if the new RC coupe is a sign of future cars from Lexus, brand boss Tokuo Fukuichi is working magic in my book. Here are some cool flourishes that enhance the RC experience.... Read More »

PHILIP NUSSEL

How to stop supplier price fixing now

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014

Supplier price fixing is a global epidemic that stifles fair competition, inflates the cost of components for automakers, erodes investor confidence and rips off the customer. Automakers can make it all stop right now, but will they?... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

How Sprinter dodges the chicken tax

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 24, 2014

Daimler has devised a reasonably efficient system designed to avoid the "chicken tax." Between 66 and 74 Sprinter vans a day roll off the 17-station line five days a week in South Carolina. This after being built, then disassembled in Germany. The gyrations some automakers perform to avoid the 25 percent tariff seem wasteful and crazy.... Read More »

JAMES B. TREECE

Ford's Odell: Sharp, talented and respectful

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014

I know Ford's Jim Farley was considered a marketing wunderkind. But I don't think Odell is by any means a step down as marketing boss.... Read More »

JESSE SNYDER

Good times are rolling for pickup makers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014

What a terrific month October was for sales of pickups. Large pickups rose 10 percent, outperforming a strong overall U.S. market. The 10-month numbers for big pickups look pretty good, too. In fact, everyone has something to smile about.... Read More »

DAVE GUILFORD

For some, a big downside to cheap gas

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 10, 2014

The volatility of gasoline prices has long bedeviled teams devising business plans for battery electrics, plug-in hybrids and even standard Prius-type hybrids.... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

CT6? Cadillac missed chance to sell 'em on a sexy name

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 13, 2014

Car names derived from letters and numbers have been with us since at least the 1950s. So why the big fuss after Cadillac said it will name its big new sedan the CT6? Well, there's a good reason.... Read More »

MIKE COLIAS

Small engines could power a big GM change

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014

Not long ago, the smallest engine in one of General Motors' smallest European cars wouldn't have stood a chance of showing up under hoods in U.S. showrooms. Times have changed, thanks to tightening fuel-economy and emissions standards.... Read More »

JAMES B. TREECE

How to end predatory auto-loan practices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014

Americans won't abide companies that gouge minorities and other vulnerable consumers. By acting aggressively to adopt and publicize the NADA and AFSA solution, auto retailers and lenders can show they are determined to fight discrimination before the heavy hand of government steps in.... Read More »

HANS GREIMEL

How Mazda may have survived the A-bomb by a hair

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014

Mazda Motor Corp., the most famous company from Hiroshima, may have survived the city's atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, quite literally by only a split hair.... Read More »

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Sedan-heavy brands also pile on the incentives

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014

The guys who stepped up their incentive spending last month are brands that are counting on strong sedan strategies in an era of crossover growth.... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

For GM, the self-driving car of the future is also a thing of the past

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 15, 2014

A close look at the Firebird II video shows GM made a lot of the right calls on the issues facing self-driving cars -- issues that are still being resolved.... Read More »

DAVE GUILFORD

Gigafactory: Tesla's key to meeting cost, range targets

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014

The ceremony last week announcing Tesla's decision to build its lithium ion battery "gigafactory" in Nevada was filled with phrases such as "as many as" and "as much as."... Read More »

JESSE SNYDER

Sit-highs: The lucky ducks have trucks

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014

August's U.S. auto sales report was full of good news. But forget the normal scorecard of unit sales. Let's look at some real winners: trucks and the automakers that have more of them.... Read More »

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