Staff Columns


Wait for Congress to act? Good luck

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 3, 2014
The need to fix America's crumbling roads is one of the few things Democrats and Republicans agree on, yet it took an accounting trick to free up a little money for road repairs. It's a sign of how little we can expect from the federal government these days when it comes to the big, important issues facing the auto industry.... Read More »



Road to mythical 54.5 mpg not likely to change

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Automakers have proved effective at wringing efficiencies out of internal combustion drivetrains, along with weight reduction and aerodynamics.... Read More »



Scheele wasn't too big to solve a paint problem

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Former Ford Motor Co. President Nick Scheele, who died this month at age 70, left warm memories throughout the auto industry.... Read More »



Where U.S. shoppers draw the line on buying very small cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 28, 2014
Daimler says it's giving the Smart car another go in the United States by rebuilding it from wheels to roof, complete with new powertrains. It may not help.... Read More »



Golfer gets a hole-in-one; dealer whiffs

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 21, 2014
A California Kia dealership was basking in the glow of its sponsorship of a hole-in-one challenge at an annual charity golf tournament when the unthinkable happened.... Read More »



Now Mark FIelds knows how Gene Bartow felt

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
What do Gene Bartow, David Moyes, Tim Cook and Harry Truman have in common with new Ford CEO Mark Fields?... Read More »



GM recall blitz spotlights used-car sales loophole

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 30, 2014
Used-car retail giant CarMax has dozens of Cobalts and Ions listed for sale that haven't had their switches replaced, GM's online VIN database shows. And this is perfectly legal.... Read More »



Three takeaways from Barra's return to Capitol Hill

3:11 pm U.S. ET | June 19, 2014
General Motors' ignition switch defect has done the impossible: It has unified a bitterly split Congress in a desire for closure.... Read More »



How the feds might take aim at General Motors

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 14, 2014
Judging by the investigative findings of Anton Valukas released this month, the legal template devised for Toyota may not work with GM.... Read More »



Ford of Europe's quiet designer made a big impact

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 2, 2014
The Sunday Times of London once referred to him as "Audi's Modest Mr. Smith." Indeed, Martin Smith, Ford's longtime European executive design director, is not a man of many words.... Read More »



Why global trade alliances will eclipse the power of Detroit, U.S. automakers

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 31, 2014
If the United States finishes the European and Asian trade alliances, we could see a new, global Big Three or Gang of Four, in which the members are nations, not companies, and the dominant strategy is lowering trade barriers, not raising them.... Read More »



Electronics: What's lost is simplicity

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 26, 2014
Several industry executives spoke last week about the challenges of integrating more and more electronics, apps, features and connectivity into automobiles and making them very easy for us to operate.... Read More »



Brace yourself for the fiscal pothole

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 25, 2014
Cars are getting more efficient. Congress is not. That confluence of factors has brought Washington to the brink of another fiscal crisis, this time over highway funding.... Read More »



Along for the ride on a course set by Silicon Valley

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 19, 2014
Riding through town in one of Google's self-driving vehicles is, in a word, ordinary. And that's the extraordinary thing.... Read More »



Behind DOE's supplier outreach: Self-defense

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 10, 2014
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has announced that his department is taking steps to make the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program more attractive to suppliers, not just automakers. It was a nice gesture, but it also displayed how much heat is building up at the Energy Department.... Read More »



Will Ford’s transition buck history?

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
A harmonious transfer of executive leadership at Ford has not always been assured.... Read More »



For diehard fans, loving Olds never gets old

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2014
Oldsmobile may be gone from new-car showrooms, but the brand has a big following among car collectors who have a healthy appreciation for the company's classics.... Read More »



Politics begins to steer driverless car's future

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2014
As frustrating as a tame problem might be, it can be solved. Wicked problems, on the other hand, defy engineering solutions. For self-driving cars, wicked problems are starting to pop up from state legislatures to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley.... Read More »



Impala vs. Cobalt: Not all NHTSA probes are equal

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2014
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, based on a report about a single vehicle that got into a fender-bender when the automatic braking system engaged unexpectedly. The media responded with a narrative already scorched into their minds. They were only half right.... Read More »



New Russian outlook: 'Slower, lower, weaker'

3:50 pm U.S. ET | April 22, 2014
Days after Russia annexed a province of Ukraine and U.S. and European forces mobilized, you'd expect a conference on the future of the Russian auto industry to be pessimistic.... Read More »



Automotive safety at any cost? Sounds good, but it's not true

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 12, 2014
Cost-benefit analysis is a deep-rooted and necessary practice in every industry in which health and safety are at stake. If automakers truly spared no cost for safety, cars in American showrooms would have nothing but five-star crash test ratings and cutting-edge safety technology. And they would all cost a lot more.... Read More »



NHTSA’s chief must be feeling Opening Day jitters

11:03 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
Opening Day is bittersweet when you expect your baseball team to finish last. And that’s how David Friedman, acting head of NHTSA, will feel on Tuesday when Congress kicks off a grueling doubleheader of hearings on GM's ignition switch woes.... Read More »



2016 alert: Tesla's fight goes national

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
The lights are on. The cameras are rolling. The flag pins are in place. And the topic of this unofficial Republican debate, taking place 30 months before the next presidential election, is whether Tesla Motors should be allowed to sell cars directly to the American consumer.... Read More »



Why Tesla vs. dealers debate could become a 2016 presidential talking point

12:17 pm U.S. ET | March 25, 2014
It’s looking like Tesla’s corporate-owned showrooms could be a political flashpoint in the 2016 presidential election now that Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has come out as a defender of Tesla’s right to sell cars without franchised dealers.... Read More »



Lexus boss: Time for a clean-sheet approach to cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 17, 2014
You might assume that Tokuo Fukuichi, who takes over as head of Lexus on April 1, will walk in the door with firm ideas about the brand's look.... Read More »


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