Staff Columns

GREEN SHOOTS

Equity links can increase the risk at EV startups

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 13, 2012
For a while, it looked like we were seeing the first stirrings of electric-vehicle keiretsu. Not everyone loved the idea. One veteran of the EV wars said having a supplier as an investor can bias purchasing decisions. But there was a more fundamental problem Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

JAMIE LAREAU

Colorado auto dealers step up in time of crisis

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 30, 2012
It has been a long, hot summer in Colorado. First came a drought and wildfires. Then there was a mass murder. As is often the case, local car dealers are stepping up in the recovery effort Jamie LaReau is an Automotive News staff reporter.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

Should Opel, Chevy coexist in Europe?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 24, 2012
GM flipped back into another Opel crisis this month with the abrupt departure of Karl-Friedrich Stracke as CEO of the German subsidiary. GM named restructuring expert Thomas Sedran as interim CEO, which suggests a serious rethinking of its European presence.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

Should Opel, Chevy coexist in Europe?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 23, 2012
GM flipped back into another Opel crisis this month with the abrupt departure of Karl-Friedrich Stracke as CEO of the German subsidiary. GM named restructuring expert Thomas Sedran as interim CEO, which suggests a serious rethinking of its European presence Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

BRADFORD WERNLE

Palm trees, surf and a slow pace in paradise

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 9, 2012
As I was driving along the H1 interstate in Honolulu last month, I noticed a police car had pulled over a BMW 650i convertible. I could feel the driver's pain. I enjoy driving a fast car as much as the next person, and Hawaii is less suited to driving fast than any other state Bradford Wernle covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

Working to shorten EVs' gestation

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 9, 2012
To electric vehicle advocates, the sputtering sales and business failures of the past year have been deeply discouraging. But EV lovers who want a different perspective might talk to Lee Stogner Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GUIDO REINKING

VW's Winterkorn sends a tough message to his executive team

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2012
Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn sent an unmistakable message this month when he orchestrated a series of senior management changes. To reach the pinnacle of the global auto industry -- VW's declared ambition -- you must be tough and sometimes even cruel Guido Reinking is editor-in-chief of Automobilwoche, a corporate sibling of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

How tough CAFE delays EV acceptance

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2012
Enthusiasm for electric vehicles has dimmed in the past year. You could cite election-year attacks on President Obama's backing of EVs, stubbornly high EV prices and limited range, and the glitches of any new technology. But don't underestimate the effect of tougher federal fuel economy regulations Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

BRADFORD WERNLE

Ford get its Blue Oval -- and its mojo -- back

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2012
Prior to last Tuesday, the public address system at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., had been used exactly twice, other than for fire drills.Last Tuesday, just before 4 p.m., Chairman Bill Ford Jr. took to the P.A. to announce that the Blue Oval was back Bradford Wernle covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

There's nothing unnatural about driving a natural-gas car

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2012
The main thing you notice when you drive the compressed natural gas-powered Honda Civic is that there's really nothing to notice. During normal city use, the Civic Natural Gas starts like a regular car, accelerates like one, stops like one, sounds like one -- you get the idea. That's what Honda wants Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

Why does it take so long to close a deal?

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2012
In the space of about six weeks this winter, my wife and I bought two new cars. The reason for this splurge was exactly what industry watchers have predicted: Old, wheezing cars eventually need to be replaced. The shopping process was pretty painless. But there was one problem at both dealerships: It takes an inordinate amount of time to close a car deal Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

Voluntary export restraints are back; they didn't work the last time

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2012
Remember the so-called voluntary export restraints? They're back, but with new players. And once again, U.S. and other automakers and suppliers should ponder what unintended consequences will arise James B. Treece is industry editor for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

BRADFORD WERNLE

Fusion wagon? In Europe, yes, but not here

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2012
A reader wrote us a hopeful note last week, saying he recently had spotted what appeared to be a station wagon version of the 2013 Ford Fusion being driven in suburban Detroit. He wondered whether Ford would sell a wagon version of the Fusion in America. The answer is a firm "No" Bradford Wernle covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

JAMIE LaREAU

Selling a car to a vet? Start with 'Thanks'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2012
As thousands of troops return home from Afghanistan and Iraq, they create a potential customer base for dealers. But many dealers might not know how to best serve these buyers Jamie LaReau is an Automotive News staff reporter.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

Pioneer's work fuels today's innovations

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2012
It's tempting to assume that development of high-performance cars -- not to mention race cars -- is contrary to automotive sustainability. Mark James, director of Lotus Engineering, begs to differ Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

Green tech: Breakthroughs, breakdowns

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2012
Two recent events vividly illustrate the highs and lows that await investors in green automotive technology. Interestingly, both involve General Motors' tech fund, GM Ventures Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

BRADFORD WERNLE

Kuzak: A quiet man whose achievements speak for him

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2012
You could call Derrick Kuzak the anti-Bob Lutz. Kuzak, Ford Motor Co.'s product development chief, is soft-spoken, reserved and self-effacing. But you could argue that his impact on his company's product lineup has been equal to that of his higher-decibel GM counterpart Bradford Wernle covers Ford Motor Co. for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

Retrofitters plug into EV fleet niche

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 13, 2012
Automakers are having a hard time selling electric vehicles in volume. But retrofitters aiming for tiny niches are proliferating. With business models geared to selling small batches of electrified vehicles to utilities, governmental units and the like, you might say that retrofitters are playing small ball. But they see a steadily growing market of customers who are motivated to make their fleets green Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Why so many Mexican plants? Do the math

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 6, 2012
Mexico's star is ascending these days. Nissan just revealed plans to spend $2 billion on a new factory in Aguascalientes. Honda is also investing in Mexico, and so is Mazda. The Detroit 3 have been there forever. Parts suppliers are investing there. Mexico is booming and beckoning. And Mexico has a lot going for it. But it is hard to attribute the new investment wave to much more than labor rates Lindsay Chappell is Mid-South bureau chief for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

GREEN SHOOTS

Public charging sites take small steps forward

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2012
Jeff Doyle likens creation of a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles to climbing a mountain: It's misleading to judge progress after the first few steps. Doyle, director of public-private partnerships for the Washington state transportation department, acknowledges that installing a national network of chargers will be a long trek. But he and others around the country are taking the first steps Dave Guilford is enterprise editor of Automotive News.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

Japan should let U.S. in on clunker plan this time

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 26, 2011
The Japanese government has proposed throwing a lifeline to its auto industry by reinstating a cash-for-clunkers program that successfully boosted sales in 2009-10. It remains to be seen whether U.S.-brand vehicles will be shut out of the new program, as they were before Industry Editor James B. Treece lived in Japan for 22 years and was Automotive News’ Asia editor in Tokyo from 1995 to 2007.... Read More »

 

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

After tough year, Honda cranks up a comeback plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
If you want to see determination in action, watch Honda this month. April was the last month this year that the brand sold 100,000 vehicles in the United States. Honda's field sales force is now assuring dealers that December sales will hit 100,000, and that the factory has put incentives on its high-volume models to get the job done Lindsay Chappell is Mid-South bureau chief for Automotive News.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

'Bleeding edge' problems are part of the process

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 12, 2011
Quite by chance, as the Chevrolet Volt battery-fire reports surged this month, I attended a brainstorming session on automotive innovation. The meeting gathered a couple of dozen automotive executives charged with fostering innovation.... Read More »

 

JAMIE LAREAU

GM dealer finds a sociable way to save money

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 28, 2011
Dealer Kirk Carroll wants General Motors dealers to like his Facebook page. Specifically, he wants a lot of GM dealers to click "like" on a reserved Facebook page he created called: "GM Facility Image." Carroll owns Carroll's Auto Sales in Presque Isle, Maine, which sells about 200 new Chevys, Buicks and GMCs a year. Yet, like other GM dealers, he expects to spend a hefty sum on facility changes as part of GM's Essential Brand Elements program.... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

Musk steals the spotlight in EV film

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2011
A few years ago, filmmaker Chris Paine was persona non grata at General Motors. Paine had skewered GM for, as his earlier film's title put it, killing the electric car. But on Nov. 11, Paine was the honored guest at a GM-sponsored showing of his new film, Revenge of the Electric Car, at a suburban Detroit theater.... Read More »

 

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