Automotive News Columnists and Bloggers Feed http://www.autonews.com News, blogs and commentary from the leader in North American automotive news en-us Fri, 26 Dec 2014 06:00:00 EST Consent orders and the law of unintended consequences http://www.autonews.com/article/20141223/BLOG13/141229974/consent-orders-and-the-law-of-unintended-consequences Tue, 23 Dec 2014 11:14:00 EST The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau quietly terminated a consent order with Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank last month, a contrast to the fuss it made in announcing the agreement in June 2013. Why Russia's crash is just part of the emerging markets drill http://www.autonews.com/article/20141223/BLOG06/141229982/why-russias-crash-is-just-part-of-the-emerging-markets-drill Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Russia is the latest developing market to go through convulsions. But automakers invested in Russia say they're staying. Their eyes are on the prize of long-term sales growth. Beyond the headlines, humdrum recalls annoy consumers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141222/BLOG06/141229999/beyond-the-headlines-humdrum-recalls-annoy-consumers Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST The year has been monopolized by headlines about General Motors ignition-switch recalls and Takata airbag recalls. But a broader perspective is in order. 'Chrysler' gone, but definitely not silent http://www.autonews.com/article/20141222/OEM02/312229964/chrysler-gone-but-definitely-not-silent Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST 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. It's as if the recession didn't happen http://www.autonews.com/article/20141222/OEM/312229994/its-as-if-the-recession-didnt-happen Mon, 22 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Those of us with a vivid memory of the trauma of the recession and recovery are surprised, even amazed, that the auto industry is back to business as usual. Regulation vs. technology -- why are U.S. roads getting safer? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141220/BLOG06/141229998/regulation-vs-technology-why-are-u-s-roads-getting-safer Sat, 20 Dec 2014 09:21:21 EST Here's some good news you didn't read much about this year: US roads are safer. The number of people who died in traffic crashes fell 3 percent in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday. Free of U.S. ownership, Ally expects cheaper funds, maybe more subprime deals http://www.autonews.com/article/20141219/BLOG06/141219840/free-of-u-s-ownership-ally-expects-cheaper-funds-maybe-more-subprime Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:13:47 EST Ally Financial is 'free at last,' to borrow a phrase CEO Michael Carpenter used earlier this year to describe how it would feel for Ally finally to put six years of government ownership behind it. Will the CFPB redefine 'larger'? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141217/BLOG13/312179995/will-the-cfpb-redefine-larger-8221 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Auto industry watchers that formally weighed in on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's definition of 'larger' auto lenders took predictable positions before the public comment period closed last week. Handicapping the finalists for North American Car, Truck of Year http://www.autonews.com/article/20141216/BLOG06/312169996/handicapping-the-finalists-for-north-american-car-truck-of-year Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:00:00 EST Automakers love winning awards for best in show. Most would dispatch an executive to Nome, Alaska, in February to pick up some shiny hardware for the company's trophy case. Why the Chinese auto shows will refocus on the car models http://www.autonews.com/article/20141215/BLOG06/141219920/why-the-chinese-auto-shows-will-refocus-on-the-car-models Mon, 15 Dec 2014 12:41:19 EST One hallmark of Chinese auto shows is their politically incorrect zeal for, ahem, 'alluring' floor models. Poached from BMW, Diess in position for VW CEO job http://www.autonews.com/article/20141215/OEM02/312159968/poached-from-bmw-diess-in-position-for-vw-ceo-job Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Volkswagen's decision to poach BMW product development chief Herbert Diess to run its flagship VW brand puts the 56-year-old manager in the pole position to succeed Martin Winterkorn as head of what could soon be the world's largest automaker. Big recalls are a dilemma for us all http://www.autonews.com/article/20141215/OEM11/312159986/big-recalls-are-a-dilemma-for-us-all Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST The auto industry, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, SAE International and everyone else, must come up with a comprehensive solution before this happens again. How auto dealers gained our esteem http://www.autonews.com/article/20141215/RETAIL07/312159985/how-auto-dealers-gained-our-esteem Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Several trends in business and technology favor local merchants, including auto dealers, over national conglomerates in terms of treating customers right. In D.C., Takata finds no friends, just cross hairs http://www.autonews.com/article/20141215/OEM11/312159993/in-d-c-takata-finds-no-friends-just-cross-hairs Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Years from now, automotive historians will agree that Takata Corp.'s fate in the U.S. was sealed during a congressional hearing on Dec. 3, 2014. FTC finds fine print too fine, imposes fines http://www.autonews.com/article/20141214/BLOG06/141219928/ftc-finds-fine-print-too-fine-imposes-fines Sun, 14 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Dealers should remember Americans are getting older. And while smartphone screens are getting bigger, they're still dinky compared to that big-screen TV on your wall. Think big print. Who says the Detroit 3 can't sell luxury? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141212/BLOG06/141219937/who-says-the-detroit-3-cant-sell-luxury Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:40:03 EST We hear an awful lot about the sorry state of Detroit's luxury brands, but if you look at it objectively, Detroit actually isn't bad at selling luxury vehicles. It's just that the luxury vehicles are pickup trucks and SUVs. BMW refreshes 6 series http://www.autonews.com/article/20141212/BLOG06/141219938/bmw-refreshes-6-series Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:38:25 EST BMW has freshened all three of its 6-series variants that will debut next month at the Detroit auto show and go on sale in the second quarter of 2015. Nissan offers rare peek into battery making http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141212/BLOG15/141209825/nissan-offers-rare-peek-into-battery-making Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST A rare tour of Nissan's UK battery plant demonstrated how tricky it is to build the product. The factory produces battery for the Leaf electric car and the e-NV200 electric van. Toyota, dealers get pop culture boost on 'Modern Family' http://www.autonews.com/article/20141211/BLOG06/141219961/toyota-dealers-get-pop-culture-boost-on-modern-family Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:23:56 EST Pop culture can have a powerful impact on social perceptions. In which case, the TV show 'Modern Family' on ABC polished the tarnished image of the modern car dealership in Wednesday night's episode. Mercedes' $29,900 CLA -- now you see it, now you don't http://www.autonews.com/article/20141211/BLOG06/312129997/mercedes-29900-cla-now-you-see-it-now-you-dont Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST It was bound to happen, although it came sooner than expected and with no changes in equipment. Why Honda is touting its new 'Green Dealer' guide http://www.autonews.com/article/20141211/BLOG06/141219974/why-honda-is-touting-its-new-green-dealer-guide Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:00:00 EST Honda is releasing its internal 'Green Dealer' guide today to help automakers and other franchised businesses reduce their carbon footprints. Why loyalty leads to fewer dealership visits http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141211/BLOG15/141119861/why-loyalty-leads-to-fewer-dealership-visits Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST A customer visited a dealership an average of six times in the UK before completing a purchase in 1994. That number dropped to 1.2 visits in 2012 and it's still falling, a successful retailer says. Who distorted what? Wording of CFPB statement will get its own investigation http://www.autonews.com/article/20141210/BLOG13/312109994/who-distorted-what-wording-of-cfpb-statement-will-get-its-own Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:30:00 EST The ombudsmanandrsquo;s office for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it would conduct an independent review into complaints that the CFPBandrsquo;s press releases donandrsquo;t match the consent orders they describe -- something... FandI jobs hold a powerful lure for women http://www.autonews.com/article/20141210/BLOG13/312109993/fi-jobs-hold-a-powerful-lure-for-women Wed, 10 Dec 2014 11:00:00 EST It seems women are keen to work in the finance and insurance department. In fact, FandI has the highest percentage of women employees in a dealership, after the office/administration department. You can call it a crossover, but I know a hatchback when I see one http://www.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG06/312099999/you-can-call-it-a-crossover-but-i-know-a-hatchback-when-i-see-one Tue, 9 Dec 2014 11:00:00 EST Small utility vehicles -- or maybe small vehicles with a lot of utility -- are starting to look like The Next Big Thing. And so automakers are tattooing what are basically hatchbacks with the crossover label. Will buyers be fooled? What the big fuss over small crossovers is all about http://www.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG06/141209859/what-the-big-fuss-over-small-crossovers-is-all-about Tue, 9 Dec 2014 10:45:00 EST The Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade and other small crossovers aim to unlock the practicality and cachet of 'SUV' driving for a group of buyers who until now have been relegated to inexpensive small cars. VW's Diess takes pole position to replace Winterkorn http://www.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG06/312099954/vws-diess-takes-pole-position-to-replace-winterkorn Tue, 9 Dec 2014 06:30:54 EST VW's announcement that it poached BMW development chief Herbert Diess to run its flagship VW brand puts the 56-year-old manager in pole position to succeed Martin Winterkorn as VW Group boss. BMW's manufacturing arm also produces future leaders http://www.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG06/312099956/bmws-manufacturing-arm-also-produces-future-leaders Tue, 9 Dec 2014 06:44:28 EST BMW's manufacturing arm not only builds great cars -- it also produces the company's future leaders, as the appointment of Harald Krueger to succeed CEO Norbert Reithofer shows. BMW's manufacturing arm also produces future leaders http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG15/141209835/bmws-manufacturing-arm-also-produces-future-leaders Tue, 9 Dec 2014 06:44:28 EST BMW's manufacturing arm not only builds great cars -- it also produces the company's future leaders, as the appointment of Harald Krueger to succeed CEO Norbert Reithofer shows. VW's Diess takes pole position to replace Winterkorn http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141209/BLOG15/141209837/vws-diess-takes-pole-position-to-replace-winterkorn Tue, 9 Dec 2014 06:30:54 EST VW's announcement that it poached BMW development chief Herbert Diess to run its flagship VW brand puts the 56-year-old manager in pole position to succeed Martin Winterkorn as VW Group boss. Little by little, UAW taking hold at VW Chattanooga http://www.autonews.com/article/20141208/OEM01/312089959/little-by-little-uaw-taking-hold-at-vw-chattanooga Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST The UAW is well on its way to representing the majority of the 1,500 hourly workers at VW Chattanooga despite the best efforts of right-to-work advocates and Tennessee politicians to keep the union out. Prepare to embrace McLaren's anticipate-and-act tactics http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141208/BLOG15/312089938/prepare-to-embrace-mclarens-anticipate-and-act-tactics Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST People in the car business are so used to being lectured on how they are doing things wrong -- social media, customer service, what have you -- that it's notable whenever an automotive company sets a new benchmark for the rest of the world. Easy credit dries up buy-here, pay-here business, dealer says http://www.autonews.com/article/20141208/FINANCE_AND_INSURANCE/312089992/easy-credit-dries-up-buy-here-pay-here-business-dealer-says Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Dealers and lenders insist that there is no subprime bubble in automotive financing, and the numbers back them up. Takata just doesn't get it http://www.autonews.com/article/20141208/OEM11/312089975/takata-just-doesnt-get-it Mon, 8 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Takata has become the poster child for how to mishandle recalls and customers. Company executives seem to be stonewalling their automaker customers, then stonewalling federal regulators and, finally, stonewalling Congress. Dealer missteps do not a lender meltdown make http://www.autonews.com/article/20141206/BLOG06/141209860/dealer-missteps-do-not-a-lender-meltdown-make Sat, 6 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST It shouldn't surprise anybody if heightened regulatory scrutiny on car lending reveals some transactions where a dealership has disregarded the rules on loan paperwork. Prepare to embrace McLaren's anticipate-and-act tactics http://www.autonews.com/article/20141205/BLOG06/141209875/prepare-to-embrace-mclarens-anticipate-and-act-tactics Fri, 5 Dec 2014 10:20:22 EST People in the car business are so used to being lectured on how they are doing things wrong -- social media, customer service, what have you -- that it's notable whenever an automotive company sets a new benchmark for the rest of the world. France is hurting its domestic automakers with diesel policy shift http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141205/BLOG15/141209882/france-is-hurting-its-domestic-automakers-with-diesel-policy-shift Fri, 5 Dec 2014 05:55:47 EST For environmental and public health reasons France is ending a government policy that has long promoted the purchase of diesel cars, but the move will hurt domestic automakers Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen. Why it will be a different Nissan that returns to the Super Bowl http://www.autonews.com/article/20141204/BLOG06/141209896/why-it-will-be-a-different-nissan-that-returns-to-the-super-bowl Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:05:03 EST Jeremy Tucker was still in college the last time Nissan ran an ad during the Super Bowl back in 1997. Now 38 and vice president of US marketing for the automaker, Tucker will execute Nissan's return to the high-profile advertising stage in February. Why Chrysler's November sales ought to make your jaw drop http://www.autonews.com/article/20141203/BLOG06/141209912/why-chryslers-november-sales-ought-to-make-your-jaw-drop Wed, 3 Dec 2014 15:53:14 EST Stunning. How else could you describe the breadth and depth of the remarkable sales wave that Chrysler's US dealerships experienced in November? Auto finance benefits from looser purse strings http://www.autonews.com/article/20141203/BLOG13/312049999/auto-finance-benefits-from-looser-purse-strings Wed, 3 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST U.S. households have closed the book on a 'deleveraging period,' the government's fancy way of saying households have quit spending less and saving more. And that's good news for auto financing. The good times keep rolling along http://www.autonews.com/article/20141202/BLOG06/312039997/the-good-times-keep-rolling-along Tue, 2 Dec 2014 17:00:00 EST We're merrily motoring down the monthly sales expressway, scarcely a pothole in the past 60 reports. No collective bargaining, but UAW prepares to talk pay at VW Chattanooga plant http://www.autonews.com/article/20141202/BLOG06/141209940/no-collective-bargaining-but-uaw-prepares-to-talk-pay-at-vw Tue, 2 Dec 2014 04:15:00 EST We're about to find out how much power a UAW local in Chattanooga can wield at the Volkswagen of America assembly plant there. With all the buzz over quality, what does it even mean? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141202/BLOG06/312029998/with-all-the-buzz-over-quality-what-does-it-even-mean Tue, 2 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST The meaning of 'poor quality' has changed over the years. Twenty years ago, poor quality was probably a mechanical glitch that stopped a vehicle from operating or performing as needed. Why lower oil prices might not be good for automakers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141202/BLOG06/141209957/why-lower-oil-prices-might-not-be-good-for-automakers Tue, 2 Dec 2014 07:02:54 EST Oil prices have fallen precipitously, from over $100 per barrel last summer to under $70 for some types of crude. Despite the rich retail sales mix that follows lower gas prices, this may not be entirely good for the auto industry. Lexus RC: Nifty lighting, walk-in seats -- and more http://www.autonews.com/article/20141201/OEM03/312019969/lexus-rc-nifty-lighting-walk-in-seats-and-more Mon, 1 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST 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. Luxury cars go the way of free-trade coffee http://www.autonews.com/article/20141201/OEM05/312019976/luxury-cars-go-the-way-of-free-trade-coffee Mon, 1 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Luxury automobiles typically offer customers a combination of high performance, advanced technology and plush comfort. But now they may offer wealthy car buyers something else: a clearer conscience. Recalls: Dealers in the hot seat http://www.autonews.com/article/20141201/RETAIL07/312019986/recalls-dealers-in-the-hot-seat Mon, 1 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST Say you're a dealer. You have a new car on your lot and discover that the model has been recalled for a severe safety problem. Replacement parts may not be available for months. How to stop supplier price fixing now http://www.autonews.com/article/20141201/OEM10/312019985/how-to-stop-supplier-price-fixing-now Mon, 1 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST 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? FAW bribe scandal should be wake-up call for Beijing http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141128/BLOG15/141129866/faw-bribe-scandal-should-be-wake-up-call-for-beijing Fri, 28 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Allegations of rampant bribery at FAW-VW should provide an urgent wake-up call to Beijing to abandon the country's JV rule for foreign automakers. Why Audi over-engineered its fuel cell http://europe.autonews.com/article/20141128/BLOG15/141129867/why-audi-over-engineered-its-fuel-cell Fri, 28 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Audi randd boss Ulrich Hackenberg provided a concise answer when asked why the carmaker's fuel cell also needs plug-in hybrid technology. %]