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, 28 Nov 2014 06:00:00 EST How to get the U.S. into diesels http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141128/BLOG15/141129863/how-to-get-the-u-s-into-diesels Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:07:22 EST European automakers and suppliers have been trying for years to get U.S. drivers excited about diesels. Experience has proved that a test drive can be a deal-maker. Why Audi over-engineered its fuel cell http://www.autonews.comhttp://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. FAW bribe scandal should be wake-up call for Beijing http://www.autonews.comhttp://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 China FAW Group Corp.'s joint venture with VW should provide an urgent wake-up call to the government to abandon the country's JV rule for foreign automakers. Bad weather will shape future retailing http://www.autonews.com/article/20141127/BLOG06/141129875/bad-weather-will-shape-future-retailing Thu, 27 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Bad weather has the power to overturn auto industry forecasts and plans and outlooks. And the long-range expectations for worse weather to come could have the power to mess up the industry's neat longstanding practices and traditions. Why the bid-rigging? Ask the automakers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141126/BLOG06/141129888/why-the-bid-rigging-ask-the-automakers Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:29:45 EST Toyota employees are taught to solve problems with the 'Five Whys.' Ask why it happened, and why that happened, and so on until you get to the fundamental problem. Military ends paycheck deductions for car loans http://www.autonews.com/article/20141126/BLOG13/311279997/military-ends-paycheck-deductions-for-car-loans Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST The Department of Defense last week made it impossible for service members to use the reliable but old-fashioned military allotment system to make auto loan payments -- a small-scale example of a couple of bad apples in auto lending ruining things... Michelin gains from homegrown distrust in China http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141126/BLOG15/141129895/michelin-gains-from-homegrown-distrust-in-china Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:22:25 EST European sales of cheap Chinese tires are growing fast, but in China suppliers such as Michelin are winning customers who don't trust homegrown tire makers. Ford's payoff from aluminum bet still years away http://www.autonews.com/article/20141125/BLOG06/141129916/ford-s-payoff-from-aluminum-bet-still-years-away Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:15:00 EST Investors might be a little concerned at how Ford is spending its money. Ford dropped billions of dollars redesigning the aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150. 5 cool flourishes on new Lexus RC http://www.autonews.com/article/20141125/BLOG06/141129905/5-cool-flourishes-on-new-lexus-rc Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:50:25 EST Is it too much to say that the new Lexus RC is the best-looking Lexus ever? Even better than the LFA? I finally got behind the wheel an RC 350 F Sport last weekend, and I never got tired looking at the car, from any angle. Popping the subprime bubble myth http://www.autonews.com/article/20141124/FINANCE_AND_INSURANCE/311249963/popping-the-subprime-bubble-myth Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST There is no subprime auto loan bubble, darn it. That message came through loud and clear at session after session devoted to subprime lending during the Used Car Week Conferences sponsored by Auto Remarketing magazine this month in Las Vegas. Where's HQ? It's like musical chairs http://www.autonews.com/article/20141124/OEM/311249981/wheres-hq-its-like-musical-chairs Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Nissan and Infiniti, Toyota, Cadillac, and maybe Chrysler? Why car companies are headquartered where they are in the U.S. seems obscure. Why they move sometimes makes sense, but it is always disruptive. How Sprinter dodges the chicken tax http://www.autonews.com/article/20141124/OEM11/311249980/how-sprinter-dodges-the-chicken-tax Mon, 24 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST 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. Automakers can stop supplier price-fixing now, but will they? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141122/BLOG06/141129941/automakers-can-stop-supplier-price-fixing-now-but-will-they Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Auto supplier price-fixing is a global criminal epidemic that stifles fair competition, inflates the cost of components for automakers, erodes investor confidence and rips off the customer. Ford F-150 mpg for 2015 is a mixed bag http://www.autonews.com/article/20141121/BLOG06/141129950/ford-f-150-mpg-for-2015-is-a-mixed-bag Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:26:36 EST In round one of aluminum vs. diesel, diesel wins. Ford's new F-150 failed to knock off the pickup fuel economy champ, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Volkswagen raises the stakes in China http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141121/BLOG15/141129959/volkswagen-raises-the-stakes-in-china Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:22:39 EST Volkswagen's investment plans for the next five years tell one story very clearly #8211; the company is becoming ever more dependent on growth in China in its bid to overtake Toyota as the world's No. 1 carmaker. Luxury brands go the way of free-trade coffee http://www.autonews.com/article/20141121/BLOG06/141129952/luxury-brands-go-the-way-of-free-trade-coffee Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:41:54 EST Luxury automobiles typically offer customers a combination of high performance, advanced technology and plush comfort. But a new crop of upscale cars may offer wealthy car buyers something else: a clearer conscience. Japan's fugitive execs have called DOJ's bluff http://www.autonews.com/article/20141121/BLOG06/141129958/japans-fugitive-execs-have-called-dojs-bluff Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:56:59 EST Are the fugitive Japanese businessmen indicted for alleged price fixing calling the U.S. government's bluff? Apple's CarPlay goes missing in L.A. and in the showroom http://www.autonews.com/article/20141120/BLOG06/311219994/apples-carplay-goes-missing-in-l-a-and-in-the-showroom Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:09:32 EST Tech giants Apple and Google have generated a lot of hype over the past 12 months over their plans to tightly integrate their smartphones and app technology with in-car infotainment systems. Fisker flexes muscle with coachbuilt 725-hp Mustang http://www.autonews.com/article/20141120/BLOG06/141129970/fisker-flexes-muscle-with-coachbuilt-725-hp-mustang Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:55:49 EST Henrik Fisker, the Danish designer behind the Aston Martin DB9, BMW Z8 and the ill-fated Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, apparently can design an American muscle car, too. Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept pays homage to past, future http://www.autonews.com/article/20141120/BLOG06/141129968/chevy-chaparral-2x-vision-gran-turismo-concept-pays-homage-to-past Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:36:33 EST It's ironic that the most futuristic Vision Gran Turismo virtual racer to date also has the deepest historical ties to motorsports. Ghosn sets the record straight on price-fixing conspiracy http://www.autonews.com/article/20141120/BLOG06/141129974/ghosn-sets-the-record-straight-on-price-fixing-conspiracy Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:53:08 EST In our package of stories on supplier price-fixing published Monday, one report said Carlos Ghosn inadvertently created the bid-rigging tradition. It was an intriguing scenario. But Carlos Ghosn begs to differ. Mercedes gives Maybach interior the silent treatment http://www.autonews.com/article/20141120/BLOG06/141129980/mercedes-gives-maybach-interior-the-silent-treatment Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:09:32 EST One of the highlights of the new Mercedes-Maybach S600 superluxury sedan is something you're not supposed to notice: noise, or more precisely, the lack of it. Free advice for consumers can be worth the price http://www.autonews.com/article/20141119/BLOG13/311199988/free-advice-for-consumers-can-be-worth-the-price Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST There's a bright spot for dealerships that do a lot of business with automakers' captive finance companies and preferred lenders, data on the website Wallet Hub show: Car manufacturers (that is, captives) charge the lowest auto loan... Honda opens Calif. garage to get Android rolling http://www.autonews.com/article/20141118/BLOG06/141119842/honda-opens-calif-garage-to-get-android-rolling Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:00:00 EST To help Google's new Android Auto system gain favor, Honda is doing something rare in the auto industry: subsidizing its rivals. Just how bad is that traffic jam ahead? New tech lets drivers see it http://www.autonews.com/article/20141118/BLOG06/141119833/just-how-bad-is-that-traffic-jam-ahead-new-tech-lets-drivers-see-it Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:36:34 EST Traffic apps that alert users of upcoming delays aren't unheard of these days. But what if drivers could actually see what's happening at a particular location on their vehicle screens when they're 5 miles -- or even a couple states -- away? Assembly redo: How Mercedes' Sprinter dodges chicken tax http://www.autonews.com/article/20141118/BLOG06/141119857/assembly-redo-how-mercedes-sprinter-dodges-chicken-tax Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:15:00 EST A curious exercise in automobile manufacturing takes place daily inside the old, 350,000-square-foot Western Star truck plant here that is now owned by Daimler. U.S. driver data rules are not tough enough for Europe http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141117/BLOG15/141119866/u-s-driver-data-rules-are-not-tough-enough-for-europe Mon, 17 Nov 2014 04:56:33 EST Privacy protection guidelines agreed to last week in the U.S. will not become a global template because they fall short of what is required in Europe to keep driver data safe. Want to buy a good, used crystal ball? http://www.autonews.com/article/20141117/OEM05/311179976/want-to-buy-a-good-used-crystal-ball Mon, 17 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST The scenario was clear: Constantly rising prices at the gas pump would encourage more and more people to switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Great product isn't the only ingredient for making happy customers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141114/BLOG06/141119883/great-product-isnt-the-only-ingredient-for-making-happy-customers Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:48:43 EST Sure, product is very important, but consider that most vehicles on the market look good and have comparable quality within their segments. 'Disparate impact' opposition sees hope http://www.autonews.com/article/20141112/BLOG13/311139999/-disparate-impact-8217-opposition-sees-hope Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Hope remains among opponents of the 'disparate impact' theory that the U.S. Supreme Court could ultimately rule against the theory in court, maybe in 2015. On the line, new F-150 is good for workers, not so ideal for haberdashers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141112/BLOG06/141119943/on-the-line-new-f-150-is-good-for-workers-not-so-ideal-for Wed, 12 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Now that there are no longer any big robot-mounted welding guns throwing off showers of sparks, engineer Ron Ketelhut doesn't have to worry about getting burn holes in his shirts as he walks the body shop floor. GM victim's family left in the dark with compensation clock ticking http://www.autonews.com/article/20141111/BLOG06/141119954/gm-victims-family-left-in-the-dark-with-compensation-clock-ticking Tue, 11 Nov 2014 16:12:38 EST For 11 years, Jean Averill's family had no idea that her death was connected to a defective ignition switch. Why turbocharger fans owe Saab a thank-you http://www.autonews.com/article/20141111/BLOG06/311119998/why-turbocharger-fans-owe-saab-a-thank-you Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST We are gathered here today to pay our respects to Saab. The deceased Swedish automaker's lasting legacy is not the unconventional place it put the ignition switch. How to humanize autonomous driving http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141111/BLOG15/141119995/how-to-humanize-autonomous-driving Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Self-driving cars are coming, but few people will hand over control to the vehicle unless the computer can match the way they like to drive. Ford's Odell: Sharp, talented and respectful http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141110/BLOG15/141119994/fords-odell-sharp-talented-and-respectful Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:17:00 EST Ford of Europe boss Stephen Odell's focus on respecting the customer will be a good start when he becomes the automaker's global sales and marketing chief. SEMA is still a 3-ring circus http://www.autonews.com/article/20141110/OEM/311109965/sema-is-still-a-3-ring-circus Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Last week was the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas to celebrate the automobile at the SEMA show. Ford's Odell: Sharp, talented and respectful http://www.autonews.com/article/20141110/OEM02/141109844/fords-odell-sharp-talented-and-respectful Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST 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. Good times are rolling for pickup makers http://www.autonews.com/article/20141110/RETAIL01/311109943/good-times-are-rolling-for-pickup-makers Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST 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. For some, a big downside to cheap gas http://www.autonews.com/article/20141110/OEM05/311109966/for-some-a-big-downside-to-cheap-gas Mon, 10 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST The volatility of gasoline prices has long bedeviled teams devising business plans for battery electrics, plug-in hybrids and even standard Prius-type hybrids. What the rich and single drive these days http://www.autonews.com/article/20141109/BLOG06/141109842/what-the-rich-and-single-drive-these-days Sun, 9 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Apparently, sleek product redesign and TV spots featuring handsome movie star Matthew McConaughey are resonating among some wealthy singletons. Or something? Joe Herman's lessons about the business will live on http://www.autonews.com/article/20141108/BLOG06/141109843/joe-hermans-lessons-about-the-business-will-live-on Sat, 8 Nov 2014 09:46:05 EST Joe Herman, even in the months before his death at age 72 in October, was focused on keeping his auto dealerships at the forefront of technology. Suzuki seeks BMW-like success -- on the seas http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141107/BLOG15/141109913/suzuki-seeks-bmw-like-success-on-the-seas Fri, 7 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Suzuki is trying to emulate BMW's and Volvo's success on the seas by associating its brand with one of the world's most famous sailboat races. Partnering with Route du Rhum can only help Suzuki boost its small presence in Europe Art program could help shape auto industry's next creative minds http://www.autonews.com/article/20141107/BLOG06/141109859/art-program-could-help-shape-auto-industrys-next-creative-minds Fri, 7 Nov 2014 13:33:21 EST Thursday night, I went to a fundraiser, called #onthefridge, for Art Road. The group's latest art on display was cool, but I was more drawn to some of the earlier years' artworks, especially those related to cars. New CO2 rules may benefit car design http://www.autonews.comhttp://europe.autonews.com/article/20141106/BLOG15/141109917/new-co2-rules-may-benefit-car-design Thu, 6 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Proposed changes to how fuel economy and emissions are measured could mean the end of useful-but-ugly side mirrors and other design changes on cars. Lexus RC media test drive canceled in Japan -- for lack of interest http://www.autonews.com/article/20141106/BLOG06/141109881/lexus-rc-media-test-drive-canceled-in-japan-for-lack-of-interest Thu, 6 Nov 2014 12:08:45 EST Well, this is embarrassing. For Toyota as well as Japan's so-called automotive press corps. Toyota notified journalists last week that a long-scheduled new-car test-drive event was scrubbed -- for lack of interest. Cheaper gas led to increased light-truck and crossover sales? Not necessarily http://www.autonews.com/article/20141106/BLOG06/141109882/cheaper-gas-led-to-increased-light-truck-and-crossover-sales-not Thu, 6 Nov 2014 11:51:48 EST Cheaper gas is being widely credited with October's gains in the sales of crossovers, SUVs, pickups. And no doubt, lower pump prices are figuring into consumer thinking right now. Lower gas prices, longer alt-power payback http://www.autonews.com/article/20141105/BLOG06/141109909/lower-gas-prices-longer-alt-power-payback Wed, 5 Nov 2014 15:32:47 EST I've enjoyed seeing my gas tank fill-ups cost $10 to $15 less than usual. I'm sure that people selling bigger vehicles do, too. But one group probably isn't cheering: Anyone marketing alternative powertrain vehicles. Looking for a new FandI product? Mull this http://www.autonews.com/article/20141105/BLOG13/311059994/looking-for-a-new-fi-product-mull-this Wed, 5 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST Consider this a free idea -- the kind that hopefully somebody out there takes and develops and uses to make a lot of money. SEC joins pile of regulators probing subprime loan securitization http://www.autonews.com/article/20141105/BLOG13/311059993/sec-joins-pile-of-regulators-probing-subprime-loan-securitization Wed, 5 Nov 2014 00:01:00 EST It appears that when it comes to investigating the securitization of subprime auto loans, the bigger the mountain of regulators, the better. How Chrysler's Hellcat engine almost died http://www.autonews.com/article/20141104/BLOG06/141109956/how-chryslers-hellcat-engine-almost-died Tue, 4 Nov 2014 12:45:00 EST One of the year's hottest new engines almost never happened. %]