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, 29 May 2015 06:00:00 EST Sergio's merger talk could mean more heartburn for FCA workers http://www.autonews.com/article/20150528/BLOG06/150529860/sergios-merger-talk-could-mean-more-heartburn-for-fca-workers Thu, 28 May 2015 13:29:04 EST Reaction to Sergio Marchionne's campaign to spur mergers has focused on other automakers, who seem notably unenthused, at least in public. But I wonder about the reaction in Marchionne's own house, Fiat Chrysler. FandI providers and lenders, here's your chance to fulfill dealers' dreams http://www.autonews.com/article/20150527/BLOG13/150529884/fi-providers-and-lenders-heres-your-chance-to-fulfill-dealers-dreams Wed, 27 May 2015 11:30:00 EST With gross profit margins on new-vehicle sales narrowing, dealers are worried about the future and where the profits on the sales side will come. The FandI office is an obvious place. How suppliers can seize new opportunities in Mexico http://www.autonews.com/article/20150527/BLOG06/150529887/how-suppliers-can-seize-new-opportunities-in-mexico Wed, 27 May 2015 10:10:03 EST Major automakers from around the globe are establishing or expanding operations in Mexico, and that means new challenges -- and opportunities -- for automotive suppliers. Android Auto proves to be luxuriously simple http://www.autonews.com/article/20150527/BLOG06/150529888/android-auto-proves-to-be-luxuriously-simple Wed, 27 May 2015 09:47:45 EST The launch of Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay infotainment interfaces could upend the usual "the more you pay, the more you get" rule by giving cars from brands such as Chevrolet, Honda and Hyundai a better computer interface than most... With sports cars, hit reset (often) for success http://www.autonews.com/article/20150526/BLOG06/150529917/with-sports-cars-hit-reset-often-for-success Tue, 26 May 2015 11:00:00 EST Sporty cars won't live past one generation if car companies don't keep them fresh with new models and features. Constant investment or a slow, agonizing death. Japanese automakers fear new outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China http://www.autonews.com/article/20150525/BLOG06/150529922/japanese-automakers-fear-new-outbreak-of-anti-japan-sentiment-in Mon, 25 May 2015 07:51:26 EST With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II approaching, Japan is watching nervously to see whether its carmakers will be hit by another anti-Japan backlash in China. To win over humans, Google's self-driving car must clear a high bar http://www.autonews.com/article/20150525/OEM06/305259995/to-win-over-humans-googles-self-driving-car-must-clear-a-high-bar Mon, 25 May 2015 00:01:00 EST The flawed analyses of Google's accident record illustrated the bar that the self-driving car will need to cross to be accepted. It must not only be safer than human drivers, but unquestionably safe. How BMW saleswoman builds rapport, trust and her brand on social media http://www.autonews.com/article/20150522/BLOG06/150529938/how-bmw-saleswoman-builds-rapport-trust-and-her-brand-on-social-media Fri, 22 May 2015 12:02:41 EST The chance to leave a lasting impression on a potential buyer perusing the dealer lot doesn't have to end when a salesperson hands over a business card. Fixing Takata fiasco must become top priority http://www.autonews.com/article/20150521/BLOG06/150529954/fixing-takata-fiasco-must-become-top-priority Thu, 21 May 2015 14:30:50 EST The Takata airbag crisis continues to mushroom into the largest safety recall disaster in auto industry history. That's no small feat just a year after the General Motors ignition switch scandal. Uber, credit-challenged drivers walk the subprime tightrope http://www.autonews.com/article/20150520/BLOG13/150519855/uber-credit-challenged-drivers-walk-the-subprime-tightrope Wed, 20 May 2015 12:00:00 EST Uber offers its credit-challenged drivers a finance program to help them buy their vehicles. But the program can put some drivers in trouble, according to a Marketplace.org report. How auto dealerships can 'starve' a union drive http://www.autonews.com/article/20150520/BLOG06/150529978/how-auto-dealerships-can-starve-a-union-drive Wed, 20 May 2015 16:12:08 EST A tried-and-true method of getting union-sympathizing mechanics to quit is assign them electrical fixes and other tough jobs that end up taking longer than their allotted time. Honda works smart to fill UK plant http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150520/BLOG15/150529997/honda-works-smart-to-fill-uk-plant Wed, 20 May 2015 04:52:39 EST Honda has reduced the problem of drastic undercapacity at its factory in Swindon, England, after the automaker's production took a hit from Europe's economic slump, by inviting suppliers to utilize the empty space. The easiest path to good supplier relations? Meet your targets! http://www.autonews.com/article/20150519/BLOG06/150519865/the-easiest-path-to-good-supplier-relations-meet-your-targets Tue, 19 May 2015 11:30:06 EST After seeing the latest "Henke Report" on supplier-OEM relations, I strongly suspect that the biggest thing that automakers could do to win a little supplier love is fundamental: Issue accurate volume forecasts. A new golden age for high performance http://www.autonews.com/article/20150519/BLOG06/305209996/a-new-golden-age-for-high-performance Tue, 19 May 2015 11:30:00 EST Forget the 1960s. Now is the golden age of performance. The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT http://www.autonews.com/article/20150519/BLOG06/305209998/the-science-psychology-and-secrecy-behind-the-ford-gt Tue, 19 May 2015 11:00:00 EST Ford did a ton of work understanding the psychology of the driver during development of the GT and found that driving performance follows a bell curve that relates to distractions. Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments http://www.autonews.com/article/20150518/BLOG06/150519889/celebrating-david-lettermans-top-10-automotive-moments Mon, 18 May 2015 00:01:00 EST David Letterman, whose final 'Late Show' airs Wednesday night, is quite a car buff, keeping his collection hidden away, a CBS spokesman says. Here's a look at his top 10 automotive moments. Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang http://www.autonews.com/article/20150517/BLOG06/150519891/revamped-camaro-gains-power-agility-to-battle-mustang Sun, 17 May 2015 13:00:00 EST Chevrolet arranged for journalists to test drive V-6 models of the redesigned 2016 Camaro back to back with V-6 versions of the 2015 car around the same race track that will be used for the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix race this month. Volvo finally gets its American factory http://www.autonews.com/article/20150516/BLOG06/150519896/volvo-finally-gets-its-american-factory Sat, 16 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Volvo has wanted an American car factory for decades. But complications and setbacks have gotten in the way -- including an entire decade spent as a brand owned by Ford Motor Co. Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer http://www.autonews.com/article/20150515/BLOG06/150519903/why-fords-blue-oval-is-missing-from-the-2016-explorer Fri, 15 May 2015 15:51:05 EST The F-150 isn't the only Ford icon that's been changed to aluminum this year. Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum and you'll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval. Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting http://www.autonews.com/article/20150513/BLOG06/305139900/piech-casts-shadow-over-porsches-annual-meeting Wed, 13 May 2015 09:43:47 EST Ferdinand Piech upstaged his cousin Wolfgang Porsche and former protege Martin Winterkorn by missing the annual meeting of the family holding company that holds a majority stake in Volkswagen, proving once again that the threat of a Piech-style... Is the FandI product space overcrowded? Views differ http://www.autonews.com/article/20150513/BLOG13/305139996/is-the-fi-product-space-overcrowded-views-differ Wed, 13 May 2015 11:45:00 EST Competition in the FandI product space is heating up. One product provider is moving the bulk of its business to consulting. Others argue there is still a lot of FandI product business to go around, even in light of increased consolidation. Piech casts shadow over Porsche's annual meeting http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150513/BLOG15/150519951/piech-casts-shadow-over-porsches-annual-meeting Wed, 13 May 2015 09:43:47 EST Ferdinand Piech upstaged his cousin Wolfgang Porsche and former protege Martin Winterkorn by missing the annual meeting of the family holding company that holds a majority stake in Volkswagen, proving once again that the threat of a Piech-style... The secrets behind all that camouflage http://www.autonews.com/article/20150512/BLOG06/150519967/the-secrets-behind-all-that-camouflage Tue, 12 May 2015 11:45:00 EST The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. But there is only so much real-world testing they can carry out without actually being in real-world traffic. Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever? http://www.autonews.com/article/20150512/BLOG06/305139999/is-the-ford-shelby-gt350-the-most-extreme-track-mustang-ever Tue, 12 May 2015 11:00:00 EST Nearly every part of the Ford Shelby GT350's suspension is purpose-built for the sports car. It has the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a Ford, the lightest wheels and probably the most aggressive tires anywhere south of a V-8 supercar. Which road to self-driving tech will win? http://www.autonews.com/article/20150511/OEM06/305119942/which-road-to-self-driving-tech-will-win Mon, 11 May 2015 00:01:00 EST The auto industry has an increasingly bipolar view of autonomous vehicles. The basic question is whether to go all in or install limited doses of self-driving technology. Let's look at the two poles. The evolution of the Hellcat logo http://www.autonews.com/article/20150511/BLOG06/150519981/the-evolution-of-the-hellcat-logo Mon, 11 May 2015 14:53:26 EST The Hellcat was never meant to be a tame kitty. Who owns vehicle-generated data? http://www.autonews.com/article/20150511/OEM11/305119969/who-owns-vehicle-generated-data Mon, 11 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Determining who owns data generated by motor vehicles keeps getting more complicated. And it's going to get worse. Love 'em or hate 'em, handle call centers the right way http://www.autonews.com/article/20150511/RETAIL03/305119988/love-em-or-hate-em-handle-call-centers-the-right-way Mon, 11 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Business development centers can help dealers handle prospects, but 90 percent are underperforming, says BDC authority. Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger http://www.autonews.com/article/20150508/BLOG06/150509855/why-dodge-should-make-the-next-dart-look-like-a-baby-charger Fri, 8 May 2015 16:12:12 EST The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April. So, if you're Dodge, do you need to fix a car that's doing well three years after its launch? Why, yes. Yes, you do. BMW's days of easy money in China are over http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150508/BLOG15/150509871/bmws-days-of-easy-money-in-china-are-over Fri, 8 May 2015 06:30:22 EST BMW executives are bracing the market for a profit-eroding performance in China as the automaker is weighed down by rising investment costs and an aging product lineup. Longtime auto journalist, racecar driver Denise McCluggage dead at 88 http://www.autonews.com/article/20150507/BLOG06/150509892/longtime-auto-journalist-racecar-driver-denise-mccluggage-dead-at-88 Thu, 7 May 2015 10:02:00 EST Word came late Wednesday that our friend, colleague, mentor and favorite staff racecar driver Denise McCluggage had passed away. She was 88. CFPB plays up auto finance complaints http://www.autonews.com/article/20150506/BLOG13/305069996/cfpb-plays-up-auto-finance-complaints Wed, 6 May 2015 11:00:00 EST A report released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau covering nearly 30,000 military service member complaints over a three-year period shows that although gripes about auto loans were a small part of the mix, they were a large part of the... Lithia reaches out to women in step toward industry evolution http://www.autonews.com/article/20150506/BLOG06/150509905/lithia-reaches-out-to-women-in-step-toward-industry-evolution Wed, 6 May 2015 12:13:38 EST Lithia has about 10,000 employees -- a quarter of them are women. But Lithia wants to hire more women at every level and it's doing something about it. Marchionne is so right and so wrong about consolidation http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150506/BLOG15/305069963/marchionne-is-so-right-and-so-wrong-about-consolidation Wed, 6 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne is absolutely right in his call for industry consolidation. But he is absolutely wrong about what needs consolidating. Marchionne is so right and so wrong about consolidation http://www.autonews.com/article/20150505/BLOG06/305069999/marchionne-is-so-right-and-so-wrong-about-consolidation Tue, 5 May 2015 11:30:00 EST Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne is absolutely right in his call for industry consolidation. But he is absolutely wrong about what needs consolidating. Piech's absence dominates VW annual meeting http://www.autonews.com/article/20150505/BLOG06/305059942/piechs-absence-dominates-vw-annual-meeting Tue, 5 May 2015 06:43:14 EST Ferdinand Piech may cause VW's leadership more headaches than ever before. At VW's annual meeting today, the shadow of the VW patriarch seemed to follow CEO Martin Winterkorn wherever he went. GM sends another contract-year message to UAW http://www.autonews.com/article/20150505/BLOG06/150509929/gm-sends-another-contract-year-message-to-uaw Tue, 5 May 2015 16:00:00 EST You know it's a UAW contract year when GM announces its US plant investment plan, as it did last week when it outlined $5.4 billion in spending over three years. Piech's absence dominates VW annual meeting http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150505/BLOG15/150509942/piechs-absence-dominates-vw-annual-meeting Tue, 5 May 2015 06:43:14 EST Ferdinand Piech may cause VW's leadership more headaches than ever before. At VW's annual meeting today, the shadow of the VW patriarch seemed to follow CEO Martin Winterkorn wherever he went. How auto dealers can get behind safer driving, 1 teen at a time http://www.autonews.com/article/20150504/BLOG06/150509952/how-auto-dealers-can-get-behind-safer-driving-1-teen-at-a-time Mon, 4 May 2015 13:46:16 EST This weekend, I experienced a community service program, born out of tragedy, that is tailor-made for local auto dealer cooperation. Hooray for GM's 500 millionth vehicle? http://www.autonews.com/article/20150504/BLOG06/150509956/hooray-for-gms-500-millionth-vehicle Mon, 4 May 2015 10:39:15 EST GM today is celebrating its 500 millionth vehicle. But GM knows -- perhaps better than any company on the planet -- that the ability to manufacture a lot of product, in and of itself, is no cause for celebration. Good news for Europe's late arrivers in China http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150504/BLOG15/150509995/good-news-for-europes-late-arrivers-in-china Mon, 4 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Late-arriving European brands in China such as Renault, Fiat and Jaguar have reason to be optimistic because most Chinese customers are ready to leave their current brands. Piech's out at VW -- for the moment http://www.autonews.com/article/20150504/OEM02/305049962/piechs-out-at-vw-for-the-moment Mon, 4 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Late last month, Ferdinand Piech resigned from his position as chairman of Volkswagen's supervisory board. Reportedly he was given the choice of resigning or being dismissed. Piech's fall is a familiar tale in this industry http://www.autonews.com/article/20150504/OEM02/305049975/piechs-fall-is-a-familiar-tale-in-this-industry Mon, 4 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Let's see, patriarch of giant auto group and acclaimed automotive genius late in life squabbles with members of his own family and is forced to give up power. Detroit has little to gain from free trade with Japan http://www.autonews.com/article/20150504/GLOBAL/305049963/detroit-has-little-to-gain-from-free-trade-with-japan Mon, 4 May 2015 00:01:00 EST Detroit's automakers have little to gain by having Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact, even if the U.S. wins auto import concessions from Tokyo. April like a dry day at harvest time - no time to sit back http://www.autonews.com/article/20150501/BLOG06/305019989/april-like-a-dry-day-at-harvest-time-no-time-to-sit-back Fri, 1 May 2015 17:15:00 EST Solid. Profitable. Gratifying. And yeah, a bit boring of a sales month. Yet another month of just-fine-thanks. Family takes Dave Smith name forward http://www.autonews.com/article/20150501/BLOG06/150509987/family-takes-dave-smith-name-forward Fri, 1 May 2015 13:58:58 EST Ken Smith wants his dad's name to live on. And it's about to, in a much bigger way. Mercedes G class latest victim in China's clone wars http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150501/BLOG15/305019996/mercedes-g-class-latest-victim-in-chinas-clone-wars Fri, 1 May 2015 00:01:00 EST China's Beijing Automotive has introduced an SUV that is a near clone of a western SUV, the classic Mercedes G class. Mercedes executives reportedly tried but failed to get BAIC to back off building the SUV. Why Marchionne needs a powerful 'mother-in-law' http://www.autonews.com/article/20150430/BLOG06/304309972/why-marchionne-needs-a-powerful-mother-in-law Thu, 30 Apr 2015 05:59:19 EST Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will need a powerful, influential mother-in-law to help initiate the megamergers that he covets. Why Marchionne needs a powerful 'mother-in-law' http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150430/BLOG15/150439995/why-marchionne-needs-a-powerful-mother-in-law Thu, 30 Apr 2015 05:59:19 EST Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will need a powerful, influential mother-in-law to help initiate the megamergers that he covets. German automakers' bonus from weak euro may be hit by U.S. Fed shift http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150430/BLOG15/150439992/german-automakers-bonus-from-weak-euro-may-be-hit-by-u-s-fed-shift Thu, 30 Apr 2015 08:54:51 EST German carmakers and suppliers expect currency effects to add hundreds of millions to their bottom lines. But moves by the Federal Reserve to prop up the U.S. economy could strengthen the euro and hurt Daimler, VW and BMW. %]