Automotive News Columnists and Bloggers Feed http://www.autonews.com News, blogs and commentary from the leader in North American automotive news en-us Thu, 26 May 2016 06:00:00 EST McLaren goes to new heights with the 570GT http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160526/BLOG15/160529919/mclaren-goes-to-new-heights-with-the-570gt Thu, 26 May 2016 02:45:57 EST McLaren went to new heights for the media launch of its latest model. The 570GT was hoisted 95 meters to the 10th floor patio area of the Ritz-Carlton Abama on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Germany deserves rebuff from Italy and Fiat http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160525/BLOG15/160529931/germany-deserves-rebuff-from-italy-and-fiat Wed, 25 May 2016 10:20:39 EST No European government looks good when it comes to auto industry oversight, but Germany appears to be the worst. Now the country is deservedly paying a humiliating price after being snubbed by Fiat and the Italian government. Toyota's Green Bonds provide the green for auto lending http://www.autonews.com/article/20160525/BLOG13/160529929/toyotas-green-bonds-provide-the-green-for-auto-lending Wed, 25 May 2016 10:58:33 EST Toyota Motor Financial's Green Bonds have proved to be a successful innovation and deserve a salute. GM lightweighting strategy starts to bear fruit http://www.autonews.com/article/20160524/BLOG06/160529964/gm-lightweighting-strategy-starts-to-bear-fruit Tue, 24 May 2016 11:30:00 EST There's more to lightweighting than shedding pounds. It's about getting the weight out of the vehicle and beating your competitors on cost. Bo Andersson, out of the shadows http://www.autonews.com/article/20160523/OEM02/305239973/bo-andersson-out-of-the-shadows Mon, 23 May 2016 00:01:00 EST In a tucked-away corner of an empty restaurant, the familiar face emerges from the shadows, slipping into the room like a character from a John le Carré Russian spy novel. It's Bo Andersson. Yes, that Bo Andersson. There's no beating Indy 500 in the '60s http://www.autonews.com/article/20160523/OEM06/305239960/theres-no-beating-indy-500-in-the-60s Mon, 23 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The most exciting era in the history of the Indianapolis 500 was the mid-1960s, when the Brickyard was shifting from front-engine, Offenhauser-powered roadsters to low-slung, rear-engine racers. Indy 500: Celebrate the automobile http://www.autonews.com/article/20160523/RETAIL03/305239986/indy-500-celebrate-the-automobile Mon, 23 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend is a great time to celebrate the automobile and the spirit of innovation marking the race and the industry. In CFPB talks, Nissan's captive 'dedicated to protecting' consumers' right to negotiate rate http://www.autonews.com/article/20160518/BLOG13/305189993/in-cfpb-talks-nissans-captive-dedicated-to-protecting-consumers Wed, 18 May 2016 11:30:00 EST It's been more than three months since the CFPB settled with Toyota Motor Credit for potentially discriminatory auto lending. The bureau settled with America Honda Finance in July. But the CFPB isn't going anywhere. Entrusting my life to Audi's self-driving car http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160518/BLOG15/160519873/entrusting-my-life-to-audis-self-driving-car Wed, 18 May 2016 07:44:25 EST Having entrusted my life to quite a few frightening and potentially defective roller coasters in my time, being driven by Audi's A7-based piloted driving concept was not unnerving. Why most new hybrids are cars, not crossovers http://www.autonews.com/article/20160517/BLOG06/305189998/why-most-new-hybrids-are-cars-not-crossovers Tue, 17 May 2016 00:01:00 EST These are times of feast for crossovers and famine for cars. Meanwhile, automakers such as Hyundai and Honda are introducing new lines of green vehicles to meet global regulations -- and all of them are cars. VW pays out high rewards for failure http://www.autonews.com/article/20160517/BLOG06/305179933/vw-pays-out-high-rewards-for-failure Tue, 17 May 2016 06:15:00 EST UK hedge fund TCI says VW Group's top management together will have been paid about 400 million euros ($455 million) in salary and bonuses since 2011, a sum it condemned as "corporate excess on an epic scale." VW pays out high rewards for failure http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160517/BLOG15/160519897/vw-pays-out-high-rewards-for-failure Tue, 17 May 2016 06:15:00 EST UK hedge fund TCI says VW Group's top management together will have been paid about 400 million euros ($455 million) in salary and bonuses since 2011, a sum it condemned as "corporate excess on an epic scale." 30 million sales in China by 2020? That can't happen, right? http://www.autonews.com/article/20160516/GLOBAL03/305169935/30-million-sales-in-china-by-2020-that-cant-happen-right Mon, 16 May 2016 00:01:00 EST On the global automotive Geiger counter in 2016, Beijing registered more like the Barcelona show -- at least here in Detroit. Beijing had fewer big launches and fewer concepts, and a general nervousness wafted back over the ocean. Why most new hybrids are cars, not crossovers http://www.autonews.com/article/20160516/OEM05/305169917/why-most-new-hybrids-are-cars-not-crossovers Mon, 16 May 2016 00:01:00 EST These are times of feast for crossovers and famine for cars. Meanwhile, automakers such as Hyundai and Honda are introducing new lines of green vehicles to meet global regulations -- and all of them are cars. Who can fix the Takata mess? http://www.autonews.com/article/20160516/OEM11/305169939/who-can-fix-the-takata-mess Mon, 16 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The Takata recalls keep getting bigger and bigger and keep pulling more and more automakers and suppliers into the fray. Please, don't discard those old tools and diagnostic gear http://www.autonews.com/article/20160516/RETAIL05/305169995/please-dont-discard-those-old-tools-and-diagnostic-gear Mon, 16 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Service departments may no longer have the tools and diagnostic equipment to service older cars. That's a lost opportunity. Fixed operations bosses have leeway to experiment http://www.autonews.com/article/20160516/RETAIL05/305169964/fixed-operations-bosses-have-leeway-to-experiment Mon, 16 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Here's one takeaway from my conversations with parts and service bosses: They've got a long leash to try new things to make a difference. Risk rises for in-car buttons as gestures take control http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160515/BLOG15/160519991/risk-rises-for-in-car-buttons-as-gestures-take-control Sun, 15 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The future of in-car switches and buttons looks uncertain as Continental has developed a solution that puts the detection zone for gestures on the steering wheel instead of the center console. Silicon Valley and Detroit: The best of frenemies http://www.autonews.com/article/20160513/BLOG06/160519927/silicon-valley-and-detroit-the-best-of-frenemies Fri, 13 May 2016 10:15:00 EST The world is witnessing unprecedented levels of both collaboration and competition between traditional automotive companies and high-tech newcomers such as Google, Uber and Tesla, which increasingly share a conviction that an opportunity has arrived... In Paris, a feast of urban mobility options http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160513/BLOG15/305139992/in-paris-a-feast-of-urban-mobility-options Fri, 13 May 2016 00:01:00 EST If you want to see how a future city without cars is beginning to take shape, take a quick trip to Paris, a laboratory for 21st century urban mobility. VW is wrong to seek to clear its leadership over its diesel scandal http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160512/BLOG15/160519955/vw-is-wrong-to-seek-to-clear-its-leadership-over-its-diesel-scandal Thu, 12 May 2016 04:41:51 EST Volkswagen's plan to ask shareholders at its annual meeting to ratify the actions of its management and supervisory boards amid the company's diesel scandal amazes me. It could also backfire. Radio's surprising role in race to reduce CO2 http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160512/BLOG15/160519950/radios-surprising-role-in-race-to-reduce-co2 Thu, 12 May 2016 07:39:53 EST Audi disagrees with radio broadcasters in Europe that FM, digital and internet audio services need to be offered side by side in future cars because the move would hamper automakers' efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Invest in tech today, reap profits tomorrow http://www.autonews.com/article/20160511/BLOG13/305119992/invest-in-tech-today-reap-profits-tomorrow Wed, 11 May 2016 11:00:00 EST Dealers who see the value of technology will likely become the most profitable in the long run. Results from FandI technology providers show that the investment has long-term benefits. Audi could be mulling a Maybach rival http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160511/BLOG15/305119951/audi-could-be-mulling-a-maybach-rival Wed, 11 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Audi is thinking about taking on Mercedes-Benz at the very top of the luxury market by fielding a model to rival the Maybach, the automaker's tech boss told a motoring magazine. In Paris, a feast of urban mobility options http://www.autonews.com/article/20160510/BLOG06/160509876/in-paris-a-feast-of-urban-mobility-options Tue, 10 May 2016 11:45:00 EST If you want to see how a future city without cars is beginning to take shape, take a quick trip to Paris, a laboratory for 21st century urban mobility. Storm dent damage: To fix or not to fix? http://www.autonews.com/article/20160509/RETAIL05/305099970/storm-dent-damage-to-fix-or-not-to-fix Mon, 9 May 2016 00:01:00 EST What to do with all the hail-damaged inventory in Texas? To fix it, or not to fix it? That's really the question. A self-driving vehicle with soccer-mom sense http://www.autonews.com/article/20160509/OEM06/305099968/a-self-driving-vehicle-with-soccer-mom-sense Mon, 9 May 2016 00:01:00 EST By using the Pacifica, Google is signaling that its technology will be good for the whole family. Google is also laser-focused on older people and people with physical disabilities who cannot drive themselves. It has been a long road back http://www.autonews.com/article/20160509/OEM02/305099977/it-has-been-a-long-road-back Mon, 9 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Just about a year ago, I was scheduled for an operation to replace my aortic heart valve. After lots of complications, it's been a very long road back. And the auto industry keeps chugging along. Recalls are all about parts -- and getting them starts with automakers http://www.autonews.com/article/20160509/OEM11/305099976/recalls-are-all-about-parts-and-getting-them-starts-with-automakers Mon, 9 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The primary dysfunction in America's recall process is the automakers' failure to quickly provide parts after issuing recalls. Why autonomous driving cars and minivans are just shiny pennies http://www.autonews.com/article/20160506/BLOG06/160509904/why-autonomous-driving-cars-and-minivans-are-just-shiny-pennies Fri, 6 May 2016 11:38:36 EST In light of the announcement this week that Google and Fiat Chrysler are teaming up to build 100 autonomous Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, can we take a moment to reconsider the whole rush to autonomous driving in general? Charging apps tackle China's EV infrastructure challenge http://www.autonews.com/article/20160506/BLOG06/160509909/charging-apps-tackle-chinas-ev-infrastructure-challenge Fri, 6 May 2016 10:45:42 EST Electric vehicle face especially acute infrastructure challenges in China because few EV drivers can plug in at home. Instead, what is springing up is a marketplace for app-driven charging stations run by ambitious startup companies. Why convertible SUVs could have a bright future http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160506/BLOG15/160509970/why-convertible-suvs-could-have-a-bright-future Fri, 6 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Convertible roof specialist Webasto says the Range Rover Evoque cabrio's five-layered folding fabric roof may be adopted by some rival automakers. The hidden demand for self-driving vehicles http://www.autonews.com/article/20160505/BLOG06/160509922/the-hidden-demand-for-self-driving-vehicles Thu, 5 May 2016 15:55:52 EST If you want to understand the market for a self-driving vehicle, don't listen to what consumers say. Watch what they do. Why a PSA-FCA merger should happen - but won't http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160504/BLOG15/160429910/why-a-psa-fca-merger-should-happen-but-wont Wed, 4 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Fiat Chrysler has been actively seeking a merger partner since September 2014 and a possible combination with PSA Group has been a recurring rumor for years. The reason that the subject won't die is because the deal makes sense on a number of levels. For lease buyers, especially millennials, use the payment pitch http://www.autonews.com/article/20160504/BLOG13/305059999/for-lease-buyers-especially-millennials-use-the-payment-pitch Wed, 4 May 2016 11:30:00 EST How FandI managers can overcome the challenge of selling FandI products to buyers who lease. Well, isn't this a rational marketplace? http://www.autonews.com/article/20160503/BLOG06/305049999/well-isnt-this-a-rational-marketplace Tue, 3 May 2016 17:30:00 EST This far into the U.S. sales expansion, everybody has done the easy, the obvious. But going forward, any growth will require more risk. Beyond GM and Ford on gearboxes, a dream list of joint ventures http://www.autonews.com/article/20160503/BLOG06/160509982/beyond-gm-and-ford-on-gearboxes-a-dream-list-of-joint-ventures Tue, 3 May 2016 11:00:00 EST If GM and Ford can work together to save time, money and engineering resources on transmissions, then other automakers could do the same thing on a number of important fronts. China: A maturing auto market that still has long road ahead of it http://www.autonews.com/article/20160502/GLOBAL03/305029966/china-a-maturing-auto-market-that-still-has-long-road-ahead-of-it Mon, 2 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The Chinese market is fascinating, but it shows you how sophisticated our dealers are here in the U.S. If it's like everything else over there, they'll catch up quickly. Fixing the U.S. recall loophole is a job for 'someone else' http://www.autonews.com/article/20160502/OEM11/305029972/fixing-the-u-s-recall-loophole-is-a-job-for-someone-else Mon, 2 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Last year, AutoNation staked out a bold and admirable position on recalls, pledging to go beyond federal law and not sell new or used vehicles with pending recalls. Turns out, AutoNation couldn't live up to its promise. Publics hop on buyback bandwagon http://www.autonews.com/article/20160502/RETAIL07/305029971/publics-hop-on-buyback-bandwagon Mon, 2 May 2016 00:01:00 EST Several publicly traded dealership groups have reported strong, sometimes record, first-quarter earnings per share. Their net income didn't soar. Rather, they've been buying back their shares like crazy. Giulia's looks are not helping Alfa's case in U.S. http://www.autonews.com/article/20160502/OEM03/305029982/giulias-looks-are-not-helping-alfas-case-in-u-s Mon, 2 May 2016 00:01:00 EST The Alfa Romeo Giulia looks good under the bright white lights of auto shows, but mixed in with traffic, the Giulia's styling comes across as dull and unimaginative. And that has to be the worst thing you can say about an Italian car. Why Tesla's long waiting list for Model 3 needed a caveat http://www.autonews.com/article/20160429/BLOG06/160429789/why-teslas-long-waiting-list-for-model-3-needed-a-caveat Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:04:59 EST It is certainly possible Tesla had 400,000 reservations from people who intend to buy a Model 3. But we at Automotive News had reservations of our own before CEO Elon Musk clarified the situation. Lightweighting push puts pressure on leather http://europe.autonews.com/article/20160429/BLOG15/160429883/lightweighting-push-puts-pressure-on-leather Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:01:00 EST Automakers' growing desire to cut weight from cars wherever they can is significantly boosting sales of an upmarket leather alternative, says the boss of the company that makes the substitute. Retailers need to see service as the hot money spot this year http://www.autonews.com/article/20160429/BLOG06/160429811/retailers-need-to-see-service-as-the-hot-money-spot-this-year Fri, 29 Apr 2016 00:01:00 EST Dealers are -- or should be -- preparing to take any sales slowdown in stride, by beefing up their service and parts operations. Some days, it's nice to be a Mitsubishi dealer http://www.autonews.com/article/20160428/BLOG06/160429812/some-days-its-nice-to-be-a-mitsubishi-dealer Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:36:35 EST Facing a scandal over emissions violations, how did Mitsubishi quickly provide the kind of clarity and closure that Volkswagen dealers still yearn for? On FandI front, AutoNation finds a groove http://www.autonews.com/article/20160427/BLOG13/304279999/on-fi-front-autonation-finds-a-groove Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:15:00 EST Branded FandI products are working in AutoNation's favor and the nation's largest dealership group sees even more room to grow. The rough road for Alfa, passionate fans and fast cars aside http://www.autonews.com/article/20160426/BLOG06/160429882/the-rough-road-for-alfa-passionate-fans-and-fast-cars-aside Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:45:00 EST The brutal auto industry has left no white space for a new entry such as Alfa Romeo to come in and offer something no one else has. Why public dealership groups are buying their own stock http://www.autonews.com/article/20160426/BLOG06/160429868/why-public-dealership-groups-are-buying-their-own-stock Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:47:20 EST Several publicly traded dealership groups have reported strong, sometimes record, first-quarter earnings per share. It's not that their net income soared. Rather, they've been buying back their shares like crazy. Going big for China's extended families http://www.autonews.com/article/20160425/GLOBAL03/304259974/going-big-for-chinas-extended-families Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:01:00 EST Automakers discover the appeal that seven-seaters hold to accommodate China's traditional extended families. Forget a sales peak, disruption is the industry's real challenge http://www.autonews.com/article/20160425/OEM06/304259975/forget-a-sales-peak-disruption-is-the-industrys-real-challenge Mon, 25 Apr 2016 00:01:00 EST Exactly when sales and profitability hit maximum is important. But only because they are the resources auto companies need to transform themselves for a changing future.