Automotive News Table of Contents

September 19, 2016

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Ford's mobility push driven by profit motive
Author: Nick Bunkley

Ford sees a day in the not-too-distant future when it will get much larger profit margins from new ventures such as ride-sharing and autonomous-vehicle technology than from selling cars and trucks. But the path to get there remains cloudy.

Breaking down barriers to Ram launch
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has streamlined its decision-making process in an effort to get the high-priority launch of the Ram 1500 pickup right, and keep it on schedule.

Katie Burke joins staff of Automotive News

Katie Burke has joined Automotive News as a reporter covering Silicon Valley.

NAFTA: Free trade, with uneven effects
Author: Bradford Wernle

Since NAFTA, automakers and suppliers have operated in the U.S., Canada and Mexico as if the three countries were one. But not all parties have benefited equally.

Toyota spends to defend its pickup perch
Author: Laurence Iliff

Through a series of delicate production adjustments, Toyota has managed to squeeze more Tacoma midsize pickups out of its plants in Texas and Mexico. But those efforts weren't enough to fully protect the pickup's perch atop the rapidly growing segment from an onslaught of competitors.

Hyundai's great leap forward
Author: Hans Greimel

After pressing pause on years of breakneck expansion to nail quality, restock the product pipeline and streamline production, Hyundai is on the offensive again.

Chevy's midengine Corvette?

Spy photos appear to show the long-rumored, midengine Chevrolet Corvette.

Porsche's Tesla fighter: Panamera plug-in hybrid
Author: Jack Walsworth

Porsche will unveil a Panamera plug-in hybrid this month at the Paris auto show.

Sources: Porsche's 1st wagon to debut in '17

A wagon version of the redesigned Panamera sedan is set to be introduced at the Geneva auto show.

Stelvio caught on video

An Alfa Romeo Stelvio made an appearance in a YouTube video on FCA's channel.

Volvo unveils V90 Cross Country
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

Volvo expects to lure buyers who don’t want a tall crossover to its sportier new V90 Cross Country wagon.

Lawsuit adds to scrutiny of Tesla's Autopilot
Author: Katie Burke

News of a second crash involving Tesla Motors' semiautonomous driving system has raised questions about how early Tesla knew drivers may have been misusing the technology.

McLaren and Apple: Perfect together?
Author: Nick Gibbs

McLaren may be the only carmaker that makes sense for Apple to purchase since it has the benefit of being nimble, focused on high-tech and tuned in to the art of aerodynamics.

New Nexteer chief promises steady hand
Author: David Sedgwick

Chinese-controlled Nexteer Automotive's management has undergone considerable churn.

Carbone helps Lithia expand in Northeast
Author: Jamie LaReau

Acquiring the nine-store Carbone Auto Group gives Lithia Motors its first dealerships in New England.

A new era in personal responsibility
Author: Keith Crain

Automotive executives facing indictments and jail? Remarkable. It is the first time I can recall executives in America who could conceivably go to jail for actions they took while performing their jobs.

How dealers can plug the money drain
Author: James B. Treece

Dealers need to look long and hard at every dollar they spend. Here are some places to begin doing so.

Dealer mixes digital tools, personal ties
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

At Friendly Chevrolet in Fridley, Minn., Internet Sales Manager Margie Martin has used data-driven tools to enhance, not replace, her community-oriented marketing approach.

Autoliv staffs up for leap into autonomous
Author: David Sedgwick

Now that Autoliv Inc. has partnered with Volvo Car Corp. to develop self-driving cars, Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson says he plans to hire 1,000 engineers over the next year to beef up r&d. It's part of the airbag giant's big push into active safety.

Lighweighting prompts heavy investment in aluminum
Author: John Irwin

The pressure for industry lightweighting is triggering aluminum-parts factory investment around the United States.

What EchoPark learned from Apple
Author: Jamie LaReau and Jamie LaReau

As Sonic Automotive expands its used-vehicle-only EchoPark stores across the U.S., its grass-roots marketing targets future customers when they're young. Driver's education programs and sponsoring high school sports are among the ways it aims to get its brand in front of teens and their parents.

Infiniti still believes in feats of clay
Author: Hans Greimel

In a world of digital design, old-school clay models may seem an anachronism that will someday fade away. But Infiniti's top designer says the iconic modeling medium is here to stay.

Kate Fabian's tricky task at Genesis
Author: David Undercoffler

Kate Fabian knows she has a tricky task in challenging the established luxury brands, particularly the German ones, without slavishly copying their entire playbooks.

Avoid these Facebook marketing mistakes
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Marketing consultant Kathi Kruse says the opportunities to market dealerships and vehicles through Facebook are huge, but warns dealers to avoid these common mistakes.

'An engineer in a designer's body.'
Author: Richard Truett

At a time when technology is transforming the automobile, gearhead Mike Simcoe may be the industry's prototypical design chief.

Hyundai ads aim for the high road
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Hyundai is showing that automakers don't have to bash rivals in order to make their own products look better.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER: Zeroing in on social media
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

Q&A with Kim McCullough, vice president, marketing, for Jaguar and Land Rover, which are seeking to grow through conquests in new segments.

AUDI: Events drive brand's quest for 'prestige'
Author: Julie Halpert

Audi remains hungry. For all its gains, its U.S. sales are still running behind luxury's big three: BMW, Mercedes and Lexus.

Lincoln's lines fall into place
Author: Jens Meiners

Since taking over as Lincoln's design director nearly three years ago, David Woodhouse has launched a design language signified by a unique grille look and classic proportions.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week inlcude Judy Elmore, president of Elmore Toyota in Westminster, Calif.; Bob Mears, owner of James Mears Mazda in Lubbock, Texas; and Earl Hesterberg, CEO of Group 1 Automotive, for Sterling McCall Acura in Houston. adds VIN scanning to app
Author: Vince Bond Jr. is making shopping more interactive for consumers perusing dealership lots.

Munoz banks on trucks to lift Nissan share
Author: Jim Henry

Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz says Nissan's biggest growth opportunity is on the truck and crossover side.

This transmission goes to 11
Author: Naoto Okamura

Honda has pushed gearbox boundaries by patenting a new 11-speed, three-clutch transmission. The 11-speed would be a world's first and would achieve better fuel economy and faster shifting response, Honda said in a filing with the Japan Patent Office.

Genesis' speed push is on slow track
Author: Hans Greimel

Hyundai Motor Co. is expanding into performance cars and luxury cars, but what about performance-luxury cars?

Autonomous Fusion follows the rules
Author: Katie Burke

Ford's autonomous driving technology -- which it has been developing over the past decade -- was on display for reporters and analysts last week. Ford Fusion Hybrids built in 2012 and 2013 completed a 10-minute course around Ford's campus without any human intervention.

Behind the wheel of Nissan's ProPilot
Author: Hans Greimel

Nissan's ProPilot can steer around curves and slow down for traffic, but it requires some driver input to keep it going.

Bill aims to protect kids in hot cars
Author: Sharon Silke Carty

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, Sept. 15, would mandate new technology in cars that would issue an alert if a child is left in the back seat.

Choosing the right used cars for leasing
Author: Hannah Lutz

As off-lease vehicles return to the market and expand used-vehicle inventory, some dealers and lenders are leasing those vehicles.

Paris Motor Show: It's electric
Author: Paul McVeigh

Germany's automakers will use the Paris auto show to highlight their latest battery technologies as they seek to recapture ground from Tesla Motors.

UAW chief: 'This is a broken system'
Author: John Irwin and Bradford Wernle

Rage over lost jobs in the U.S. and Canada has put heat on labor unions.

GM women’s network grows
Author: Arlena Sawyers

General Motors' Women's Retail Network is increasing its number of female-owned dealerships and assembling its first 20 group for female fixed-operations mangers, said the network's director.

Autonomous policy will strengthen regulators
Author: Ryan Beene

For the first time, the auto industry has a clear path ahead of it for the development and deployment of self-driving cars. But federal regulators will be right with them, just one lane over.

Adding safety or cutting truck jobs?

Can a 50,000-pound semitrailer truck drive itself safely down the highway while the driver snoozes in back? Ottocq, a tech startup company recently purchased for $670 million by Uber, is working to answer that question.

BMW's top brass caught in electric divide

Tesla envy among German luxury carmakers remains at a fever pitch, as Automotive News pointed out this month. Indeed, BMW's top executives will skip next week's Paris auto show to wrestle with how to react to the U.S. upstart.

Did Apple bite off more than it could chew?

A few years ago, Apple Inc.'s celebrity chiefs, including the late Steve Jobs, could get pretty snarky when discussing the auto industry. It's hard to tell, given Apple's secretive ways, but the tech giant's own efforts in the auto business don't appear to be going well these days.

The car as a social evil
Author: Bradford Wernle

Is the automobile a social problem? In author and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Humes's view, the car is worse than that - it's a health and economic problem as well.