Automotive News Table of Contents

March 27, 2017

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A bitter end for Ferdinand Piech
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Ferdinand Piech, a figure of transcendent importance in the history of the auto industry, is selling his 14.7 percent voting stake in the family firm that controls Volkswagen Group. It is the endgame of a bitter family dispute.

Early veto reshaped Chevy's new Equinox
Author: Nick Bunkley

Stung by critical feedback in focus groups three years ago, GM decided to go in a different direction with the Chevy Equinox.

How one man triggered a GM recall
Author: Nick Bunkley

Saturn Sky owner Troy Lyman's 67-page report on airbag sensor failures caused a recall of two General Motors cars. Before Lyman, the automaker and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration had not acted.

After 41 years, Honda's Mendel drives off
Author: David Undercoffler

Forty-one years can teach you a lot about the auto industry -- including when it's the right time to go out on top. On April 1, American Honda's John Mendel will do just that.

Will disruptors of the taxi market become disruptees?
Author: Shiraz Ahmed

Uber and Lyft and the like have turned the taxi industry on its head in a few short years. Now the industry looks like it may be disrupted again, this time by automakers.

Zellmer wins another pivotal role at Porsche
Author: Amy Wilson

Porsche's U.S. chief Klaus Zellmer has been given the chance to shepherd the iconic sports car brand in the market he calls the most competitive in the world.

Buy-sells shuffle dealership rankings
Author: Hannah Lutz

It's a good time to buy dealerships, says Brian Bates, CEO of Holman Consumer Services. Holman Automotive acquired the 14-rooftop Kuni Automotive in July.

Can this man finally deliver 'Lexus envy'?
Author: Hans Greimel

Lexus has the quality, customer service and technology. But it still lacks one thing that its German luxury competitors have. Can new branding chief Tokuo Fukuichi help generate some "Lexus envy"?

Car-shopping sites could move into sales
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Executives who run third-party shopping sites are considering whether to move from consumer-research havens to platforms where people purchase vehicles.

BMW plans biggest model launch to date
Author: Bloomberg

BMW Group plans to unveil 40 new and revamped vehicles over the next two years, including the new X2 compact SUV and full-sized X7 crossover.

McLaren supercar gets stratospheric price
Author: Nick Gibbs

McLaren Automotive's three-seat hypercar will cost a cool 2 million pounds ($2.5 million at current exchange rates) in its home market when it launches in 2019.

Sienna, Yaris add safety upgrades

Toyota will unveil upgraded versions of the Sienna minivan and Yaris hatchback at the New York auto show next month, focused mainly on safety system and infotainment improvements.

Subaru's Tribeca successor spied
Author: Richard Truett

New spy photos give the clearest look yet at Subaru's new three-row crossover, the replacement for the discontinued and unloved Tribeca.

Toyota adds a bit of spice to special edition 860 coupe
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota is throwing a little extra habanero into the 86 coupe it inherited from Scion (the former FR-S) with the 860 special edition, named for the limited run of 860 in Supernova Orange and the same number in Halo White.

Ford's health plan: Slim down inventory
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford is determined to avoid a glut of unsold cars and trucks piling up on dealer lots by trimming production - even if its vehicle volumes are relatively healthy compared to the rest of the industry.

Gap between sales and registrations shrinks
Author: Michael Wayland

There's no clear explanation for the shift, but 2016 was marked by headlines focusing on some automakers' questionable sales practices.

Mercedes-AMG expects another vroom year
Author: Amy Wilson

Following a big rollout of new models, Mercedes-AMG sales are up 30 percent so far in 2017, according to Mercedes-Benz USA. While the pace will slow, a double-digit percentage increase is expected for 2017.

Don’t expect Piech to disappear
Author: Keith Crain

Even as Ferdinand Piech approaches 80, Keith Crain cannot imagine that he will slow down.

GM: Carmaker or financial entity?

While GM management sits glued to Detroit desks and worries about finances, Ghosn, Tavares, Zetsche, Fields and Marchionne are personally involved in the international automotive marketplace.

VW confuses cooperation with transparency

Volkswagen's concept of responsibility for its misdeeds seems to tail off the further up the corporate ladder investigators go.

Mexico stops sweating over NAFTA
Author: Laurence Iliff

So far, cooler heads on both sides of the border have prevailed on NAFTA, paving the way for negotiations later this year that might keep it alive for another quarter-century.

The cheap Chinese cars aren't coming
Author: Michael Dunne

For years, American consumers have been wondering just when they would witness the arrival of ultra-low-priced Chinese cars. Turns out, maybe never.

Enterprise shares renter feedback with automakers
Author: John Irwin

An Enterprise Rent-a-Car mobile app now lets customers rate their rental vehicles, providing feedback to automakers on what are essentially extended test drives.

GM mandates video in stores
Author: Jim Henry

General Motors plans to make digital signage part of its dealership facility requirements for the first time, starting next year.

Dealer anniversaries

A look at anniversaries with Ford, Honda, Acura and Chrysler.

Big auction houses strive for velocity
Author: John Irwin

The glut of off-lease vehicles returning to market is causing the nation's two largest auction groups to double down on the concept of velocity -- albeit in slightly different ways.

Compacts show strength

Tax refunds, often used as down payments on used cars, have trickled out more slowly this year. In turn, previously beaten-down prices of used compact and subcompact cars have shown strength in recent weeks, according to Black Book data.

Number-crunching leads auction houses to consolidate
Author: John Irwin

A growing reliance on data and analytics in the remarketing space is driving recent auction consolidation, some industry experts say.

A model for resolving self-driving litigation
Author: Katie Burke

There already has been some debate about how companies that make self-driving cars will deal with litigation. A small court in Washington dedicated to vaccine injury claims could provide a guide.

2017 Land Rover Discovery

A look at the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery, and a comparison with the 2016 Land Rover LR4

Land Rover's Discovery is no poseur off-road
Author: Richard Truett

The new Land Rover Discovery is one of the most important launches for Jaguar Land Rover since the brands split from Ford in 2008.

Fraud claim revived against Illinois store
Author: Eric Freedman

A Chicago-area Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealership will be spending more time in court over a claim it committed fraud when it sold a Dodge Charger as new despite repair work to the roof.

Nissan moves U.S. execs to global roles
Author: Lindsay Chappell

A series of job promotions announced last week by Nissan North America gives indications of two new shifts at the company -- growing importance of light commercial vehicles, and movement of trusted Nashville executives to headquarters in Japan.

Custom Nissan Titans leave big impression
Author: Jack Walsworth

Tyler Slade, managing partner at Tim Dahle Nissan Southtowne in South Jordan, Utah, has made his store the place to buy highly customized and unique Nissan Titan pickups.

Mouse that roared: Porsche hires Disney for training
Author: Amy Wilson

Exciting customers is about to become more than a mission statement at Porsche Cars North America.

Suit: Ford Shelby Mustang hot rod gets too hot
Author: Michael Martinez

Some Shelby GT350 Mustang owners are seeking class-action status for a lawsuit saying that the performance model is not the “hot rod” they wanted because the cars overheat and lose power.

Chuck Berry made car-buying rock

A huge reason cars and rock 'n' roll go together so well are the songs of early rocker Chuck Berry, who died this month at age 90.

Classics of tomorrow for the right price today

Want to buy a reasonably priced car that stands a chance of becoming a classic? You start by acquiring something that is hot and sporty and not produced in the hundreds of thousands.

Court nominee's mom was EPA lightning rod

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, spent 22 controversial months as head of the Environmental Protection Agency EPA under President Ronald Reagan.

Next move for cruising JLR: Buy Vauxhall

Here's a way JLR can grow annual global volume to 1 million vehicles: Buy Vauxhall from PSA Group.