Automotive News Table of Contents

April 25, 2016

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How Toyota applied the lessons of 2011 quake
Author: Hans Greimel

Like all of Japan's automakers, Toyota has spent the five years since the March 2011 disaster strengthening itself for the next crisis. And when it hit this month, Toyota's preparation largely paid off.

VW dealers want remedy done right
Author: Ryan Beene

Last week's agreement between VW and U.S. authorities provided the first clear indications of how the company will put its diesel emissions crisis to rest. But dealers are eager to know the full scope of their role in rebuilding trust with VW customers.

Why are some Nissan dealers so unhappy?
Author: Lindsay Chappell and Jamie LaReau

As retailers gathered for the 2016 National Automobile Dealers Association convention, audiences seemed to nod in agreement at criticism that Nissan has used its elbows in its race to become America's No. 2 import automaker.

AutoNation eases recall policy over Takata airbags
Author: Amy Wilson

AutoNation is changing one of the key tenets of its policy not to sell any vehicle with an open recall. The retailer now will allow some recalled vehicles to go to wholesale auction if lack of replacement parts causes lengthy repair times.

GM backs up its talk with strong profit report
Author: Mike Colias

GM's first-quarter profits soared despite slower sales, as it sold more pricey models and cut costs in troubled regions such as South America.

John Irwin joins Automotive News

Automotive News has hired John Irwin as a general assignment reporter and Web producer.

Will Mitsubishi scandal scare off partners?
Author: Hans Greimel

Even if Mitsubishi's cheating scandal stays isolated to Japan-market minivehicles, its admission could alarm other automakers who are considering strategic tie-ups with the Japanese manufacturer.

Mercedes helps dealers weather Takata recalls
Author: Amy Wilson

Mercedes-Benz USA will pay dealers as much as $1,775 per month for new and used vehicles with recalled Takata airbags that are stuck in their inventory under a stop-sale order.

NASA project: Getting cars ready for takeoff
Author: Bradford Wernle

Silicon Valley and NASA think traffic-stymied commuters are ready to give up their cars and fly to work.

Used-car sales surge at top groups
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Automotive News' annual list of the top 100 dealership groups based in the U.S. ranked by used-vehicle sales shows industrywide strong unit sales increases, with 43 of the groups listed posting gains of 10 percent or more.

Dodge Journey will keep riding old platform
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The Dodge Journey, which was due to be redesigned on a new platform this fall, will instead soldier on with few changes for at least two more model years, according to a company source.

Jaguar plans a high-performance F-Pace
Author: Jens Meiners

Jaguar is at work on a high-performance version of the new F-Pace crossover, powered by a V-8 engine that would deliver more than 500 hp.

Spy shots point to bigger, bolder Honda CR-V on the way
Author: David Undercoffler

Spy photos of Honda's next-generation CR-V indicate that the compact crossover will get bold new styling and likely will be larger than the current model.

VW concept could preview next Touareg
Author: John Irwin

A luxury SUV concept VW unveiled at the Beijing auto show could preview the redesigned Touareg due in 2017. The T-Prime Concept GTE, hinting at the future styling of VW's crossovers and SUVs, features a plug-in hybrid powertrain paired with 4Motion all-wheel drive.

With Golf R400 canceled, VW shifts to Golf R
Author: Jens Meiners

After canceling plans for a 395-hp Golf R400, Volkswagen is weighing its options for the next generation of the Golf R.

A scion finds his dream job at Toyota store
Author: Jamie LaReau and Jamie LaReau

About a year after resigning as CEO of Larry H. Miller Dealerships, Greg Miller has bought a single store near San Diego. The purchase fulfills his dream of running his own store.

Honda brings clarity to electrification strategy
Author: David Undercoffler

When Honda revealed last week that it would a three-model family of green cars under the Clarity nameplate, it also brought a measure of clarity to its electrification strategy, which has moved in fits and starts since the 1999 debut of the oddly shaped Insight.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze

The redesigned 2016 Cruze that hit showrooms this month is long on interior refinement, with more soft-touch materials and an unusually quiet cabin for the segment.

Motorcycle, auto stores ride in tandem
Author: Ryan Beene

By leveraging the market expertise and used sales operation of its Harley-Davidson dealership, Sheehy Auto Stores now has a more efficient way to handle motorcycle trade-ins.

As off-lease alarm sounds, industry has time to adjust

After years of high trade-in values, automakers and lenders must adjust to a flow of off-lease vehicles swinging from scarcity to oversupply.

Forget a sales peak, disruption is the industry's real challenge
Author: Jesse Snyder

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.

Going big for China's extended families
Author: Yang Jian

Automakers discover the appeal that seven-seaters hold to accommodate China's traditional extended families.

Dealer anniversary awards

Dealers featured this week include Ken Gensinger Sr., dealer principal at Gensinger Volkswagen in Clifton, N.J.; Amy Hunter of Jeff Hunter Toyota in Waco, Texas; Mike Dye, owner of Max Dye Inc. (GMC-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram) in Salem, Ill.; and Dealer Ray Jones, at Center Motor Co.

Dealer's computer fraud suit against ex-staffers OK'd
Author: Eric Freedman

A U.S. magistrate has given a Colorado dealer the green light to pursue a lawsuit accusing two former managers of unauthorized access to his store's computer systems and of stealing trade secrets.

ADESA parent explores how best to deliver sales
Author: Arlena Sawyers

KAR Auction Services, parent of ADESA, unveiled a new data science unit that will help commercial consigners find the most efficient marketplace for their vehicles. Separately, it completed the acquisition of an eight-site auction group, part of its refocus on physical auctions.

ALG chief: Millennials will drive strong leasing
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Millennials are paying off their student loans and moving out of their parents' basements. That cohort's emphasis on affordability will continue to drive lease growth, Jim Nguyen, the new head of ALG, predicts in this Q&A.

Can racing put driverless technology on fast track?
Author: Gabe Nelson

In Roborace, a racing series envisioned by Russian entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov, driverless cars would battle for pole position at the indecent speed of 180 mph, freed from the constraints of protecting a human behind the wheel.

Getting drivers hooked on connectivity
Author: Mike Colias

In an unusually rich promotion for the everyman compact market, Chevy is offering two years of free OnStar and Sirius XM satellite radio and a slug of monthly data use on the Cruze's 4G LTE Wi-Fi service.

Honeywell sees e-chargers, e-turbos on the horizon
Author: David Sedgwick

Almost half of all vehicles produced in the world will be turbocharged by the end of this decade, forecasts Honeywell Transportation Systems CEO Terrence Hahn. Honeywell is banking on what comes next -- electric boosters to eliminate turbo lag and electric turbochargers that help recharge batteries.

Panasonic to make push into autonomous tech
Author: David Sedgwick

Consumer electronics maker Panasonic grew big in automotive with vehicle displays and batteries for electric vehicles. But now, the supplier is looking for even bigger growth from its emerging technologies for autonomous-drive cars.

What's behind the Clarity's quirky looks?
Author: Hans Greimel

The upcoming Honda Clarity fuel cell sedan is not the prettiest car Honda ever designed. But engineers and designers say its looks were dictated by their mission to make the Clarity the ultimate green car.

Beijing show opens up to challenger brands
Author: David Sedgwick

The Beijing auto show going on this week has become a showcase for Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz -- the dominant luxury brands in China -- as well as challengers such as Cadillac, Lincoln and Infiniti.

Ford plunks down $200,000 for Model X

Automakers often buy cars made by competitors for road testing and for “tear-downs,” but how often do they go to the expense that Ford did to obtain a Tesla Model X? Ford paid $199,950 - $55,000 more than the sticker price - to buy one of the first copies of the Model X.

ForTwo tippers are back at it

This month, groups of vandals in Seattle tipped a handful of Smart ForTwos from the car-sharing service Car2Go onto their sides.

Small crossovers grow big

The fastest-rising vehicle segment in the first quarter? No contest. It was subcompact crossovers, the same category that took off like a rocket in 2015.

Volkswagen code words trip up diesel investigators

What's made it so difficult to find evidence to hold individual Volkswagen employees accountable for the company's diesel-emissions cheating scandal ? According to Bloomberg, one reason is the obscure company code words that investigators are encountering as they work through data secured from...

2015 Top 100 Dealership Groups Ranked By Used-Vehicle Sales

Automotive News Top 100 Dealership Groups ranked by used-vehicle sales in 2015

Girsky to leave GM board
Author: Mike Colias

Steve Girsky, the onetime Wall Street analyst and UAW adviser who ascended to one of the top executive spots at General Motors during its recovery from bankruptcy, will retire from GM’s board in June.

Quake fallout leads GM to idle four plants
Author: John Irwin

General Motors said it will temporarily close four North American assembly plants as it adjusts to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the earthquakes in Japan.

Teasing Tesla: No waiting on a Nissan Leaf

Nissan couldn't resist taking a swipe at Tesla last weekend, reminding consumers in nationwide advertising that it has been mass-producing the all-electric Leaf since 2010.

VW's about-face on scandal investigation
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Volkswagen has scrapped plans to release preliminary findings of its investigation into the diesel scandal, citing strong objections from its lawyers and “unacceptable risks” to the company.