Automotive News Table of Contents

October 5, 2015

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18 million selling rate comes with rising transaction prices

The U.S. auto industry's sizzling summer appears not to have quenched demand -- a sign that today's sales numbers are being achieved without many of the sins of the past.


Between the lines, GM rebuts Marchionne

GM's annual pitch to about 180 analysts and investors last week could be viewed as one long commercial for why GM doesn't need Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: The automaker is too busy “redefining the future of mobility.”


VW's Horn must use his candor wisely

VW of America CEO Michael Horn's candor could be his best asset or his Achilles' heel as he assumes the burden of being Volkswagen's public face in the U.S., a key pillar in its hopes for a recovery from the diesel emissions scandal.


An FCA strike: $1 billion a week in lost revenues

A UAW strike of Fiat Chrysler could cost the Detroit automaker close to $1 billion a week in lost revenue and would quickly lead to a shortage of several hot-selling vehicles.

Execs offer vision of TrueCar post Painter

As the Scott Painter era slowly fades, TrueCar is sketching a new vision of the online car-buying portal, one that's guided by a team of executives who admit TrueCar made mistakes in its quest for growth and who are keen to bridge the wide trust...

GM's Ammann to speak at World Congress

General Motors President Dan Ammann, who has been a key player in sharpening GM's global focus, will speak at the 2016 Automotive News World Congress.


New VW boss in N.A. was a hit in China

Winfried Vahland, Volkswagen's new North American chief, is a former General Motors executive who won his spurs reviving VW's business in China and later boosting its Skoda subsidiary in the Czech Republic.


Volkswagen in no rush to name names

Volkswagen executives know they need to quickly placate customers and stakeholders demanding to know who is responsible for diesel emissions cheating that could cost the company tens of billions of euros.


VW emissions violations put self-certification under new scrutiny

VW's diesel scandal has exposed holes in the U.S. emissions testing regime, prompting regulators to launch new tests.


'Fiata' ready for its close-up

An unmasked 2016 Fiat 124 Spider captured on a photo shoot in Southern California looks far more like its Mazda MX-5 Miata twin than the 124 Spider from back in the day.


Does Mazda concept for Tokyo point to RX sports car's return?

Mazda plans to unveil a sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show that is sure to stoke speculation about a possible successor to the RX-8.


G class gets downsized V-8, new AMG version for 2016

Mercedes-Benz USA chief Steve Cannon says the brand will sell more G-class SUVs in 2016 than even. Cannon is counting on changes such as a smaller but more powerful V-8, plus a new $218,000 AMG version, to drive sales higher.


Mitsubishi gives Lancer a new face for 2016

Mitsubishi aims to breathe some life into its slow-selling Lancer compact sedan with a freshening for 2016 that includes a revamped front fascia, new wheels and new colors.

Smart ForTwo EV to arrive in U.S. late next year

The next-generation electric Smart ForTwo will arrive in the U.S. at the end of 2016. Government incentives likely will determine whether demand will outpace the 25 percent take rate seen for the electric version of the ForTwo last year.

Amid scandal, VW sales flat

In a broadly stronger market, Volkswagen of America saw roughly flat U.S. sales in September. Still, that was viewed as an accomplishment following a mid-month halt to its diesel vehicle sales and the resulting black eye to its brand image.

New Americas chief likes where Aston is going

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer's bold plans for the British sports car maker have turned heads in the industry, including Laura Schwab's.


Porsche boosts U.S. Macan supply

After buyers were kept waiting for six months or more during the Porsche Macan's first year on the market, the wait times are finally easing. Increased allocations to the U.S have cut the wait time to less than two months.


As times change, it's time to do better

Following last year's record number of safety recalls and now Volkswagen's emissions testing debacle, one thing has become clear: The auto industry needs to adopt higher standards for conducting business.


Clarity on recalls

AutoNation's decision not to sell any auto with an unrepaired recall is a good idea. But it's not an easy path. U.S. recalls aren't sorted by severity. AutoNation shouldn't have to hold a recalled vehicle that just needs its owner's manual updated.


How to do an automotive hookup

The low-key cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan offers a low-key counterpoint to Sergio Marchionne's assertion that mergers are critical to industry survival.


Lesson not learned will cost VW

As it drove to become the world's biggest automaker, Volkswagen forgot the lessons of one of the most painful chapters in its history. And it will pay a price.


Honda will show fuel cell car in Tokyo

Honda will unveil a near-production version of its hydrogen fuel cell fastback sedan at the Tokyo Motor Show late this month, throwing down a challenge to the Toyota's Mirai fuel cell vehicle released this year.


Safety regs kill Nissan's 'car that saved the company'

Nissan has quietly ended production of the Xterra, a rugged light truck that helped fan the flame of SUV sales in the 1990s while aiding the company's turnaround in the U.S.


Iowa dealership group spots talent, teaches leadership

The McGrath Family of Dealerships' Emerging Leaders Program teaches talented non-management employees leadership skills, while assessing if they are capable of being part of management someday.


Postal Service books big Ram ProMaster order

The U.S. Postal Service's order for 9,133 2016 Ram ProMaster 2500 cargo vans represents the biggest single customer purchase of the front-wheel-drive ProMaster since U.S. sales of the commercial van began in 2013.



Dealers featured this week include the Chicago Automobile Trade Association; Bo Scott, dealer principal at Regal Nissan in Roswell, Ga.; and Mitchell Hall of Lawrence Hall Chevrolet-Buick-GMC in Anson, Texas.

Mercedes aims to add dealerships judiciously

Mercedes-Benz plans to add more dealerships to address unmet demand in growing markets. But it will stop in a couple of years once it gets to around 390 stores, up from 370 now.


M-B seeks Apple experience in service drive

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon wants the brand's dealerships to provide service customers an experience closer to that of an Apple Store, through a digital initiative in the service drive. He expects it to be in all U.S.


Off the phone, shops stay on the job

A Connecticut dealership group aims to improve its customer handling by tapping a dedicated service department call center run by an outside contractor.


Autoliv expanding into crash prevention tech

Autoliv Inc., the world's top producer of airbags and seat belts, is trying to muscle its way into the small fraternity of mega-suppliers that design collision-avoidance systems for autonomous cars.


Making conventional vehicles more electrified

Mahle, one of the world's top producers of engine components, is figuring out how to electrify the vehicle.


With QNX, BlackBerry finds more room in the car

This year, QNX notched a huge victory by delivering the underlying software for the latest version of Ford Motor Co.'s Sync system.


Porsche trades a bit of heritage for efficiency

When Porsche's re-engineered 911 hits the U.S. next spring, it will bury another feature in the nameplate's graveyard of outdated technology.


Tesla prepped its crossover for tight parking spots, apocalypse

Tesla delivered the first few units of the Model X to a select group of investors and showed off features that include falcon-wing doors, a sky-view windshield and an enormous air filter with a maxed-out option that CEO Elon Musk dubbed "bioweapon...


Who's hot, who's not in 2015

Strong third-quarter demand for light vehicles benefited some brands more than others.

Cox, Dealertrack seek to reassure on prices

Cox Automotive President Sandy Schwartz has heard dealers fret that, following Cox's $4 billion purchase of Dealertrack Technologies, the new entity will start jacking up prices. Don't worry, he says.


'Imported' could have been Ford's

Chrysler's tag line “Imported from Detroit” became immortal when Eminem prowled the streets of Detroit in a Chrysler 200, in a 2011 Super Bowl commercial. But in 1964, the same line was in consideration to market the Ford Mustang.


A clash of styles for Cadillac

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen and General Motors product development boss Mark Reuss are having a running debate over Cadillac's edgy styling, according to a Bloomberg report last week.

Dealerships and their impact on the states

California leads other states in jobs related to new-vehicle dealerships and the income taxes paid by those workers.


Fiat pins hopes to pope: Nope

When Pope Francis climbed into the back seat of a black Fiat 500L on his first visit to the United States, interest in the diminutive, five-door family car appeared to surge.

Germany wants your Bimmer

A Cox Automotive unit ships more used BMWs to Germany than any other overseas market. Here's a look at some of the peculiarities of the used-vehicle export business.

Who gets the good review? Better bet on the salesperson

Dealers who believe auto-retailing is a people business shouldn't be surprised to learn that when customers happy with their vehicle purchase pass along a good word, they're more likely to recommend the salesperson than the store.

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Mazda marketer slams autonomous cars, protects 'Zoom-Zoom'

Mazda marketer slams autonomous cars, protects 'Zoom-Zoom'

Russell Wager says he has a 'real problem' with self-driving cars because they could erase popular tag lines and even brands.
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