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Automotive News Table of Contents

January 15, 2018

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At CES, time to make cool stuff real stuff
Author: Katie Burke and Shiraz Ahmed

There was lots of talk and several demonstrations of self-driving cars at CES, but it was striking to notice which companies did not attend this massive consumer electronics extravaganza.

For Mazda and Toyota, why the rush to Alabama?
Author: Lindsay Chappell

With U.S. sales in decline — and who knows for how long? — is it the right time to add vehicle production capacity?

The new flagships of Detroit
Author: Richard Truett

Along with Ford's pace-setting F series, the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 form a collection of trucks that showcase some of the most sophisticated technologies each manufacturer has in its arsenal.

At CES, a mad dash to nowhere
Author: Jason Stein

A gridlocked Las Vegas during CES prompts our publisher to ask: Are auto companies risking their future in their headlong and expensive embrace of autonomy? A slower, more cautious approach may be the better way.

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Mitsubishi eager to prove its potential
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

The Japanese brand, now forging ahead as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, is ready to turn the page on a rough stretch with the help of the Outlander PHEV and Eclipse Cross.

Can Ranger crash GM's midsize pickup party?
Author: Michael Martinez

If General Motors struck gold by reviving the Colorado and Canyon midsize pickups four years ago, then Ford had better hope that mine isn't tapped out by the time the Ranger reaches dealerships early next year.

Cheap leases take toll on used market
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

It's easy to see why wholesale prices for used midsize sedans are declining: aggressively priced, subvented leases adopted two and three years ago to clear out the cars as consumer preferences shifted to crossovers and SUVs have begun to ripple through the used-car market.

Overhauled G class stays inside the box
Author: Amy Wilson

The 2019 G class is bigger, lighter and more luxurious, and with the most thorough redesign in the venerable SUV's history, Mercedes-Benz will discover whether a modernized chassis and technology-laden interior can push demand even higher.

Edge ST gives Ford a winning combo
Author: Michael Martinez

Americans love crossovers, and they love to drive fast. So why not combine those passions into the Edge ST, a performance variant of the company's midsize crossover?

Mini has modest hopes for freshened small cars
Author: Amy Wilson

Despite a freshening for the 2019 models, Mini expects small-car sales to remain slow this year.

Alliance measures 'troops on ground'
Author: Shiraz Ahmed

Carlos Ghosn uses a broad definition of autonomous technology to defend his claim that the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is at the front of the race.

Continental eyes reorganization
Author: Staff and wire reports

Continental said it is in "early stages" of talks about a structural overhaul, following moves by Delphi and Autoliv to split their operations in two.

Easing online journeys pays off for stores
Author: Ken Wysocky

A digital marketing tool used by two VW dealerships allows repeat visitors to their websites pick up where they left off during their last visit, and it's boosting lead generation.

Tatsuro Toyoda, who led U.S. venture, dies at 88
Author: Hans Greimel

Tatsuro Toyoda, whose short tenure as president of Toyota Motor in the 1990s was marked by health issues, died Dec. 30 of pneumonia, the company said. He was 88.

Tatsuro Toyoda made NUMMI a place of 'mutual trust'
Author: John Y. Shook

Of NUMMI's many lessons, none were more important than to show that a new type of working relationship between labor and management was not only possible but necessary.

Don't invest in steam engines
Author: Keith Crain

Way back when, a lot of folks were convinced that steam engines would be the powerplant of choice. Still, steam went the way of the buggy whip. Don't be surprised if battery power goes the same way.

EVs? Not with our current power grid

The massive power outage at the Atlanta airport last month is just a small taste of what is in store for most of the continental U.S. if our demand for electricity continues to increase and the much-needed updating and repairs of our present infrastructure are not immediately dealt with.

M-B made the right moves to improve

I have to say that Mercedes-Benz has really put out the big guns to improve their line to such an extent that it really is amazing.

Seeing isn't believing. It's time to rethink the auto show

For the typical consumer driving a nearly 12-year-old vehicle, car bodies on turntables cannot begin to convey what makes today's cars exceptional or how much they have changed in those dozen years.

Toyoda's leadership made Fremont work

Tatsuro Toyoda and the Japanese auto workers will always have the respect of their American brothers and sisters, and without Mr. T, that would have never happened. Rest easy my respected friend.

The debate over dealership data: Coming to your statehouse soon
Author: Robert Glaser

One of the key issues that will be discussed in state legislatures around the country this year is the ability to protect and integrate the data that dealerships gather and maintain.

GM's inventory, stock small victories

Nick Bunkley's "New GM shows it can keep promises" blows smoke at CEO Mary Barra for reducing inventory and "pushing GM shares up nearly 30 percent." But, in my mind, those are only two relatively insignificant achievements.

Industry ignores boomers' needs

If VW would offer the Atlas' four-cylinder turbo in the Tiguan, I'd jump on it, as it would fill a niche that the industry as a whole seems to be ignoring.

Transplants set to dominate North American production
Author: Nick Bunkley

After opening several large plants in recent years -- and with more under construction -- transplant automakers are expected to account for more than half of North American production for the first time ever in 2018.

Aurora Innovation emerges from shadows
Author: Katie Burke

The self-driving startup has star power on its exec team, who come from Google, Tesla and Uber.

Avis tries out app to operate keyless cars
Author: David Sedgwick

Avis will experiment with a fleet of 5,000 keyless cars this year in Kansas City, Mo., to see if key fobs can be rendered obsolete.

Luxury showdown in '18?
Author: Amy Wilson and Laurence Iliff

Mercedes-Benz has spent two consecutive years atop the U.S. luxury market, but BMW and Lexus are looking for growth from new products on the way. 2018 could be a year of gains for luxury vehicles, even with overall sales on the decline.

Nvidia, Intel take two paths to process autonomous driving
Author: Katie Burke

Production-ready autonomous cars will require vast amounts of computing power. In back-to-back keynotes, Intel and Nvidia showed two different approaches, but the companies developing this technology are unsure which path is best to take.

Building blocks of new interiors are production-ready
Author: David Sedgwick

Interiors suppliers are ready for the new demands coming from self-driving cars.

New kind of climate control can save energy
Author: David Sedgwick

Valeo's Smart Cocoon reduces energy demands by 30 to 55 percent.

Lincoln suppliers guided by drivers
Author: Jim Henry

Lincoln brand managers are taking a keener interest in their vehicle parts these days, and in watching consumers use them in the real world.

Panasonic's one-brain runs many functions
Author: Jim Henry

Panasonic has unveiled Spydr -- a single-brain solution to the usual vehicle architecture of multiple controllers.

Thyssenkrupp studies how to steer systems to reliability
Author: Richard Truett

German steering supplier Thyssenkrupp says the next frontier of advanced steering is creating redundancy for safety.

Why Japan needs Spain's Gestamp
Author: Naoto Okamura

Does Japan really need a foreign supplier to create more metal stamping capacity there? Gestamp thinks so.

2018 opens with lower car stocks
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Automakers and dealers began the new calendar year with lower levels of unsold cars and larger numbers of unsold trucks — in other words, in a better position than they were a year ago.

Civic is tops with minority buyers
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

The Honda Civic was the best-selling vehicle among ethnic consumers for the 2017 model year, the second consecutive year the brand has taken that title, IHS Markit and NAMAD said.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers' Association and David Gallinger, president of Gallinger Ford-Lincoln in Milton, Ontario.

Magna's basic building-block approach to the future
Author: Douglas A. Bolduc

Magna's chief technical officer says the supplier's strategy will make sure that products remain viable whether global vehicle electrification is 5 percent or 25 percent.

Tool targets consumers with expiring leases

A tool by Pearl Technology Holdings and Experian helps dealerships target prospects based on what they're paying or driving, and helps stores know what to stock.

'19 Silverado may emerge as efficiency leader
Author: Michael Wayland

Industry-first engine technology, significant weight savings and a new inline-six diesel offering are among the enhancements GM is counting on to bolster the Chevrolet Silverado's position as the second-best-selling vehicle in America.

2019 Ram 1500 gets big screen, reclining seats
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 pickup -- wholly changed and sporting sophisticated technology once reserved for luxury sedans -- is the result of that all-in commitment to the automaker's top-selling vehicle.

2019 Jetta gets new styling, transmission
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will have much-improved driving dynamics, will be more fuel-efficient, and will be available with updated safety and infotainment technology compared to the outgoing model.

Fortune smiles on Huntsville Toyota dealer
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Alabama won the site search for a 4,000-employee Toyota-Mazda auto plant, and Bill Penney Toyota in Huntsville won the lottery.

Copart buys land, gets tires

Copart plans a 36-acre expansion of its San Antonio, Texas, salvage auction. But first it has to clear the site of an estimated 1 million discarded tires.

Cue the 'Jeopardy!' theme. We'll wait

Two of three Final Jeopardy! contest got the answer wrong. Hint: Not Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Just call him rate-hike Mike?

AutoNation's Mike Jackson will help to set U.S. interest rates as chair of the Atlanta Fed's board, a term that began Jan. 1.

Streak is still alive! No, not that streak

Though unit sales in 2017 fell by 1.8 percent, volume continued to rise by another measurement — money.

Car-heavy Toyota takes comfort in breadth of its lineup
Author: Laurence Iliff

The Camry and other iconic cars may be outliers rather than trendsetters in their ability to defy the rush toward crossovers. And that's a problem Toyota is taking seriously, even as it fields one of the industry's broadest assortments of car models.

CES 2018: Coolest gadgets and gizmos from the show
Author: David Sedgwick and Shiraz Ahmed

CES showcases a lot of wild and crazy products every year, but many will never make it to consumers. Still, some of the coolest tech we saw at the show were features you might see in cars in the next few years