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Automotive News Table of Contents

October 23, 2017

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A buy-sell that's built for the future
Author: Jamie LaReau

GPB Capital replaced Abrams Capital as majority investor in Prime Motor Group. GPB and Prime see the deal as a bid for survival in a changing auto-retail world.

Once a tech leader, Japan's auto industry plays catch-up
Author: Hans Greimel

Mazda's coming technology blitz epitomizes the rush by Japanese carmakers to keep pace in an era of rapid change.

Bangle’s back, will speak at World Congress

Chris Bangle is back in the auto biz -- and will speak at the Automotive News World Congress.

GM supply numbers still show some trouble spots
Author: Michael Wayland

General Motors has aggressively cut inventory and production levels this year amid plateauing U.S. sales and pressure from Wall Street to align production with demand. But it may not be done downsizing its operations just yet.

Hyundai hires Toyota veteran Brian Smith as COO
Author: David Undercoffler

Hyundai Motor America on Monday named longtime Toyota and Lexus executive Brian Smith as its COO. Smith will report to Hyundai Motor America's new CEO, Kenny Lee. They will have a lot on their plate.

Will Congress have final say on NAFTA?
Author: Eric Kulisch

President Trump doesn't have a completely free hand when it comes to trade. Congress has certain authorities to regulate international commerce, and NAFTA was enabled by a series of domestic laws that only Congress can change.

For Vinnie Johnson, a new game beckons
Author: Jeff Mortimer

Ex-NBA star Vinnie Johnson's acquisition of Irvin Automotive Products could transform his privately held Piston Group into a major league auto industry supplier with a shot at supporting vehicle programs globally.

From Toyota, vehicles driven by emotions
Author: Hans Greimel

Toyota will add two more models to its Concept-i mobility portfolio, with an accent on learning what mood a driver is in.

In digital age, paper contracts endure
Author: Hannah Lutz

Going digital can be worrisome for dealership employees who have been handling deals the same way for decades.

4-door Wrangler, pickup get diesel — eventually
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Leaked documents include some interesting details about the redesigned Jeep Wrangler's powertrain offerings and weight.

A good look at the next-gen Silverado

Spy photographers snapped the next generation of General Motors' full-size Chevrolet Silverado during testing last week.

McLaren's next supercar will be 'brutal'
Author: Nick Gibbs

McLaren will debut a supercar next spring, codenamed P15, that will be its most extreme track-focused road car yet, with a "brutal" design and a driver experience entirely focused on getting around a track as quickly as possible.

Audi unveils redesigned A7

Audi's latest A7 Sportback is the new "dynamic, sporty face" of the brand, design chief Marc Lichte said at the car's unveiling last week.

Nissan halts Japan-market output
Author: Naoto Okamura

Nissan has suspended production of Japan-market vehicles for two weeks after it concedes uncertified workers kept inspecting cars after earlier recall.

Turf battle: Dealer's lawsuit says his territory is too big
Author: Richard Truett

Land Rover Orlando claims the area it is responsible for is so large, it can't meet sales targets.

Two-tone cars are back in vogue
Author: Peter Sigal

It could be the first inkling of a trend -- or a strictly European phenomenon. But two-tone cars are increasingly showing up in automakers' lineups there, mostly in upper trim levels.

Old Chrysler hand still seethes over dealer cuts
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Almost 20 years after he retired as Chrysler's top sales guy, Tom Pappert hasn't gotten over what happened to dealers in 2009.

Mitsubishi plans for U.S. growth -- alone, for now
Author: Hans Greimel

Mitsubishi's new three-year business plan identifies a United States resurgence as a key target. But lingering antitrust concerns under Nissan's new control will mean doing it alone.

Nissan's Diaz takes Mitsubishi role
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Fred Diaz has moved below the radar screen to Nissan's new partner Mitsubishi where he will be in charge of performance optimization.

Dealers must value
skills for new world

I have been a business development director and/or manager for numerous large companies in South Florida. Most dealerships know this is necessary, yet they are reluctant to pay for the work.

Get self-driving tech into cars now
Author: Keith Crain

I have heard a lot about the features and advantages of autonomous vehicles and how they are being tested on some public roads and highways.

Hold credit agencies responsible for scores

I see lenders defaulting to a scorecard system, relying on the predictability it provides.

Let's talk about sexism

Industry leaders can't expect to bring enough women into the work force if they don't act now to address the small, draining problems that affect women every day.

What about the factory workers?

What about those of us who work in the factories and are on our feet for 10 to 12 or more hours at a time?

Will products be J.D. Power in name only?

I would be very interested to see if these finance and insurance offerings are just branded J.D. Power, similar to the General Motors products, or if they are indeed J.D. Power's own products.

Change bearing down on rearview mirrors
Author: David Sedgwick

IHS Markit predicts a surge in global production of panoramic rearview display cameras -- even though safety regulators are still undecided about them.

Who will protect American interests from 'America first' doctrine?
Author: Flavio Volpe

The terms proposed by the U.S. in NAFTA talks will hurt existing American assembly interests in Canada and Mexico and threaten U.S. auto part manufacturing domestically.

Ex-Saturn exec takes over sales at Nissan
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Christian Meunier takes a global No. 2 post at Infiniti, while a former Saturn executive steps in to lead Nissan's U.S. sales and marketing.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Author: David Undercoffler

After several years of delays related to battery supply and regulatory certification, Mitsubishi is bringing its Outlander plug-in hybrid to the U.S.

Mitsubishi to boost marketing spending
Author: David Undercoffler

Mitsubishi is planning its biggest marketing campaign in a decade, one that will include the brand's biggest digital push ever and an emphasis on Hispanic consumers.

Speedy tech deals may crash and burn later
Author: Katie Burke and Shiraz Ahmed

Suppliers are trying to move fast, but experts say they may be getting involved in messy deals that could hurt later.

Toyota says its 'in the game' on autonomous technology
Author: Laurence Iliff

U.S.-based Toyota Research Institute demonstrates its autonomous vehicle platform, and declares it's very much in the race to build advanced safety systems and robot cars.

New Chicago tech contract addresses pay, seniority

Demands for changes in pay and seniority practices were at the heart of the summer strike by union-represented service technicians at Chicago-area dealerships. The contract settlement addresses both issues.

Tell a friend, but do it online
Author: Jackie Charniga

Max Madsen Auto Group, among other dealerships, has moved its referral programs, which reward customers for referring friends or family to the store, online.

Sexism alive and well in auto industry

Is sexism dead in the car business? Nope, not even close.
We conducted a survey called Project XX, and nearly 900 women took it. And they had a lot to say.
Check out an overview of the results

The 'extra oomph' that changed GM
Author: Sharon Silke Carty

Mary Barra wasn't just a politically correct choice for General Motors CEO, says Dan Akerson. She was "far and away the best choice for the job at the time." He offers advice for companies that want to eliminate the glass ceiling.

Women prove themselves every day
Author: Hannah Lutz

Automotive clients, customers and peers often question women's expertise and credibility in their fields. No matter how high-level, many women regularly have to prove their skills and knowledge.

'Macho' sales culture hurts dealerships
Author: Amy Wilson

Dealership turnover is a big staffing problem -- 96 percent of female salespeople leave. Addressing sexism in the workplace could help, experts say.

Auto industry is not an easy place to be transgender
Author: Cameron Aubernon

Transgender people face a much higher rate of discrimination today than the general population, experts say. So the decision to come out at work is often fraught for transgender people.

Women wary of reaching out to human resources
Author: Katie Burke and Michael Martinez

About 18 percent of women said they reported incidents to human resources, but most said they felt like filing a complaint would label them as troublemakers.

Race adds a level of difficulty in workplace
Author: Amy Wilson

For women of color in the auto industry, race adds another element to the challenges they face. Minorities pay an "emotional tax" in the workplace, and the wage gap is wider.

Sexualized language colors women's role in auto world
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

We reached out to Maggie Stiefvater, a New York Times best-selling author who is so in love with things that go fast, she once bought herself a race car, and asked her to think about one of the comments that really hit us from the survey: "Cars have been coupled with sexual language for...

Getting employees on board is the hardest part
Author: Hannah Lutz

E-contracting doesn't require much training, but getting employees on board can be a sizable hurdle.

High-tech taxi for old-school Japan
Author: Hans Greimel

In the era of Uber and ride-hailing, Toyota is turning its attention to building a better taxi that could give Tokyo's streetscape its biggest makeover in two decades.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association; Connie Caldwell, owner of Bob Caldwell Automotive in Columbus, Ohio, and General Manager Justin Harmon; Kathy Wagler, president of Crivelli Ford in Aliquippa, Pa.

Battery suppliers face capacity crunch
Author: Michael Martinez

Concerns are growing that battery suppliers such as LG Chem and Samsung won't be able to keep up as automakers promise dozens of new electric vehicles in the coming years.

6-figure pickup? It's nothing new

Turns out, there's already a healthy market for six-figure pickups.

Daimler prepares for EV shift with a shift of its own
Author: Bloomberg

Daimler is firming up plans for its biggest corporate overhaul in a decade, granting its car and truck operations more independence in a move that could pave the way for spinoffs and other deals as the automaker confronts the disruptive shift to self-driving electric vehicles.

Mercedes: 'Huge' trucks in U.S. scare off X class

Mercedes hasn't thrown out the idea of launching the X class pickup in the U.S. entirely but will take its time to make a decision.