Automotive News Table of Contents

August 22, 2016

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REAL DEAL?
Cadillac Escala concept shows hints of the future
Author: David Undercoffler

After teasing the public with dramatic and unlikely concept cars in two previous years, Cadillac used this year's Monterey Car Week to glimpse into a future that will actually happen.

WASHED OUT
In Louisiana, devastation 'beyond belief'
Author: Amy Wilson and Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

Devastating floods in Baton Rouge have displaced 1,500 or more families with members working at the area's dealerships. NADA aims to raise $2 million for relief aid to the flood victims and already has begun handing out relief checks.

Routes diverge in the race to remove the fallible driver
Author: Nick Bunkley

Ford has staked its future on a grandiose moonshot, taking more time to test exhaustively before making one giant leap to full automation.

VW dealers battle staff poaching
Author: Jamie LaReau

Volkswagen dealers are fighting to keep sales staff intact as U.S. sales continue to fall and the automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal drags into a 12th month.

POWER OUTAGE
As sales sputter, are muscle cars the canaries in the industry coal mine?
Author: Bradford Wernle

After hitting a five-year peak in 2015, combined sales of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger have declined 8.4 percent this year. So is it time to worry about America's fabled muscle-car troika?

OESA becomes 2nd title sponsor of PACE Awards

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association is joining EY as the second title sponsor for the Automotive News PACE Awards.

NEWS ANALYSIS
Where's that used-vehicle price plunge?
Author: Arlena Sawyers

After used-vehicle prices went up steadily over the last few years, forecasters agreed that those prices would fall in 2016. But that hasn't happened -- yet. Here's why.

Margins, costs threaten luxury-store values
Author: Amy Wilson

Dealership acquisitions were down in the first half of 2016, though multistore deals were up. Buy-sell advisers expect more pressure on luxury-brand store values as manufacturers seek expensive facility upgrades and as margins and volume continue to be under pressure.

FCA moves to lock down security codes
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Fiat Chrysler is threatening serious repercussions to anyone who uses its internal DealerCONNECT software and provides outsiders with “key codes, radio codes and other anti-theft or security measures.”

Honda hatches new Civic model
Author: David Undercoffler

Honda's first five-door Civic hatchback for the U.S. will go on sale as a 2017 model.

Mercedes-Maybach concept is really, really long
Author: Laurence Iliff

Mercedes revealed a Maybach-branded two-plus-two concept that is heavily influenced by the "aero coupes" of yesteryear, but with a modern electric engine and high-tech interior.

Tiny Kia crossover likely to join the fray in 2017
Author: David Undercoffler

Spy photos of Kia's upcoming subcompact crossover indicate a longish hood, stubby tail and limited cargo space -- a profile similar to the previous-generation Sportage.

Volkswagen's 3-row crossover

The midsize crossover is due in the first quarter of 2017.

Amazon primed for shoppers, not buyers
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Third-party sites are keeping an eye on Amazon Vehicles. The new site offers photos, reviews and other vehicle information, but doesn't sell vehicles or offer links to dealerships, so sites such as Cars.com and Autotrader don't see Amazon's site as a direct competitor -- yet.

Louisiana flooding takes toll on dealerships' employees
Author: Stephanie Mcgavin Hernandez

As floodwaters slowly recede in the area around Baton Rouge, La., auto dealerships are trying to do business with a limited number of employees, many of whom are dealing with losses of their own.

Radio ID system welcomes service customers by name
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

A Nissan dealership in Texas utilizes a new system that has helped exceed its targeted service revenue.

EDITORIAL
Helping partners manage risk is good business

As U.S. auto sales growth slows and margins shrink, tension is likely to increase between automakers and their suppliers.

COMMENTARY: KEITH CRAIN
Love affair is alive and well
Author: Keith Crain

If you're lucky enough to attend the annual Woodward Dream Cruise outside Detroit or the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a couple thousand miles west, you're treated to an automotive event that demonstrates that people love cars.

YANG JIAN
Uber's hard lesson: China is different
Author: Yang Jian

Uber's problematic business model has forced it out of China, not its 9.6 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) cash burn.

Dealers

Dealers celebrate anniversaries with Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda.

BASIC TRAINING
Army develops autonomous vehicles for use on bases first, battlefields next
Author: Richard Truett

A pilot program at Fort Bragg will use autonomous vehicles to transport wounded soldiers to the hospital for treatment. The technology is expected to be used as building blocks for driverless vehicles on the battlefield.

Hyundai sets a course for new autonomous testing ground
Author: Hans Greimel

Hyundai aims to ramp up autonomous-driving development in the U.S. by tapping an expansive testing ground being built at an abandoned bomber factory complex outside Detroit.

Japan's small 3 play to their strengths
Author: David Undercoffler

Lacking the budget for a blanket approach, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Subaru are aligning their vehicle lineups to play to their strengths -- and juice profits at the same time.

New world of possibilities for Subaru
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

Subaru is switching to a new global architecture that it says will guarantee competitiveness through 2025.

Updates aim to nudge Mazda upscale
Author: David Undercoffler

Mazda, the little automaker that could, is chugging into the near-premium space with updates to its core models.

Mitsubishi pivots to crossovers and plug-ins
Author: David Undercoffler

Mitsubishi is hoping to ride recent momentum — and consumers' unending appetite for trucks — to new growth in the near future.

Uber's point man on automated driving came from Ford
Author: Richard Truett

If Sherif Marakby is successful managing the transformation of a fleet of 100 Volvo XC90s into self-driving vehicles, it could put Uber in the lead in the race to commercialize autonomous driving.

Updates, incentives help VW dealer retain staff
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealer Matthew Welch got creative to keep his staff on board and make new hires amid VW's scandal and declining new car sales.

Amid VW scandal, salespeople bolt for rival
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealer Danny McKenna has seen staff walk out or refuse hire because of the VW diesel emission scandal. Here's how he's combat it.

Jeep descends on downtown Toledo to celebrate its 75th anniversary
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

An estimated 30,000 or more Jeep enthusiasts jammed into downtown Toledo, Ohio, on Aug. 13 for a parade and Jeep-only show to mark the 75th anniversary of the hot-selling brand.

Eying the link between new, used prices
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Anything that reduces the prices of new vehicles also reduces the prices of used vehicles. That's why used-price forecasters have their eye on rising new-vehicle incentives.

JUST ARRIVED
2017 Bentley Bentayga

The 2017 Bentley Bentayga has an all-new 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W-12 engine and ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

Bentley's new course begins with Bentayga
Author: David Phillips

For Bentley and its U.S. dealers the Bentayga ultraluxury SUV marks an opportunity to reboot, repolish and chart a new course.

Dealership group nailed again on ad charges
Author: John Irwin

In 2014, Southwest Kia, which operates three dealerships in the Dallas area, signed a consent order with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to halt what the agency said was deceptive advertising. Within months, the dealership group was back at it, the FTC says.

UNDER WATER: TARA ANDREWS
EVACUATION: 'No one was coming for us'
Author: Amy Wilson

After two days stranded in a second-story loft, Tara Andrews, a dealership Internet director, escaped Baton Rouge's flood waters with her parents, three-year-old daughter and nine dogs.

UNDER WATER: JERAMIAH BAKER
LOSS: 'Everybody’s lives at the curb'
Author: Amy Wilson

With his house and cars wrecked by flood waters, this dealership employee is focused on rebuilding and reuniting his family.

Obituary

Ernie Lofton, former head of the UAW's Ford department, died Aug. 4. He was 84.

Akerson: Trump can't be our CEO

Former GM CEO Dan Akerson endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president and sharply criticized Donald Trump.

Camaro celebrates 50

Chevrolet is celebrating a milestone birthday for the Camaro, the first iteration of which debuted in the summer of 1966. Chevrolet created several special events last week for the muscle car's 50th birthday.

EV startups are the hot investment in China -- no actual EV needed

How much money is chasing electric vehicle startups in China? Just ask Freeman Shen, Volvo Car Corp.'s former China president.

Subprime loans become prime target for Oliver

Comedian John Oliver devoted nearly 18 minutes of his weekly HBO show “Last Week Tonight” on Aug. 14 to subprime auto lending, loans, which he said closely resembles the buildup to the subprime mortgage crisis that led to the Great Recession.

The public dealerships are buying -- and selling

In the first half of 2016, the public dealership groups sold nearly as many dealerships as they acquired, according to "The Blue Sky Report," a quarterly publication by dealership buy-sell adviser Erin Kerrigan.

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