Automotive News Table of Contents

April 17, 2017

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Nissan OK with rising fleet sales
Author: Lindsay Chappell

As other automakers shun the daily rental business, Nissan sees an opportunity. "The dollars we get are relevant, so we're going to continue to be there, even if other companies don't want to," says Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz.

What to do about cars?
Author: Dave Guilford

Behind the scenes at the New York auto show, industry executives were grappling with questions about cars. How low will their market share go, amid hot crossovers and SUVs? How to reignite the appeal of cars?

Dealers relying more on fixed ops
Author: Jamie LaReau

Car dealers are getting more of their profits from the service lane even as unit sales remain near record levels, an NADA study found.

How Volvo defied the odds
Author: Nick Gibbs

Volvo's recent success can be attributed to smart decisions, a tactfully handled sale by Ford, seductive vehicle design and an advantageous introduction to the world's largest car market, China.

China's storyline keeps getting rewritten

Ride-sharing is taking over in Shanghai, Publisher Jason Stein writes. But it's not the kind of ride-sharing you're thinking of.

Inside the mind of Cadillac's Super Cruise
Author: Nick Bunkley

Starting this fall, the Cadillac CT6 will be ready to drive itself. But it's not ready to let you catch up on sleep.

Kia tests higher tier in home market
Author: Hans Greimel

Kia Motors Corp. is attempting a new premium line in its South Korean home market with the arrival of its slick Stinger GT.

Lincoln's Job 1: Getting to know you
Author: Michael Martinez

Lincoln says it is successfully differentiating itself via experiences, rather than vehicle features. Now it wants to craft the experience before designing the car.

YouTube's 'wrong call' gives dealers reality check
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

A 'wrong call' by YouTube delivered a dose of reality to dealers who depend on the free online video service: Nothing is guaranteed - not even an explanation.

Mercedes' redesigned G class stays boxy

The venerable G class will be new inside and out after a coming redesign, Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener confirms. But as for its iconic boxy shape...

Outback snags some love, too
Author: Jack Walsworth

Most of the attention Subaru garnered at the New York auto show last week went to its Ascent concept and redesigned Crosstrek. But no less significant was a freshened 2018 Outback.

Strong prospects for AMG GLCs
Author: Amy Wilson

Mercedes expects demand for high-performance crossovers to power sales of its top-of-the-line AMG GLC models.

The new face of AMG
Author: Amy Wilson

Mercedes will give AMG's high-performance part of the lineup a new signature face inspired by its racing heritage.

Ford's Q1 results will set tone for rough '17
Author: Michael Martinez

Higher parts costs for newly launched vehicles add to the pressures on Ford's earnings, which have been dinged by recalls and technology investments.

Hits, misses from the show that never sleeps
Author: Lindsay Chappell

A month ago, the word on the street was that "New York looks light this year." "Nothing's happening this year," the wise guys said. "Nobody's going." And of course, they were wrong.

It’s time to refocus incentives

Dealer-factory relations have always been uneasy in the auto industry, but a relentless fixation on new-vehicle volumes is creating fresh tensions.

It's not F&I markup, it's reimbursement

The difference between the wholesale rate and the retail rate isn't F&I markup or hidden dealer profit -- it's reimbursement for the cost of originating the transaction.

Legal system must provide better info

Removing some tax lien and civil judgment data could artificially inflate credit scores, putting more loans at risk.

PSA shows patience with U.S. strategy

We've never seen a U.S. strategy like the one PSA Group -- maker of Peugeots and Citroens -- has embarked on.

Trump editorial more like a lecture

As a 30-year-plus fan of Automotive News, a car industry buff and a distributor to automobile components manufacturers, I have one simple request: Kindly keep raw political bias off your editorial page.

Watch out for off-lease cars
Author: Keith Crain

We are flooding the market with low-mileage used vehicles with warranties that could throw a monkey wrench into the new-car marketplace.

5S method works in dealerships, too

Nissan has the right idea, and not just for Nissan dealers!

Self-driving tech must put safety first

Given the almost unlimited capability of the new technology, why can't it be used for a worthwhile purpose, such as reducing our obscene traffic fatality rate?

Shift to self-driving, mobility underway

While the National Automobile Dealers Association and most of the dealer body want to ignore the elephant in the room, the self-driving movement is well on its way.

Off-road course convinces Jeep shoppers
Author: Nick Bunkley

Victory Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram built an off-road test trail on its wooded property to show customers the capability of a Jeep.

Outsiders want say on Tesla, GM boards

Investors are pressing Tesla to add two board directors without ties to CEO Elon Musk. Separately, a hedge fund has nominated three independent candidates for General Motors board.

Where to discover self-driving secrets
Author: Katie Burke

Autonomous vehicle development has become highly competitive, and companies working on the technology tend to hold their plans close to the vest.

Dealership group gains an edge from ESOP
Author: Jamie LaReau

Employees own 30 percent of Van Horn Automotive Group. That gives the Wisconsin group an edge in hiring and bidding for stores.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Brian Cain, managing partner of Cain Toyota in North Canton, Ohio; Edward Wittmeier of Wittmeier Chevrolet in Chico, Calif.; Steve Klimkiewicz, president of Cavalier Ford-Lincoln in Chesapeake, Va.

AutoNation's Jackson gives Trump mixed review
Author: Jim Henry

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson praised President Donald Trump for appointing “professional de-regulators,” but questioned Trump's ability to enact his agenda.

Border tax idea isn't dead yet, execs warn
Author: Jim Henry

Tariffs on goods from Mexico seem to be off the front burner for the Trump administration -- for now, said analysts and industry executives at the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum.

Carbiz goes toe to toe with CarMax
Author: Hannah Lutz

Some dealers shudder when they hear used-car giant CarMax is opening a store down the road. This used-only dealer deliberately placed his second store next to a CarMax. Here's his strategy.

Millennials may be fertile market for CPO
Author: John Irwin

Dealers have an opportunity to hook in millennial vehicle-buyers through certified pre-owned programs and make plenty of money doing so, data from Cox Automotive show.

Jaguar offers 4-cylinder turbo in new entry-level F-Type sports car
Author: Jack Walsworth and Richard Truett

The Jaguar F-Type will be one of the few sports cars available with a four-, six- or eight-cylinder engine.

Lincoln hopes Navigator can regain its glory
Author: Michael Martinez

Lincoln expects the redesigned 2018 Navigator, which goes on sale this fall, to recapture the nameplate's now-faded prominence in a growing segment.

Genesis boss: Fuel cells where we're headed
Author: Dave Guilford

Genesis' brand boss believes the industry ultimately will shift to fuel cell powertrains. Not everyone agrees.

Sleeker Buick Enclave adds Avenir subbrand
Author: Nick Bunkley

The Buick Enclave undergoes a dramatic transformation for 2018, including a lower profile.


Dynamic young leaders at automakers and suppliers from around the country took time out from changing the course of the industry to come together at the Detroit Athletic Club last week.

Hyundai speeds car-to-home connectivity
Author: Hans Greimel

Hyundai steps up its connected-car strategy with two new technologies that will debut within two years to connect cars and homes through voice commands.

Hyundai Mobis: Level 3 self-driving by '22
Author: Hans Greimel

Hyundai Mobis, the top supplier to the Hyundai-Kia group, unveiled a roadmap to autonomous driving that calls for new technology rollouts in 2019 and 2022.

Tune in, keep up with car of the future
Author: Shiraz Ahmed

In the first half of Season 2 of the podcast series "Futurismo," Automotive News explores the challenges of designing self-driving cars around human needs and reactions.

Can soft-tops stretch into crossovers?
Author: Jim Henry

In a market where consumers are tilting strongly toward pickups, SUVs and crossovers, Haartz Corp., a supplier of the fabrics for soft-top convertible roofs is looking for new business.

Gestamp rides wave of outsourcing
Author: Nick Gibbs

With 2016 revenues of about $7.9 billion, Gestamp is on a global expansion push. CEO Francisco Riberas expects the company to grow as automakers outsource more metal-stamping work to suppliers.

Magna: The time for carbon fiber is now
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

Automakers have been cautiously converting small numbers of vehicle body parts to lighter-weight carbon fiber. Magna says it is ready to roll with it.

ZF transforms itself for a new world
Author: Bradford Wernle

Germany's century-old ZF Friedrichshafen wants to make the transition from axle-maker, steering-maker and transmission-maker to a supplier of autonomous-drive technologies.

Inventory soars as GM builds cache before retooling
Author: Jesse Snyder

Automakers and dealers started April with near-record stocks of unsold new vehicles, but much of the surplus may stem from General Motors bulking up to prepare for factory shutdowns.

GM retooling plan signals pickups' launch
Author: Nick Bunkley

General Motors has nearly 100 days' worth of inventory right now but plans to get that down to about 70 by the end of the year, in part by taking some of its plants offline for 10 weeks in the summer and fall.

Brassy in the Big Apple

Nobody ever succeeded in New York by being modest. These concepts and production models show the variety and audacity of some of the New York show's best.

A rock star and his other calling

If not for his sideline as a rock star, John “Jay” Geils, who died last week at age 71, might have made his name as a car guy.

Acura's split-screen personality has purpose

Acura's new ad campaign, called “What a Ride,” has a practical goal: The visuals are shot vertically so they are easily transferable to mobile ad platforms.

Could Tavares cut one of PSA's brands?
Author: Luca Ciferri

How will PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares manage to streamline his enlarged brand portfolio now that Citroen, Peugeot and Opel/Vauxhall all compete in Europe's saturated volume car market?

Ford brings exhausted parents' timeless trick into the new age

When it comes to capturing the youth market, Ford may have a better idea: Get future drivers accustomed to the sounds and driving sensations of a Ford before they can walk and talk.