Bernie Moreno is not your typical auto dealer. In just 10 years, he's built a growing empire of 18 dealerships in three states that generate more than $900 million in annual revenue. But perhaps most notable about the Colombia-born dealer is his willingness to buck convention.
In its drive to grab a larger slice of the U.S. market, Nissan North America is quietly forming alliances with selected dealers who get favorable treatment, and sometimes millions of dollars, from the company. Nissan says strengthening its retail networks is critical to its growth plans.
After six years of rapidly rising car sales, the road ahead for the U.S. auto industry is going to be much tougher. Sales may set another record in 2016, but the rate of growth will almost certainly fall to the low single digits, and that may only come by squeezing margins.
In January, Continental AG plans to demonstrate a new type of film that can be sandwiched between sheets of glass and change the transparency of windows and windshields through electronic controls. When voltage is applied to the film, the particles in the material line up in a way that blocks sunlight.
U.S. auto sales continue to roar ahead, fueled by pent-up demand, low gasoline prices, new metal and -- increasingly -- rising incentives. By one measure, automakers' incentives are nearing 10 percent of the industry's average transaction price. The trend is raising some concern among analysts.
Johnson Controls CEO Alex Molinaroli has drawn scrutiny after paying legal bills and providing substantial financial support to a man who was convicted of running a $50 million Ponzi scheme. Molinaroli says he was a victim; federal court records don't portray the auto parts chief as an injured party.
Last week's dramatic election in Canada could turn out to be good news for the country's beleaguered auto industry. The winning left-leaning Liberal Party, led by prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, campaigned by pledging a greater willingness to spend money to stimulate the economy and create or preserve jobs.