Lessons for Americans from Hamp's case
Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, July 10
| News Editor James B. Treece oversees Automotive News' coverage of auto retailing and used cars.|
My colleague, Philip Nussel, in a blog posted Thursday, draws parallels between the tale of Julie Hamp’s run-in with Japanese law and the price-fixing scandal that has embroiled a number of Japanese auto suppliers.
I’d like to offer a seemingly more far-fetched comparison: to the 2006 case where Toyota’s top-ranking Japanese executive in the U.S. was accused of sexual harassment ...
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Minority dealers association celebrates 35th year
Posted 3:31 pm U.S. ET, July 10
| Arlena Sawyers covers minority dealers and the remarketing world for Automotive News.|
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers celebrated its 35th birthday this week here at its annual conference.
Dealers -- 345 of them -- and 395 of their friends, family and associates showed up to conduct some business, pay homage to the group’s past and celebrate its future.
Representatives of several manufacturers were on hand to publicly outline the ...
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What do Julie Hamp and price fixing have in common?
Posted 2:20 pm U.S. ET, July 9
| Philip Nussel is online editor at Automotive News.|
If the Japanese want to enforce their drug laws, they are perfectly entitled to do so. But they had better be prepared for other countries to enforce their own laws, too.
Japan Inc. should be embarrassed about the treatment of former Toyota communications boss Julie Hamp. Her saga ended this week with her release by Japanese authorities who took her into custody for allegedly illegally importing ...
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Startups just keep coming in the used-car market
Posted 7:14 am U.S. ET, July 9
| News Editor James B. Treece oversees Automotive News’ coverage of auto retailing and used cars.|
In case you missed it, this week brought more reminders that the used-car market is in flux.
First, there was an article on Monday in Crain’s Chicago Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, about yet another online startup seeking to help dealers find specific used vehicles. “A new model for used cars” proclaimed the headline.
Next was a Bloomberg article, which appeared on ...
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Alfa's last chance?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 8
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is the brand's first new volume model since 2010.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne hopes that his 5 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) bet on Alfa Romeo will result in eight new models that boost global sales to 400,000 vehicles by 2018 and bring an end to more than a decade of financial losses at the 105-year-old brand.
If I were Marchionne, I would be very worried about not achieving those three ambitious goals -- and I’m not alone.
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Has high court raised bar for CFPB in auto bias cases?
Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, July 8
| Hannah Lutz is a staff reporter covering finance and insurance for Automotive News.|
From the outside, the Supreme Court’s ruling last month upholding disparate impact claims in housing discrimination lawsuits may look like a headache for auto dealers, but a provision in the decision could give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a hurdle that could work in dealers’ favor.
The disparate impact theory says that a policy can be considered discriminatory if it has a ...
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No, Bob Nardelli. Just no.
Posted 12:23 pm U.S. ET, July 7
Former Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli wrote a column on LinkedIn titled “What I learned leading a Company like Chrysler through Bankruptcy -- and Revitalization.”
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:
In a column released this week on LinkedIn.com, former CEO Bob Nardelli takes credit for turning around Chrysler Corp. and guiding it back to where it is today.
Nardelli’s column, “What I learned leading a Company like Chrysler through Bankruptcy -- and Revitalization,” is the type of revisionist history that would do the former Soviet Union’s Pravda proud.
So on behalf o ...
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So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel
Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, July 7
Few automakers are following the lead of Ford's 2015 F-150 pickup, which has adopted an all-aluminum body to save weight and boost fuel economy. (BLOOMBERG)
Nearly everyone thought there would be a rush to aluminum after Ford last year switched the skin and bones of the venerable F-150 pickup from steel to the lightweight material.
It didn’t happen.
Fiat Chrysler is sticking with steel for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler due out in 2017 as a 2018 model.
Nissan stayed with steel for the redesigned Titan pickup arriving this fall, and Honda did so f ...
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Look out! Still water ahead
Posted 4:30 pm U.S. ET, July 1
| Jesse Snyder is opinion page editor at Automotive News.|
June was another good sales month. We’ve had a good first half, and a great six-year run-up.
But expect to start seeing some separation among competitors. As sales growth slows, margins thin a bit and rivals eye each other’s customers, we’ll find out which businesses are fundamentally stronger.
June U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 3.9 percent, and three forecasters have bumped th ...
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The (technology) pluses and minuses of a GM-FCA deal
Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, June 30
Cadillac's CT6 plug-in hybrid. Access to GM's hybrid technologies would perhaps solve Fiat Chrysler's largest product development problem. (GM)
Technology -- or the expensive lack of it -- is, I believe, at the heart of all this merger talk coming from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Except for the battery-powered Fiat 500e, available in just two states, and the stop-start system offered in certain versions of the Ram 1500 pickup, FCA’s electrification efforts are years behind most competitors’.
The company has no hybrid cars on ...
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Why Toyota can set the car-tech agenda
Posted 1:28 pm U.S. ET, June 29
| Dave Guilford is a news editor at Automotive News.|
Alix Partners, the turnaround firm, last week assessed the ability of automakers to pay for the cool but expensive technology about to flood into vehicles.
You know, stuff like autonomous driving, connectivity, rearview video screens, lightweight materials and electrified powertrains.
One chart was particularly noteworthy. It ranked automakers by their EBITDA margins and market caps -- in other ...
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Car companies aren’t usually involved in philosophic debates, but right now they’re facing a big, thorny question: how the self-driving cars of the future will decide who will live and who will die.
This week, Bloomberg came out with an excellent story on that point, discussing how automakers have sought help from Stanford University researchers in devising a new ethi ...