Blogs

The Nissan Leaf's top-selling town?

Posted 10:31 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs
The Leaf's U.S. sales rose 36 percent to 21,822 units through September.
RICHARD JOHNSON:  PARIS -- It's true that sales of Nissan's Leaf have picked up momentum this year in the U.S., but what is the geographic mix across the country? Where is the Leaf doing well? At the Renault-Nissan dinner‎ tonight, CEO Carlos Ghosn challenged the scrum that engulfed him to name America's No. 1 Leaf-loving town, the place where 1,000 of the electric vehicles were sold in August alone. The repo ...
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Ghosn's take on being on the front lines in battle for auto talent

Posted 5:53 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Richard is print editor of Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- How does Carlos Ghosn feel about the high-level executives who have left Renault-Nissan of late? He takes it all in Ghosn-like stride, which is to say: analytically, not emotionally. "We are obviously a target for headhunters, but we are‎ simultaneously recruiting the best and the brightest," he said. Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen recently went to‎ Cadillac and Nissan planni ...
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Making a splashy entrance in Paris

Posted 6:16 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
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DIANA T. KURYLKO:  PARIS -- Land Rover pulled the wraps off its new compact Discovery Sport at a pre-show event for journalists, hauling it up the Seine River on a massive barge. The Discovery Sport sprinted out of a grassy mountain, through several feet of water, to be greeted by seven giant boots -- or wellies as the Brits call them. The Discovery Sport was introduced by supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who h ...
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Ford puts refreshed C-Max in the Phantom's spotlight

Posted 6:00 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Larry P. Vellequette is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday lifted the mask on its next-generation C-Max at a special event at the Opera National de Paris, the setting for the fictional The Phantom of the Opera. The irony may have been lost on the Ford execs on hand, who also showed off the next-generation European S-Max and Grande C-Max before their scheduled press conference Thursday at the Paris auto show. Like the ...
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The Big (Detroit) 3 are back on top, with nudge from Fiat

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Nick Bunkley is an enterprise reporter for Automotive News.
 
The Big 3 are back. Though maybe not for long. The top of September’s U.S. sales chart would look fairly routine to anyone who was asleep for the past decade and plans to spend this weekend browsing dealer ads in the Sunday newspaper for a good deal on a new PT Cruiser. No. 1: General Motors. No. 2: Ford Motor Co. No. 3: Chrysler Group. You know, just like it’s always been. Excep ...
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What the new Opel Corsa and next-gen Chevy Volt have in common

Posted 1:33 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
PARIS -- It wasn't long ago when the smallest engine in one of General Motors' smallest European cars wouldn't have stood a chance of showing up under hoods in U.S. showrooms. But times have changed, thanks to tightening fuel-economy and emissions standards. Opel unveiled sedan and hatchback versions of its next-generation Corsa small car today in a leafy, café-lined city square here, a d ...
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Lenders must look through consumers' eyes

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 1
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
In the second of what’s shaping up to be a series of attacks on subprime auto finance -- the first was in July -- The New York Times last week made a breathless page one story out of a years-old device: the vehicle starter interrupt. Starter-interrupt devices enable auto lenders to remotely disable a vehicle’s ignition if a subprime borrower misses a payment. The devices have been aro ...
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Will aluminum Ford F-150 be mpg king? Let's do the (fuzzy) math

Posted 11:27 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
blogs Richard Truett covers engineering for Automotive News.
 
Ford looks poised to reclaim at least part of the pickup fuel economy crown from Chrysler’s hard-charging Ram 1500 with the new aluminum bodied 2015 F-150. Buried in a statement Monday on the redesigned F-150 was the first clue to how the truck will perform on the EPA’s mileage tests. Ford has said very little about the fuel economy of the revamped F-150, focusing mostly on the 700 po ...
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Tavares, Palmer, Gales ready to shine in new CEO roles

Posted 2:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
A year ago Carlos Tavares was unemployed, Andy Palmer was Nissan’s global head of planning and Jean-Marc Gales was leading supplier group CLEPA. The three former auto brand No. 2s will have the spotlight all to themselves at the Paris auto show this week. Tavares, 56, rose as high a second-in-command to Carlos Ghosn at Renault before getting restless. He left Renault in summer 2013 and offi ...
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Wrong move for Cadillac -- the creative vibe is in Detroit, not New York

Posted 11:28 am U.S. ET, Sept. 29
blogs KC Crain is executive vice president and group publisher for Crain Communications Inc.
 
DETROIT -- On Sept. 23, we had our Automotive News Marketing Seminar in New York and I listened to Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln marketing, talk about how Ford moved the operations of the Premier Automotive Group to California many years back. That was when Ford owned Aston Martin, Volvo and Jaguar/Land Rover. He said the biggest issue was that the move ended up being the same people r ...
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How to drive dealers back to Washington, D.C.?

Posted 2:03 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 26
blogs Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News.
 
Martens Volvo-Volkswagen were the first car dealerships in Washington, D.C. – and the last. The stores have been sold, and Martens Volvo is now Euro Motorcars Volvo of Bethesda. It moved to Chevy Chase, Md., on Sept. 1. Its counterpart, now called Ourisman Volkswagen of Bethesda, is still in D.C. But not for long. It also will relocate to a Maryland suburb soon, leaving the city without on ...
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Why climate change could stall growth in emerging markets

Posted 6:51 am U.S. ET, Sept. 25
blogs Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.
 
TOKYO -- Auto executives have long salivated over the huge future sales possible in emerging markets as their teeming, upwardly mobile masses migrate from motorbikes to cars. So imagine the irony behind a new economic forecast that says surging greenhouse gases, spurred partly by auto emissions, will throw cold water on that once-anticipated development boom. The problem: Climate change will dis ...
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Automakers battle in annual Texas truck showdown

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 25
blogs
One out of every five Ram trucks sold comes to Texas, a spokesman said.
RICHARD TRUETT:  General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota are rolling into this weekend’s Texas State Fair in Dallas with guns blazing -- at each other. Around 3 million pairs of cowboy boots visit the fair each year, which makes it ground zero in the truck and SUV marketing wars. No state comes even close in sales of trucks and SUVs than Texas, with its 803,721 registrations in 2013, according to IHS Auto ...
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Auto finance industry still paying for past sins

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 24
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulators seem to have a caricature of a plaid, polyester sport coat-wearing car salesman in mind when they talk about auto retailing. (Picture the salesman in the movie Fargo who won’t take no for an answer from an angry customer who refuses to buy “Tru-Coat sealant.”) CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in opening remarks at a hearing last week ...
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How Mazda survived the atomic bomb, by a split hair

Posted 10:30 am U.S. ET, Sept. 23
blogs Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.
 
Editor's note: This story has been amended to better reflect the number of estimated casualties resulting from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.  HIROSHIMA -- Mazda Motor Corp., the most famous company from Hiroshima, may have survived the city’s infamous atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, quite literally by only a split hair. It’s a story not often told by M ...
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Hyundai's hubris -- $10B land deal backfires

Posted 4:08 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 22
blogs Gabe Nelson is a staff reporter for Automotive News.
 
SAN FRANCISCO -- Chung Mong-Koo sought to imbue Hyundai with Gangnam style. Instead, Hyundai Motor Group’s $10 billion bid for a 19.6-acre plot in Seoul’s prestigious Gangnam district backfired on the company that Chung has elevated into a global powerhouse. It should serve as a warning to the industry: Using profits to build a Babel-like headquarters, instead of reinvesting that mon ...
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Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 20
blogs Jesse Snyder is editor of the opinion page at Automotive News.
 
On Thursday night, I watched dealer Karl Zimmermann officially dedicate his refurbished George Matick Chevrolet building in Redford Township, Mich. Like every grand opening, it was highly predictable: food, drink, balloons, local performers, extra shiny vehicles and some speechifying. Like every grand opening, it was unique. Highly personal to all gathered. Pick a day, some U.S. dealer somewher ...
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Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered

Posted 10:22 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
blogs Larry P. Vellequette is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
Here is something that will happen in 2015 upon which you can bet serious money: The UAW will strike one -- and likely all three -- Detroit automakers before reaching a deal on a new labor agreement. And here’s the thing: There is nothing that any of the automakers could offer that would avoid that inevitability. The 2015 strike(s) will not be long. They will not be violent or confrontatio ...
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2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets

Posted 11:50 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
blogs
The 2015 Ford Mustang at Mel's Diner in Hollywood. During the drive, we noticed people filming us out car windows, and lowering their windows to stick out their hands in the thumbs-up position.
BRADFORD WERNLE:  LOS ANGELES -- No sooner had we left our hotel and hit the streets in West Hollywood when we began to notice people noticing us. Granted, it was hard to miss our 2015 Ford Mustang painted in Competition Orange -- seemingly bright enough to be picked up by a satellite orbiting above. As we sat and waited at a traffic light, a man in the next lane lowered the window of his work van and signaled us ...
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Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name

Posted 2:46 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 19
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
DETROIT -- We've known about Cadillac's plans for a big, rear-wheel drive, range-topping sedan for more than two years now. For most of that time, we've been referring to it by its internal codename, LTS. But here's a bet: When the wraps come off the car sometime in the first half of next year, it won't sport an LTS badge. Here's my thinking. First, the basics. The first letter of each Cadillac ...
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Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15

Posted 11:58 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18
blogs
Toyota, citing consumer buying habits, is going with V-8 engines only on the Tundra pickup for 2015.
RICHARD TRUETT:  Editor's note: The horsepower and torque ratings on the Ford F-150 with V-6 engines were incorrect in the chart accompanying earlier versions of this story. DETROIT -- It’s rare when Toyota admits defeat and folds -- especially when it comes to engines and fuel economy. But that’s what happened last week when Toyota introduced the 2015 Tundra pickup and revealed that its big truck w ...
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The case for casting a wider net with credit apps

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 17
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
Auto lenders complain they hate it when dealership F&I managers send them credit applications outside their preferred range of credit scores. Yet Greg Goebel, CEO of DealerStrong, a dealership training and consulting firm, advised finance managers to do just that at last week’s Industry Summit in Las Vegas. According to an analysis Goebel did with a database of some 200,000 transactions ...
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Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly

Posted 3:23 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 17
blogs Lindsay Chappell is the Mid-South bureau chief for Automotive News.
 
News broke this week that Nissan and Renault are debating the future of their electric-vehicle battery technology sourcing. Frankly, it would be bigger news if the two automaker partners weren’t debating it. According to the news reports, Nissan purchasing leaders believe Nissan and Renault can be most competitive continuing to source EV battery technology from Japan. But Renault’s t ...
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Strike shows restless UAW is going after two-tier wage system

Posted 3:30 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 16
blogs David Barkholz is a reporter for Automotive News.
 
Well, well. The word “strike” has returned to the UAW lexicon. The union struck on Saturday at a Lear Corp. plant in Hammond, Ind., that makes seats for Ford Motor Co.’s Chicago Assembly Plant. By Monday, the 760 Lear workers of UAW Local 2335 were back on the job. In hand was a tentative contract that met their primary demand: an end to a two-tier wage system that pays new hir ...
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Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 13
blogs Lindsay Chappell is the Mid-South bureau chief for Automotive News.
 
NASHVILLE -- Take a look at who’s been increasing incentives lately and you will see a larger trend in U.S. vehicle strategy. The guys who stepped up their incentive spending last month are brands that are counting on strong sedan strategies in an era of crossover growth. Honda, one of the most powerful brands in the American market, raised its incentives-to-transaction price ratio by 14 p ...
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