Automotive News Table of Contents

September 17, 2018

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Nissan exec: Sedans will be back
Author: Lindsay Chappell

Nissan sees a decent future ahead for cars. Its European operations aren't so sure about that.

Ram midsize pickup to emerge from Jeep plant
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Ram's new midsize pickup will be a body-on-frame truck built in the same plant as Jeep's upcoming Wrangler-based pickup.

Adient's next CEO gets head start on turnaround
Author: David Sedgwick

When Doug DelGrosso becomes Adient's CEO on Oct. 1, he won't have to start his turnaround of the struggling seat maker from scratch.

Audi tests $1,395-a-month subscription plan
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Subscribers can change vehicles up to twice a month and hold any vehicle for up to six months.

Carlisle taking Cadillac 'on the offensive'
Author: Michael Wayland

This week's dealer meeting will be a coming-out party for Steve Carlisle, who replaced the outspoken Johan de Nysschen in April.

East Coast ports plan for stormy future
Author: Eric Kulisch

As the frequency and intensity of storms increase, automakers and transport providers are taking extra precautions to ensure continuity of operations and prevent damage to finished vehicles.

2 new rental programs offer 'a taste for Porsche'
Author: Urvaksh Karkaria

Porsche has rolled out two short-rental programs to get more consumers exposed to driving its cars.

CAFE hearing schedule draws protest
Author: Eric Kulisch

Critics are accusing the Trump administration of trying to hasten the review of proposed fuel economy rules toward a predetermined outcome.

Subaru's three-row crossover has three rows. Got that? Three.
Author: Jack Walsworth

Subaru is not going to let people forget that its new Ascent has three rows of seating.

Cadillac puts diesels on hold
Author: Jens Meiners

Cadillac has halted its light-vehicle diesel engine program and is re-evaluating the technology, amid the industry's rapid shift to electric vehicles.

Cadillac sees XT4 as the start of renaissance
Author: Michael Wayland

The Cadillac XT4 is more than just a compact crossover for the American luxury brand. It's the beginning of a long-promised brand renaissance that executives say will ripple through Cadillac's lineup in the coming years.

Cameras instead of mirrors
Author: Hans Greimel

Lexus is dumping the side mirrors for sleek digital cameras on next ES.

Custom Kia Telluride debuts in N.Y.

The 2020 Kia Telluride will become the biggest crossover in the brand's lineup and executives hope Saturday's launch during New York Fashion Week will help the new light truck capitalize on the shift to crossovers with some extra cachet.

Kia EV crossover looks for sweet spot
Author: Hans Greimel

Kia will bring its second full-electric global nameplate, the Niro EV crossover, to the U.S. next year.

VinFast reveals SUV,sedan ahead of Paris

Vietnamese automaker VinFast revealed its Italian-designed first production cars that are to debut Oct. 2 at the Paris auto show.

BMW's Vision iNext concept serves as tech 'incubator'
Author: Urvaksh Karkaria

The all-electric Vision iNext, a semi-autonomous crossover, is more of an "incubator" than an early glimpse of a production-ready car. But the vehicle reveals the technologies being developed by BMW.

Lithia invests in alliance with used-car startup
Author: Jackie Charniga

The partnership will provide the capital Shift needs to expand beyond California and across the country.

Mercedes' GLE gains space. Can it gain ground?
Author: Urvaksh Karkaria

The redesigned crossover boasts a bigger interior with a third-row option, a range of engines and a suite of semi-autonomous technologies.

Number to watch: $3.2 billion

A Frost and Sullivan forecast projects a $3.2 billion dollar increase in sales of adhesives and sealants by 2024.

Paint makers feeling pinch

The rising price of raw materials is putting pressure on the automotive coatings industry. PPG executive Rebecca Liebert explains why.

Smart lighting brightens Varroc's prospects
Author: Jim Henry

The lighting segment is hot in part because it is going through a smart technology revolution.

Supply base turns a deeper shade of green
Author: Jeff Mortimer

Amid political uncertainties, suppliers across the industry say they're determined to keep up their push to greener vehicles.

End RSI disputes before they escalate

RSI and other sales effectiveness metrics are useful in motivating dealers to compete and excel, as long as the underlying targets are not calculated or enforced capriciously.

Honeywell bets on internal combustion with new spinoff
Author: Jim Henry

Honeywell's automotive business will spin off next month to turbocharge future powertrains.

Take good care of the fixed ops
Author: Keith Crain

Dealers should keep a close eye on fixed operations, an important potential profit center in the coming year.

Tesla must consider customer's needs

In a letter to the editor, a reader cautions Elon Musk not to neglect consumer's basic retail needs.

Why China's auto sales are sagging
Author: Yang Jian

Industry trade groups and market research firms have produced various theories to explain why the market suddenly ran out of steam. But a website tracking peer-to-peer lending in China has provided one plausible factor.

One retailer's road to success
Author: Jennifer Vuong

Three years ago, Jay Feldman rebranded his auto group and has continued to grow sales. This summer he partnered with celebrity Mark Wahlberg to buy a Chevy store in Ohio.

Do rising interest rates represent a buying opportunity?
Author: James Taylor

Presidio Managing Director James Taylor considers the impact of higher interest rates on store valuations.

Chrysler 300's exit opens door for Portal EV
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The aging full-size sedan will be eliminated in 2020, ending a 15-year production run.

Is FCA about to get out of Dodge?
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

FCA has staked its future on Jeep, Ram and Alfa Romeo.

Dodge's future rests on fate of Journey, Durango
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Key decisions are pending on the fate of the two three-row crossovers.

Jeep's lineup goes big — and small
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

FCA's most valuable mass-market brand will bring an A-segment vehicle to the U.S. to slot below the Renegade.

Neglected Fiat to get some fresh product
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The struggling Fiat brand will get fresh product in the next several years, though it is likely to lose two of its slowest-selling models.

Alfa will bolster lineup as 4C drops out
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

The Giulia and Stelvio will be joined by small and large crossovers, a sports coupe and a midengine supercar.

Ram gets midsize pickup back on track
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Uncertainty about international trade agreements and tariffs threatens to jumble FCA's pickup production plans.

Dealer anniversaries

The dealer featured this week is Willie Outten, dealer operator of Outten Chevrolet of Hamburg in Pennsylvania.

A daring expansion in a dangerous economy
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Blaise Alexander over-ordered units going into the recession, allowing his Pennsylvania dealership group to grow rapidly afterward.

Amid turmoil, Haydocy took on neighborhood rescue mission
Author: Alexa St. John

After the closure of two dealerships and a local auto plant pummeled the local economy, the dealer said, giving up wasn't an option.

As others liquidated, Charlie Brown loaded up
Author: Alexa St. John

When new-car sales slumped, Charlie Brown led his Oregon dealership on a used-car sales surge to keep the store going.

Job opportunity: How new fixed ops manager got Ganley in shape
Author: Rick Popely

Adding a fixed ops director allowed Ohio's Ganley Automotive Group to leverage the group's size and standardize procedures, cutting costs and boosting revenue.

Tammy Darvish took dealers' fight to Capitol Hill
Author: Alexa St. John

Darcars Automotive Group lost several franchises when General Motors and the then-Chrysler Group terminated hundreds of franchisees during the recession. Tammy Darvish channeled her energy and frustration into advocacy for dealership groups beyond her family's.

How a letter-writing campaign saved Garber Buick
Author: Michael Wayland

When General Motors threatened to shutter Garber Buick, the local community began a letter-writing campaign that helped to prompt GM to reverse its decision.

Jeff Carlson applied lessons of earlier crises
Author: Alexa St. John

Jeff Carlson, president of Glenwood Springs Ford and Glenwood Springs Subaru in Colorado, said the financial downturn of 2008 was "brutal in terms of expense reduction." He survived, in part, by cutting stores, people and vendors.

New York's Paragon sweetened Clunkers deal
Author: Arlena Sawyers

Brian Benstock reduced management headcount, lowered advertising costs by targeting his existing customers and embraced Cash for Clunkers.

Steve Germain harnessed the power of the network
Author: Alexa St. John

Steve Germain says partnerships with others, as well as Cash for Clunkers and a rethinking of hiring policies, saved his dealership group.

Grieving a death, grappling with a recession
Author: Alysha Webb

Corina Diehl had just finished learning to run her recently deceased husband's two dealerships when the recession hit.

Inventory up from Aug., down from 2017
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Across the industry, automakers and dealers had an estimated 3,809,000 unsold vehicles on hand on Sept. 1, a 69-day supply -- slightly up from a month earlier

Court challenge to CAFE review looms
Author: Eric Kulisch

Plaintiffs fighting the Trump administration's decision to cap vehicle fuel economy at 2020 model year levels question whether the EPA properly followed administrative law when it reopened the Obama administration's January 2017 decision.

Subaru’s ‘road trips’ reach outdoorsy shoppers at REI
Author: Jack Walsworth

Subaru of America partnered with outdoor gear retailer REI this summer on weekend road trips to showcase the new Ascent.

British car pioneer awarded

British sports car booster Kjell Qvale, who died in 2013, has been inducted into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame.

Diamler concept does double duty

Daimler is developing an autonomous electric vehicle that can switch between being a people carrier and a delivery van, as the automaker seeks an edge over rivals such as Alphabet's Waymo and Deutsche Post in shaping the future of mobility.

Look who's now waving a Red Flag

Former Rolls-Royce design chief Giles Taylor has been tapped to lead the design team for China's Hongqi, also called Red Flag.

The final say...

Volkswagon Group CEO Herbert Diess anticipates challenges of launching 80 new electric vehicles across its brands by 2025.

VW foresaw light-truck shift. Right?

A 1964 Volkswagen of America print advertisement offers clues to why cars are in steep decline today.

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