Automotive News Table of Contents

November 19, 2018

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Ford aims to simplify -- again
Author: Michael Martinez

Reducing the number of side-mirror configurations on the Explorer is a small change but a telling example of how Ford let itself fall back out of shape after tiptoeing around bankruptcy -- and the sort of bloat CEO Jim Hackett sees as a threat to Ford's "fitness."

GM on pickup mpg: 'Don't look at the label'
Author: Michael Wayland

GM argues that EPA fuel economy ratings for its 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine don't tell the whole story.

Zotye's U.S. goal: No-hassle retailing
Author: Melissa Burden

Chinese automaker Zotye has begun signing up U.S. retailers and plans to "really shake things up" when it comes to factory-dealer norms.

Can quieter Corolla make some noise?
Author: Vince Bond Jr. and Krishnan M. Anantharaman

The redesigned Corolla must prove it can deliver more stability and power to Toyota's U.S. car sales, which are down 11 percent this year.

Industry on edge with trade pact signing near
Author: Eric Kulisch

Provisional agreement on a new North American trade pact was supposed to reduce economic uncertainty for the industry after months of acrimonious negotiations. But less than two weeks before the official signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, auto interests are worried that U.S.

VW: $50 billion for EVs, mobility
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Volkswagen plans to spend about €44 billion ($50 billion) over the next five years on a comprehensive electrified mobility strategy that includes making at least 15 million battery-powered autos and further research into autonomous driving

AutoNation and Scott Painter patch things up
Author: Hannah Lutz

After a public feud over customer-data access led to a severed contract, AutoNation and TrueCar made amends. Now, the dealership group is giving ex-TrueCar CEO Scott Painter a second chance.

Honda manager tackles new terrain
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

In a rare move, Honda chose someone from its powersports division to lead manufacturing for a car, the third-generation Insight.

Nissan's U.S. profit push bogs down as sales slow
Author: Hans Greimel

Nissan says its push to improve profitability in the crucial U.S. market is taking more time and money than expected.

A first look at Jeep's Gladiator pickup

Fiat Chrysler accidentally leaked pictures on the Jeep Gladiator Forum website of its new pickup that goes on sale next year.

ZF’s PACE Award-winning innovative transmissions
Author: James B. Treece

Three transmissions, each representing a breakthrough, won three Automotive News PACE Awards for Germany’s ZF in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

Ford, Toyota recognized for commitment to diversity
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

Rainbow Coalition President Jesse Jackson said Toyota "seems to have the idea that doing business with us is good for business, not the cost of doing business."

Penske, Lithia to workers: Get a physical, save money
Author: Melissa Burden

Penske Automotive Group Inc. and other public retailers are offering financial rewards to employees and their spouses for things like getting a physical or completing biometric screenings. The companies want to improve employee health and tackle rising health care costs.

What JCI sale isn't: Prelude to a leap into EV batteries
Author: David Sedgwick

JCI's big battery unit just sold for billions -- and believe it or not, electric vehicles are not where the future action is.

Mulally: EVs are fun, but 'make no sense'
Author: Amy Wilson

Former Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, speaking at the National Auto Auction Association's annual convention, knocked tax credits and mandates for EVs as ineffective policy tools.

Online auctions key to wholesalers' future
Author: David Muller

Online auctions and the digital tools that accompany them are key to vehicle wholesalers' futures.

Used-vehicle space ripe for innovation
Author: David Muller

The need for traditional dealers to get innovative in the pre-owned space was apparent at the 2018 Used Car Week annual event in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Brose sticks to core products
Author: Richard Truett

One of Europe's largest motor suppliers, Brose Fahrzeugteile, is taking a conservative path in the EV market and focusing on other product areas.

Calsonic reinvents itself with German CEO
Author: David Sedgwick

If you really want to transform a company, hire a foreigner to run it. Japan's Calsonic Kansei did.

Merchant of shiny takes on lightweighting
Author: Jack Walsworth

SRG Global Inc.'s product portfolio ranges from coating finishes to front grilles. Grilles also now include lightweight options, CEO Dave Prater says.

Number to watch: $84.5 billion

Sales of lead-acid batteries are expected to almost double to $84.5 billion by the year 2025, according to the market research firm Grand View Research.

Who's watching the watchers?
Author: Jack Walsworth

Onboard cameras are beginning to watch drivers to make sure they have their eyes on the road. Is this a Pandora's box of privacy issues?

Cabin story raises more questions

A UAW retiree raises more questions about the construction of a lakefront cabin for a retired UAW president amid a corruption scandal.

Don't dismiss warnings of retail upheaval

While NADA leaders and many dealers expect evolutionary, not revolutionary, change, they aren't sticking their heads in the sand.

Get trade issues resolved
Author: Keith Crain

The midterm elections are over, the attorney general has been removed, and we are settling in for two years in Washington that promise to be filled with intrigue and accusations.

Preparing for a used-vehicle future
Author: Hannah Lutz

The direction of automotive retailing is up for debate, but considering recent moves by lenders and dealerships, industry leaders are placing their bets on the used-vehicle space.

Self-driving tests disregard human life

Autonomous vehicle testing disregards human life and should be limited to tracks, not city streets.

Let product chief focus on product
Author: Richard Truett

Mark Reuss' duties at General Motors are so voluminous, they don't even fit into one paragraph.

Muscle cars do the heavy lifting
Author: Ken Wysocky

Pennsylvania dealerships' annual car show builds brand recognition while raising money for a heartwarming charitable cause.

New-gen pickups win high marks for safety
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

Crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have violently demonstrated just how safe the latest generation of pickups has become, even compared with models from only a few years ago.

PSA'S CARLOS TAVARES: French automaker on track with U.S. plans

The French automaker, PSA group, is on track with its plans to return to the U.S. through its newly created PSA North America.


Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali is wrestling with how to shape the company's fourth product

With help from AutoNation and Ford, a battered Florida store's managers and employees look ahead
Author: Danielle Szatkowski

The community surrounding AutoNation Ford Panama City looks like a war zone after Hurricane Michael. Still, dealership employees have found a sense of normalcy and routine in returning to the battered store.

As automakers move more vehicles via ship, investments pour into North American ports
Author: Eric Kulisch

Finished-vehicle logistics tends to go unnoticed in the automotive sector compared with manufacturing and marketing — until a shipping delay creates a shortage at dealerships.

Freeport: 100-acre expansion on tap

Port Freeport, in the middle of the Texas Gulf Coast, began handling autos in June 2015.

Lazaro Cardenas: A body shop at processing center

SSA Marine this year opened a $50 million vehicle processing center at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas, in Mexico, under a 30-year exclusive operating agreement with the port authority. The auto terminal, sitting on 100 acres, has two vessel berths and a 72-spot on-dock rail loading area.

Nanaimo: M-B takes the water all the way

Mercedes-Benz will be the first European automaker to deliver vehicles to Canada's western provinces via an all-water route.

Brunswick: Cross-country service planned from Ga.

Brunswick is the rare port with lots of available land for expansion, and the Georgia Ports Authority is taking advantage of it with an aggressive growth plan aimed at winning new customers and capturing greater market share.

Jacksonville: New terminal to boost capacity 25%

The second-largest U.S. port for vehicle trade is close to finishing the first phase of a new auto terminal that will expand its capacity 25 percent.

Mobile: Ala. sees big export potential

A joint venture between Argentine and Chilean port services companies has begun site preparation for a new auto facility at the Port of Mobile, in Alabama.

Next-gen car carrier boosts efficiency
Author: Eric Kulisch

A new car carrier from Mitsui O.S.K. Lines called the Flexie series eases the loading and unloading process and increases cargo capacity.

Baltimore: Vehicle processor goes after stink bugs with heat

A new heat treatment facility to eradicate stink bugs and other pests at the Port of Baltimore is designed to speed processing of vehicles being shipped to Australia and New Zealand.

Tacoma: Congestion in L.A. pushes Nissan cargo north

Nissan will ship vehicles through the Pacific Northwest for the first time via a facility being built by North American logistics partner Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions at the Port of Tacoma, in Washington.

Tuxpan: Overflow facility in Mexico

Tuxpan, a small port on the Gulf of Mexico originally envisioned for container business, is becoming an auto relief valve for the crowded Port of Veracruz.

Veracruz: Parking garage to ease long delays

Veracruz is the largest auto port in Mexico, processing nearly 60 percent of its imports and exports.

While the novelty wears off for most retro-styled cars, Challenger powers on
Author: Richard Truett and Larry P. Vellequette

Everything old may be new again, but eventually, everything that's new again grows old. Except, perhaps, for the Dodge Challenger.

Porsche sees gold in classic cars
Author: Urvaksh Karkaria

Porsche is looking to expand its Porsche Classic operations to build its lucrative vehicle service business through its U.S. dealerships.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Michael and Lisa Vadasz, dealer principals of Otto's BMW in West Chester, Pa.; Greg Smith, dealer principal of Piedmont Honda in Anderson, S.C.; and Joe Pritchard, owner of Chrysler of Forest City in Iowa.

Johnson Controls exits the auto industry
Author: David Sedgwick

Automotive giant Johnson Controls exits the industry stage to return to its 135-year-old roots of focusing on climate control systems for buildings.

Penske alters drug plan to combat opioid abuse
Author: Melissa Burden

Through its insurance provider, Penske Automotive Group Inc. is changing its prescription programs to help curb opioid abuse.

BMW to debut two halo models of new 3 series

BMW to debut two halo models of the redesigned performance 3 series at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month.

Emil Frey now #1 in Europe

Switzerland's Emil Frey is now Europe's biggest dealer group based on revenue after last year's purchase of 275 sites from the Volkswagen Group, according to a report by dealer analyst ICDP.

Ford's baby Bronco pictures

Photos leaked from Ford's annual dealer meeting last month in Las Vegas provide the first public look at the so-called baby Bronco, an upcoming off-road compact crossover.

Hyundai CUV image revealed before debut

Hyundai's three-row Palisade crossover is on full view in, more than a week before the vehicle's official unveiling on Nov. 28 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

JLR researcher gets sick so you don't have to

Preventing carsickness. It's next on the new mobility to-do list.

Listen up, FCA: Here's what you should do

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' lagging stock price has at least one investor offering suggestions.

The final say...

Waymo is planning to launch the world's first commercial robotaxi service.

Vanquish case closed?

The Aston Martin Vanquish mystery might just be solved. A fellow English carmaker may have bought the tooling and design drawings for the outgoing supercar.

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