Industry

In early March, the team at Outsell held an off-site, multiday meeting to create the dealership marketing company’s long-term product development road map. There were plans for a new content management system, more product integrations and new reporting tools. But within weeks, the situation changed. The pandemic prompted states across most of the country to
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LOS ANGELES — Just as the coronavirus pandemic was plunging the U.S. auto industry into crisis and stripping millions of car sales from stunned retailers, Duke Hale was searching for American factory space to assemble Chinese crossovers for his Southern California startup. Hale, CEO of HAAH Automotive Holdings, partnered with China’s Chery Automobile Co. this
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TOKYO — Nissan’s next-generation electric vehicle, the long-awaited Ariya crossover, will get the company’s latest automated driving system and all-electric powertrain and drive like a dream. That’s the promise from CEO Makoto Uchida, who told Nissan shareholders last week that the production-version Ariya will make its global debut on July 15 and soon go on
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For years, you could always count on Fiat Chrysler brands being doormats in surveys of vehicle quality. In a decade of annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Studies starting in 2008, only one FCA brand — Ram in 2017 — managed to make it among the top 10. That’s one for 100, a sorry batting average
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The world’s biggest auto parts suppliers have their hands full this year. But for many of them, the challenges were already piling up in 2019. Well before the coronavirus pandemic brought down global vehicle production in March and turned suppliers’ operations upside-down, the parts industry was taking it in the gut over a steep business
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Shari Sandidge cut staffing levels at her Miller Buick-GMC dealership in Woodbridge, N.J., by more than half as the coronavirus pandemic hit. And while she has since brought many employees back with the help of federal loan money, she has also eliminated three positions out of concern for slower sales. “There’s been so much unknown,”
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Why do they bother? That question is asked of smaller brands that find themselves struggling to compete in the U.S. market sometimes. Why don’t they just throw in the towel? A few decades ago, industry sages wondered aloud how a brand such as Mitsubishi could seriously envision competing in the U.S. — not just against
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As in-lane bidders return to wholesale auto auctions amid the coronavirus pandemic, one thing is clear: Used-vehicle buyers want both physical and digital sales. In-lane buyers at Manheim returned last week for the first time in three months at a handful of auctions while rival ADESA was allowing in-person buyers at more than two dozen
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Optimistically gloomy” is how George Augustaitis, the director of industry analytics at CarGurus, recently described American consumers. And that about sums up my attitude about the car business these days. His point was that Americans are very down about the state of the economy, but they are hopeful that things will get better quickly. I’m
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It started with a cup of coffee. In attempts to curb drowsy driving, Mercedes-Benz introduced a system that identified clues that a motorist was growing tired, such as how often they departed their lane. If the system detected trouble, it illuminated an icon resembling a steaming cup of coffee on the instrument cluster. Roughly a
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A Michigan man known as “Mr. Chevy” bought the final Chevrolet Impala. And it’s not the first time he’s done so. Pinky Randall, whose enthusiasm for the brand has been documented over the decades in Automotive News and elsewhere, took delivery this month of the final Impala built before General Motors shut down the plant
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Car dealership Lookers has agreed to correct its accounts after auditors found it overstated profitability by a total of £19m over several years. Auditors Grant Thornton have been investigating potential fraud at the Altrincham-based firm. Their draft report found some “fraudulent expense claims” and “several areas” where financial controls “require strengthening”. Earlier this month, Lookers
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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. knows there’s no room for error in launching its redesigned F-150 pickup. But executives are confident they won’t repeat the costly mistakes that tripped up early Explorer production last year. To roll out the Explorer, Ford tore its Chicago Assembly Plant down to the studs, rebuilt it in 30 days
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The second quarter made clear that U.S. auto sales are in recovery mode. The question heading into the third quarter, with COVID-19 cases surging in major automotive markets in California, Florida and Texas, is whether the upward trend will continue. The industry bounced back from a treacherous decline in March and early April, helped by
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In the past few weeks, news has emerged that Ford Motor Co. and General Motors are squaring off on a fight for future delivery vans. GM reportedly — unconfirmed by the company — is working on an advanced electric van, while Ford announced a deal with Volkswagen for those two companies to share delivery vans.
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Whether it’s the only option or the preferred choice for customers, the shift to digital auto sales is coming fast — ready or not. However, the speedy digital transition we’re experiencing has been happening gradually for years, and the dealers who do it right in the next few months could be well-positioned to succeed in
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Car taxes should be increased to help fund the battle against climate change, government advisers say. They say ministers should bring forward the date for ending sales of new conventional cars from 2035 to 2032. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says the chancellor should also consider increasing the tax on gas for home heating.
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The Hyundai-Aptiv autonomous driving joint venture has ambitious plans to advance the development and commercialization of Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies in just a couple of years. The JV, formed in March, is headed by President Karl Iagnemma, founder of self-driving technology startup nuTonomy. He’s a University of Michigan graduate and the author of
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Battling through an economic collapse triggered by a subprime mortgage crisis is different from dealing with one set off by a virus. Yet in some ways, the challenges are similar. So it’s helpful to reflect on what industry leaders were saying 11 years ago, the final year of the Great Recession, when U.S. auto sales
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