Automotive News Table of Contents

April 23, 2018

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THIRD OF A 3-PART SERIES
Dealers want a piece of the auto subscription action, too
Author: Jamie LaReau

Some dealers are offering subscription programs to ensure the retailers remain relevant as automakers also experiment with the business model.

GM brings Cadillac back into the fold
Author: Michael Wayland

In ousting Johan de Nysschen and replacing him with Steve Carlisle, a company loyalist in the vein of CEO Mary Barra, GM appears to be signaling its desire to bring Cadillac back into the fold under a single, unified corporate vision that emphasizes speed and measurable return on investment.

No thanks, Ford says to 9-speed offered by GM
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford has elected not to use GM's nine-speed transmission out of the box, opting instead for two new eight-speed transmissions on vehicles such as the Ford Edge, Ford Transit Connect and Lincoln Nautilus.

Dealers fixate on costs
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealers are increasingly cutting costs across the board this year to offset narrowing margins, rising expenses and a potential economic downturn.

YANG JIAN
Don't bet on widespread breakups of JVs in China
Author: Yang Jian

A complete separation will be hard for some global brands that manufacture in China, and it may not be desirable for major global automakers such as General Motors.

Washington angles to check CFPB's power
Author: Hannah Lutz and Jackie Charniga

Congressional efforts to limit the CFPB's power are moving in parallel with similar efforts by its leader.

Ford Diesel F-150 cracks 30 mpg mark
Author: Michael Martinez

The first diesel version of the Ford F-150 will be rated at 30 mpg in highway driving, making it the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the market when it hits showrooms next month.

GM electrics debut in Beijing
Author: Michael Wayland

The first vehicle announced under General Motors' ambitious effort to introduce at least 20 electric or fuel cell vehicles by 2023 will be the Buick Velite 6 for China.

Mercedes previewing Maybach SUV
Author: Christiaan Hetzner

Mercedes will preview a potential SUV rival to the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at the Beijing auto show this week.

New Ford 3-cylinder engine can run on just 2 cylinders
Author: Richard Truett

David Filipe, vice president of Ford's powertrain engineering, confirmed that Ford's new 1.5-liter three-cylinder with cylinder deactivation will be offered in the U.S.

New Lexus ES gets new grille, new contours
Author: Laurence Iliff

The next-generation Lexus ES sedan, which will debut at the Beijing auto show, will feature a more stylized body with a more prominent version of the brand's polarizing spindle grille.

BMW eases dealership bonus program
Author: Amy Wilson

BMW of North America won't change the major components of its controversial dealership bonus program for 2018, but it will relax some of the metrics it uses so that more dealerships should qualify for the payments.

Honda sweetens Accord leases, a little
Author: Vince Bond Jr.

The discounted lease deal puts the Accord within striking distance of the Camry in strong lease markets such as California, Ohio and Florida.

KEITH CRAIN
Are Tesla's days numbered?
Author: Keith Crain

Having a market to yourself is a wonderful thing, but it requires you to take advantage of your position quickly before losing that advantage.

EDITORIAL
Ford joins Volkswagen on a bold path forward

Give Ford Motor Co., and its European head of engineering, Joe Bakaj, credit for recognizing the virtues of Volkswagen Group's global platform strategy.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Maybe GM is just margin-minded

GM could also stand for Gross Margin, which businesses should always try to improve.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Review of mpg rules is necessary

I find there is some truth to Gina McCarthy's comment about the current administration wanting to roll back a fair number of the previous administration’s policies.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Store experience valued in Portland

There are so many hardworking people with “great habits” making a career in dealerships that I just had to respond.

PAUL WHITWORTH
Dealers can drive autonomous future
Author: Paul Whitworth

The autonomous future is indisputably coming to the automotive industry, but it is up to dealers to decide how that impacts the future of the dealership.

SAM ABUELSAMID
Relaxed CAFE standards could make a difficult business even tougher
Author: Sam Abuelsamid

Just as CAFE can often be at odds with the realities of the consumer automotive market, an overly simplistic view that all regulation is bad can be at odds with the reality of a complex global business.

Ken Garff's pioneering partnership breaks up
Author: Jamie LaReau

Ken Garff Automotive, a pioneer in private equity partnerships, will buy Garcadia Auto and its interest in 28 dealerships from Leucadia National.

BEST PRACTICES
Florida dealership cafes taste like success
Author: Jackie Charniga

At two Florida dealerships, food service is treated as a department unto itself, serving both customers and staff with a wide-ranging menu.

USED-CAR SPECIAL SECTION
The rise of a used-car powerhouse
Author: James B. Treece

Reagor Dykes Auto Group, a budding powerhouse on Automotive News' list of the top 100 dealership groups in used retail sales, sells well beyond its west Texas base.

How big a slice of the used-car pie will independents take?
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

Independent retailers are abundant, resilient and growing, but they don't necessarily pose a threat to franchised dealerships' used-vehicle operations.

Physical used-car auctions have an online role
Author: Stephanie Hernandez McGavin

Online auctions will continue to make inroads, but physical sites remain a necessity, a study prepared for the National Auto Auction Association found.

Getting used-to-new vehicle balance right is key
Author: James B. Treece

The closely watched ratio of used- to new-vehicle retail sales is a measure of dealership success. But in fact, it's a metric where very few dealerships excel.

Dealer anniversaries

Dealers featured this week include Larry Gambrel, dealer principal of Gambrel Toyota in Corbin, Ky.; Greg Murray, president of Murray's Ford-Lincoln in DuBois, Pa.; Robert Frankel, dealer principal of Frankel Acura in Cockeysville, Md.

Create auto career paths for women, managers say
Author: Anisa Jibrell

Automotive manufacturers are staffing up for a new wave of innovators to drive technological change, and many realize that they need a more diverse pool of talent -- especially women -- to get the job done.

JUST ARRIVED: 2019 Infiniti QX50

A look at the new Infiniti QX50 and its crossover competitors.

Retooled QX50 fills Infiniti's 'biggest void'
Author: David Phillips

Infiniti has turned its aging QX50 into a true competitor in the compact premium crossover space, with an advanced engine, new safety technologies and an attractive sticker.

Toyota goes out on a limb with V2V
Author: Laurence Iliff

Toyota is hoping to break an awkward silence in the discussion over getting vehicles to talk to one another.

Toyota powertrain boss feeling the pressure
Author: Hans Greimel

Hirohisa Kishi says he's tackling one of his biggest challenges yet — how to keep internal combustion engines competitive in the age of electric vehicles.

Self-driving cars hitting red lights
Author: Shiraz Ahmed

Federal and state officials, once eager advocates of self-driving cars, now are pumping the brakes and demanding greater accountability and information that auto and tech companies may not be willing to provide.

Infiniti plots more local production in China
Author: Hans Greimel

Infiniti wants to triple its sales in China in five years by ramping up local production of five new nameplates.

Toyota looks for a breakthrough with reworked cars
Author: Laurence Iliff

The relatively low-volume Avalon and Corolla hatchback offer a preview of stablemates that are more critical for Toyota North America: the reworked Lexus ES, which will debut this week in Beijing, and the coming Corolla sedan.

Magna delivers carbon fiber subframe prototype to Ford
Author: Hans Greimel

Magna International Inc. has delivered a carbon fiber subframe prototype to Ford it says will reduce weight and tooling costs and hopes to rule on mass production by year end.

Drive Germain: 'This is a time-saving service'
Author: Jamie LaReau

Germain Automotive Group is in the subscription car business to attract new customers, drive revenue and prepare for a changing future.

Flexdrive: Independent dealers get tools to build subscription revenue
Author: Jamie LaReau

Momentum Motorcars in Atlanta serves as a role model to franchise dealers on how to do subscription selling.

FlexWheels: Ready-made dealer platform
Author: Jamie LaReau

Warren Henry Auto Group started a subscription program that's inspiring the group to develop an operational platform to help other dealers run subscription models.

Calif. bill would add some muscle to franchise laws
Author: James B. Treece

A wide-ranging California bill that aims to strengthen the state's existing new-car dealer franchise laws is scheduled to have its first committee hearing today.

Flow Automotive's three keys to profiting from subscriptions
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealer Don Flow had tried to come up with a way to let customers swap vehicles frequently; the advent of vehicle subscription services now makes it possible -- and profitable for him.

The Rising Stars and a superstar

An ageless Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman and high flyer at Chrysler, Ford and BMW, addressed Automotive News’ automaker and supplier Rising Stars last week at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Cadillac polishes all-new, 3-row SUV
Author: Richard Truett

Cadillac's next all-new vehicle -- the XT6 -- is taking shape and taking to the road for testing.

Nissan wants 9,000 stores renovated worldwide in next 5 years
Author: Hans Greimel

Nissan envisions renovating 9,000 of its 10,000 worldwide dealerships over the next five years.

Camaro blows out candles on Mustang birthday cake

Ford wants to celebrate the Mustang's 54th birthday. That gave Chevy its own marketing idea.

Dealership internet ad spending tops in 2017

In 2017, for the first time, the Internet topped all other advertising spending by dealerships combined.

MG has built a large SUV
Author: Autoweek

The MG of the present is a bit ... unrecognizable, but the company is forging ahead into new segments and new powertrains.

Used-car auction onboard the USS Midway

It was all hands on deck for an auction of used Lexus and Toyota vehicles on the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway.


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