Automotive News Table of Contents

May 22, 2017

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Amid good times, Ford braces for bad ones
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford and GM are making recession-style staff cuts even as sales and profits remain relatively strong.

What's the succession plan at AutoNation?
Author: Hannah Lutz and Amy Wilson

A series of high-level executive departures at AutoNation -- highlighted by COO Bill Berman's abrupt departure last week -- has raised questions about the succession plan for CEO Mike Jackson, 68.

Mark Reuss, in the 'knothole'
Author: Nick Bunkley

As much as Mark Reuss, a licensed road racer who created General Motors' Performance Division, relishes the fast lane, his appreciation for the carpool lane also runs deep.

Trade officials seek end to border hassles
Author: Eric Kulisch

North American trade officials say synchronizing regulations and improving infrastructure at ports of entry are as important as trade agreements. The goal is the free movement of cross-border goods.

Carlos Tavares stays on track
Author: Peter Sigal

For PSA CEO Carlos Tavares, racing is perhaps more natural than running a global car company with annual revenues of $59 billion.

India exit puts GM in 'right markets'
Author: Nick Bunkley

GM CEO Mary Barra signaled that GM isn't planning any more major reductions to its geographic profile. Still, she said the company would aggressively pare costs everywhere it can.

Rick Hendrick: One brand, half selling, half racing
Author: Jamie LaReau

Dealer Rick Hendrick divides his time between two companies, one in stock-car racing and the other in automotive retail. Here's how it all comes together as one brand.

Lexus patient with fixed-price program
Author: Laurence Iliff

A year into the Lexus Plus no-haggle pricing program, the expected waves of dealers joining are only ripples. But brand executives say a slow and steady pace has its benefits.

Nissan execs hint at upcoming EV crossover
Author: Hans Greimel

Nissan is working on a concept vehicle that will showcase its ideas for intelligent mobility and foreshadow an all-electric crossover.

Wrangler-esque hauler spotted

Jeep's first pickup in a generation was spotted in Michigan by spy photographers.

Maroone jumps back into auto retailing
Author: Jamie LaReau

Mike Maroone, former COO of 
AutoNation Inc., spent the bulk of his two-year retirement searching for a way back into auto retail. He found it at an off-the-radar meeting last November.

Volvo's Hakan Samuelsson to speak at Europe congress

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, who has pushed the Swedish automaker to new heights in the past five years, will speak at the Automotive News Europe Congress on June 21 in Barcelona.

How racing pays off in daily driving
Author: Dave Guilford

Automakers rationalize racing as a proving ground for performance and safety technology. I totally buy that, even for brands that make mainstream family haulers.

The thrill of simply going fast
Author: Keith Crain

The most important day of my life, I always thought, was the day I got my driver's license.

Why racing matters

Racing is the soul and maybe even the starting point of the auto industry. That's why this issue of Automotive News is dedicated to the sport of automobile racing.

Don't give up yet on EV subsidies
Author: Avi Steinlauf

While many in the industry may believe EVs are the future, the unfortunate reality is that they're not the present, writes Edmunds CEO Avi Steinlauf.

Racing scenes inspire Mazda's top designer
Author: Hans Greimel

When Mazda global design chief Ikuo Maeda was a boy, he saw the 1971 Steve McQueen racing epic Le Mans. The led to a passion for racing that feeds his creative side.

JLR's Kim McCullough fulfills a dream
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

A not-so-great driving performance at the Bob Bondurant Racing School in Arizona in 1992 prompted Kim McCullough, then Mazda's national advertising manager, to get serious about racing and to eventually compete in amateur race events.

Driverless cars will redefine racing
Author: Katie Burke

In the early days of racing, it was questionable if a car could even cross the finish line. Vehicle engineering was still a new science, and completing a race in one piece was half the battle.

LAcarGuy's racing videos strike a chord
Author: Amy Wilson

California dealer Mike Sullivan, the self-branded LAcarGuy, has headed to the track to promote his Porsche of South Bay store. He's racing in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport series and taking his customers along for the ride in his Weekend Warriors web video series.

Akio Toyoda: Master driver, late bloomer
Author: Hans Greimel

Akio Toyoda not only runs Toyota Motor Corp. but is its master driver, the final arbiter of what makes a Lexus a Lexus and a Toyota a Toyota. Knowing how to drive - no, race - a car makes him like no other CEO in the 79 years since his grandfather founded the company.

The metamorphosis of C.J. Wilson
Author: David Undercoffler

There's retiring, and then there's retiring at age 35 with millions of dollars in the bank and a passion for racing, owning and selling some of the world's most pedigreed car brands.

Toyota’s driving chief learns the secret sauce
Author: Hans Greimel

In an interview with Asia Editor Hans Greimel, Akio Toyoda, 61, talked about his interest in racing and how it now influences the flavor of Lexus and Toyota vehicles.

Penske, Crain and the obsession that unites them
Author: Keith Crain

As a young man, Penske did well enough to be named Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1961. But Penske soon would make a decision that would change his life.

Builder meets racers, and a hobby is born
Author: Jamie LaReau

The love of racing extends beyond auto execs and dealers. Consider dealership builder Bill Heifner, who owns and drives vintage race cars.

Bob Carter and the car that's now a couch
Author: Laurence Iliff

In his youth, Toyota executive Bob Carter would visit the short tracks of western Pennsylvania on Saturday nights with his brother, soaking up the local racing culture.

Honda's Sage Marie recalls memorable machines
Author: David Undercoffler

A car guy working for a car company is lucky. Sage Marie is luckier than most.

Duerheimer steers Bentley back to the track
Author: Nick Gibbs

Wolfgang Duerheimer is a strong believer in the old adage "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday," but his love of racing comes from a place where money is the means rather than the end.

Ford's Jim Farley: Racing to relax
Author: Nick Gibbs

For Ford of Europe President Jim Farley, racing is the antidote to the pressures of working life.

Why tiny Mazda rules amateur racing
Author: David Undercoffler

Mazda's footprint in the auto industry is tiny. But its reach in the world of club and amateur racing is unparalleled.

TI's Bill Kozyra: 'What does the car give back?'
Author: Richard Truett

Whipping a high-revving sports car or a torquey low-revving Detroit muscle car around a track at high speeds is a form of therapy for Bill Kozyra, CEO of TI Automotive, a Tier 1 supplier of fuel system parts.

JLR engineers use the America's Cup race to gather performance intel
Author: Richard Truett

Jaguar Land Rover's engineers using big data at the dawn of the self-driving era are getting their feet wet on a racetrack in the ocean.

FCA's Ralph Gilles: Unleashing the 'inner racer'
Author: Larry P. Vellequette

There's no disputing it -- Ralph Gilles is one of the coolest guys in the auto industry. But when does Fiat Chrysler Auto-mobiles' global head of design achieve peak cool?

Mazda's Davis sees racing as a test of character
Author: David Undercoffler

A lifetime around racetracks has taught Mazda's Robert Davis that if you can trust someone at a track, you can trust that person anywhere.

Raj Nair's mom was right
Author: Michael Martinez

Raj Nair, the head of Ford's product development, doesn't remember when he first fell in love with motorsports. But he knows his parents certainly didn't have anything to do with it.

Tasca family lives the 'win on Sunday' philosophy
Author: Jim Henry

The Tasca family of auto dealers claims its founder conceived the slogan "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." It neatly sums up the business case for why dealers and automakers race.

Aston's Andy Palmer: 'Love what you make'
Author: Nick Gibbs

"Me driving the car isn't going to help us win." Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer is blunt about that.

Cox Automotive spreads its racing bets
Author: Hannah Lutz

Racing is a huge part of the marketing strategy across Cox Automotive's media brands, which include Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. Here's why.

For dealer Bruncati, winning doesn't come cheap
Author: Diana T. Kurylko

Winning doesn't come cheap for dealer Bob Bruncati, who fields two NASCAR K&N Pro Series West teams. So why does he do it?

Ford GT's storybook finish had stomach-turning start
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford Motor Co.'s 2016 return to racing with the GT supercar had a storybook ending: victory at Le Mans 50 years after it beat rival Ferrari to put American motorsports on the map.

Innovations at the Indianapolis 500
Author: Jack Walsworth

Technological advancements tested on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's historic 2.5-mile oval have transitioned to everyday production models since the very first race.

BorgWarner CEO's duty: Protect the queen
Author: David Sedgwick

For a company that makes turbochargers, it's hard to imagine a happier event than last year's Indianapolis 500.

Ford to build an 8-speed transmission in Michigan
Author: Michael Martinez

Ford will build an eight-speed front-wheel-drive transmission, downsized from a planned nine-speed, at a Michigan plant.

Mueller, overseer of Takata fund, gets new assignment
Author: Nick Bunkley

A federal judge in Detroit may need to find someone else to oversee a compensation fund for victims of defective Takata airbags.