It's long been clear the best part of Saturn was its dealer network: a collection of the savviest, most powerful and connected dealers in the country. They are the folks GM wooed in the late 80's and early 90's because they had been in the car business for years and knew how to do it right. For all the talk about Saturn having loyal customers and a clean image, the real value of the brand has been and remains the dealer network.
After 20 years, plenty or promise, and plenty of "what ifs", Saturn is approaching the end of the road.
With evidence mounting that texting and driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving, nearly everyone agrees that it is a huge problem that must be stopped. Sure, 18 states have made it illegal to text and drive, but the fact is many people-especially teens-continue to type away while behind the wheel. So why not take the next step, and have cars come with a device that jams cell phone signals for those in the driver seat?
When the Toyota first announced a safety alert, two questions crossed my mind. First, how serious is this problem to fix? Second, how much will this stain Toyota's sterling reputation?
Less than two months after GM and eBay hooked up to try online sales of new cars in California, CNBC has learned the program will end as scheduled tomorrow.
Hyundai is picking up market share here in the U.S. thanks to a potent combination of much better product (both in terms of quality and styling) and savvy marketing. A company that was once dismissed as weak imitator of the Japanese automakers is now taking it to the folks from Toyota, Nissan, and Honda.
Almost two weeks into its campaign offering buyers of GM vehicles their money back if they are not satisfied, Bob Lutz likes what he is seeing. In fact, the Vice-Chairman is so confident the program will work, he is predicting fewer than 1% of those who buy a Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC under this promotion will ask for their money back.
After 3 months of kicking the tires and looking under the hood at Chrysler, CEO Sergio Marchionne is about to roll his game plan for fixing the troubled American auto maker.
Ford Motor is increasing its focus on the fast-growing car markets of the Asia-Pacific region, executives said Wednesday as they rolled out a new small car in India, says the New York Times.
As IPO's go, A123 has elicited a fair amount of discussion, much of it boiling down to this question: Is buying into the promise of the Massachusetts-based battery maker the same as buying into the hype that surrounded ethanol related stocks a few years back?
They are the moves, comments, and reflections of a struggling auto industry finally getting back on its feet. In the last week several major automakers and their executives have sent clear signs they are preparing for better times.
My blog about Chrysler deciding to kill the owner's manual and replace it with a DVD and a small quick reference user guide prompted many of you to blast me for saying it seems like a smart move.
In the world of advancing the auto business, this doesn't rank up there with side curtain airbags in terms of importance. Heck, it's a change most people won't even notice. Still, Chrysler's decision to replace the bulky owner's manual with a DVD and small user's guide is one that a few folks out there will see as a no-brainer that is long overdue.
Every once in a while, you go to an auto show, and the future of the industry crystallizes before your eyes... ow there is another wave of vehicles that will drive the auto industry over the next 10-15 years. They are the electric, plug-in hybrids, and extended range electric cars.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne candidly admits the troubled American auto maker was far weaker than expected when he finally took over as CEO. I caught up with him at the Frankfurt Auto Show, and he pulled no punches in assessing what he found at Chrysler when he became CEO.
Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is not a man to tiptoe into anything. When he leads his company into a new arena, he likes to go in charging. When Nissan stepped up to the U.S. full size pick-up truck market a few years back, he made a big splash in Detroit. Now, in Frankfurt, he's doing it again.
After a year of going to auto shows that felt more like wakes, there's a sense the Frankfurt Auto Show starting Tuesday will bring optimism back to the industry. Call it premature. Call it wishful thinking. Call it whatever you like. But for those who relish auto shows because of the new models, styles, and trends they unveil, this could be the start of seeing the car business focus on cars.
Bob Lutz is swinging for the fences. Knowing he has to move quickly to change the perception of GM cars and trucks, the head marketing man is putting his money where his mouth is. General Motors is offering a 60 day money back guarantee on the company line-up of '09 and '10 models.
Conventional wisdom says the very well off go through recessions with little or no impact...This fall, conventional wisdom will be tested. There are a slew of new models either hitting showrooms or being introduced for hitting the street next year
For as long as I've been covering the auto industry, I've seen some variation of this story on a regular basis. Every so often, there is a survey that shows a growing percentage of car buyers would be willing to consider sliding behind the wheel of a Big 3 car. Despite these encouraging reports, the Big 3 market share continues to slide.