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Don't invest in steam engines

Way back when, a lot of folks were convinced that steam engines would be the powerplant of choice. Still, steam went the way of the buggy whip. Don't be surprised if battery power goes the same way.


At CES, a mad dash to nowhere

A gridlocked Las Vegas during CES prompts our publisher to ask: Are auto companies risking their future in their headlong and expensive embrace of autonomy? A slower, more cautious approach may be the better way.


Understanding key to individualization

A top industry analyst at J.D. Power asks: Why do we suddenly have so many different versions of one vehicle on the market?

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Billionaire Schaefflers hold the keys to Conti's fortunes

Breaking up Continental is an old idea, but even as suppliers such as Delphi and Autoliv announced they were dividing last year, the German giant didn't budge. With Conti now talking of a major overhaul, all eyes are the billionaire Schaeffler family, which controls almost half of the supplier's stock.

COMMENTARY: Lindsay Chappell
Nissan's Rogue an ongoing surprise

Nissan's Rogue crossover was one of just two nonpickup nameplates to sell more than 400,000 units in 2017. It wasn't predicted a few years ago.

Glimpse the future in Detroit

There is an awful lot going on in the automobile business these days. To say the future is cloudy is an understatement. The Detroit auto show should help clarify things.

CANADA: 2 million sold (It's just one number)

Is two million any better than 1,999,999, other than the one vehicle that makes the difference? Other numbers, such as used-vehicle values, incentives and interest rates, are likely more important.

COMMENTARY: Krishnan M. Anantharaman
Toyota's slow-and-steady approach won't win this race

While Toyota has been satisfied to manage the evolution of Hybrid Synergy Drive over two decades, competitors such as General Motors, Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan have been busy driving the next revolution in transportation.

It is finally happening, sort of

After a decade of delays and false starts, it looks like we will see several more 48-volt battery systems installed in the top-of-the-line German vehicles in 2018. It will be interesting to see how it works.

Join the crowd talking fixed ops in our pages

As this issue of Fixed Ops Journal ends our second year, I've assumed the role of editor. If I'm to have any hope of following adequately in my predecessor's footsteps, I'll need the help of this magazine's expert and influential readers.

Reinventing fixed ops

In a guest commentary, vAuto founder Dale Pollak urges service departments to make radical changes to address inefficiencies in scheduling, productivity and transparency.

Won't see you later

Columnist Richard Truett explains why, based on frustrating experience, he won't be going to a dealership for oil changes from now on.

Looks like they got it right

I don't know how successful Lincoln will be in China, where it is starting a huge marketing and product push, but the luxury brand looks to be making the right moves in North America.

Musk's magic can't last forever

I have nothing but admiration for Elon Musk. He is a remarkable entrepreneur who has achieved many remarkable things. But I believe he has bitten off too much with the Tesla Model 3.

End the wait for safety technology

If an automaker has developed automatic braking and can install it as an option, then it can make the same technology standard on all its vehicles.

COMMENTARY: Michael Dunne
Will Baidu beat Waymo?

Consultant Michael Dunne said he is betting on China's Baidu, known in the West as the Google of China, to outmanuever Waymo in the self-driving wars.

COMMENTARY: John Creamer Daniel Malone
The industry's second chance to be first in safety

U.S. automakers failed to get out in front of the safety push of the 1960s, and paid a big price. They have a chance to take a different approach in the era of autonomous driving.

COMMENTARY: Michael Wayland
Chevy should follow Cadillac and go after Tesla

Chevy appears to be doing little to nothing to attract the hundreds of thousands of consumers who could wait years for a Tesla Model 3 into a Chevrolet Bolt EV — an actual all-electric car not from "manufacturing Hell."

Throwing the 48-volt switch

I have been around long enough to remember when most cars were equipped with 6-volt batteries. They were cumbersome and never turned the engine over fast enough in cold weather.