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Autoline This Week

In depth discussions of the most important trends and developments shaping the automotive industry with industry executives and the top auto journalists. Your half-hour update on what they’re talking about in the C-suites.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Autoline This Week #1909: Today’s Retailing

The auto industry is enjoying a tremendous sales boom. It seems almost everyone is buying a new car these days. But there are all sorts of issues facing dealers as they strategize about the future. For instance who will be buying the cars if Millennials aren’t interested and how will ride-sharing businesses effect business? Joining John McElroy to discuss these topics and much more are Rob Kurnick the president of Penske Automotive Group; Doug Fox, the president of Ann Arbor (MI) Automotive; and Katie Coleman, the co-owner of Sellers Auto Group.

27mins

2 Apr 2015

Rank #1

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Autoline This Week #1914: Ralph Gilles: FCA’s Designer of Dreams

Ralph Gilles joined Chrysler back in 1992 and has been with the company – which is now called Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – for more than half of his youthful 45 years. He started in Design Office and has held a number of positions over the years until recently when he was promoted to the top design job in FCA, Head of Design. On this edition of Autoline THIS WEEK John McElroy, Scott Burgess of Motor Trend and Car and Driver’s Eddie Alterman talk to Ralph about his career and the fruits of a life in design.

29mins

7 May 2015

Rank #2

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Autoline This Week #1639: Running On Empty

A few years ago many believed ethanol was the answer to our fuel questions. There was refining capacity, plenty of corn and OEM commitment with their Flex Fuel option. Fast forward to 2012 and it’s a totally different landscape. There are more and more small cars on the road being powered by 40+mpg engines. But just as important, we’re facing the effects of the worst drought in 50 years. In fact, the USDA says the corn yield may come in at 1995 levels, which is worse than predicted. On Autoline This Week John McElroy talks to an expert panel for an in-depth look at the ethanol issue and see where we go from here. Joining John are Candace Wheeler from General Motors, James Frusti of Chrysler and Professor Bruce Dale from Michigan State University.

26mins

21 Sep 2012

Rank #3

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Autoline This Week #1648: AutoNation's Mike Jackson: What Cars People are Buying and Why

You may be buying your car from the biggest auto dealer in the country and not even know it. AutoNation has over 200 dealerships selling cars under 18 different local brands around the USA. From luxury to economy, from Sacramento to Orlando, this 16-year old corporation has the country blanketed with cars so if there’s any one person who has a good sense of where the retail is heading in this industry it’s Mike Jackson. On Autoline This Week the Chairman and CEO of AutoNation joins John McElroy to share his views on the state of the auto industry and where it goes from here.

27mins

21 Nov 2012

Rank #4

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Autoline This Week #1647: Low Voltage

They arrived with such fanfare a couple years back, that you’d have thought we’d all be driving electrics by now but that’s not the case. In fact, even today some manufacturers are reticent to even offer an electric option. But that hasn’t stopped everyone from the biggest OEMs to the single car startups from designing and building all-electric cars. On Autoline This Week John McElroy and his panel look at the world of electric cars, if there’s a want, a need or a business case to be made for their existence. Joining John in studio is Csaba Csere, the former Editor-in-Chief of Car and Driver magazine and Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics.

27mins

16 Nov 2012

Rank #5

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Autoline This Week #1641: High Fidelity

AM Radio was king in the car for nearly 50 years. But since the 70s, its evolution has been fast and furious. First FM was all the rage followed by music on 8 Track and Cassette tapes. It wasn’t long before CDs started flooding the front seat and now, well you know, anything goes. Today’s Multi Media Interface can offer the driver everything from Satellite Radio Services to Navigation to even the Internet without breaking a sweat, but that’s just the tip of the chip. On Autoline This Week, John McElroy talks with three experts in audio electronics to hear first hand about the latest and greatest that they’re offering the consumer. Joining John are Marios Zenios, the head of Chrysler’s Uconnect Systems, Mike Hichme, GM’s Infotainment Design Manager and Allen Kudla from Panasonic Automotive.

27mins

5 Oct 2012

Rank #6

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Autoline This Week #1653: Carbon Fiber: Coming to a Car Near You

The Environmental Protection Agency's calendar keeps turning. Auto manufacturers are on a deadline to raise their total mpgs. Most are pushing their engineers to come up with gas-sipping ICEs as well as alternative powertrains like electrics and hybrids. But in addition, they are also turning to lighter weight materials like carbon fiber. Though still extremely expensive, manufacturers and suppliers alike are looking at ways to make the product cheaper so it can go on vehicles of all prices. On Autoline This Week John McElroy welcomes three people from the carbon fiber world. Florian Schattenmann is the Global R and D Director for supplier Dow Chemical, Graham Henkel is the designer of the new Viper from Chrysler's SRT division while James Staargaard is the president of Plasan Carbon Composites.

27mins

28 Dec 2012

Rank #7

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Autoline This Week #2135: VAuto: Working the Retail Side

Entrepreneur Dale Pollak made his name developing software to solve day-to-day dealership issues. But along the way he witnessed the tsunami of changes that would envelope 21st century automotive retailers and chronicled many of them in his book “Like I See It.” Today he joins Autoline to discuss not only his book, but how the changing retail world is affecting your local car dealer and how it impacts both you and me. Joining John McElroy on his journalist panel is Gary Vasilash from Automotive Design and Production and WardsAuto’s Steve Finlay.

26mins

9 Nov 2017

Rank #8

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Autoline This Week #1646: The Materials War

Heavy steel, hard plastic and thick rubber used to dominate an automaker’s assembly line. But these days those elements have been replaced by high strength, lighter weight cousins of the earlier versions along with newer materials, like aluminum. On this week’s Autoline, John McElroy introduces you to his panel of materials experts who talk about how their latest products are impacting the auto industry. Joining John on his panel are Rose Ryntz from IAC talking about the new softer, stronger plastics, Blake Zuidema from steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal discussing today’s high strength steel and Ganesh Panneer from Novelis, who provides lightweight aluminum to many auto manufacturers.

27mins

9 Nov 2012

Rank #9

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Autoline This Week #1636: Maximum Bob’s Garage

Hidden down a long driveway behind two locked gates and four garage doors is the private car collection of one of the most respected “car guys” in history, Bob Lutz. Rarely do journalists get a glimpse of these cars let alone an exclusive tour as he gave Autoline. So join host John McElroy and Peter De Lorenzo of the Autoextremist.com as “Maximum Bob” gives them a look at some of his prized cars including a 1934 LaSalle, his unique ‘70s Swiss-made Monteverdi and even the 1952 Aston Martin DB2 he found completely by accident a few years ago which originally belonged to his father. Exotic cars, rare motorcycles and even collector bikes all from the garage of Bob Lutz this week on Autoline.

26mins

31 Aug 2012

Rank #10

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Autoline This Week #1645: The Electronic Lot

Scott Painter is the essence of the 21st century entrepreneur. Having started several dot-coms since his days at Berkley, he turned his sights to the auto industry with TrueCar.com, an attempt to educate the automotive consumer with data and pricing. And that’s where all the trouble began. On Autoline This Week, John McElroy welcomes Scott Painter to the studio to talk about how TrueCar is attempting to change the auto buying customer experience. John’s panel of industry experts includes Steve Finlay from WardsAuto.com and Joe White from the Wall Street Journal.

27mins

2 Nov 2012

Rank #11

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Autoline This Week #1642: Second Hand

Cash for Clunkers may have been great for the manufacturers at the time, but few realized the long term impact it would have on the used car market. Even today – close to four years later – the prices for good used cars are still rocketing skyward. Whether they come from the auto auctions, trade-ins or even Internet sites, thanks to the combination of Clunker destruction and a stagnate economy, the used market continues to be a hot commodity. And John McElroy has the topic covered with his Autoline panel including: Ricky Beggs from the Internet site Black Book, Ron MacEachern, the General Manager from the Detroit area dealership the Suburban Collection and Steve Finlay from WardsAuto.com.

27mins

12 Oct 2012

Rank #12

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Autoline This Week #2305: A Candid Conversation About Where Ford Is Headed

Ford had a terrible 2018. It wants to bury it and focus on the future. That future involves a complete redo of its product line and an effort to find new partners. And Ford is doing this knowing full well that it is sailing into unchartered waters. Ford’s Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets, Jim Farley, joins us on Autoline This Week to discuss the company’s future.

26mins

19 Feb 2019

Rank #13

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Autoline This Week #1644: Big Shoes

When GM product guru Bob Lutz retired, many automotive insiders wondered what would happen to the company’s revived product line and, more importantly, who would fill those big shoes. It turns out they didn’t have to look very hard. GM veteran Mary Barra was appointed Senior Vice President of Global Product Development soon after and the stunning products have kept rolling off the line. This week on her first visit to the Autoline studios host John McElroy is joined by panelists Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com and Jeff Bennett from the Wall Street Journal to talk to Ms. Barra about the company and her vision for future GM products.

27mins

26 Oct 2012

Rank #14

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Autoline This Week #1649: In Car Electronics

AM Radio was king in the car for nearly 50 years. But since the 70s, its evolution has been fast and furious. First FM was all the rage followed by music on 8 Track and Cassette tapes. It wasn’t long before CDs started flooding the front seat and now, well you know, anything goes. Today’s Multi Media Interface can offer the driver everything from Satellite Radio Services to Navigation to even the Internet without breaking a sweat, but that’s just the tip of the chip. On Autoline This Week, John McElroy talks with three experts in audio electronics to hear first hand about the latest and greatest that they’re offering the consumer. Joining John are Marios Zenios, the head of Chrysler’s Uconnect Systems, Mike Hichme, GM’s Infotainment Design Manager and Allen Kudla from Panasonic Automotive.

27mins

30 Nov 2012

Rank #15

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Autoline This Week #1643: Slow and Steady

You may only know the company as the one that uses hamsters in its ads but with 24 straight months of U.S. sales records as well critically-acclaimed product, it’s not surprising that South Korea’s Kia is the least known success story in the car industry. Well, joining John McElroy on Autoline This Week to correct that are the men who can talk, first hand, about Kia’s slow and steady growth in the American market. Tom Loveless is Kia Motor America’s vice president of sales and Michael Sprague is its executive VP of marketing (aka., the man responsible for green lighting the hamsters). Also joining John is Brent Snavely from the Detroit Free Press.

27mins

19 Oct 2012

Rank #16

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Autoline This Week #1640: Retooling the Standard

It used to be a Cadillac world. Recognized as the top luxury car, its name became synonymous with the best of anything. But then came the 1980s with production issues, an aging demographic and worse, competition from around the world. Suddenly, as Eric Burdon and The Animals sang, their best just wasn’t good enough. For 5, 10, 20 years, the brand wavered until the latest models have shown a bit of life. The man in charge of restoring the luxury nameplate to the top is Don Butler, VP of Global Marketing for Cadillac. He is John McElroy’s special guest on Autoline This Week. Joining the panel are Tim Higgins from Bloomberg and Aaron Bragman from IHS Automotive.

26mins

28 Sep 2012

Rank #17

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Autoline This Week #2329: Car Dealers Prepare For A Changing World

Import tariffs, electric cars, and over-the-air updates are just some of the issues that could disrupt the automotive retail business. Yet transportation in the United States is still built around the automobile. On this week’s show, Charlie Gilchrist, the chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, talks about how car dealers will adapt to a changing world.

27mins

24 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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Autoline This Week #2318: Car Wars 2019

Every year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch comes out with a study they call Car Wars. It looks at all aspects of the automotive industry, especially on the lookout for where problems could arise. John Murphy, the senior automotive analyst with Bank of America, is the main author of the report. And on Autoline This Week, he gives us his outlook for future sales, mergers and acquisitions, electric cars, autonomous cars, import tariffs and labor negotiations.

27mins

28 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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Autoline This Week #2308 - Protecting Vehicles from Hackers

Cyber security is an increasingly important topic in the auto industry and also the commercial truck industry. And with the growth of autonomous and connected vehicles, it’s only going to become more of a concern. On Autoline This Week, we’re on location at the National Defense Industrial Association’s cyber security meeting, to discuss how vehicles are being protected from hackers.

26mins

28 Mar 2019

Rank #20