WCBE

Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. In addition, Glinton covered the 2012 presidential race, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. Over the years Glinton has produced dozen of segments about the great American Song Book and pop culture for NPR's signature programs most notably the 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole feature he produced for Robert Siegel.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at Member station WBEZ in Chicago. He worked his way through his public radio internships working for Chicago Jazz impresario Joe Segal, waiting tables and meeting legends such as Ray Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Marian MacPartland, Ed Thigpen, Ernestine Andersen, and Betty Carter.

Glinton attended Boston University. A Sinatra fan since his mid-teens, Glinton's first forays into journalism were album revues and a college jazz show at Boston University's WTBU. In his spare time Glinton indulges his passions for baking, vinyl albums, and the evolution of the Billboard charts.

What happens when you're faced with a workforce that seems unwelcoming or even hostile? For people like Dennis Jackson, often the answer is to become your own boss.

In Los Angeles, he is making the best of an October heat wave by selling solar panels. Jackson says he has essentially always been an entrepreneur. He started in landscaping and moved toward solar panel installation.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In this week's All Tech Considered, we look at technology in cars.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Tesla gets more than its fair share of media hype, but it appears to be stumbling in the spotlight.

Citing "production bottlenecks," Tesla reported this week that it delivered only 220 Model 3 sedans and produced 260 in September. That's far below some pretty ambitious goals set out by its CEO, Elon Musk.

With more than 1 million autos damaged in recent U.S. hurricanes, car rental firms have had to move vehicles quickly into affected areas. The ability to manage large fleets involves artificial intelligence and data — tools that are keys to a future of self-driving fleets.

Often even before the first rain falls in a hurricane, rental cars are on the way.

Ever since its fabled role in World War II, Jeep has been an American icon. And now the famous U.S. brand may be sold to a Chinese company.

Jeep was primarily made for the United Sates military, starting in 1941. It was used to transport troops during World War II, and that's when the rugged-looking vehicle captured the imagination of people worldwide.

The Trump administration has begun the process of rolling back tough fuel standards for America's car and light truck fleet.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department have opened the public comment period on the rewriting of standards for greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025.

While more than 500,000 people have put down a deposit for the privilege of owning Tesla's new Model 3, according to the company, 30 employees were the lucky few to receive their vehicles first.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Ford Motor Company's new CEO, Jim Hackett has a pretty daunting job description: prepare Ford for a future of self-driving cars and keep things profitable by selling trucks. While Hackett has a unique set of skills, that's still an extremely tall order.

Ford Motor Company is different than the other car companies.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

There are a lot of threads to the story of Ford Motor Company over the last several years. It avoided bankruptcy during the financial collapse. In the last few years, the company has enjoyed record sales and, with that, record profits.

After seven years of growth, the auto market is seeing weakness.

In April, sales were off by 4.7 percent. That's despite the continued robust sales of highly profitable SUVs and trucks. That's no big deal for an industry that just got off of two record seasons, but not so for investors.

The pain is being felt across the auto world.

Most car buyers don't do more than the most perfunctory test drive of new or used cars. But with so much new technology and features in today's cars and trucks, a thorough test drive is more important than ever.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you make, sell or drive a car, today President Trump has news for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Car designers are a type. They stand out from the engineers, accountants and lawyers that populate the car business. By all accounts, Ed Welburn, General Motors' first global head of design, is quiet, focused and congenial. This year, he retired after 44 years at GM.

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday night to say Ford Motor Co. executive chairman William Ford Jr. had called to say the company would not move production of the Lincoln MKC from its Louisville Assembly Plant to Mexico.

A second Trump tweet claimed credit for the decision.

Ford, however, said it neither planned to close the Louisville, Ky., plant nor reduce jobs there. The company said it had considered moving Lincoln production to Mexico to increase production of the Ford Escape in Louisville.

As iconic as the brand Smith & Wesson is, the name is not expansive enough for the company's ambitions. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. is asking its shareholders to approve changing the name to American Outdoor Brands Corp. But its firearms will keep their famous name.

The company says it will likely change its ticker symbol to AOBC from the current SWHC. The name change has already been approved by the company's board of directors. Shareholders get a vote on Dec. 13, according to a statement from the company.

When electric cars began to take hold in the U.S. market — a small hold — the big concern was range anxiety: the fear that your vehicle doesn't have the fuel to get to your destination.

General Motors appears to have won the October sales race among the big automakers. GM saw its sales fall by just 1.7 percent in October. It has good company in those sales declines, being joined by nearly all the other carmakers. Overall, automobile sales in the U.S. are expected to drop between 6 and 8 percent when all the reports are in.

Smartphone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. has agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion. The agreement allows Qualcomm, which makes chips for Apple and Android, to become the top seller of semiconductors for the car business.

Qualcomm's core business is in processors and wireless chips for smartphones. The deal allows the San Diego-based company to reduce its dependence on smartphones, a huge business that has reached a plateau.

The French-speaking Belgian region called Wallonia is holding up Europe's free-trade agreement with Canada. CETA, or The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, would reduce or eliminate tariffs and make it easier for goods to move between countries, similar to NAFTA or the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

A federal jury in Los Angeles found New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose not liable Wednesday in a civil suit that accused him and two friends of rape. Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, the two friends, were also cleared.

Faculty members at more than a dozen Pennsylvania public universities went on strike on Wednesday. The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents educators at 14 public universities. The strike comes after negotiations broke down between the union and Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

At some point everyone, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, wants to bail from a presidential election. Okay, that's a hunch, but it's borne out, at least in part (caveats aplenty), in an online survey by the American Psychological Association.

The brakes on the New Jersey Transit train that crashed into the platform at Hoboken Terminal on Sept. 29 show no signs of any defect. That's according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released Thursday.

One person on the platform was killed and more than 100 passengers and crew members were injured.

Add to Volkswagen's woes an auto safety recall. Volkswagen and its Audi brand are recalling nearly 281,500 vehicles owing to fuel leaks.

The recall is massive for VW. The company sold approximately 350,000 vehicles in the last year.

There are actually three separate recalls but all pertain to fuel leaks, though the defects could be different. For many vehicles the suction pump in the fuel tank was improperly assembled, according to Volkswagen.

Add to the list of worrisome economic trends what economists call "NEETs" — young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.

Their numbers are growing, now 40 million in the 35 member countries of the OECD — the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. And two-thirds of them are not actively looking for work.

The figures come from the biennial OECD report, Society at a Glance 2016.

Pages