Sonari Glinton

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

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. Glinton has traveled throughout the Midwest covering important stories such as the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the 2012 presidential race. He has also covered the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel's 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at member station WBEZ in Chicago. He went on to produce and report for WBEZ. While in Chicago he focused on juvenile justice and the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to journalism Glinton had a career in finance.

Glinton attended Boston University.

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4:56pm

Wed February 18, 2015
Business

From Jobs To Car Parts, Port Dispute Rippling Through The Economy

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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5:21pm

Fri January 16, 2015
Business

Concept Cars, Once Outlandish, Now Vital To Auto Industry's Future

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 8:14 pm

Guests look over the Honda FCV fuel-cell-powered concept car during the media preview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Concept cars tell us much more about the current state of the auto industry than the future of it.

Showcasing the latest in styling and technology, concept cars have been virtually absent from auto shows for the past few years, but now they're back with a vengeance.

The concept cars at the Detroit auto show this year look pretty normal, but Bill Visnic of Edmunds.com says it wasn't that long ago that concept cars were just plain wack.

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6:45pm

Tue January 13, 2015
Business

Winning The Truck Battle Isn't Just About Smack Talk. It's Everything

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:25 am

Ford's F-150 truck beat the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC as the Detroit auto show's 2015 North American Truck of the Year.
He Xianfeng Xinhua/Landov

For the Detroit automakers, there's likely no bigger prize than being the No. 1 truck. Pickups represent the lion's share of profits and the industry's recent growth.

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5:17pm

Mon January 5, 2015
Business

Low Gas Prices Give SUV Sales A Boost, But Automakers Take Long View

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 8:07 am

Dodge Ram pickup trucks await customers Jan. 5 on the lot at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Morrow, Ga. Buoyed by a resurgent economy, holiday sales, cheap gasoline and a love affair with pickup trucks, Americans headed to car dealers in droves last month, pushing full-year sales to what's likely to be the highest level since 2006.
John Bazemore AP

Sales of cars surged in December, and analysts believe that the year's total will exceed 17 million, making it the fifth straight year of growth for the industry.

Cheap gas prices helped make that happen, as sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles rose rapidly. Jeep's sales, for instance, were up 40 percent on increased consumer demand for crossover SUVs. Meanwhile, demand for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles shrank.

Scott Painter, founder and CEO of auto sales website TrueCar, says those trends aren't necessarily good for the industry as a whole.

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4:13pm

Mon December 29, 2014
Business

Massive Recalls Give The Auto Industry An Unwanted Record

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 6:35 pm

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies before a Senate panel July 17 at a hearing about auto safety recalls.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

More than 60 million cars, trucks and SUVs have been recalled this year — nearly twice the previous record. That translates to nearly 1 out of every 4 cars on the road recalled for a safety-related defect.

But analysts say those recalls say more about the way the industry has restructured than about overall car safety.

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4:22pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Business

Takata Pressured By Congress To Take Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 10:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:29pm

Sat November 15, 2014
Around the Nation

For Best-Selling Truck, Ford Bets Big On Aluminum

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 5:30 pm

A 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The aluminum-sided F-150 could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.
Paul Sancya AP

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

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7:01pm

Fri October 24, 2014
Business

No Quick Fixes For Drivers Affected By Air Bag Recall

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 8:09 pm

The 2002 Honda CR-V is one of dozens of car models subject to a recall for faulty air bags. The air bag manufacturer, Takata, supplies bags for more than 30 percent of all cars and is one of only three large air bag suppliers.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety AP

Most auto recalls usually involve one carmaker at a time, but a massive recall this week affects not just one, but 10, ranging from BMWs to Toyotas.

At the center of it is Takata, a little-known but extremely important auto parts maker. The company makes more than one-third of the air bags in all cars.

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6:26pm

Fri October 17, 2014
Business

As Gas Prices Drop, Hybrid Sales Shift Into Low Gear

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 7:25 pm

Sales of traditional hybrids, plug-ins and all-electric cars are down about 5 percent in 2014 — while truck and SUV sales have jumped.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

The recent drop in gas prices may be good for consumers, but it's not such good news for hybrid car sales.

Even before gas prices started to slide, hybrid sales were falling — all while sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury sedans have been on the rise.

That relationship between gas prices and sales is "rather remarkable," says John Krafcik, president of the website TrueCar. "During months when gas prices are low, less fuel-efficient cars tend to take a greater share of the market and vice versa. It's a fairly one-to-one relationship."

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4:11pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Business

A Deal Between 'Dollar' Stores Raises The Stakes Against Wal-Mart

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 7:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:27pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Business

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:40 pm

Transcript

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At a Senate hearing today, there were calls for General Motors top lawyer to step down. Recent media reports have made clear that company lawyers knew faulty ignition switches were causing fatal accidents. Despite that GM blocked internal efforts to issue a recall and they kept information from federal safety regulators. The ignition defect is responsible for at least 13 deaths and will cost GM billions of dollars. NPR's Sonari Glinton has the latest.

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4:17pm

Mon June 30, 2014
Business

In GM's Payout Plan, End Of The Road Is A Long Way Off

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:01 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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3:38am

Mon June 23, 2014
Business

As Carmakers Recall Vehicles, Dealers Might Make A Profit

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 5:20 am

Chevrolet dealerships like this one might actually benefit from General Motors' recall of millions of cars — as long as customers don't have to wait too long for their repairs.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The auto industry is cruising toward a record number of safety recalls: GM has recalled 20 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and most carmakers have lowered the bar for the kind of problems that'll have them sending you back to your local dealers.

But while that sounds like bad news, it turns out that recalls can have an upside — at least for car dealers.

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4:32pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Business

GM Chief Makes A Return Trip To The Hill, Where A Grilling Awaits

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced another grueling hearing on Capitol Hill, two weeks after a critical internal report blasted the company's handling of defective ignition switches as incompetent. GM has recalled 20 million vehicles already this year and has set aside $700 million to cover repairs related to the recall.

5:25pm

Tue June 10, 2014
Business

Cars Shed Pounds In Race To Meet Fuel-Efficiency Goals

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:16 am

Ford says it cut the weight of its concept Fusion (left) by nearly 25 percent, matching the weight of a Ford Fiesta (right).
Ford

The car industry is required to raise the average fuel efficiency of its vehicles to 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025. But consumers have been reluctant to adopt hybrid technology that'll get the industry there quicker.

That means the car companies have to find other ways to get fuel savings.

If you were to guess, how important would you say fuel economy is to the car business? How much of the research and development is going into making cars more efficient?

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