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.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you go for a drive this morning, look around at the other cars. The average car on American streets is more than a decade old. A lot of people put off new purchases during the recession and are just now getting back to buying.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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.

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

Transcript

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What do you mean? Wait a second. Wait a second. I'm pretty sure it starts right now.

Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year. But what makes us want to rush to the stores or online to snap up the best bargains?

Those wall-to-wall TV ads — and the holiday season itself — are tapping into a very primitive part of our brains.

"There is more of a sport to Black Friday shopping, and people expect some deal, but they aren't likely to get the best deal on a particular item because the best deal may have already happened six months ago," says Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst with Forrester Research.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since July 2008 — to 5.8 percent — the Labor Department said Friday. And October marks the ninth month in a row that job growth has exceeded 200,000.

But if you ask Americans about the economy, they're still mostly not impressed.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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."

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's customary in radio not to overload you with too many numbers. They get hard to follow and recall, so better to avoid a lot of little numbers and limit yourself to the really, strikingly large ones.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

After more than 112 years, Cadillac is looking at Detroit in its rearview mirror. GM's luxury division is moving its headquarters to Manhattan.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next we'll explore a contradiction at General Motors. GM has had a terrible year in the news. In recent years, in fact, the company has recalled more cars than it has made.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

Automakers recalled 37.5 million vehicles in the first six months of 2014. That's more cars and trucks recalled than in any prior year. GM led the way but other companies also picked up the pace.

Pages