Erik Derr


Based in Los Angeles, Erik writes about the California market, its dealers and politics.

Mini Bills New Cooper-Based Hardtop as 5-Door Hatch
The hardtop “is more than just a Mini with two additional doors,” BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer says. “It's a completely new Mini with a longer wheelbase, more space, more luggage volume, more functionality and flexibility and four doors.”
GM Korea Driving Career Opportunities for Women 1
GM Korea’s oasis of equality is showing the rest of the country a more enlightened way, communications director Jina Hwang says.
Honda Says New HR-V Subcompact CUV Fit for Gen Y
Due next year in showrooms nationwide, a HR-V mini-SUV was built and sold in Japan from the late 1990s until 2006.
GM Korea’s Changwon Plant Firing on All Cylinders
Improvements at the complex, which builds the Damas and Labo mini LCVs, the Chevrolet Spark minicar and electric vehicle, and 0.8L, 1.0L and 1.2L engines and transmissions, include a new body shop with enhanced robotic line technology.
'Car Guy' Rocha Hustles to Keep GM Korea Relevant
Sergio Rocha asserts he’s been able to break through the perceived walls separating GM Korea management and labor thanks to the kinship he feels with workers on the assembly line, where he started his career as an hourly apprentice at age 14.
For Subaru, Shared Values Outweigh Market Share
A top executive says the automaker strives to set itself apart as best it can with the resources it has, rather than join the fray near the top of the automotive leader board.
Mercedes Launches ‛Biggest Product Offensive’
The effort will result in the launch of 30 new models over the next seven years.
Connectivity Focus of Audi’s New A3 Compact Sedans
The lineup is anchored by the architecture of the new A3 sedan, which will be joined next year by an A3 Cabriolet, A3 TDI clean diesel, high-performance S3 sedan and, in early 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline-electric hybrid.
Jaguar Unleashes Supercharged F-Type Coupes in L.A.
The F-Type Coupe is based on the automaker’s C-X16 concept, introduced at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. Built on an all-aluminum platform, the model also takes many of its cues from the Jaguar F-Type Convertible.
China’s BYD Looking to Build Electric-Bus Plant in U.S.
After garnering abundant media attention in 2008 when Warren Buffett purchased a 10% stake in the company for $230 million, BYD has drawn a steady flow of criticism after repeatedly failing to deliver electric cars to the U.S.
Toyota Crunching Viewer Numbers for HSN Infomercial
The broadcast marked the first time in HSN’s 30-year history an auto maker has taken center stage.
JLR Designers Energize ’13 Models by Blending New Styling With Functionality
Together, the F-Type and Range Rover “make a powerful statement about our brands, as well as the vision and capabilities of Jaguar Land Rover as a company,” says Andy Goss, president-JLR North America.
New Honda Design Studio Embraces Urban Grit in Downtown L.A.
The center’s original location in the Pasadena foothills seemed to work, but eventually the design team felt the need to tap into a greater level of creativity that comes with being on the cutting edge.
Bankruptcy Court Grants American Suzuki $100 Million Loan to Close Car Business
New-car orders exceeded remaining stock in November, when sales rose 22% from year-ago. As a result, the subsidiary plans to purchase 2,500 more vehicles from Japan that were built after the bankruptcy was announced.
Corvette Specialist Callaway Celebrates 35th Year With New Models
Also rolled out at the L.A. auto show is a new buyer program that delivers cars “with a concierge level of service.”


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