Jim Mateja


A long-time veteran of the auto beat, Jim is based in Chicago and covers new product, sales, marketing and management issues.

Ford Marketers Tout ’15 Edge’s Technological Edge 
While not yet offering Wi-Fi hot-spot capability like most new GM vehicles, the Edge boasts unique technology such as unassisted parallel parking and the ability to pop open the hatch lid by simply swiping a foot under the rear bumper.
Upgraded Escalade a Hit With Repeat, Conquest Buyers 
Escalade owners are young enough to keep buying and wealthy enough to afford to keep buying, chief marketer Todd Brown says.
Subaru in Capacity Crunch as 600,000 U.S. Sales ‛Feasible’
The ascendant Japanese brand will have to wait another two years before additional capacity comes on line at its sole U.S. plant in Lafayette, IN.
Jeep Sets Big Plans for Smallest Model 8
Four-wheel drive and open-top motoring potential will set the new Renegade apart from the competition in the growing B-size CUV segment, officials believe.
Early Indicators of OnStar 4G LTE Take-Rate Positive, GM Says
All but three GM vehicles will offer Wi-Fi capability for ’15, meaning anything people can do with their laptop, tablet or smartphone at home or work can be done in their vehicle.
Hyundai Weighing Consumer Response to ’15 Sonata 1
“The feedback we get is that the car looks conservative when you see it in pictures but looks better in person,” says Mike O’Brien, vice president-corporate and product planning.
Murano Production Launch Leads Nissan’s U.S. Agenda 
Canton production marks the first time since the Murano bowed in 2003 that it will be built outside Japan.
Chrysler, Dodge Execs Confident in Brand-Shifting Strategy 
Making Dodge a performance-oriented marque doesn’t mean volumes will decline, says brand CEO Tim Kuniskis. “We sold 100,000 Dodge Chargers last year, and that's high volume,” he tells WardsAuto.
Flat Rock to Get Back Up to Speed, Ford Exec Says
Once the new Mustang is launched, Flat Rock can more effectively balance its production mix, the auto maker says.
Chrysler Still Mulling Minivan Strategy, Exec Says
Brand CEO Al Gardner continues to push for the minivan to be badged a Chrysler and says if the new 200 sedan isn’t a home run, he’ll be stunned.
Ford’s Hinrichs Says Currency Manipulation Still Tilting Playing Field
The executive says his company will urge Congress to oppose the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal covering 12 countries, if the agreement doesn’t include “strong and enforceable currency disciplines.”
Chevrolet Wins Another Award, Looks Forward to Moving More Pickups
Global marketing chief Tim Mahoney says he is happy with the receptivity of the brand’s Super Bowl ad. “We were successful building an image and pulling people into our fold.”
BMW Adds Turbodiesel to 7-Series Lineup
The long-wheelbase, all-wheel-drive 740Ld features BMW’s 3.0L DOHC inline 6-cyl., a 2014 Ward’s 10 Best Engines winner, mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Kia Circumspect on Soul EV Volume; Plug-In Hybrid to Come?
Sales will be limited, a Kia executive says, citing the slow rollout initially limited to California and Oregon this spring.
Chevy City Express Bows; Impala Sedan Among CNG Vehicles Coming
Retail buyers always can purchase a City Express for the family, GM Fleet Operations chief Ed Peper tells WardsAuto, "providing they realize it only comes with two front seats and a large cargo hold in back."
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