Jim Mateja

Correspondent
WardsAuto

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

Articles by Jim Mateja
Fledgling Service Brings New-Vehicle Test Drive Home
Startup Tred has received $1.7 million in seed money from such investors as former General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, automotive-investment firm Fraser McCombs Capital and venture-capital firm Maveron Capital.
Chevy Cruze Diesel Attracting Buyers With Quiet Engine, Extended Range
Engineers can’t make the Cruze diesel totally quiet. That will take another evolution. But someday the totally noiseless diesel will come, Gary Altman says, noting it will take changes in combustion technology as well as engine materials.
No Diesel No Problem for Silverado Buyers, Chevrolet Says 
The ability to get the work done and haul or tow the load still is the most important attribute buyers are looking for in a pickup, says Silverado Product Manager Carl Hillenbrand.
Chevy Marketing Chief ‘Pleased’ With Malibu’s 7% Share, But Wants More 
“Camry and Accord (used to have) 50% (share), and the rest of us fought for the other half,” Russ Clark says. But a new Malibu, Fusion, Altima, plus new cars from the South Koreans, have made midsize cars the most competitive segment again.
Diesel Grand Cherokee to Give Jeep Four Models at 30 MPG 5
Jeep’s top North American executive confirms more diesels are eyed, says the new Cherokee represents a critical launch for the brand and indicates the future of the Patriot and Compass remains in the balance.
ATS Winning Respect for Cadillac, Brand Director Says
With sales of more than 11,500 units in the year’s first four months, Cadillac intends to capitalize on the momentum generated by its new compact luxury car and expand the model lineup.
Lutz Expounds on New No-Holds-Barred Book, Future Auto Technology 
Lutz discredits the impact of short-time boss Ed Whitacre at GM, and says broomed CEO Rick Wagoner was intelligent but lacked “the killer instinct and sometimes ruthlessness a CEO must have.”
Fiat Gains Ground in Domestic-Brand Stronghold of Chicago 
Chrysler Group brands are off to a fast start in the Chicagoland territory, with Fiat, Ram and Dodge the three fastest-growing marques.
Detroit-Centric Ad Campaign Continues to Pay Off for Chrysler, Exec Says
Brand sales are up 36%, says brand chief Saad Chehab. “Just imagine what we'll do with all-new products when our all-new Chrysler 200 comes out next year.”
New Corvette Stingray Likely to See Higher-Performance Versions
"The Stingray goes on sale in the third quarter, and while we will have a 6.2L 450-hp V-8 at launch, if you ask if there will be more-potent versions, remember it's a Corvette with a history of power," Russ Clark says.
Hyundai Has U.S. Sales Problems to Envy, Exec Says
With its allotment of vehicles for U.S. dealers capped at 734,000 units for a second straight year, industrywide growth means the auto maker won’t show a percentage sales gain and its market share will drop, sales chief Bob Pradzinski says.
Chrysler to Focus on Longevity, Brand Chief Says
Chrysler brand is planning new versions of its large and midsize sedans and considering a new people mover in place of the Town & Country minivan, Saad Chehab says.
Fiat to Field at Least Nine Models in U.S. by 2015
The 500L 4-door sedan will go on sale by the end of June, but North American brand chief Tim Kuniskis won’t say whether any of the newcomers will be derivatives of the 500 2-door coupe.
Kia Unveils Cross GT Concept, New Forte Hatchback and Superman-Inspired Optima Hybrid
While the GT’s lines were penned in Frankfurt, the Cross GT hails from the Kia Design Center America in Irvine, CA, the house that breathed life into the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts, and most recently the ’14 Forte sedan.
Cadillac ELR Won’t Be Sharing Technical Advances With Volt
The ELR extended-range coupe will have a national roll out next year, not a regional debut in selected markets, chief engineer Chris Thomason says.
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