Jim Mateja

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
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.
More Auto Makers to Take Chicago Showgoers for Spin
Chrysler in 2005 updated an attraction at the first Chicago show held in 1901: an indoor wooden track used to introduce the novelty of the horseless carriage that most visitors never had seen before, much less driven in.
Chicago Region’s Light-Vehicle Sales to Tie or Beat 2011
Car deliveries were strong in the first 11 months, climbing 10.8%, with more than 150,000 units sold compared with 149,600 for full 2011.
Illinois Raises Prep-Fee Ceiling for Auto Dealers
Car buyers may be asked to pay up to $164.30 toward document preparation, an increase of 1.8% over 2012 levels.
Ford Says AWD Police Vehicles Winning Converts
The auto maker says it has received more than 16,000 orders for its Taurus- and Explorer-based Interceptor police package.
’13 Ram Features Multitasking Fob, More Room for Pop 2
Ram Box storage containers, which can be opened using the key fob, are offered on both the 6-ft. and 6.5-ft. (1.8-m and 1.9-m) cargo-bed models.
Chevy’s Mighty Minicar Holds Appeal for Wide Range of U.S. Buyers
Spark buyers include 19-to-83 year olds, a Chevy executive says. Based on the low starting price, many units have been purchased by first-time buyers without a trade, while 30% were bought by consumers moving up from a used car.
Pathfinder Shares Altima Architecture, But Hybrid Powertrain Unclear
A hybrid SUV would make sense, a Nissan official says, though he declines to comment directly on the Pathfinder’s prospects for electrification. “We’re studying alternative power sources for the future.”
Sales Down, But Outlook Up at Buick 
Success of a new leasing program, plus several new products on the way, has executives confident the brand’s sales will be trending upward.
Chrysler Exec: Need for Speed Alive and Well
"When we see a Camaro Z01 that develops more than 500 hp and a Mustang that develops more than 600 hp we don't get upset, because those cars create inspiration for us,” the head of Chrysler’s high-performance SRT line says.
Ford Takes Go-Slow Approach in Launching Focus EV
Only a handful of the cars will be built for the ’12 model year, with output reaching a few thousand in ’13, when availability will increase to all 50 U.S. states and Canada.
Fiat Looks to Boost Output of Abarth as Brand Builds Momentum 
The auto maker posted record sales in February and March and expects to do so again in May, after it fills the pipeline for the diminutive 500 model.
Chicago Area Expecting 280 EV Charging Stations
Within the next year, Illinois’ new charging stations are expected at grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping malls and public parking garages. Midway and O'Hare airports each will have one.
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