Sonari Glinton

NPR Business Reporter Sonari Glinton covers the auto industry and transportation. His reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered for three years. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel’s 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Prior to NPR, Glinton spent four years at WBEZ working his way up from intern. While in Chicago he covered the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the late legendary Cook County Board President John Stroger.

For his work on a series uncovering abuse at the Cook Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Glinton was honored with the Society of Professional Journalist’s Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting.

Glinton’s first name, Sonari, comes from the southern Nigeria language Ijo and means “God hears our cry.” Born and raised in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Glinton cheers for the White Sox, Bears and the Bulls in that order. He's also a rabid jazz and Frank Sinatra fan who owns every Sinatra-released recording from 1953-1993. He attended Boston University.

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4:48pm

Thu July 5, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

A Company Town Reinvents Itself In South Bend, Ind.

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:55 pm

Pete Buttigieg, 30, is the first mayor of South Bend, Ind., born after car manufacturer Studebaker left town.
Peter Hoffman for NPR

There are two truths about South Bend, Ind. No. 1: You can't escape the influence of the University of Notre Dame. No. 2: You can't escape the ghost of Studebaker.

South Bend may be best known as the home of the Fighting Irish, but it was once the home of Studebaker automobiles. When Studebaker closed in 1963, it left a gaping hole in the town, where unemployment is at 10.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the city is working hard to create a second act for the commercial life of South Bend.

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4:43am

Fri June 15, 2012
Planet Money

Can Lincoln Be Cool Again?

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

An ad for the 1965 Lincoln Continental.
courtesy Lincoln

In the car business, Lincoln once stood as the pinnacle of luxury. Frank Sinatra drove a Lincoln. So did the Shah of Iran. In the U.S., the presidential limo was a Lincoln.

The brand peaked with the 1961 Lincoln Continental, a beautiful, innovative car that stood for style, individuality and sophistication.

But after the '60s, Lincoln started on a long, slow decline that mirrored the slide of the American auto industry.

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5:15am

Thu June 7, 2012
Business

What's Next For Organized Labor?

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:17 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We'll begin this program with the aftermath of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin. Public sector unions took on Republican Governor Scott Walker, and the governor won. Walker became the first U.S. governor to beat back a recall attempt. The unions had spent a lot time, money and political capital in Wisconsin.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what's next for organized labor.

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5:49am

Mon May 28, 2012
Business

Subprime Market Aids Car Industry Growth

The average credit score for new- and used-car buyers has taken a fall since the days of the financial crisis in 2008. It's fallen especially in the last two quarters. Brands such as Kia and Dodge are gobbling up a disproportionate number of subprime buyers. An increasing number of new-car buyers are getting loans with interest rates higher than 10 percent.

8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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6:20am

Sun May 13, 2012
Economy

The Price We Paid: Gas Is Down, Maybe For A While

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 12:09 pm

Mayeli Vasallo (left) and Jorge Monte pump gas in Miami in April. The average price of a gallon of gas has dropped 20 cents in the last month, to $3.73.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

After spending much of the year on the rise, gas prices are now falling. The average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is $3.73, according to AAA. That's a drop of nearly 20 cents in one month, and industry analysts expect the price to keep falling.

You can get in a lot trouble trying to predict commodity prices, though. Phil Flynn, a market analyst at futures brokerage PFGBEST in Chicago, says there is one thing you can predict.

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5:20pm

Thu May 10, 2012
Money & Politics

Obama Lures Donors With A Hollywood Sweepstakes

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:50 pm

President Obama talks with actor George Clooney during a White House meeting about Sudan in 2010. The president is attending a fundraiser at Clooney's house Thursday, along with a few sweepstakes winners.
Pete Souza The White House

President Obama is attending a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday evening, along with about 150 guests. Almost anyone can attend, if they pony up $40,000.

But for a few sweepstakes winners, the price of admission is about $3. It's the latest innovation in political fundraising.

Marketing-wise, there's nothing more old school than a sweepstakes.

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9:35am

Thu April 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Reporter's Dream: A Mansion Straight Out Of 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies'

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 11:26 am

There was something romantic about the 1960's movie and TV show Please Don't Eat the Daisies. In the film, Doris Day and her husband, played by David Niven, move into a suburban mansion/castle with their four children and their giant dog — and comedy breaks out.

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4:00am

Fri April 6, 2012
Business

Average U.S. Car Price Tops $30,000

Average prices for cars are at an all-time high, reflecting increased demand and a healthier economy. The average car price has gone up nearly $2,000 since last year. Even though car prices are higher, buyers haven't shied away from picking up a new car.

8:00am

Sat March 17, 2012
Politics

Clooney One Of Many Celebrities To Grace The Hill

Actor George Clooney is led away in handcuffs from Sudan's embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Clooney, his father, Nick, and others including Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were arrested as they demonstrated to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Washington, D.C., was dazzled this week by a VIP. He visited the White and got the prized seat next to the first lady at this week's state dinner.

No, we're not talking about British Prime Minister David Cameron, though he was in town also.

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4:00am

Wed March 14, 2012
Politics

Transportation Bill Gathers Bi-Partisan Support

The Senate is on the verge of passing a highway bill. It would spend more than $100 billion on the nation's roads in two years. The bill is expected to pass with bi-partisan support. But it's had an unusual and controversial path.

5:08pm

Wed March 7, 2012
House & Senate Races

Longtime Rep. Kucinich Is Down, But Maybe Not Out

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 6:08 pm

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, thanks his wife, Elizabeth, while conceding defeat in his race against Rep. Marcy Kaptur at Rubin's Restaurant and Deli in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Amy Sancetta AP

Ohio's Super Tuesday contest wasn't just about the presidency. Two members of Congress there faced primary challenges — and were defeated. On the Republican side, four-term Rep. Jean Schmidt lost a challenge to Iraq War veteran Brad Wenstrup.

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4:00am

Tue February 28, 2012
Election 2012

Santorum Campaigns in Michigan

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:54 am

Transcript

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: And I'm Sonari Glinton traveling with the Rick Santorum campaign in Kalamazoo, Michigan. While Mitt Romney was rocking out to the sounds of Kid Rock, Rick Santorum supporters were being entertained by founding father Patrick Henry.

LAWRENCE WESCO: (as Patrick Henry) I know not what course others might take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death.

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6:45am

Mon February 27, 2012
Election 2012

Paul Campaign Could Gain Traction In Michigan

As Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battle for first place in the Michigan GOP presidential primary, rival Ron Paul is not expected to come in first or second. Paul doesn't really stand a chance at winning the nomination, but he can impact the party's platform

5:28am

Sun February 26, 2012
Presidential Race

Why Mich. Catholics Favor The Mormon Candidate

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:20 am

Rick Santorum signs Joe Boulus' apron at a Lenten fish fry Friday in Michigan. Mitt Romney is ahead of Santorum among Catholic voters in the state, despite the fact that Santorum is Catholic.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are neck-and-neck in the polls in the run-up to the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday.

One group that Romney appears to have an advantage with is Roman Catholic voters despite the fact that he is Mormon and Santorum Catholic.

The disconnect between faith and politics highlights differences among Catholics and shows that some religious voters are focusing more on other issues.

Declaring Faith

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4:00am

Mon February 20, 2012
Election 2012

Santorum Challenges Obama's 'World View'

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has been the hot story in the GOP presidential contest this month. Over the weekend, Santorum raised eyebrows with comments on public education, prenatal testing and what he called President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum was making waves just days ahead of the next Republican debate on Wednesday, and the next primaries in Michigan and Arizona six days later.

8:00am

Sun January 15, 2012
Business

A GM Designer's First Car? The Cadillac XDS

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 7:29 pm

Detroit Auto Show photographers sometimes mistake car designer Christine Park for a spokesmodel. "It's a very male-dominated field," she says, "so it's something that people don't expect."
North American International Auto Show

For a car designer, there's probably no scarier time than the auto show. And there's probably no scarier auto show than the Detroit Auto Show. It's like report-card day for car designers, but there doesn't appear to be much that scares Christine Park, a senior creative designer with Cadillac.

She's very eager to show off the Cadillac XTS. Park led the design of the interior of the XTS — pretty impressive, since she's only 28 and graduated from design school just six years ago.

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3:48pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Technology

Dashboard Distractions: New Luxuries Cause Concern

In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.

"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.

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12:01am

Wed January 11, 2012
Business

New For 2012: 'This Isn't Your Father's Dodge Dart'

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:08 am

The 2012 Dodge Dart is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.
Tony Ding AP

Between 1960 and 1976, the Dodge Dart was one of the best-selling cars in America, with its affordable price and rugged styling. More than 3.5 million Darts were sold.

Though the car was never known for being especially stylish or pretty, Chrysler is now reviving the name as the company continues its own revitalization. On Monday, it unveiled the new Dart at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit.

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12:01pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Business

To Climb In U.S., Volkswagen Gets Less German

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America, attends the U.S. unveiling of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, a new version of the iconic car. Volkswagen saw a 26.3 percent increase in U.S. sales in 2011, and has its sights on becoming the world's No. 1 carmaker.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Last year was a very good year for the German automaker Volkswagen, but 2012 could be even better.

Sales for Volkswagen Group's brands — including Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini — increased by 20 percent in the U.S. last year. For the Volkswagen brand itself, sales rose 26.3 percent. And if things continue to go Volkswagen's way, it could become the No. 1 carmaker in the world.

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6:12am

Wed January 4, 2012
Election 2012

Standing Room Only At GOP Caucus Site

The Iowa caucuses ended with Mitt Romney's extremely narrow victory over Rick Santorum. The first presidential nominating contest of 2012 played out at hundreds of sites across the state. NPR's Sonari Glinton spent the evening at the Van Meter Secondary School.

3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa Caucus-Goers Discuss The GOP Field

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

For Iowa Republicans, it's the end a yearlong getting-to-know-you process with the candidates. NPR's Sonari Glinton sat down with a group of caucus-goers to talk about how they plan to vote and how they made up their minds.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Drive due west of downtown Des Moines on I-80 and you get to Van Meter, Iowa. It's a city that has about 1,300 residents. I met up with nine of them over a few pitchers of beer on the eve of the caucuses to talk politics, the Republican field and Iowa. Hello.

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12:01am

Thu December 29, 2011
It Was A Good Year For...

2011 Put Chrysler Back In The Fast Lane

Chrysler President Olivier Francois reintroduced his company to the world at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy, it's been a good year overall for the auto industry. But among the Detroit Three, there's been a clear standout.

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3:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

Tablets Replace Some Small Businesses Tools

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now to the spreading influence of apps and tablets in the business world. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, many small businesses are using tablets to replace everything from the menu to the timecard to the cash register.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That is ceroni, so the green is like a pistachio.

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4:00am

Fri December 2, 2011
Business

Available Financing Helps Auto Sales Rebound

Sales of new cars in the U.S. were up by 14 percent last month. One reason is more consumers are getting access to car loans — including those with less than perfect credit.

4:00am

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Workers Likely To Lose Out In AMR Bankruptcy

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's follow-up now on yesterday's news that American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's part of an effort to cut debt and reduce labor costs. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what a post-bankruptcy American Airlines might look like.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: During the economic downturn, American Airlines already pared down its work force. Analysts don't think there will be massive layoffs this time.

AARON GELLMAN: Many elements of labor are going to pay a terrible price for this.

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5:44pm

Tue November 29, 2011
Business

Bringing Audi Back, For A Younger Audience

Despite the sluggish economy, it's been a pretty good year for luxury carmakers. Deluxe brands such as Mercedes, Volvo and BMW have seen double-digit growth.

But the German carmaker Audi is the standout. It's seen a near tenfold growth in the past 20 years, and the company has also become the new status car for young urban professionals.

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12:01am

Wed November 23, 2011
Getting To 55 MPG

A Push To Make Gasoline Engines More Efficient

Professor Anna Stefanopoulou (left) examines an internal combustion engine test with engineers Jacob Larimore and Xinfan Lin at the University of Michigan's Automotive Research Center. The researchers model engine performance to improve efficiency.
Courtesy Automotive Research Center

Third in a three-part series

The auto industry has work ahead to meet ambitious fuel efficiency goals of 55 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly twice the current average required. Hybrid and electric cars will play a role, but the plain old internal combustion engine can't be overlooked.

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12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Getting To 55 MPG

Automakers Set To Steer Customers To Hybrids

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 11:40 am

Attendees at the Los Angeles Auto Show look at the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid concept car. Toyota's Prius is the best-selling hybrid on the market, but almost every carmaker has some form of hybrid technology.
Jae C. Hong AP

Second in a three-part series

Hybrid cars will take a lot of floor space at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning this weekend, but they still represent a tiny portion of the U.S. car market.

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12:01am

Mon November 21, 2011
Around the Nation

Can Electric Cars Help Automakers Reach 55 MPG?

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 8:07 pm

A Nissan Leaf charges at a station in Portland, Ore., that can recharge an electric car in 30 minutes. Electric cars could be an integral part of meeting 55-mpg fuel standards by 2025, but many consumers are put off by the vehicles' higher price and what some call "range anxiety."
Rick Bowmer AP

First in a three-part series

Under fuel-economy rules announced by the White House this summer, cars will have to get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly double the current average. Reaching that goal will take not only feats of engineering but also changing how Americans think about their cars and how they drive them.

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