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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4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
Business

Honda Deflects Criticism Of 2012 Civic

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Los Angeles Auto Show begins today. It's the first of America's car shows and it's where manufacturers put their best foot forward or try to reinvent themselves. One those carmakers is Honda. Honda's production was badly hurt by Japan's earthquake and tsunami, and as it was getting back on track, the floods in Thailand crippled production again. But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the L.A. Auto Show, natural disasters may be the least of Honda's problems.

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3:00pm

Wed October 19, 2011
Business

Ford Union Workers Ratify New Contract

Union workers at Ford have ratified a new contract that does not include wage increases for most workers — but does obligate Ford to create 5,750 new jobs in the U.S.

12:01am

Tue October 18, 2011
Business

Some Ford Workers Skeptical Of Proposed Contract

Members of the United Auto Workers finish voting Tuesday on a new contract with automaker Ford that would mean nearly 6,000 new jobs in U.S. Ford and the UAW both say it's a good deal for the company and its union employees, but many workers remain unconvinced

In its 87 years, Ford's Chicago assembly plant, which is on the city's South Side, has made an array of Fords from to the Model A to the Model T to the latest Ford Taurus.

Orlando Mendoza, who has worked at Ford for 19 years, says he opposes the proposed contract.

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10:24am

Tue October 4, 2011
Business

Toyota Redesigns The Camry, Aiming To Stay On Top

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 12:05 pm

The new redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry is unveiled during a news event on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, Calif.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Tinkering with success can be a dangerous thing. A redesigned version of the Toyota Camry, America's best-selling car for the past nine years, is going on sale in the U.S.

Toyota recently lost market share and has suffered through bad PR due to recalls, in addition to dealing with the continuing aftereffects of the Japan earthquake. Toyota executives are betting on the new Camry to jump-start the company's future.

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12:01am

Tue October 4, 2011
Business

Design, Price Are Keys To Success For Hyundai

A Hyundai Genesis Coupe is on display in a showroom in Glendale, Calif., last January.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy in the U.S., it's been a really good year for Hyundai. The Korean automaker is on track to sell more cars this year than ever before, and it has seen its share of the U.S. market more than double in the past decade.

At first glance, Hyundai may appear to be resorting to slick marketing gimmicks. For instance, the company will guarantee the price of your car, not now but when you trade it in.

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3:18pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Like The Lions, Detroit Finally Has A Winning Season

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 7:27 am

Detroit Lions Jason Hanson (left) and Don Muhlbach walk off the field after Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in Minneapolis. The Lions won 26-23.
Genevieve Ross AP

After many awful seasons this year's Detroit Lions are — can you believe it — undefeated. To add to the glory, each of the Detroit car makers is showing signs of health with increased quality and profitability. It's long-awaited good news for a city that's been through bad times.

There's no denying that Detroit has had an image problem for quite a while. A whole cottage industry has sprung up over the years with many people from all walks trying to help turn that image around.

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12:24pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Around the Nation

A Beloved Car Of Cops And Cabbies Meets Its End

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:24 am

Ford Crown Victorias sit in a parking lot outside a police station in Chicago. Sales of the Crown Victoria climbed 140 percent in August as police departments stockpiled the popular fleet vehicle before Ford ended its production this week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After more than 30 years, production of the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car has ended. The large, gas guzzling, rear-wheel drive behemoths have been the favorites of limo drivers, taxi drivers and police officers for more than a generation.

The end of the Town Car and the Crown Vic, as it's affectionately known, comes as Ford tries to become a hipper and more fuel-efficient company.

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8:00am

Sat September 3, 2011
Economy

Youth Joblessness Creates Ripple Effect

Not having a summer or after-school job affects more than just a kid's wallet. It also has real consequences for his or her personal and economic development.

While the overall unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1 percent, the unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds has been going up since February. Currently 25.4 percent of teenagers who want jobs can't find them.

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4:00am

Wed August 10, 2011
Business

Verizon's Wireless, Landline Workers Caught Up In Strike

Verizon landline workers are on strike. They say their service is the bedrock of the company's booming wireless business. They don't want to give up benefits just because they work on a less profitable side of the business now. Management says to stay competitive, the 45,000 landline workers can't be paid as if the company is a monopoly.

12:01am

Tue August 9, 2011
Business

Frantic Market Can Make For Jittery Consumers

The volatile stock market has people worried.

After the downgrade of Treasury Bonds by Standard & Poor's, consumers might be less likely to buy a home, car or other big ticket item if they believe the economy is going south.

But even as the market suffers through fits and falls, people are visiting car dealers. On a recent day, Jack Myers was trading in his gigantic, black 2002 Chevy pickup at a dealership in southeast Michigan.

"Well this [truck] is eating gas," Myers said, "and we [want] something more economical. We're purchasing a hybrid."

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8:17am

Sat August 6, 2011
Economy

Jobless Numbers Don't Tell The Whole Story

If the monthly jobless numbers aren't saying much, the longer-term employment trends in the United States are speaking volumes about the economy.

Those trends aren't often mentioned. The number of people who are long-term unemployed remains unchanged — more than 6 million people. The number of "discouraged workers" also remains the same. Those are people who are not looking for work because they believe there are no jobs.

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4:00am

Thu July 21, 2011
Business

UAW Prepares To Bargain With Detroit's Big 3

The United Auto Workers union begins contract talks next week in Detroit with the Big Three automakers. It's the first time since the economic collapse that the car companies and the union have sat down to work out a deal. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that since the last talks, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are more profitable.

1:23pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Politics

How The Debt-Ceiling Negotiations Are Like Poker

President Obama and Congressional leaders work to strike a deal to raise the debt limit at the White House July 14, 2011.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Las Vegas' World Series of Poker isn't the only high stakes battle being played out right now, there's an even bigger one in Washington, D.C.

And there's a lot of strategy involved when there's so much at stake whether in cards or politics.

If you remove the politics, the talking points and the media from the debt ceiling showdown, you end up with something that looks like a high stakes, no limit Texas hold 'em poker game. You've got posturing, risk taking, betting and, of course, bluffing.

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3:00pm

Sat July 2, 2011
Around the Nation

Minnesotans Fed Up With State Government

It's Day 2 of Minnesota's state government shutdown. No negotiations are expected until after July Fourth, and with state parks closed and government offices shuttered, many Minnesota residents are already restless.

3:49pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Business

Toyota Steers Ads To Bring In More Minority Buyers

Customers walk past a Toyota FJ Cruiser. Toyota brought in 19 percent of African-American buyers, 22 percent of Latino buyers and 33 percent of Asian-American buyers.
Yoshikazu Tsuno Getty Images

The Japanese automaker Toyota has taken its fair share of hits in the past year and a half: The earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as last year's recall fiasco have helped erode the company's share of the U.S. car market.

But one place Toyota remains No. 1 is with minority car buyers — Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans continue to buy more Toyotas than any other car brand, domestic or foreign.

Toyota's claim on the minority market has the Rev. Jesse Jackson questioning other car companies' practices.

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4:08pm

Tue June 28, 2011
Economy

Americans Remain Unsure Of Economy's Future

Although the recession ended two years ago, Americans are still feeling the effects. Consumers are continuing to rely on thrifty measures to push their money further.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Nearly two years after the official end of the recession, Americans still remain unconvinced.

Consumer confidence has hit an eight-month low, according to a Conference Board report released Tuesday. The group studies how Americans feel about business conditions and the job market.

It turns out consumers aren't feeling so hot about the prospects for the future, which economists say could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This can be seen in any parking lot of a big-box store.

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5:29pm

Fri June 24, 2011
Economy

Weak Jobs Market Takes Heavier Toll On Black Men

People looking for jobs wait in line to speak with potential employers at the Brooklyn Job Fair on April 13 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

President Obama spent Friday pushing job creation in manufacturing, but he's getting increasing pressure for job results from a key part of his base: African Americans.

The unemployment rate for black men is about double the national average — and economists don't expect that number to fall to the single digits anywhere in the near future.

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4:57pm

Wed June 22, 2011
Economy

Auto Industry Adjusts To New Normal: Low Sales

A salesman looks at Ford Fusion cars with customers on the lot at the Serramonte Ford dealership in Colma, Calif. This year, Ford Motor Co. reported its best first-quarter earnings since 1998, at $2.6 billion.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

The U.S. auto market is slowly rebounding. But even as sales increase, they're still not at the peaks hit 10 years ago. In 2000 and 2001, more than 17 million automobiles were sold in America. Last year, just under 12 million were sold.

But many analysts, dealers and executives believe the industry is actually healthier selling far fewer cars.

"That 16 to 17 million sales level that we experienced was not a normal situation," says Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of car site Edmunds.com.

He says a lot of the factors that kept car sales high won't be seen again.

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3:51pm

Thu June 9, 2011
Business

As U.S. Sales Stall, Automakers Take Brands Overseas

Car sales in the U.S. have stalled. Right now, GM sells more cars in China than it does here.

Around the world, American brands have a much higher "cool factor" than they do here at home. And U.S. car companies are looking to exploit that.

The future of the American car companies can be summed up in one acronym, BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

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8:00am

Sat June 4, 2011
Business

Hyundai's Rivals Better Prepare For A Bumpy Ride

The big winner in the auto industry in the last few months has been the Korean automaker Hyundai. Last month while car sales stalled, Hyundai had its biggest month ever. Analysts point to Hyundai's success as a sign of the increasingly competitive nature of the U.S. car market. Long gone are the days of the Big Three; now it's more like the Big Thirteen. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on Hyundai and the fractured American car market.

4:44pm

Wed May 11, 2011
Japan In Crisis

After A Tough Year, Toyota Struggles To Mend

Toyota, which has been suffering from ongoing parts shortages and production delays following the March earthquake and tsunami, announced Wednesday that its most recent quarterly profit fell by more than 75 percent.

The automaker has had a lot of problems lately, and they aren't just tied to the disasters in Japan.

Aaron Bragman, an analyst with IHS Automotive, says the company has a long list of troubles.

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4:00am

Tue May 10, 2011
Business

High Demand, Low Supply Hikes Used Car Prices

Demand for used cars is up and so are the prices. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on why the market for used vehicles is hot right now.

12:01am

Tue April 26, 2011
Around the Nation

Increasingly Cautious, Unions Less Likely To Strike

Whether public or private sector, unions are clearly on the ropes. An ever smaller percentage of American workers belong to unions. And striking – one of the chief tools of organized labor – seems to have become a thing of past.

Take the following stat, for example: In 1952 there were 470 work stoppages or strikes around the country; in 2010 there were 11.

If you want a glimpse of why there was such a sharp drop, you need only to sit down with Mark Sanders and his father Lefty, or Larry Sanders.

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8:00am

Sun April 24, 2011
Business

Want To Chat Up An Auto Show Model? Talk Cars

As people wander through the New York International Auto Show looking at the latest the global automotive industry has to offer, they'll be led by a bevy of beauties.

Attractive young women leaning against new cars are an important part of any auto show, but don't presume. They do more than stand there and look pretty.

If you try to interview one of them, however, this is what happens:

Reporter: "Can I ask your name?"

Woman: "No."

Reporter: "Why is that?"

Woman: "It's just a corporate policy."

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8:00am

Sat April 23, 2011
Business

Volkswagen Puts U.S. Plans In Overdrive

The newly designed Volkswagen Beetle is the darling of this week's New York International Auto Show. The sleek, more masculine Beetle is not just a new version of an old car; it's part of a new strategy.

Germany-based Volkswagen has a long history in the U.S. market — 55 years to be exact. Most of us have a connection to VW cars; remember Herbie?

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4:57pm

Fri April 22, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japanese Auto Execs Try To Put On Happy Face

Auto shows are usually just really big industry parties — a time for car executives to show off their cool new stuff, tease their rivals, put on a new face for the public. The New York International Auto Show had all of that Friday, but it also had a little more: a touch of melancholy.

"During these challenging times, we have received warm encouragement and tremendous support from many in the United States," said Takeshi Tachimori, the new chairman of Subaru of America.

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1:17pm

Mon April 18, 2011
Politics

Fight For Ohio Union Rights Turns To The Ballot Box

Over the past few months, Ohio has had its share of fighting over public sector unions' collective bargaining rights.

Earlier this year, thousands marched on the statehouse in Columbus, but those protests didn't get unions or their Democratic supporters very far. Senate Bill 5 passed the Republican-dominated Ohio Legislature on March 30 and Gov. John Kasich signed it into law the next day.

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5:24am

Fri April 8, 2011
Economy

The Return Of Luxury Retail

Originally published on Fri April 8, 2011 1:10 pm

Consumers spent more on retail goods in the first quarter than they did during the same time last year. That's despite higher gas prices, bad weather and a late Easter holiday.

Luxury retailers were the winners.

Retail analyst Marshal Cohen says the recession has left the consumer with "frugal fatigue."

"We're tired of being so frugal with what we're spending and at the least expensive place," he says.

A bunch retailers released their first quarter numbers this week.

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