Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. In addition, Glinton covered the 2012 presidential race, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. Over the years Glinton has produced dozen of segments about the great American Song Book and pop culture for NPR's signature programs most notably the 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole feature he produced for Robert Siegel.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at Member station WBEZ in Chicago. He worked his way through his public radio internships working for Chicago Jazz impresario Joe Segal, waiting tables and meeting legends such as Ray Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Marian MacPartland, Ed Thigpen, Ernestine Andersen, and Betty Carter.

Glinton attended Boston University. A Sinatra fan since his mid-teens, Glinton's first forays into journalism were album revues and a college jazz show at Boston University's WTBU. In his spare time Glinton indulges his passions for baking, vinyl albums, and the evolution of the Billboard charts.

Friday is a big day for Tesla. The automaker's very first Model 3 will roll off the assembly line, the culmination of years of planning, engineering and hype.

Elon Musk, the company's co-founder and chief executive, has been promising an affordable long-range electric car meant for the masses. He first wrote about the dream vehicle in the company's not-so-secret Secret Plan in 2006.

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Ford Motor Company's new CEO, Jim Hackett has a pretty daunting job description: prepare Ford for a future of self-driving cars and keep things profitable by selling trucks. While Hackett has a unique set of skills, that's still an extremely tall order.

Ford Motor Company is different than the other car companies.

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There are a lot of threads to the story of Ford Motor Company over the last several years. It avoided bankruptcy during the financial collapse. In the last few years, the company has enjoyed record sales and, with that, record profits.

Most car buyers don't do more than the most perfunctory test drive of new or used cars. But with so much new technology and features in today's cars and trucks, a thorough test drive is more important than ever.

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If you make, sell or drive a car, today President Trump has news for you.

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Car designers are a type. They stand out from the engineers, accountants and lawyers that populate the car business. By all accounts, Ed Welburn, General Motors' first global head of design, is quiet, focused and congenial. This year, he retired after 44 years at GM.

Near the entrance to Santa Monica pier stood a circle of Volkswagen Golfs, each with a driver. The purpose was to ferry attendees of a weeknight car unveiling to their own vehicles somewhere in the vast oceanfront parking lot. Perfectly framed by the pier's roller coaster in the background is the Volkswagen Atlas. If you want the company's answer to a year of scandal, this is it: what VW calls a mid-size SUV that has three rows that seat seven passengers.

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Add to Volkswagen's woes an auto safety recall. Volkswagen and its Audi brand are recalling nearly 281,500 vehicles owing to fuel leaks.

The recall is massive for VW. The company sold approximately 350,000 vehicles in the last year.

There are actually three separate recalls but all pertain to fuel leaks, though the defects could be different. For many vehicles the suction pump in the fuel tank was improperly assembled, according to Volkswagen.

There are two "firsts" in the list of highest-paid comedians that was put out by Forbes on Tuesday: For the first time in a decade, someone other than Jerry Seinfeld tops the rankings; and a woman is in the top 10 for the first time, according to Forbes' tally.

Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election are fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

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On first blush, the death of the young actor Anton Yelchin, who starred in recent Star Trek movies, seemed just a freak accident, but it might be connected to a known defect in his SUV.

Yelchin's body was found pinned between his car and a fence. His Jeep Grand Cherokee had apparently rolled into Yelchin after he exited the car.

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By my count I have helped some 58 friends (including many colleagues in public radio) buy a car. That's sort of funny, considering I didn't buy a car until I was 37 years old and began reporting on the auto industry for NPR.

On Saturdays over the last few years, I have gotten phone calls from friends at car dealerships asking for advice. It's no small financial matter, when the average cost of a new car is roughly $33,000.

So if you are reading this while in a car dealership, do what I tell all my friends: Stand up! Leave the dealership! Do not buy a car today!

Federal regulators have dramatically increased the number of vehicles to be recalled because of defective air bags made by Takata Corp. An additional 35 to 40 million air bag inflators will need to be replaced, according to regulators. The vehicles will be recalled in five stages between now and December 2019.

When I was kid, "What's for dinner?" was not a question you asked at the last minute. My mom, Dorothy Glinton, was an expert at planning what she would put on the table.

"I always knew what I was going to cook. I didn't come in running," Ma recalls.

But these days, even she eats out a few times a week. "But I don't go to a restaurant in the evening," she told me. "I do most of my eating in a grocery story right now, picking up a hot soup, going to a salad bar."

Ever watch The Beverly Hillbillies and wonder why Jed Clampett moved to Beverly Hills and not Texas or some town that we more closely associate with oil?

Even Angelenos forget sometimes that the Clampetts came first, then the swimming pools and movie stars. Think J. Paul Getty or Edward Doheny, men who made their fortunes on oil and then made LA.

Made in China.

You can see those words stamped on countless consumer products — electronics, clothes, but not cars. For the first time on a mass scale, a car built in China will be on sale in the United States — the Buick Envision.

China is the largest car market in the world. Chinese shoppers easily buy twice as many cars as Americans do. Chinese companies have been investing billions in the auto industry. The latest example is Volvo — the Swedish carmaker known for its boxy, safe, brazenly unstylish vehicles is pride of the Swedish car industry.

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The North American International Auto Show opened to the public today in Detroit. It's one of the biggest auto shows in America.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The 2016 North American Car of the Year is the Honda Civic.

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