Sonari Glinton

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

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. Glinton has traveled throughout the Midwest covering important stories such as the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the 2012 presidential race. He has also covered the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. 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.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at member station WBEZ in Chicago. He went on to produce and report for WBEZ. While in Chicago he focused on juvenile justice and the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to journalism Glinton had a career in finance.

Glinton attended Boston University.

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Business
4:56 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

From Jobs To Car Parts, Port Dispute Rippling Through The Economy

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:59 pm

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The Two-Way
7:41 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Lesley Gore, Famous For Her Song 'It's My Party,' Has Died

Singer Lesley Gore rehearses at a piano, in New York in 1966. Gore topped the charts in 1963 with the epic song of teenage misery, "It's My Party."
Dan Grossi AP

Lesley Gore, a teen artist embraced by other teens when she sang "It's My Party" in 1963, died Monday of cancer in Manhattan. She was 68 years old.

Gore's string of hits came before 1960s counterculture reached its heights. Gore's clear emphatic and authoritative voice helped her define the sound of the post-Elvis, pre-Beatle rock and roll. And her first hits helped set the stage for later hits such as Aretha Franklin's "Respect" or Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

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Business
5:33 am
Thu January 29, 2015

After Weak Earnings, McDonald's CEO Steps Down

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:20 am

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Business
5:16 am
Fri January 16, 2015

How Cars Evolved Over The Last Decade

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:33 am

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If you go for a drive this morning, look around at the other cars. The average car on American streets is more than a decade old. A lot of people put off new purchases during the recession and are just now getting back to buying.

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Business
6:32 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Winning The Truck Battle Isn't Just About Smack Talk. It's Everything

Ford's F-150 truck beat the Chevrolet Colorado and Lincoln MKC as the Detroit auto show's 2015 North American Truck of the Year.
He Xianfeng Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:25 am

For the Detroit automakers, there's likely no bigger prize than being the No. 1 truck. Pickups represent the lion's share of profits and the industry's recent growth.

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Business
5:04 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Auto Industry Challenged By Falling Gas Prices

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:21 pm

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Business
5:17 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Low Gas Prices Give SUV Sales A Boost, But Automakers Take Long View

Dodge Ram pickup trucks await customers Jan. 5 on the lot at Landmark Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Morrow, Ga. Buoyed by a resurgent economy, holiday sales, cheap gasoline and a love affair with pickup trucks, Americans headed to car dealers in droves last month, pushing full-year sales to what's likely to be the highest level since 2006.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 8:07 am

Sales of cars surged in December, and analysts believe that the year's total will exceed 17 million, making it the fifth straight year of growth for the industry.

Cheap gas prices helped make that happen, as sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles rose rapidly. Jeep's sales, for instance, were up 40 percent on increased consumer demand for crossover SUVs. Meanwhile, demand for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles shrank.

Scott Painter, founder and CEO of auto sales website TrueCar, says those trends aren't necessarily good for the industry as a whole.

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Business
6:16 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Holiday Shopping Ads Are Geared Toward Brain's Reward Center

Retailers' Black Friday ads and other parts of the holiday season are designed to tap into a very ancient part of our brains.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 4:21 pm

Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year. But what makes us want to rush to the stores or online to snap up the best bargains?

Those wall-to-wall TV ads — and the holiday season itself — are tapping into a very primitive part of our brains.

"There is more of a sport to Black Friday shopping, and people expect some deal, but they aren't likely to get the best deal on a particular item because the best deal may have already happened six months ago," says Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst with Forrester Research.

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Business
7:04 am
Wed November 19, 2014

U.S. Safety Agency Wants Millions More Air Bags Recalled

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:43 pm

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Around the Nation
4:29 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

For Best-Selling Truck, Ford Bets Big On Aluminum

A 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. The aluminum-sided F-150 could set a new industry standard — or cost the company its pickup truck crown.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 5:30 pm

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

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Business
7:55 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

No Quick Fixes For Drivers Affected By Air Bag Recall

The 2002 Honda CR-V is one of dozens of car models subject to a recall for faulty air bags. The air bag manufacturer, Takata, supplies bags for more than 30 percent of all cars and is one of only three large air bag suppliers.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 8:09 pm

Most auto recalls usually involve one carmaker at a time, but a massive recall this week affects not just one, but 10, ranging from BMWs to Toyotas.

At the center of it is Takata, a little-known but extremely important auto parts maker. The company makes more than one-third of the air bags in all cars.

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Business
5:07 am
Thu October 23, 2014

What The New Factory Worker Should Know

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:15 am

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Business
6:26 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

As Gas Prices Drop, Hybrid Sales Shift Into Low Gear

Sales of traditional hybrids, plug-ins and all-electric cars are down about 5 percent in 2014 — while truck and SUV sales have jumped.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 19, 2014 7:25 pm

The recent drop in gas prices may be good for consumers, but it's not such good news for hybrid car sales.

Even before gas prices started to slide, hybrid sales were falling — all while sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury sedans have been on the rise.

That relationship between gas prices and sales is "rather remarkable," says John Krafcik, president of the website TrueCar. "During months when gas prices are low, less fuel-efficient cars tend to take a greater share of the market and vice versa. It's a fairly one-to-one relationship."

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Business
4:27 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Cadillac Packs Its Bags And Heads To New York City

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 11:12 am

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After more than 112 years, Cadillac is looking at Detroit in its rearview mirror. GM's luxury division is moving its headquarters to Manhattan.

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Business
5:06 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyberattacks Continue

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 10:18 am

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Business
5:20 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Nevada Likely To Become Home To Tesla's Battery Factory

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 7:43 am

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Business
6:37 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Internet Sales Threaten Shopping Mall Culture

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 7:42 am

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Business
5:26 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Buick Regal Competes With German Luxury Cars

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 8:09 am

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next we'll explore a contradiction at General Motors. GM has had a terrible year in the news. In recent years, in fact, the company has recalled more cars than it has made.

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Men In America
4:17 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Complicated Cars Put A Dent In An Old Father-Son Ritual

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:47 am

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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Business
4:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:40 pm

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At a Senate hearing today, there were calls for General Motors top lawyer to step down. Recent media reports have made clear that company lawyers knew faulty ignition switches were causing fatal accidents. Despite that GM blocked internal efforts to issue a recall and they kept information from federal safety regulators. The ignition defect is responsible for at least 13 deaths and will cost GM billions of dollars. NPR's Sonari Glinton has the latest.

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Business
6:18 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Record Recalls May Not Necessarily Hurt Auto Industry

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 8:01 am

Automakers recalled 37.5 million vehicles in the first six months of 2014. That's more cars and trucks recalled than in any prior year. GM led the way but other companies also picked up the pace.

Business
4:08 am
Mon June 23, 2014

As Carmakers Recall Vehicles, Dealers Might Make A Profit

Chevrolet dealerships like this one might actually benefit from General Motors' recall of millions of cars — as long as customers don't have to wait too long for their repairs.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 5:20 am

The auto industry is cruising toward a record number of safety recalls: GM has recalled 20 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, and most carmakers have lowered the bar for the kind of problems that'll have them sending you back to your local dealers.

But while that sounds like bad news, it turns out that recalls can have an upside — at least for car dealers.

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Business
5:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Cars Shed Pounds In Race To Meet Fuel-Efficiency Goals

Ford says it cut the weight of its concept Fusion (left) by nearly 25 percent, matching the weight of a Ford Fiesta (right).
Ford

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:16 am

The car industry is required to raise the average fuel efficiency of its vehicles to 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025. But consumers have been reluctant to adopt hybrid technology that'll get the industry there quicker.

That means the car companies have to find other ways to get fuel savings.

If you were to guess, how important would you say fuel economy is to the car business? How much of the research and development is going into making cars more efficient?

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Business
4:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Google's Attempt To Make A Self-Driving Car: Big Idea Or Bad Idea?

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 6:17 pm

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Google is getting into the car business - the self-driving car business, that is. Google is throwing away the steering wheel in the pedals, building prototypes of a cozy two-seater designed for city driving.

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All Tech Considered
6:04 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

For Automakers, Internet-Connected Cars Are A Balancing Act

General Motors says its OnStar 4G LTE connection will allow cars to act as a mobile Internet hub.
General Motors

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

The Internet is coming to your car. Later this year, General Motors will put Internet connectivity directly into its vehicles. It's the largest auto company to do so.

Of course, safety advocates have some concerns about more distractions for drivers.

The promise of technology is always the same one — that it's going to make our life easier. But anyone who's tried to make a hands-free call in the car knows that's not always true. A task as simple as asking your device to call your mom can be an exasperating experience.

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Economy
4:21 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

What's The Secret To Minnesota's Success On Jobs?

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:17 am

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Some states have had an easier time than others climbing out of the jobs hole. One of them is Minnesota. Its unemployment rate is 4.8 percent, well below the national average. NPR's Sonari Glinton went to Minnesota to find out why.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: One of the places that's seen growth in Minnesota is St. Cloud. Now, it's about 65 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis. That's where I met up with Brian Schoenborn. He's a lawyer and he helped develop a part of the downtown area called Fifth Avenue Live.

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Business
6:44 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Bank Of America Agrees To Refunds And Fines In Credit Card Case

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:54 am

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Not so good news for another bank. Bank of America, which is on the hook for nearly $800 million in fines and refunds. That's to settle allegations from credit card holders, of deceptive marketing and unfair billing. Regulators say nearly three million credit card holders were affected. The settlement is a major victory for a young federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Politics
5:17 am
Wed April 2, 2014

GM CEO Pressed On Handling Of Ignition Switch Defect

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 1:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

There was only one thing the new head of General Motors could really say about its recall of defective vehicles. The recall was a decade in coming, and the defect has been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Mary Barra faced questions about it yesterday before Congress.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARING)

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Business
5:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Long Road To GM's Ignition Switch Recall

Chevy Cobalts on the assembly line in Ohio in 2008. Documents show General Motors was aware of problems with the car's ignition switch years before, but failed to act.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is a classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

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Business
4:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

As Carmakers Turn Up The Recalls, Consumers Tune Out

The number of vehicles recalled has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:02 pm

In the past week, Volkswagen recalled 150,000 Passats because of potential hood problems that could damage the headlights, and Honda recalled 900,000 Odyssey vans because of a potential fire hazard.

Those moves follow the recent General Motors recall of 1.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to 12 deaths. It took the company nearly a decade to inform the public of the problem.

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