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
4:52 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Vehicle Sales Fell In September

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:09 am

U.S. auto sales slipped 4 percent last month. The only major winners were Ford and Chrysler as automakers were dragged down by a quirk of the calendar and the beginning signs of skittish consumers.

Business
4:47 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Why Companies And CEOs Rarely Admit To Wrongdoing

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 11:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

JPMorgan Chase will have to pay more than $900 million in fines for the way it handled the London Whale trading scandal. Last year, the company revealed that its traders in London had lost $6 billion, and then concealed the losses from executives.

While large fines aren't unusual, it is unusual that federal regulators forced the bank to admit to wrongdoing. But this is exactly what happened. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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Around the Nation
5:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Unions Open Their Doors Wider As Membership Falls

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The AFL-CIO wraps up its annual convention today in Los Angeles. The meeting comes as unions struggle with lots of challenges: falling membership, declining wages and hostile state legislatures. To boosts its ranks, the labor movement is now looking in some unlikely places, as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Economy
7:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Youth Unemployment Remains Stubbornly High

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 1:01 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

To U.S. jobs now. The American employers added 169,000 jobs in August and that's according to the U.S. Labor Department's most recent employment report. The overall jobless rate fell again to 7.3 percent, but one of the many groups that's having trouble getting back to work is young people who are age 16 to 24. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Here's an economic truth that's interesting, especially given our youth-obsessed culture.

SYLVIA ALLEGRETTO: The older you get, the better things kind of get.

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Business
5:05 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Millennials Force Car Execs To Rethink Business Plans

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's focus like a laser on this next story. For the last month, NPR and Youth Radio have been reporting on the changing relationship between the millennial generation and the automobile.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When I try to imagine my dream car, I draw a blank and then I reach for my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The symbol of freedom isn't the car anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I'm not sure that any car company really understands this generation of buyers.

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All Tech Considered
3:30 am
Thu August 29, 2013

To Attract Millennials, Automakers Look To Smartphones

Audi's night vision assistant, an example of how car companies are making cars that are part of drivers' digital lives.
Courtesy of Audi

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:47 pm

Part of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

In an effort to attract young people to cars, automakers have set up shop in Silicon Valley and are looking to the digital world as a way to lure them.

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Around the Nation
5:03 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Summer Nights: Dancing In Chicago

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:22 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Do you want to learn the samba in Chicago, or perhaps the Lindy hop or the waltz? Maybe you want to know exactly how one gets jiggy. Well, all you have to do is wander into Grant Park in the summer, Chicago's Summer Dance is the nation's largest annual outdoor dance series. And for our series, Summer Nights, NPR's Sonari Glinton stopped by Grant Park for a tango.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Just after work on a Thursday evening, you can see crowds forming in the Spirit of Music Garden on the edge of Grant Park.

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Business
5:24 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Auto Industry's Pent-Up Demand Expected To Ease Slowly

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If economists looking at the housing sector are generally optimistic, those who follow the auto industry are practically brimming with glee. Right now, the average age of cars on the road is the oldest ever recorded, at 11-and-a-half years, which means at some time, people will have to buy newer ones. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, that time may be now.

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Business
3:03 am
Fri August 9, 2013

The Changing Story Of Teens And Cars

To teens today, cars aren't important in the same way they were in American Graffiti, the 1973 film directed by George Lucas.
Lucasfilm/Coppola Co/Universal

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:29 pm

This is the first of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

When you're a teenager, there are many things you desperately want to find: friends, fun, a future, freedom.

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Business
4:31 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Tesla's Stock Boosts Projections For Carmaker's Staying Power

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 7:27 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Earnings season is wrapping up in the car world. And the small American company Tesla is doing better than expected. When the high-end electric automaker released its earnings this week, it handily beat Wall Street expectations. Tesla's stock is up about 300 percent this year.

As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the question is, whether the company has enough power to sustain it for the long term.

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Business
5:02 am
Tue August 6, 2013

GM Looks To China To Boost Car Sales

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 6:06 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

General Motors is selling a lot of cars in China. The company set a sales record there in July.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports China is in the front line in the battle for automotive global dominance.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: In China this year, forecasters predict nearly 20 million cars will be sold. In the U.S., the bet is we'll sell about 15 and a half million.

Mike Wall is with IHS Automotive.

MILE WALL: Yeah, you really can't overstate the importance of China in the overall global automotive landscape.

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Economy
7:45 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Jobless Rate Falls For Blacks, But It's Not Good News Yet

Employment Specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps an applicant file for unemployment at a Georgia Department of Labor career center last month in Atlanta. The jobless rate for African-Americans fell from 13.7 to 12.6 percent in July, but that's still twice the rate for whites.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 1:46 pm

The labor market continues its recovery; the economy added 162,000 jobs in July and pushed the unemployment rate to a 4.5-year low. After a string of bad news, things seem to be to turning around for African-American workers, too.

"The operative word is growth," says Bill Rodgers, an economist at Rutgers University.

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Economy
5:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Weakening Yen Strengthens Toyota's Profits

Friday, Toyota announced that it nearly doubled its quarterly profit over one year ago. The robust earnings were largely due to the weakening of the Yen, brought on by the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Business
3:33 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ford Taking America's Best-Selling Truck All 'Natural'

A version of Ford's flagship F-150 pickup truck that runs on natural gas.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:59 am

The reigning king in the truck world is the Ford F-150, and it's been that way for a couple of decades. But staying on top is getting harder.

With new, tougher fuel standards looming there is a lot of emphasis on efficiency and innovation. On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas.

When you look at their bottom lines and their advertising you realize that the Detroit Three make cars, but they're really truck companies, especially Ford.

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News
5:40 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Reinvigorating A Detroit Neighborhood, Block By Block

Woodward Avenue runs through Midtown, a Detroit neighborhood that is reviving in the midst of the larger city's decline. In the background is downtown Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

The debt-laden city of Detroit has been an incubator for new strategies in urban revitalization, including a downtown People Mover, casinos, urban farms, artist colonies and large scale down-sizing.

In the wake of the city's bankruptcy, many in the community are thinking small.

Just outside of downtown Detroit is a neighborhood called Midtown. Like many hip, urban neighborhoods, it's got hipsters on fixed geared bikes, yoga studios, boutiques for dogs.

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Business
5:43 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

U.S. Carmakers Are Riding High, But Detroit May Not Feel It

Jeff Caldwell, a chassis assembly line supervisor, checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit on May 8.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:19 pm

The news out of Detroit has been grim of late, but there are some bright spots coming from one corner of the Motor City. On Thursday, General Motors posted its 14th straight profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy. Ford announced its 16th consecutive profitable quarter Wednesday, and Chrysler is expected to offer good news soon as well.

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Monkey See
3:38 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Pedal Power To Horsepower: Toys Point Toward Future Of Cars

Mark Takahashi is now one of the "car people" at Edmunds.com — but at the age of 2, the future automotive editor, like his co-worker Mike MaGrath, was more of a toy-car person.
Courtesy Mark Takahashi

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:46 am

Morning Edition has reported that the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in the U.S., and the Ford Focus is the world's best-seller.

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Economy
9:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

June Job Numbers Perk Up Optimists

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The economy added 195,000 jobs in June. That was a surprise and a delight to both economists and Wall Street. But the unemployment rate was stuck at 7.6 percent.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that the economic recovery continues at a slow but steady pace.

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Business
4:52 am
Wed July 3, 2013

June Sales Rev Engines Of Detroit Automakers

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 9:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Well, here's some better news for automakers. In June, cars and trucks sold at a rate close to pre-recession levels. The Detroit automakers all saw gains, as did the big Japanese firms.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one number that's important to auto executives, and that number is...

JESSICA CALDWELL: The SAAR.

GLINTON: Come Again?

CALDWELL: The SAAR, the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

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