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
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

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." href="/post/pedal-power-horsepower-toys-point-towards-future-cars" class="noexit lightbox">
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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Business
4:47 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Garment Industry Follows Threads Of Immigration Overhaul

A man views merchandise at an American Apparel store on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif., on April 24, 2012. Each year, the company makes more than 40 million articles of clothing out of its L.A.-area factory.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:31 am

In Los Angeles, the business of fashion is big. The apparel business employs as many as 45,000 workers in L.A. County, many of them immigrants.

Consequently, the garment industry is worried about the outcome of the immigration debate and watching closely to see what happens.

'You Don't Have Another Choice'

One of the heavyweights is American Apparel, which makes more than 40 million articles of clothing each year out of its factory near downtown L.A.

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Business
5:35 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

LA Bluejeans Makers Fear Their Business Will Fade Away

Samuel Ku, who runs AG Jeans alongside his father, says a European tariff puts thousands of U.S. clothing jobs at risk.
Amanda Marsalis

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:16 pm

Los Angeles is the world leader in the most American of clothing items: bluejeans. High-end, hand-stitched, designer bluejeans that will you run well over $100 a pair.

But as the U.S. apparel industry continues to shrink, LA's bluejeans business faces a threat: a nearly 40 percent tariff, imposed by the European Union, that could cripple the city's jean business.

When people talk about Ilse Metchek they use phrases like "she's a piece of work," "a force of nature," "she's something else." If you want to talk fashion, she's your lady.

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Economy
5:51 am
Sat May 4, 2013

More Jobs, But Wait: They May Not Pay Much

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The economy added 165,000 jobs in April. That exceeded the expectations of economists. It also drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low, 7.5 percent. Unfortunately, the biggest gains were in lower-paying fields like hospitality and temp agencies. And as the school year comes to a close and young people start looking, the question is will there be enough work for them. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Business
5:16 am
Thu April 25, 2013

House Panel Examines Government Loan To Fisker Automotive

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.

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Business
5:01 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Joint Airbag Recall Affects More Than 3 Million Cars

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

More than three million cars and trucks worldwide are being recalled. Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mazda, Nissan, and Pontiac all say some of their vehicles made between 2001 and 2003 could potentially have faulty airbags.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Business
4:42 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Ford Claims Top Spot In Global Sales Race

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:20 am

The Focus is the best-selling "nameplate" worldwide, followed by the Toyota Corolla, new data shows. Ford's sales have jumped in recent years as it dropped unsuccessful models and adopted a single global manufacturing system.

Economy
4:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

California's Unemployment Stuck High As National Average Dips

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 6:04 pm

California's economy is a study in contrasts. The state's unemployment rate — 9.8 percent — is tied with Rhode Island for the highest in the country. Parts of the state are still suffering mightily from the housing collapse. But there are also large pockets of job growth and revival.

Asia
6:26 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Auto Industry Stalls In Japan

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's look now at a vital part of the Japanese economy: the auto industry. While vehicle sales in the United States last month were at the highest level since August of 2007, Japanese auto sales decreased by nearly 16 percent. That is just the latest in a six-month slide for auto sales in Japan. In today's business bottom line, NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at Japan's faltering domestic auto sector.

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Business
5:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Electric Car Company Posts Its First Profit While Another May File For Bankruptcy

Two startup automakers with big ambitions for electric vehicles appear to be headed in different directions. Luxury plug-in hybrid maker Fisker has hired a law firm to advise it on a possible bankruptcy, according to multiple published reports. Electric car maker Tesla announced on Monday that it expects to turn its first ever profit in the first quarter.

Environment
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

State Gives Example Of New Federal Gas Standards

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

The Environment Protection Agency has proposed new rules that will require cars to run on cleaner gas. The rules are intended to lower sulfur emission and reduce smog, and they'd go into effect in 2017. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports they're similar to standards in place in California.

Business
5:51 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Researchers Expect Oil Demand To Plateau By Decade's End

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an appetite for oil.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Researchers say they see a plateau in the demand for oil. A new report says demand could level off by the end of this decade, and that's a lot sooner than expected, as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Business
5:33 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Ford Unit Apologizes For Demeaning Ads

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And out next business story fits in the category of what were they thinking? Ford Motor Company is apologizing for ads sketched up by an agency in India - ads that have been decried as demeaning to women. They are cartoon drawings showing off how spacious a Ford trunk can be. One spoofs Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's at the wheel, and in the trunk, three women, tied up.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Economy
4:47 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Examining Dual Trends In The Economy

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 8:34 am

Both housing and the stock market have been on the upswing in recent months. But a full recovery in the housing market would be more significant to the overall economy. That's because more Americans have something at stake in home values than in stock prices.

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