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Richard Truett

Technology and Engineering reporter
Address: 1155 Gratiot Ave.
48207-2997 Detroit, Mich.
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Phone: 313-446-1638
E-Mail: rtruett@crain.com
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Recent authored articles

Some self-pay customers know more than their service advisers

Our columnist was ready to pay for repairs to his Mini Cooper that a dealership service adviser initially discouraged.

5 minutes with Jordan Hettinga, general manager, parts and accessories, eBay Motors

Jordan Hettinga oversees initiatives that are designed to make it faster, easier and less labor-intensive for new-vehicle dealerships to sell original equipment replacement and repair parts in the eBay online marketplace. Hettinger, previously an executive with Snap-On Tools, says he aims to help dealers keep turning their parts departments' inventory.

Online parts sales' high volumes can offset lower profit margins

Parts sold via the Internet generally are less profitable than those sold in the dealership, but the potential to sell online in large volumes can overcome that disadvantage.


Online sales of replacement parts and accessories are a fast-growing fixed ops profit center for dealerships.

Kia Niro EV range: 239 miles

Kia is expanding its Niro lineup with an electric crossover capable of driving 239 miles on a single charge.

Kia Niro EV on deck with 239-mile range

Kia is expanding the Niro lineup next year with a battery electric version of the subcompact crossover that can drive 239 miles on a single charge.

Michael Cook, former Triumph and Jaguar PR exec, dies at 85

Triumph sold its last sports car in the U.S. in the summer of 1982. On Tuesday, the brand lost its PR man, Michael Cook, who never stopped promoting the fun-to-drive brand of budget roadsters.

GM debería salvar el tren motriz Volt para otro vehículo

El Volt nació de la agitación de la bancarrota de GM. Revitalizó a GM como una organización de ingeniería de primer nivel. Su innovador sistema de propulsión merece otra oportunidad en un vehículo más adecuado a los tiempos.

Chevy Volt's powertrain deserves to live

In dissecting GM's restructuring that will see the end of many models, it's not clear -- yet -- if the Volt's innovative range extender powertrain will live in another vehicle, such as the Chevrolet Equinox.

High-tech Mazda3 packs 5 engines, new styling, bevy of safety features

As GM and Ford bail out of small cars and replace them with crossovers, Mazda is betting big that a technically advanced upscale version of the compact Mazda3, including a diesel engine, can defy the odds.


For decades, automakers have mounted front seat tracks to the vehicle floor with a bolt at each corner. But that simple, safe and secure way to install seats quickly and accurately is likely to get a lot more complex in the era of self-driving vehicles.

While the novelty wears off for most retro-styled cars, Challenger powers on

Everything old may be new again, but eventually, everything that's new again grows old. Except, perhaps, for the Dodge Challenger.

Brose sticks to core products

One of Europe's largest motor suppliers, Brose Fahrzeugteile, is taking a conservative path in the EV market and focusing on other product areas.

Let product chief focus on product

Mark Reuss' duties at General Motors are so voluminous, they don't even fit into one paragraph.

Amid EV hype, the internal combustion engine keeps improving

This may be the dawn of the electric vehicle era, but 2018 has been a phenomenal year for the humble internal combustion engine.

Time to re-engineer the job of product development chief

With automakers facing financial pressure on many fronts -- Wall Street, trade and tariff issues, slowing sales, intense competition -- the product development chief's job has never been more important. And that's why it is time for the role to be re-examined at General Motors, Ford and maybe elsewhere.

Toyota plans to debut 2020 Supra sports car in Detroit

While many European automakers have bailed out of the Detroit auto show, there will be at least one major global debut from a foreign automaker.

Honda Canada has fix for CR-V, Civic over-fuelling glitch

Honda Canada says a new software will fix an over-fuelling issue. It's also providing a warranty extension on some engine components for up to six years from the date of purchase, with no limit on kilometres.

Tesla's Supercharger strategy sets example

Tesla's Supercharger network is the template for automakers gearing up to launch fuel cell vehicles.

Jaguar I-Pace marca un gran salto para JLR en ingeniería

El I-Pace es el más capaz de los vehículos Jaguar que jamás se haya diseñado y desarrollado. Pero he aquí el panorama más completo: el I-Pace marca la llegada de JLR como centro de ingeniería de primer nivel.

El I-Pace marca el surgimiento de Jaguar Land Rover como centro de ingeniería de primer nivel

El I-Pace es el más capaz de los vehículos Jaguar que jamás se haya diseñado y desarrollado, un auto deportivo eléctrico brutalmente rápido, con una carrocería híbrida que puede transportar a cinco personas, con todo y sus cosas.

The three vehicles that earned my NACTOY votes

This year's semifinalists are strong, but there were some surprises — good and bad.

What the well-equipped dealership shop is featuring this year

Almost every automaker offers a large portfolio of approved tools that meet its own repair standards and improve shop efficiency. But that hasn't stopped dealers from looking elsewhere for innovative equipment.

Lexus' pledge should be every carmaker's and dealer's commitment

The Lexus Covenant is etched in a 6½-foot slab of black granite block in the lobby of the automaker's U.S. headquarters in Plano, Texas. It includes this promise: "Lexus will treat each customer as we would a guest in our home."

5 minutes with Beau Brauer, president, Hunter Engineering Co.

Beau Brauer, Hunter Engineering's president, talks about how the family-owned company has become one of the dominant suppliers of shop equipment for new-vehicle dealerships' service departments and independent shops.

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