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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Politics
3:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Congress Works To Mend Economy, Approval Ratings

House Majority leader Eric Cantor is pushing a package of small business bills that also has the support of President Obama. The rare instance of cooperation could mark a change in strategy for the House following historically low approval numbers for Congress and rising poll numbers for the president.

Election 2012
3:00 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Santorum Campaigns in Michigan

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 5:54 am

Transcript

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: And I'm Sonari Glinton traveling with the Rick Santorum campaign in Kalamazoo, Michigan. While Mitt Romney was rocking out to the sounds of Kid Rock, Rick Santorum supporters were being entertained by founding father Patrick Henry.

LAWRENCE WESCO: (as Patrick Henry) I know not what course others might take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death.

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Election 2012
5:45 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Paul Campaign Could Gain Traction In Michigan

As Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum battle for first place in the Michigan GOP presidential primary, rival Ron Paul is not expected to come in first or second. Paul doesn't really stand a chance at winning the nomination, but he can impact the party's platform

Presidential Race
4:28 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Why Mich. Catholics Favor The Mormon Candidate

Rick Santorum signs Joe Boulus' apron at a Lenten fish fry Friday in Michigan. Mitt Romney is ahead of Santorum among Catholic voters in the state, despite the fact that Santorum is Catholic.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 10:20 am

Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are neck-and-neck in the polls in the run-up to the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday.

One group that Romney appears to have an advantage with is Roman Catholic voters despite the fact that he is Mormon and Santorum Catholic.

The disconnect between faith and politics highlights differences among Catholics and shows that some religious voters are focusing more on other issues.

Declaring Faith

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Election 2012
3:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Santorum Challenges Obama's 'World View'

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has been the hot story in the GOP presidential contest this month. Over the weekend, Santorum raised eyebrows with comments on public education, prenatal testing and what he called President Obama's "phony theology." Santorum was making waves just days ahead of the next Republican debate on Wednesday, and the next primaries in Michigan and Arizona six days later.

Politics
3:00 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Congress May Skip Payroll Tax Showdown This Time Around

Congress appears to have avoided another showdown over the payroll tax reduction that has been pumping billions of dollars back into the economy. There may even be a deal ahead on jobless benefits and payments to Medicare doctors.

The last time Congress extended the payroll tax holiday was in December, when it passed a two-month extension tied to two other measures. One extended unemployment benefits, and the second fixed a formula by which Medicare doctors are paid. The Medicare fix would stop big cuts in reimbursements for doctors.

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Business
7:00 am
Sun January 15, 2012

A GM Designer's First Car? The Cadillac XDS

Detroit Auto Show photographers sometimes mistake car designer Christine Park for a spokesmodel. "It's a very male-dominated field," she says, "so it's something that people don't expect."
North American International Auto Show

Originally published on Sun January 15, 2012 6:29 pm

For a car designer, there's probably no scarier time than the auto show. And there's probably no scarier auto show than the Detroit Auto Show. It's like report-card day for car designers, but there doesn't appear to be much that scares Christine Park, a senior creative designer with Cadillac.

She's very eager to show off the Cadillac XTS. Park led the design of the interior of the XTS — pretty impressive, since she's only 28 and graduated from design school just six years ago.

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Technology
2:48 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Dashboard Distractions: New Luxuries Cause Concern

In many ways, the Detroit Auto Show has become a kind of consumer electronics show for cars, where you're just as likely to see the rollout of a new app or entertainment system as the introduction of next year's models.

"The growth in mechanical changes [has] now become incremental, whereas the growth in the consumer electronics industry seems to be taking place at a rate that is almost unprecedented," says Thomas Tetzlaff, a spokesman for Volkswagen Canada.

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Business
11:01 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

New For 2012: 'This Isn't Your Father's Dodge Dart'

The 2012 Dodge Dart is unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.
Tony Ding AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:08 am

Between 1960 and 1976, the Dodge Dart was one of the best-selling cars in America, with its affordable price and rugged styling. More than 3.5 million Darts were sold.

Though the car was never known for being especially stylish or pretty, Chrysler is now reviving the name as the company continues its own revitalization. On Monday, it unveiled the new Dart at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit.

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Business
2:00 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

GM Tries To Quiet Concerns About Chevy Volt

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:27 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. General Motors is recalling the Chevy Volt - sort of. The company is asking Volt owners to bring in their hybrid electric cars for what it calls enhancements. The problem involves crash tests and fire.

NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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Business
11:01 am
Wed January 4, 2012

To Climb In U.S., Volkswagen Gets Less German

Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America, attends the U.S. unveiling of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, a new version of the iconic car. Volkswagen saw a 26.3 percent increase in U.S. sales in 2011, and has its sights on becoming the world's No. 1 carmaker.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:09 am

Last year was a very good year for the German automaker Volkswagen, but 2012 could be even better.

Sales for Volkswagen Group's brands — including Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini — increased by 20 percent in the U.S. last year. For the Volkswagen brand itself, sales rose 26.3 percent. And if things continue to go Volkswagen's way, it could become the No. 1 carmaker in the world.

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It Was A Good Year For...
11:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

2011 Put Chrysler Back In The Fast Lane

Chrysler President Olivier Francois reintroduced his company to the world at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy, it's been a good year overall for the auto industry. But among the Detroit Three, there's been a clear standout.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Available Financing Helps Auto Sales Rebound

Sales of new cars in the U.S. were up by 14 percent last month. One reason is more consumers are getting access to car loans — including those with less than perfect credit.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Wed November 30, 2011

Workers Likely To Lose Out In AMR Bankruptcy

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's follow-up now on yesterday's news that American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It's part of an effort to cut debt and reduce labor costs. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what a post-bankruptcy American Airlines might look like.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: During the economic downturn, American Airlines already pared down its work force. Analysts don't think there will be massive layoffs this time.

AARON GELLMAN: Many elements of labor are going to pay a terrible price for this.

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Business
4:44 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Bringing Audi Back, For A Younger Audience

Despite the sluggish economy, it's been a pretty good year for luxury carmakers. Deluxe brands such as Mercedes, Volvo and BMW have seen double-digit growth.

But the German carmaker Audi is the standout. It's seen a near tenfold growth in the past 20 years, and the company has also become the new status car for young urban professionals.

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Getting To 55 MPG
11:01 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

A Push To Make Gasoline Engines More Efficient

Professor Anna Stefanopoulou (left) examines an internal combustion engine test with engineers Jacob Larimore and Xinfan Lin at the University of Michigan's Automotive Research Center. The researchers model engine performance to improve efficiency.
Courtesy Automotive Research Center

Third in a three-part series

The auto industry has work ahead to meet ambitious fuel efficiency goals of 55 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly twice the current average required. Hybrid and electric cars will play a role, but the plain old internal combustion engine can't be overlooked.

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Getting To 55 MPG
11:01 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Automakers Set To Steer Customers To Hybrids

Attendees at the Los Angeles Auto Show look at the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid concept car. Toyota's Prius is the best-selling hybrid on the market, but almost every carmaker has some form of hybrid technology.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:40 am

Second in a three-part series

Hybrid cars will take a lot of floor space at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning this weekend, but they still represent a tiny portion of the U.S. car market.

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Around the Nation
11:01 pm
Sun November 20, 2011

Can Electric Cars Help Automakers Reach 55 MPG?

A Nissan Leaf charges at a station in Portland, Ore., that can recharge an electric car in 30 minutes. Electric cars could be an integral part of meeting 55-mpg fuel standards by 2025, but many consumers are put off by the vehicles' higher price and what some call "range anxiety."
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:07 pm

First in a three-part series

Under fuel-economy rules announced by the White House this summer, cars will have to get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — nearly double the current average. Reaching that goal will take not only feats of engineering but also changing how Americans think about their cars and how they drive them.

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Business
3:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Honda Deflects Criticism Of 2012 Civic

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Los Angeles Auto Show begins today. It's the first of America's car shows and it's where manufacturers put their best foot forward or try to reinvent themselves. One those carmakers is Honda. Honda's production was badly hurt by Japan's earthquake and tsunami, and as it was getting back on track, the floods in Thailand crippled production again. But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the L.A. Auto Show, natural disasters may be the least of Honda's problems.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Most Reliable Cars: Toyota At Top; Jaguar At Bottom

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 6:49 am

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Consumer Reports has come out with its ranking of car reliability. Toyota's Scion brand topped the list. Luxury carmaker Jaguar was at the bottom. Chrysler was rated most improved. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Okay, here's the Consumer Reports top 10 list: Scion, Lexus, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Infiniti, Subaru, Nissan and Volvo. Not one American car brand.

DAVID CHAMPION: I think the fortunes have changed for the Big Three, in some ways.

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Business
2:00 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Ford Union Workers Ratify New Contract

Union workers at Ford have ratified a new contract that does not include wage increases for most workers — but does obligate Ford to create 5,750 new jobs in the U.S.

Business
11:01 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Some Ford Workers Skeptical Of Proposed Contract

Members of the United Auto Workers finish voting Tuesday on a new contract with automaker Ford that would mean nearly 6,000 new jobs in U.S. Ford and the UAW both say it's a good deal for the company and its union employees, but many workers remain unconvinced

In its 87 years, Ford's Chicago assembly plant, which is on the city's South Side, has made an array of Fords from to the Model A to the Model T to the latest Ford Taurus.

Orlando Mendoza, who has worked at Ford for 19 years, says he opposes the proposed contract.

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Business
9:24 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Toyota Redesigns The Camry, Aiming To Stay On Top

The new redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry is unveiled during a news event on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, Calif.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 11:05 am

Tinkering with success can be a dangerous thing. A redesigned version of the Toyota Camry, America's best-selling car for the past nine years, is going on sale in the U.S.

Toyota recently lost market share and has suffered through bad PR due to recalls, in addition to dealing with the continuing aftereffects of the Japan earthquake. Toyota executives are betting on the new Camry to jump-start the company's future.

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Business
11:01 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Design, Price Are Keys To Success For Hyundai

A Hyundai Genesis Coupe is on display in a showroom in Glendale, Calif., last January.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy in the U.S., it's been a really good year for Hyundai. The Korean automaker is on track to sell more cars this year than ever before, and it has seen its share of the U.S. market more than double in the past decade.

At first glance, Hyundai may appear to be resorting to slick marketing gimmicks. For instance, the company will guarantee the price of your car, not now but when you trade it in.

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Around the Nation
2:18 pm
Sat October 1, 2011

Like The Lions, Detroit Finally Has A Winning Season

Detroit Lions Jason Hanson (left) and Don Muhlbach walk off the field after Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime to beat the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in Minneapolis. The Lions won 26-23.
Genevieve Ross AP

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 6:27 am

After many awful seasons this year's Detroit Lions are — can you believe it — undefeated. To add to the glory, each of the Detroit car makers is showing signs of health with increased quality and profitability. It's long-awaited good news for a city that's been through bad times.

There's no denying that Detroit has had an image problem for quite a while. A whole cottage industry has sprung up over the years with many people from all walks trying to help turn that image around.

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