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
3:06 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 7:47 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:20 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Nevada Likely To Become Home To Tesla's Battery Factory

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 5:43 am

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Business
2:09 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

In The Obituary For A Boxy Van, A Word On What's To Come

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 6:02 pm

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Business
4:37 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Internet Sales Threaten Shopping Mall Culture

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 5:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Business
3:26 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Buick Regal Competes With German Luxury Cars

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 6:09 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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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Business
2:11 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

A Deal Between 'Dollar' Stores Raises The Stakes Against Wal-Mart

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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
4:18 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Record Recalls May Not Necessarily Hurt Auto Industry

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 6:01 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
2:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

It's The Year Of The Recall, And It Finds GM Busy

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. It's the year of recalls in the auto industry, especially for General Motors. This week GM announced another slew of them, bringing its total to 54 recalls this year. Other automakers are also recalling more vehicles, but it's at GM where the pace is so fast, that it's hard to keep track. But NPR's Sonari Glinton is keeping track and he now joins us to talk about how the company is handling all of these recalls. Hi, Sonari.

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Business
2:17 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

In GM's Payout Plan, End Of The Road Is A Long Way Off

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 5:01 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Media
8:54 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Advertisers Come Out Of The Closet, Openly Courting Gay Consumers

Boyfriends, or roommates? Decades ago, commercials like this 1997 Volkswagen Golf ad left homosexual relationships implied, in a sort of secret code. These days, gay-friendly advertisers don't feel the need to be covert.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 1:16 pm

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Business
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

To Get Their Cars In Films, Automakers Turn To A Movie Motor Wrangler

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's summer car buying season and movie blockbuster season. And here's where these two things merge. "Transformers Age Of Extinction" premieres this week. It's an example of how automakers use movies to market cars. Once upon a time, say, when Mustang convertibles ruled the road, car companies didn't have to do that. Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

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Business
2:02 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 3:20 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
2:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

GM Chief Makes A Return Trip To The Hill, Where A Grilling Awaits

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced another grueling hearing on Capitol Hill, two weeks after a critical internal report blasted the company's handling of defective ignition switches as incompetent. GM has recalled 20 million vehicles already this year and has set aside $700 million to cover repairs related to the recall.

Business
3:43 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 10, 2014 6:31 pm

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
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Internal Probe Decries GM's 'Incompetence And Neglect'

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A blistering report was released today about why General Motors failed to recall millions of vehicles with a defective part - a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths. The report, prepared by a former U.S. attorney, details a pattern of incompetence and misconduct that reached the executive floors at the auto company. In response, GM has dismissed 15 employees and is creating a victims' compensation fund. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from Detroit.

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Business
2:39 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 4:17 pm

Transcript

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
4:11 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 7:21 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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Business
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Feds Slap GM With $35 Million Penalty For Safety Law Violations

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The federal government is hitting General Motors with its maximum fine for delays in an auto recall, $35 million. It's a response to GM's recall of cars with faulty ignition switches, a defect that's been linked to 13 deaths.

And as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, today's agreement with the Department of Transportation won't close the books on the problem.

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Business
4:51 am
Thu April 10, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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News
2:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Toyota Pulls Over 6 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another major auto recall today, this time it's Toyota. The Japanese auto giant is recalling 6.4 million vehicles worldwide for a variety of defects, including problems with seat rails and airbags. No injuries have been reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports this particular recall is not happening in a vacuum.

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Business
1:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Just How New Is The 'New' GM?

CEO Mary Barra told Congress that she sits at the helm of the new GM. Is the company new and improved? The answer is complicated.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 7:34 am

During her grilling before Congress last week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra insisted the new General Motors is different and better than the old one.

So as GM begins to fix nearly 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, we decided to put that claim to the test.

Exactly how new is the new GM?

NBC's Saturday Night Live answered with a parody version of Barra's explanation:

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Politics
3:17 am
Wed April 2, 2014

GM CEO Pressed On Handling Of Ignition Switch Defect

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:04 am

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
3:55 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 10:08 am

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
2:24 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 5:02 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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News
2:27 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota's $1.2B Settlement Puts Criminal Probe To Rest

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:59 pm

Toyota will pay $1.2 billion to end a federal criminal probe into a vehicle recall. Federal regulators said five people died in accidents related to unintended acceleration prior to the recall.

Business
3:03 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Ignition Switch Recall Straddles Old And New GM

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

General Motors is at the center of several investigations involving last month's recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The recall comes at a pivotal time for the company.

Business
4:04 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt General Motors

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Both houses of Congress are set to investigate, and the Justice Department is reportedly looking into why it took GM so long to inform the public. GM may have known about the problem for a decade.

Business
3:39 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt GM As It Continues Its Makeover

The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the GM models being recalled for faulty ignition switches.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.

It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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