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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4:40am

Sun July 28, 2013
News

Reinvigorating A Detroit Neighborhood, Block By Block

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 11:31 am

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

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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4:25pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Business

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

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 6:19 pm

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

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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2:38am

Tue July 9, 2013
Monkey See

Pedal Power To Horsepower: Toys Point Toward Future Of Cars

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:46 am

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

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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8:54am

Sat July 6, 2013
Economy

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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2:21am

Wed June 19, 2013
Business

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

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

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

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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7:01am

Mon May 27, 2013
Business

Garment Industry Follows Threads Of Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 8:31 am

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

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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4:26pm

Fri May 24, 2013
Business

LA Bluejeans Makers Fear Their Business Will Fade Away

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:16 pm

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

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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4:51am

Sat May 4, 2013
Economy

More Jobs, But Wait: They May Not Pay Much

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 10:53 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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5:01am

Wed May 1, 2013
Business

J.C. Penney Wins Legal Fight Over Martha Stewart

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Proof of Martha Stewart's ongoing commercial appeal has been on display in a New York courtroom. Yesterday, an appeals court decided that department store J.C. Penney can continue selling a new line of housewares designed by Stewart. But the ruling keeps Macy's from having the exclusive rights to the brand.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one reason why both J.C. Penney and Macy's want Martha Stewart.

MARSHAL COHEN: She's had a history of having success.`

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4:51am

Thu April 25, 2013
Business

House Panel Examines Government Loan To Fisker Automotive

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:46 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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4:39am

Tue March 26, 2013
Business

Ford Unit Apologizes For Demeaning Ads

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 8:57 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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5:30am

Thu March 14, 2013
Business

GM's Archive Offers Glimpse Of Its Past And Future

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Cars at the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich., include a 1951 Le Sabre concept, at left.
General Motors

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's consider a company, now, that's had lots of ups and downs - General Motors. Most of GM's history is in the form of cars, and that history is housed in a nondescript warehouse in a suburb of Detroit. It's called the GM Heritage Center. Not open to the public, it's an automotive archive.

NPR's Sonari Glinton got a tour.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There's probably no better job for a car nut than to be in charge of a vast auto archive for one of the biggest and oldest car companies.

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5:57pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Business

As Construction Picks Up, American Truck Makers Race

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:34 pm

Ford unveils the F-150 Atlas concept pickup during January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Experts say the boom in construction will boost pickup sales.
Carlos Osorio AP

Economists look at many tea leaves as they try to determine the health of the economy. One of the most important surrounds vehicle sales, and more specifically pickup truck sales, which are tied to the construction industry. And as last month's sales rose 18 percent, the auto industry is betting big on a real estate rebound.

It's arguable that the Ford F-150 is the most important vehicle to come out of Detroit since the Model-T. It's also built where many parts for the old Model-T were made in Dearborn, Mich.

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1:18pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Planet Money

Why Buying A Car Never Changes

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"Buying a car sucks," Scott Painter says. "It's something that most consumers fear."

Back in the '90s, Painter started a company to try to change this. "The name of the company was Cars Direct," he says. "The mission was to sell cars directly."

Painter wanted his company to build virtual dealerships that would let people go online and buy cars. But after talking with a few car execs, he realized nobody would even consider his idea.

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2:33am

Mon January 28, 2013
Business

Beyond Portlandia: Subaru Drives For America's Heartland

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 9:11 am

Subaru, known for its success in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast, aims to expand its market to Texas and Tennessee.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

The car market in the U.S. is at its most competitive. Not only are big companies like General Motors and Toyota slugging it out, but in order to survive, small-niche players like Subaru also are trying to push into the mainstream.

The Japanese carmaker is popular in Denver, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Now Subaru has its sights on Texas and Tennessee.

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