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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5:38pm

Thu January 17, 2013
All Tech Considered

Bump On The Road For Driverless Cars Isn't Technology, It's You

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:07 am

Car companies are picking up automobile concepts such as this Lexus SL 600 Integrated Safety driverless research vehicle, shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

When you watch science fiction movies, you notice there are two things that seem like we will get in the future — a silver jumpsuit and driverless cars.

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3:24am

Tue January 15, 2013
Business

With Redesigned Corvette, GM Ushers In New Era Of American Sports Car

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:24 am

The newly redesigned Corvette Stingray is unveiled by General Motors on Sunday. The Corvette's status as a cultural icon presents challenges for GM as it attempts to the bring the beloved brand into the 21st century.
Carlos Osorio AP

This week, the sleek, speedy Chevy Corvette turns 60 years old. In the increasingly competitive auto business, where few cars make it past their teens, that makes it nearly ancient.

General Motors, however, is not retiring one of America's oldest sports cars just yet, and is embarking on the perilous path of updating the beloved brand. The auto company unveiled the new 2014 Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday, a model that also revives the long-dormant Stingray name.

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3:51pm

Mon December 24, 2012
Business

Detroit Three Look To Revive Their Luxury Brands

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 7:19 pm

Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., stands next to the Lincoln MKZ. For the first time ever, Ford will promote the Lincoln brand during the Super Bowl.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

GM, Ford and Chrysler are turning their focus to selling luxury cars — something they haven't succeeded at in decades. They're hoping that success in the competitive but lucrative luxury sector will signal that the U.S. auto industry's comeback is complete.

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3:31am

Mon December 17, 2012
All Tech Considered

New Car Features May Keep Older Drivers Out Of The Big Yellow Taxi

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:08 pm

Former British politician Ann Widdecombe tests Ford's active park assist feature in the U.K. in July 2011.
Ford Motor Co.

In some of the most potent cultural images we have of cool cars, they are being driven by young men — Ron Howard cruising in American Graffiti, cousins Bo and Luke from The Dukes of Hazzard sliding over the hood of the General Lee, James Dean behind the wheel of his Porsche.

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11:14am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Right-To-Work Measure Expected To Pass In Michigan

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:29 pm

A right-to-work protester walks past Michigan state police at the capitol in Lansing on Tuesday. The Michigan Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Paul Sancya AP

Michigan's Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The proposed right-to-work law has infuriated union leaders in a state considered the heart of the union movement.

Republican leaders pushing the bill closely watched the fights over labor rights going on across the Midwest, but it wasn't Ohio or Wisconsin that prompted them into action. Many leaders in the public and private sector looked to their neighbor to the immediate south.

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6:05pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Business

AAA Calls To Suspend Sale Of New Ethanol Fuel

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

AAA has warned against potential damage that a new blend of gasoline could do to some engines. And the warning has started a fight over renewable fuels and the future of what we put in our gas tanks.

The fuel is called E15 — named for the percentage of ethanol in the blend. Most of the gas that's sold in the U.S. has about 10 percent ethanol in it.

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5:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Business

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:55 pm

Toyota unveils its new RAV4 crossover SUV to the media Wednesday before the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.

But at this year's L.A. Auto Show, you won't see any revolutionary new rides — at least not on the outside. You'll find the same sameness in your grocery store parking lot. A lot of cars look alike. Why is that?

"What they're relying on to distinguish these cars from one another is not so much the mechanical pieces of them or the design," says Brian Moody of Autotrader.com. "They're selling sort of a lifestyle or an experience or a philosophy."

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5:22am

Sat November 24, 2012
Business

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:04 pm

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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3:25am

Thu November 22, 2012
Business

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:11 am

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

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5:50am

Sun November 18, 2012
Business

Tesla Revived The Electric Car, But Can It Sell It?

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Tesla workers cheer on the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June.
Paul Sakuma AP

The American auto industry has a new darling, but it doesn't come from the Big Three or even Motor City. Instead, it comes from the West Coast — Silicon Valley, to be precise.

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5:44am

Sun November 11, 2012
All Tech Considered

Distracted Driving: We're All Guilty, So What Should We Do About It?

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Despite the well-publicized dangers and laws against it in many states, texting or emailing while driving remains a huge problem.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

One of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel of your car is text or check your email. Texting and driving is illegal in 39 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

Despite the danger, millions of us continue to do it. I am ashamed to say that I was one of them.

During the recent presidential campaign, I was on the road — a lot. I was mainly driving on rural roads in places such as Iowa, Indiana and, of course, Ohio. On several occasions I checked my email while driving, and like many people I rationalized my behavior.

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5:36am

Sun November 4, 2012
House & Senate Races

Rape Comment Hangs Over Senate Race In Indiana

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:08 pm

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat (right) meets Mike Nestor and LoRita Stofleth at Blueberry Hill Pancake House Saturday in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Republicans are hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate. The path toward victory had Indiana solidly on their side. That was, until Indiana's treasurer Richard Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.

Then, during a debate on Oct. 23, Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, were asked about abortion and contraception. Like Donnelly, Mourdock said he was against abortion.

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4:00pm

Wed October 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:06 pm

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.

"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.

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7:06pm

Fri September 28, 2012
It's All Politics

In Ohio, Obama and Romney Duel Over Trade With China

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a roundtable discussion on manufacturing this Wednesday in Bedford Heights, Ohio.
MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

If there is a boogey man in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China. According to Bloomberg, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have aired nearly 30,000 ads that mention trade with China, many airing in the key swing state of Ohio.

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6:15pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Presidential Race

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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4:49am

Fri September 28, 2012
Around the Nation

Obama, Romney Mine For Swing Voters In Ohio

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:15 am

Coal miners listened as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke during a rally last month in Beallsville, Ohio. Both Romney and President Obama have made the state a focal point of their campaigns.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Undecided voters in Ohio got a lot of attention this week from President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney. Coal may be the key to many swing voters in the Buckeye State, which remains a top coal producer.

It's an issue weighing on coal miner Rick Carpenter's mind at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival in southeastern Ohio.

"Save coal — fire Obama. Yeah, I've got one of those signs in my yard," he says.

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3:27am

Tue September 25, 2012
Business

Chicago Pits Quieter, But Traders' Outcries Linger

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 8:18 pm

Traders work in the bond pit at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1995. In recent decades, much of the trading has left the pits and gone electronic.
Michael S. Green AP

The trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange have long been potent symbols of American capitalism. And they used to be as rough and tumble as the city itself, where burly men bought and sold commodities like hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans.

Trading volume has gone up considerably in recent years, but Chicago's trading pits are tamer places today — the result of a revolution futures trading has undergone over the past quarter century. Much of the trading has left the pits and gone electronic.

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4:24pm

Mon September 24, 2012
All Tech Considered

Tesla's Big Gamble: Can The Electric Car Go Mainstream?

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:33 pm

Tesla workers cheer on one of the first Tesla Model S cars sold, during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June. The company is now unveiling a new network of refueling stations for the vehicles.
Paul Sakuma AP

Starting a new car company from scratch isn't tried often in the United States. The last time one was truly successful was about 100 years ago. And Tesla Motors, a startup from Silicon Valley, faces some unusual hurdles.

Still, despite the challenges Tesla faces, the electric car company and its CEO, Elon Musk, have gotten further than most automotive entrepreneurs.

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4:51pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Education

Rahm Emanuel Walking A High Wire With Teachers

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 5:58 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.

It's the third day of the teachers' strike in Chicago. For the first time in 25 years, teachers are on the picket line and 350,000 students are out of class. The strike poses a unique challenge for Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That's because he's also one of President Obama's top fund-raisers and surrogates.

From Chicago, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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4:52pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Education

Chicago Orgs Scramble To Watch Kids During Strike

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with day two of the Chicago teachers' strike. Some 350,000 students are affected by the walkout in the nation's third-largest school district. We'll have a report on how the strike is playing out in the presidential race.

CORNISH: But, first, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on how parents, churches and local charities are scrambling to figure out what to do with so many kids with nowhere to go.

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3:21am

Wed September 5, 2012
Business

'Quite Good' May Not Be Good Enough For GM

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:54 pm

The General Motors logo is displayed atop the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The automaker, while doing much better following the government bailout, is still lagging some of its competitors.
Carlos Osorio AP

When you talk to car people about General Motors, they all say the company has gotten better.

"I think General Motors, productwise, is in a better position than it's been in a decade or so," says Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book. "The new products, we feel ... are all quite good."

Like many people, however, Nerad adds an important caveat. He says GM's improvement doesn't mean the company is completely out of the woods, because the competition is very good as well.

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4:04am

Mon September 3, 2012
Around the Nation

Charlotte Braces For Democratic National Convention

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:56 pm

A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Delegates, journalists and protesters are beginning to fill the streets of Charlotte, N.C. The city has a lot riding on the Democratic National Convention, which gets under way Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters paraded around the downtown area of Charlotte — which residents call Uptown — gathering in front of Bank of America headquarters.

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4:44am

Fri August 31, 2012
Business

Buffett Donates More To His Children's Foundations

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:48 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is Happy Birthday.

Turns out when you're a billionaire investor you can celebrate any way you want. Warren Buffett turned 82 yesterday and his wish was to give away billions, so he did, in the form of millions of dollars worth of his company stock. All told, those shares will eventually be worth about $3 billion. That gift was divided between his three children's charitable foundations.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Eight-point-two percent, that's the number economists and politicians are looking at closely. It is the unemployment rate for the month of June. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added only 80,000 jobs last month. As the economy continues its very slow recovery, it's worth asking, is the jobs report always the best indicator? NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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5:06pm

Thu July 5, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

A Company Town Reinvents Itself In South Bend, Ind.

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:55 pm

Pete Buttigieg, 30, is the first mayor of South Bend, Ind., born after car manufacturer Studebaker left town.
Peter Hoffman for NPR

There are two truths about South Bend, Ind. No. 1: You can't escape the influence of the University of Notre Dame. No. 2: You can't escape the ghost of Studebaker.

South Bend may be best known as the home of the Fighting Irish, but it was once the home of Studebaker automobiles. When Studebaker closed in 1963, it left a gaping hole in the town, where unemployment is at 10.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the city is working hard to create a second act for the commercial life of South Bend.

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4:43am

Fri June 15, 2012
Planet Money

Can Lincoln Be Cool Again?

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

An ad for the 1965 Lincoln Continental.
courtesy Lincoln

In the car business, Lincoln once stood as the pinnacle of luxury. Frank Sinatra drove a Lincoln. So did the Shah of Iran. In the U.S., the presidential limo was a Lincoln.

The brand peaked with the 1961 Lincoln Continental, a beautiful, innovative car that stood for style, individuality and sophistication.

But after the '60s, Lincoln started on a long, slow decline that mirrored the slide of the American auto industry.

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5:18am

Thu June 7, 2012
Business

What's Next For Organized Labor?

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:17 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We'll begin this program with the aftermath of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin. Public sector unions took on Republican Governor Scott Walker, and the governor won. Walker became the first U.S. governor to beat back a recall attempt. The unions had spent a lot time, money and political capital in Wisconsin.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what's next for organized labor.

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5:49am

Mon May 28, 2012
Business

Subprime Market Aids Car Industry Growth

The average credit score for new- and used-car buyers has taken a fall since the days of the financial crisis in 2008. It's fallen especially in the last two quarters. Brands such as Kia and Dodge are gobbling up a disproportionate number of subprime buyers. An increasing number of new-car buyers are getting loans with interest rates higher than 10 percent.

8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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