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.


London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:29 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

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

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

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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7:58 am
Sat July 7, 2012

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

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




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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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
4:48 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

A Company Town Reinvents Itself In South Bend, Ind.

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

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

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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Planet Money
4:43 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Can Lincoln Be Cool Again?

An ad for the 1965 Lincoln Continental.
courtesy Lincoln

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

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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6:04 am
Thu June 7, 2012

What's Next For Organized Labor?

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



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


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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NPR Story
5:49 am
Mon May 28, 2012

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.

8:16 am
Sat May 19, 2012

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

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



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.


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6:20 am
Sun May 13, 2012

The Price We Paid: Gas Is Down, Maybe For A While

Mayeli Vasallo (left) and Jorge Monte pump gas in Miami in April. The average price of a gallon of gas has dropped 20 cents in the last month, to $3.73.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 12:09 pm

After spending much of the year on the rise, gas prices are now falling. The average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is $3.73, according to AAA. That's a drop of nearly 20 cents in one month, and industry analysts expect the price to keep falling.

You can get in a lot trouble trying to predict commodity prices, though. Phil Flynn, a market analyst at futures brokerage PFGBEST in Chicago, says there is one thing you can predict.

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Money & Politics
5:22 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Obama Lures Donors With A Hollywood Sweepstakes

President Obama talks with actor George Clooney during a White House meeting about Sudan in 2010. The president is attending a fundraiser at Clooney's house Thursday, along with a few sweepstakes winners.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:50 pm

President Obama is attending a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday evening, along with about 150 guests. Almost anyone can attend, if they pony up $40,000.

But for a few sweepstakes winners, the price of admission is about $3. It's the latest innovation in political fundraising.

Marketing-wise, there's nothing more old school than a sweepstakes.

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4:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Fitch Upgrades Ford's Junk Status

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:10 am



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

After all the reports about massive debts and credit downgrades, we have a story this morning of a credit upgrade. The ratings agency Fitch upgraded Ford.

INSKEEP: The company was at junk bond status, meaning a loan to Ford was considered a major gamble. Now, it's been moved to investment grade, the lowest investment rating: BBB minus.

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4:42 am
Mon April 23, 2012

German Chemical Plant Fire Threatens Auto Backlog

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:36 am



Next, we have a tale of globalization, how a single fire at a company in Germany could affect business in Detroit or Shanghai.


The company is a chemical plant in a town called Marl. An explosion there killed two people. It was a tragedy, but did not seem to have global significance.

MONTAGNE: Until car companies realized that Marl is vital to their business. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Reporter's Dream: A Mansion Straight Out Of 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies'

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 11:26 am

There was something romantic about the 1960's movie and TV show Please Don't Eat the Daisies. In the film, Doris Day and her husband, played by David Niven, move into a suburban mansion/castle with their four children and their giant dog — and comedy breaks out.

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4:00 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Average U.S. Car Price Tops $30,000

Average prices for cars are at an all-time high, reflecting increased demand and a healthier economy. The average car price has gone up nearly $2,000 since last year. Even though car prices are higher, buyers haven't shied away from picking up a new car.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Slain Teen's Parents Appear On Capitol Hill



Florida state investigators are continuing to look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. His family has been part of a widespread campaign calling for the arrest of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old high school student. Yesterday, the parents of Trayvon Martin were up on Capitol Hill attending a forum on hate crimes and racial profiling. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the Capitol.

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4:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Supreme Court Watchers Vie For Front Row Seats

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 5:29 am



Today the U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on the president's health care law. Six hours of arguments will be spread over three days. The court rarely takes that much time for a case. There are only 400 seats available inside the court. Outside the court, people began lining up as early as last Friday to get what they think could be a front row seat to history. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the steps of the Supreme Court.

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8:00 am
Sat March 17, 2012

Clooney One Of Many Celebrities To Grace The Hill

Actor George Clooney is led away in handcuffs from Sudan's embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Clooney, his father, Nick, and others including Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were arrested as they demonstrated to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
The Washington Post/Getty Images

Washington, D.C., was dazzled this week by a VIP. He visited the White and got the prized seat next to the first lady at this week's state dinner.

No, we're not talking about British Prime Minister David Cameron, though he was in town also.

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House & Senate Races
5:08 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Longtime Rep. Kucinich Is Down, But Maybe Not Out

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, thanks his wife, Elizabeth, while conceding defeat in his race against Rep. Marcy Kaptur at Rubin's Restaurant and Deli in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 6:08 pm

Ohio's Super Tuesday contest wasn't just about the presidency. Two members of Congress there faced primary challenges — and were defeated. On the Republican side, four-term Rep. Jean Schmidt lost a challenge to Iraq War veteran Brad Wenstrup.

Read more
Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Santorum Campaigns in Michigan

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:54 am


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
6:45 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
5:28 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 11:20 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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NPR Story
4:00 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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8:00 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 7:29 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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3:48 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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12:01 am
Wed January 11, 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 11:08 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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12:01 pm
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 11:09 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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Election 2012
6:12 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Standing Room Only At GOP Caucus Site

The Iowa caucuses ended with Mitt Romney's extremely narrow victory over Rick Santorum. The first presidential nominating contest of 2012 played out at hundreds of sites across the state. NPR's Sonari Glinton spent the evening at the Van Meter Secondary School.

Presidential Race
8:00 am
Sun January 1, 2012

GOP Candidates Join Another Party For New Year's

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 10:53 am



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Even though seven Republican presidential candidates ushered in the New Year, a new poll by the Des Moines Register in Iowa makes it look like a three-person race. We'll fill you in on the latest shuffle of front-runners in a moment. But first, how did the Republicans candidates spend New Year's Eve?

So we sent NPR's Sonari Glinton to find out.

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It Was A Good Year For...
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 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 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Tablets Replace Some Small Businesses Tools



And now to the spreading influence of apps and tablets in the business world. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, many small businesses are using tablets to replace everything from the menu to the timecard to the cash register.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That is ceroni, so the green is like a pistachio.

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4:00 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.