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
4:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Fitch Upgrades Ford's Junk Status

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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Business
4:42 am
Mon April 23, 2012

German Chemical Plant Fire Threatens Auto Backlog

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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Business
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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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Law
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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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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Politics
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.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Santorum Campaigns in Michigan

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:54 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
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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Business
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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Technology
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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Business
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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Business
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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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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Business
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.

Business
5:44 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
12:01 am
Wed November 23, 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
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 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 11:40 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
12:01 am
Mon November 21, 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 8:07 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
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Honda Works To Assure Quality Cars

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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