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Audi could hit 2 million sales goal ahead of 2020

Audi could reach its goal of 2 million sales a year before its 2020 target, helped by models such as the A4 sedan, the flagship Q7 SUV and the R8 sports car, CEO Rupert Stadler said. Read More »

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BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce cars found vulnerable to being unlocked by hackers

BMW brand, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles equipped with BMW Group's ConnectedDrive service can be vulnerable to hackers who can tap into a security flaw in a digital-service system to wirelessly open cars, Germany's ADAC auto club said. Read More »

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BMW, Toyota may cooperate on entry-level Mini, report says

BMW and Toyota may cooperate on a small, decontented entry model for the Mini lineup that would be called the Minor, a German media report said. Toyota could sell its own version of the car, which may be called the Starlet, the report added. Read More »

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Bosch says automotive sales rose 9% in 2014

Bosch said revenue at its automotive division rose 9 percent to 33.3 billion euros ($37.7 billion) last year, boosted by growth in sales of car safety, fuel-saving technology and infotainment systems. Read More »

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First Shift: Recall clips Honda profit

Forecast lowered amid Takata crisis, Toyota-BMW Mini?; how GM surprised Ally; FCA plans Bowl ads; Volvo's 'interception'. Read More »

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CHRISTIAAN HETZNER:

German auto industry feels ripples from Paris terror attacks

The January killings of journalists at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris have brought home to Germany the difficult issue of Jihadi attacks, with the debate now reaching the economic pride of the country, its carmakers. Read More »

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2015 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Mitsubishi concept teases next ASX, bolder design

Mitsubishi will use the Geneva auto show to reveal a plug-in hybrid concept that previews the next ASX compact crossover and showcases the brand's bolder design language. Read More »

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Renault will increase dealer rebates in China as market demand slows

Renault will give its China dealers more rebates and moderate sales targets as demand cools. Sales growth of passenger vehicles in China will probably slow to 8 percent this year from 10 percent in 2014, according to an industry association. Read More »

European suppliers poised for boost from self-driving cars, lower emissions

European suppliers such as Faurecia and Valeo have a five- to 10-year window for above-average organic growth because of trends such as the race to produce vehicles that can drive themselves and to build cars that are more fuel efficient, according to a report. Read More »

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ANE's February e-magazine goes live Monday

The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, Feb. 2. This month's edition looks at Europe's big 2014 sales winners and explains why 2015 is off to a positive start. Read More »

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Honda cuts profit target as Takata airbag recalls bite

Honda sliced 6.5 percent off its core annual profit forecast as it set aside hundreds of millions of dollars in extra cash to cover an extended car recall to replace potentially faulty airbags made by Takata. Honda also said third-quarter earnings fell 23 percent as it soaked up recall costs. Read More »

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First Shift: Ford profit down 56% in '14

Vehicle rollouts cut earnings in 'solid yet challenging year'; GM won't extend deadline; Nissan carries a torch; Ford truck bash. Read More »

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THE TAKATA RECALL CRISIS:

New crash death may be linked to Takata airbag

American Honda has alerted federal safety regulators to another fatal crash involving the possible rupture of an airbag inflator made by Takata, the embattled supplier whose airbags are behind the recall of some 24 million vehicles worldwide. Read More »

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GM will suspend output at Russian plant

General Motors will suspend production at its plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, from mid-March until mid-May and is raising prices for its products because of the weak and volatile Russian ruble. Read More »

Group 1 and Prestige settle Fla. buy-sell dispute

A dispute between Prestige Motor Car Imports and Group 1 Automotive over a buy-sell deal in Florida gone wrong is settled and the deal is back on -- for now, both sides said. Read More »

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THE TAKATA RECALL CRISIS:

U.S. safety regulators seek Takata whistleblowers

Federal safety regulators want to find whistleblowers with knowledge “of possible defects or any wrongdoing” by Takata, stepping up pressure on the airbag maker whose products are linked to five deaths and dozens of injuries. Read More »

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Fiat Chrysler to air 3 Super Bowl ads

Fiat Chrysler says it will air three Super Bowl commercials during Sunday's game. The first ad is slated to air as the first commercial after the two-minute warning in the second quarter. Read More »

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Ford's 2014 profit fell 56 percent amid new-product blitz

Ford posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit and said earnings fell 56 percent in 2014 as it introduced 24 vehicles worldwide while US market share declined. CFO Bob Shanks predicted "a lot of strong growth numbers from Ford in 2015." Read More »

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2015 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW:

Kia to unveil off-roader concept at Chicago show

Kia Motors will unveil a rugged concept car with electric all-wheel drive at the Chicago Auto Show, the automaker said today as it released a teaser image. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Sizzling U.S. sales forecast

D3 projected to post double-digit gains in Jan.; GM, Ally vie for F&I; Kia's 'Unexpected' ad; N.A. fuels FCA; Ford, Nissan recalls. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: A green-car dilemma

Buyers not adopting tech as fast as expected, Ford boss says; driver deaths decline; avoiding 'bubble' trouble; Nissan teases ad. Read More »

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VW could beat 5 million euro savings goal, exec says

VW Group ought to be able to cut costs at its passenger-car brand by "substantially more" than the 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) planned by the carmaker's top management, VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh said. Read More »

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U.S. driver death rates fall more than a third in 3 years, IIHS says

After the year of the recall, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shared some positive news about vehicle safety: The likelihood of driver deaths in late-model vehicles has fallen more than a third in the US in three years, IIHS said in a status report today. Read More »

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GM's lease incentive move to captive unit surprised, angered Ally's chief

General Motors' recent move to steer 100 percent of its Buick, Cadillac and GMC lease incentives in the US to captive finance company GM Financial took Ally Financial by surprise, Ally CEO Michael Carpenter said during a conference call today. Read More »

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Toyota recalls 52,000 Avalons to fix potential wiring fire hazard

Toyota Motor Sales USA said it plans to recall about 52,000 Avalon sedans from the 2011-12 model years for wiring that could cause a fire. Read More »

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Autoliv sees 2015 growth, better margins as Q4 beats forecast

Auto safety products supplier Autoliv today said it saw slightly higher margins in 2015 as it posted fourth quarter earnings above market expectations, helped by strong sales in Europe and lower costs for raw materials. Read More »

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DIANA T. KURYLKO:

Volvo's interception not likely to win the game

Volvo wants some of the attention the big boys with fat wallets will get during the Super Bowl. Read More »

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Bollore eyes Los Angeles in car-sharing expansion

Vincent Bollore is targeting Los Angeles and Singapore as the next markets for his electric-car sharing service after its debuts later this year in London and Indianapolis.The French car-sharing service currently has about 70,000 subscribers in Paris. Read More »

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Daimler, Schaeffler hit by German strikes

Daimler and parts supplier Schaeffler were among the companies affected when thousands of engineering workers on the night shift across Germany walked out over a wage dispute early on Thursday. Further warning stoppages are expected today and in the coming weeks. Read More »

Lending by credit unions, others grew in 2014

Credit unions and other lenders are beginning to release data that confirm what the industry knows: Last year, when U.S. new light-vehicle sales rose 6 percent, was a very good year for vehicle lending. Read More »

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Marchionne has FCA on fast track to profit in Europe

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be profitable in Europe a year earlier than expected, CEO Sergio Marchionne said. Previously, Marchionne said the automaker's regional operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) would break even this year and turn a profit in 2016. Read More »

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First Shift: German auto CEOs rally

Heads of VW, Daimler, other carmakers lobby for free-trade deal; Toyota test-drive flak; dealer's billboard prompts 911 calls. Read More »

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Renault expects to make 3,000 Alpine cars a year

A Renault executive has revealed the output expectations for the automaker's Alpine-badged sports car. Read More »

Auto bosses say billions in savings at stake if EU-U.S. trade deal fails

The CEOs of Germany's top auto companies said Wednesday that they could save roughly 5 billion euros in annual costs if the European and U.S. governments can agree on a landmark free trade deal. Read More »

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GM denies request by U.S. senators to extend ignition-switch claims deadline

General Motors today denied a request from two US senators to extend the Saturday deadline for victims of the company's defective ignition switch to apply for compensation. Read More »

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Bentley names industry veteran Winkler to head Americas unit

Bentley said it appointed Michael Winkler as president and CEO of Bentley Motors in the Americas, replacing Christophe Georges, who will become director of product and marketing for Bentley’s global organization. Read More »

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Gentex Q4 sales gains lag forecasts; stock drops

Gentex, a mirror, camera and electronic component supplier, said its fourth quarter net income rose a disappointing 2 percent while overall revenue jumped 7 percent from a year earlier. Gentex shares fell 6 percent. Read More »

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Over-the-air auto software updates opens market to acquisitions

Over-the-air software updates -- a no-fuss, no-muss infotainment feature popularized by Tesla Motors -- is rapidly spreading to the entire auto industry, fueling high-price acquisitions in the segment. Read More »

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Nissan teases Super Bowl ad; full reveal will wait until big game

Nissan is using a dreary Harry Chapin song as the backdrop for its Super Bowl ad, but the overall message won't be seen until the game on Sunday. The automaker unveiled a 10-second teaser today featuring Chapin's song “Cat's in the Cradle.” Read More »

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Don't get mad, get a lawyer, panelists say

Dealers who get warning letters from lenders accusing them of loan discrimination should resist the temptation to stick the letters in a drawer or, worse, fire off angry replies on their own, said panelists last week at a legal compliance workshop for dealers here. Read More »

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Q&A:

Ally Premier Protection enables 'one product, one system and one brand'

Ally Financial is phasing in Ally Premier Protection brand for service contracts and other F&I products, plus an updated technology platform to help market and administer them. At the same time, it's phasing out its use of the GM Protection Plan brand. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Auto lenders cite discipline with U.S. sales booming

“Discipline” was the watchword for auto lenders in panel discussions and interviews in and around the National Automobile Dealers Association convention. Read More »

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Leasing keeps growing; lenders debate possible peak

Leasing, aided by low interest rates and factory incentives, is expected to keep increasing in 2015, but experts are divided on how high lease penetration will go. Read More »

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