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California to phase out EV incentives for the wealthy

California, which offers rebates of up to $2,500 to electric vehicle buyers to help meet a goal of getting 1 1/2 million zero-emission vehicles onto its roads by 2025, is overhauling its incentive program to reflect a new reality: The state's rebates are sometimes just a windfall for the wealthy. Read More »

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Hong Kong firm acquires majority stake in supplier Key Safety Systems

Hong Kong private equity firm FountainVest Partners completed a deal to become the majority shareholder in automotive safety products supplier Key Safety Systems. The deal could be worth as much as $800 million, a Bloomberg report out of China said in April. Read More »

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Tesla shares jump to record after China charging network deal

Tesla Motors shares rose to a new record after the electric-car maker led by Elon Musk reached an agreement to create a vehicle-charging network in China with the country's second-largest mobile-phone company. Read More »

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Audi will recall 70,000 cars for potential brake problem

Audi will recall 70,000 cars worldwide because of a potential fault with the brake booster. Audi's A4, A5, A6, A7 and Q7 models equipped with a 3.0-liter diesel engine and built between March and December 2012 are being recalled. Read More »

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2014 PARIS AUTO SHOW:

Suzuki gives the Vitara SUV a sleeker look

Suzuki is giving is new Vitara a more mainstream look to broaden the subcompact SUV's appeal. The five-door Vitara will go on sale in Europe early next year. Read More »

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Ford to halt B-Max production on slow sales, report says

Ford will halt production of the B-Max at its Romanian plant for nine days in September, a report said. The automaker has halted output in Romania several times since September 2013 on slow sales of the minivan. Read More »

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Saab carmaker NEVS granted creditor protection by court

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which bought Saab in 2012, won court protection from creditors today. But the automaker suffered a blow when Saab AB, the defense firm, withdrew NEVS right to use the brand name Saab for its cars. Read More »

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ANE's September e-magazine goes live Monday

The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, Sept. 1. This month's edition looks at why European automakers have struggled to gain a foothold in India and what they are doing to turn things around. Read More »

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First Shift: Fiat clears merger hurdle

Buyouts not expected to exceed cap; judge dismisses Ford apartheid case; Chevy confirms Z71 SUVs; Lexus lathers up. Read More »

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Nissan's revived Datsun launches mi-Do hatchback

Datsun unveiled its second model, the mi-Do hatchback, at the Moscow auto show. The car, based on the Lada Kalina, is aimed at Russian families who want to own a foreign car but cannot afford current offerings from Western brands. Read More »

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Fiat clears Chrysler merger hurdle

Fiat will spend less than the limit the carmaker set to buy shares from investors who opted to sell ahead of its merger with Chrysler Group, clearing a key hurdle before the deal can close. Read More »

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Lexus NX may challenge RX for brand sales leader outside U.S.

The new Lexus NX compact crossover, already racking thousands of orders in Japan, may unseat big sibling RX as the luxury brand's top global nameplate. At least outside the United States. Read More »

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AvtoVAZ to cut workforce by 45%, report says

AvtoVAZ plans to reduce staff numbers by 25,000, finance head Evgeny Belinin told a French newspaper. AvtoVAZ, controlled by the Renault-Nissan alliance, is also cutting Lada production and freezing vehicle prices. Read More »

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JLR intensifies efforts to meet tough EU CO2 target

Jaguar Land Rover will “turn over every stone” including launching plug-in hybrids to bring its high average CO2 emissions down to an EU-approved level by 2021, JLR head of product development Wolfgang Ziebart said. Read More »

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Ford launches '15 Mustang output in Michigan

Ford today officially launched production of the redesigned Mustang at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. With the 2015 model, Ford is making the Mustang to suit global tastes for the first time. That will include a first-ever right-hand-drive version. Read More »

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First Shift: Launch day for '15 Mustang

Output starts in Mich.; Chevy Equinox Mexico-bound?; more Saab woes; new Kia Sorento; a Subaru WRX for the masses. Read More »

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Court rejects creditor protection for Saab owner NEVS

A Swedish court rejected an application from China's National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought bankrupt Saab in 2012, for protection against creditors while it concludes funding talks. Read More »

Ford wins dismissal in U.S. of claims it aided apartheid

Ford won dismissal of a lawsuit claiming the company aided South Africa's apartheid regime, with a judge saying it couldn't be sued in the U.S. over actions of their units overseas. Read More »

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Automakers still dogged by Bluetooth glitches, Power study finds

Bluetooth technology aims to leave drivers hands-free, but some drivers end up connection-free, according to a study of multimedia quality and satisfaction released today. Read More »

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Toyota targets shoppers with location-based mobile ad tool

Toyota is using a location-based mobile ad tool to supercharge its annual clearance sale. Read More »

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Global price-fixing crackdown threatens supply chain's 'business model'

As antitrust regulators, most recently in China, go after auto suppliers in what has become a worldwide probe into price fixing, a longtime "business model" in the supply chain is now in danger, says an automotive purchasing executive. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Power glitches hit Chrysler

Company probes reports of stalls, quirky electronics; debut set for juiced-up Caddy; Mustang rolls out; a Fiat you can't refuse? Read More »

Transmission parts supplier to invest $42 million in Mich. plant

Transform Automotive is expanding in Michigan after landing a new contract to build transmissions parts. The machined, metal-stamped and laser-welded parts supplier plans to invest nearly $42 million to lease and build out a new manufacturing plant in Shelby Township, Mich. Read More »

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Russia pledges 207 million euros to resume car scrappage scheme

Russia will reintroduce a scrappage scheme to help stimulate car sales after deliveries in the market fell 23 percent in July as the crisis in Ukraine continues to hit consumer confidence. Read More »

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Kia targets 270,000 sales of the new Sorento next year

Kia unveiled its redesigned Sorento, saying it aims to sell 270,000 units of the SUV globally next year as the automaker seeks to maintain its momentum in the U.S., Europe and other key markets. Read More »

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GM plans to move some Chevy Equinox assembly to Mexico, report says

General Motors and the UAW on Wednesday trumpeted the news that production of the Cadillac SRX would be shifted from Mexico to Tennessee, but Reuters has learned that GM also plans to move some other assembly work in the opposite direction. Read More »

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Lear agrees to buy leather supplier Eagle Ottawa in $850 million deal

Lear agreed to buy automotive leather supplier Eagle Ottawa in a deal valued at $850 million that aims to strengthen the company's global seating business. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: New home for Caddy SRX

GM moving SUV from Mexico to Tenn., adding small-engine output; warm August for sales; spiders spark Suzuki recall. Read More »

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:

Fiat's cute cartoon characters suggest buying a 500 -- or else

Since Fiat was reintroduced to the United States in 2011, the Italian brand has stretched the advertising envelope. But a new animated spot set to debut on Gas Station TV touting the fuel and ecological advantages of a Fiat 500 minicar may be the brand's most wry offering yet. Read More »

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AUGUST U.S. AUTO SALES:

Sales rate to top 16 million for 6th month in a row, analysts predict

Auto sales volume in the United States is expected to keep rolling along in August, with two independent forecasters predicting a sixth straight month of 16 million-plus selling rates. TrueCar predicts a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 16.6 million for August and LMC Automotive/J.D. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Is CFPB guilty of spin?

Remarks delivered by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray and language used in a bureau statement last week were a lot harsher than the dry legalese of the consent order signed this month by the CFPB and First Investors Financial Services Group. Read More »

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First Shift: Branching out at Kia, GM

S. Korean automaker to build in Mexico, sources say; more GM models in Tenn.? anti-UAW union at VW; praise for Ram. Read More »

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Renault could turn Russia crisis to its advantage

Renault could turn a market crisis to its advantage as Moscow considers a subsidy scheme to steady demand and a weaker ruble undermines rivals that make fewer parts locally. Read More »

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Kia says it will build 'range' of small cars at new plant in Mexico

Kia plans to produce “a range” of small cars for markets including the United States at its $1 billion plant in Monterrey, Mexico, after production begins in the first half of 2016, the company said in a statement. Read More »

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Customer Incentives

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Keith Crain will be honored at Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance

Keith Crain, editor in chief of Automotive News and chairman of Crain Communications, will be honored with a 2015 Automotive Lifetime Achievement award at the ninth annual Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance in February. Read More »

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Mercedes to ditch M-class in favor of GLE as part of renaming strategy

Mercedes-Benz is ditching the M-class nameplate as part of a comprehensive renaming strategy. When the vehicle receives a face-lift in early 2015 for the 2016 model year, it will be called the GLE class. Read More »

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BMW joins Cadillac wooing Silicon Valley to combat Tesla

BMW scored a coup this month when former Apple executive Tony Fadell became one of the first owners of the new $136,000 i8 plug-in sports car in the United States. Car companies covet Californians, who are seen as trendsetters for the rest of the country. Read More »

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Subaru casts wider net with safer, greener WRX

Subaru hopes the redesigned WRX line will capture a wider customer base with better fuel economy and safety features after spinning off the nameplate from its Impreza stablemate. Read More »

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Is rise in Q2 loan delinquencies a turning point?

Industry-watchers insist that today's auto loan delinquency rates are low by historical standards. But a slight uptick in 30- and 60-day delinquencies in the second quarter could be a sign that the long decline in delinquencies could be reversing. Read More »

F&I TIP:

Hiring enough F&I staffers saves money long term

A dealership should hire more help if F&I managers have to handle more than 75 booked deals a month each, says John Malishenko, COO of Germain Motor Co. in Columbus, Ohio. Read More »

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GM details plans for SRX, engine production in Tenn.

General Motors said today it will invest $185 million to make small engines at its Tennessee assembly plant, while relocating production of the next-generation Cadillac SRX to that factory from a facility in Mexico. Read More »

F&I departments need a farm team

The term “succession planning” is usually applied to dealer principals, but it can apply to F&I managers, too. Executives at two dealerships say store managers should nurture their own talent pool, so they have a ready replacement if a top F&I producer quits. Read More »

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