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VW board demanded Piech go after learning of secret plot

Ferdinand Piech, who resigned as chairman of Volkswagen over the weekend, sowed the seeds of his own demise by reneging on a deal to support CEO Martin Winterkorn and secretly plotting to oust him instead, according to sources close to the VW board. Read More »

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Piech's reign ends after 500-mile trek to German city that once honored him

Ferdinand Piech's two decades of unyielding authority over Volkswagen ended after a 500-mile journey to Braunschweig, a small city in central Germany where just last year he was feted as a savior of jobs. Read More »

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SAE WORLD CONGRESS:

Driverless cars and the big conundrum

If autonomous driving is Megatrend No. 1 in the global industry, the matter of how to handle the human interface may be Conundrum No. 1. Read More »

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CHRISTIAAN HETZNER:

Piech's resignation deprives industry of key figure

The stunning resignation of Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech robs the industry of perhaps its most fascinating figure. Piech quit all his posts within VW's sprawling empire after he failed to oust CEO Martin Winterkorn. Read More »

Jaguar adds horsepower to the dashboard

Jaguar Land Rover is not known for cutting-edge dashboard computers, but a lightning-quick navigation system in the redesigned XF sedan may change that. Read More »

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Where the heck is Apple CarPlay?

Validation testing has delayed the rollout of Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, showing the challenge of updating cars at smartphone speed. Read More »

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With ATS-V, Cadillac aims to join the best in class from Germany

With the high-performance ATS-V, Cadillac has elevated its game, bringing GM's luxury marque, perhaps legitimately for the first time, into direct competition with the best from Germany. Read More »

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Piech resigns as VW chairman after failing to oust CEO

Ferdinand Piech, a towering figure at Volkswagen for more than two decades, resigned as chairman on Saturday after losing a showdown with CEO Martin Winterkorn. Read More »

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NEWS ANALYSIS:

Ruthless VW patriarch Piech overplays last hand, ending era

Ferdinand Piech's iron-fisted rule over Volkswagen helped him build an empire spanning fuel-efficient city cars to 40-ton trucks, but in the end he overplayed his hand and was forced out before reaching his goal of making VW the world's biggest carmaker. Read More »

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Bitter rivals at home, GM and Ford taking different roads abroad

General Motors and Ford, Detroit's two venerable rivals, usually compete toe-to-toe in everything they do. But in Russia, they are headed in radically different directions. Read More »

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Booming Ford banks on China product blitz

Ford, on a rampage in China, aims improve on its 4.3 percent market share in China this year by outpacing the market's expected 7 percent growth with an onslaught of new product, including a Taurus flagship sedan and a clutch of performance cars to burnish the brand's image. Read More »

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Higher octane fuel could add mpg, SAE panel says

In a world of higher octane gasoline -- in which 95 would replace 87 and become the new regular -- automakers could more easily and affordably meet stringent fuel economy standards as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Read More »

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VW C Coupe GTE will be brand's low-emissions flagship in China

VW plans to launch a production version of the C Coupe GTE plug-in hybrid concept in China, where it will be the flagship of the automaker's low-emissions lineup. Read More »

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RFJ buys Dave Smith Auto

Fast-growing dealership group RFJ Auto Partners is expanding in the Northwest by buying Dave Smith Auto Group, which operates two of the highest-volume stores in the U.S. RFJ, backed by private equity, aims ultimately to become one of the biggest dealership groups in the country. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Uber might trump the cost of car ownership, but not leasing…yet

Most dealers probably don’t lose sleep with worry that Uber, the popular app-based service that pairs private drivers with riders, will usurp car ownership anytime soon despite Uber’s ambitions to make it so. Read More »

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VW leadership crisis escalates as board members criticize Piech

VW's leadership crisis is refusing to go away, a week after its warring chairman and CEO officially put aside their differences, sources told Reuters. Read More »

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Audi prepares electric SUV to fight Tesla

Audi is set to launch a full-electric SUV with a 500km (310 mile) range that will challenge Tesla's Model X crossover, but CEO Rupert Stadler remains cautious about EVs. Read More »

JLR sees Mexico as 'strong' option for N.A. assembly plant

Jaguar Land Rover is considering building a plant in Mexico, following other luxury car makers lured by cheap labor and free trade agreements. Read More »

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Mazda quarterly profits fall on currency losses while sales rise

Profits fell at Mazda in the January-March quarter, undercut by higher outlays for marketing and factory startups and foreign exchange losses, despite rising sales. Read More »

North America production downtime overtime - 04/27/15

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

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Ford recalls 390,000 cars to fix doors that may fly open while driving

Ford is recalling about 390,000 cars for an issue that could prevent the doors from latching or allow them to open unexpectedly while driving. The recall covers the 2012-14 Ford Fiesta, 2013-14 Ford Fusion and 2013-14 Lincoln MKZ, all of which were built in Mexico. Read More »

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:

Maybe NHTSA could use excessive force to fix old Jeeps -- or leg traps

So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering its options on how to speed up the repair rate on a couple older recalls. May I suggest leg traps? Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Hot time for engineers

Stein on what has automakers scouring the planet; buy-sell cool-down?; $16.2M for Barra in '14; plug-ins preferred. Read More »

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France to 'talk again' with Renault; reaffirms vote plan

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he would "talk again" with Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn but reaffirmed his intention to boost the government's voting rights in the carmaker in defiance of Ghosn's wishes. Read More »

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Volvo will build new compacts in Belgium, CEO says

Volvo will build a new family of compact cars on a common platform shared with parent Zhejiang Geely at its Belgian factory, CEO Hakan Samuelsson said. The compacts may also be built in China, the CEO said. Read More »

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Mitsubishi posts first annual N.A. profit in seven years

Mitsubishi booked double-digit profit increases in the latest quarter to propel the carmaker to record annual earnings and its first North America profit in seven years. Read More »

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GM paid Barra $16.2 million in 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra received $16.2 million in total compensation during her first year leading the automaker, GM said in a regulatory filing today. Barra's payout included a base salary of $1.6 million, stock awards totaling $11.8 million, and $2. Read More »

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Supplier ThyssenKrupp plans to invest $869 million in N.A. by 2020

German industrial group ThyssenKrupp plans to invest more than 800 million euros ($869 million) in North America by 2020 to take advantage of increased auto production. Read More »

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Lear Q1 net income, revenue up after Eagle Ottawa acquisition

Seating and electronics supplier Lear acquired leather supplier Eagle Ottawa in the first quarter and said that net income during the period increased 20 percent and revenue jumped 3.7 percent from the year earlier. Read More »

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Toyota makes noise with Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

For all its silence, Toyota's Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle actually can be pretty noisy. Ironically, that is because the car is propelled by a whispering electric motor that allows the driver to pick up sounds that might otherwise be droned out. Read More »

VW, BMW are top brands among Chinese auto buyers, survey says

Volkswagen is the top pick for Chinese consumers considering buying a vehicle followed by BMW and Buick, according to a survey on auto-purchase sentiment conducted by a research unit of Deutsche Borse. Read More »

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MIKE COLIAS:

Buick chief says new China duties won't distract from 'a lot more to do' in U.S.

In the year since he took over the Buick and GMC brands in the U.S., Duncan Aldred has made a lot of fans among dealers. Read More »

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First Shift: 'Unfortunate' layoff at Ford

Slow Focus, C-Max sales doom 700 jobs; Mitsu snaps N.A. loss streak; Barra on FCA partnership buzz; 'Mobilegeddon.' Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Plug-ins poised to be Europe's top electrified drivetrain

Plug-in hybrid cars are forecast to outsell standard hybrids by 2019 and reach 1.2 million sales annually in Europe in 10 years. The rapid rise will come as automakers strive to meet tougher European CO2 rules that start to take effect in 2020. Read More »

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Skoda, unions agree on 3.5% wage hike

Skoda has reached an agreement with workers on a 3.5 percent wage hike, the carmaker's main union group said. Unions threatened to strike last week after seeking a higher deal than the 3 percent offered by the automaker. Read More »

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Valeo posts quarterly sales gain on Europe, China

Valeo's first-quarter revenue rose 15 percent, lifted by sales growth in Europe and China. The supplier sees vehicle production rising about 3 percent globally in 2015, with the same figure expected in Europe, excluding Russia. Read More »

Haldex first-quarter profit rises 37%

Swedish supplier Haldex said operating profit rose 37 percent in the first quarter to 115 million Swedish crowns (12.2 million euros) as the company repeated its forecast for markets to grow at a slower pace this year. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Suzuki sees Vitara as its best-seller in Europe

Suzuki expects the new Vitara to become its best-seller in Europe because of its more mainstream look, roomy interior and better fuel economy. Read More »

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Piech denies reports saying he wants to oust Winterkorn

Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech denied reports that he is seeking to oust CEO Martin Winterkorn, a German newspaper reported, quoting Piech. Separate German media reports had said that Piech aims to push out Winterkorn ahead of the carmaker's May 5 annual shareholder meeting. Read More »

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First Shift: GM earnings rise in Q1

Trucks give automaker a push; Hyundai's capacity challenge; Toyota still ahead; Snyder: Insurance and car choices. Read More »

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GM profit rises, aided by North America

General Motors posted stout first-quarter profits from truck sales in North America, but trouble in Russia and Brazil and lingering fallout from last year's recall binge kept a lid on earnings. Read More »

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Renault revenue rises 14% on European upturn

Renault said first-quarter revenue rose 14 percent as its improving sales in Europe helped offset plummeting demand in Russia and South America. Read More »

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Mercedes fined $56 million in China for price fixing

Authorities in China's Jiangsu province fined Mercedes-Benz 350 million yuan ($56 million) for a pricing monopoly there. It is the biggest fine imposed on an automaker since the government started to crack down on antitrust violations last year. Read More »

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