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NHTSA could tap unexercised authority to speed Takata recalls

Federal auto safety regulators are considering unprecedented steps to speed up the replacement of potentially deadly Takata airbags in millions of cars that remain on American roads despite massive recalls initiated by automakers. Read More »

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VW plans $1 billion investment in Mexico to support Tiguan output, report says

VW plans an investment worth around $1 billion in Mexico to expand its Puebla assembly plant, Reuters reported Thursday. The capital outlay, aimed at supporting production of the Tiguan compact crossover, is due to be unveiled on Monday and is expected to generate about 1,900 jobs. Read More »

GM sued by 2 workers for not allowing unpaid religious days

Two GM workers at its Arlington, Texas, assembly plant have sued the company and are seeking class-action status, claiming the company violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by denying them unpaid religious days off. Read More »

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Snow crimps output at GM, Ford, Toyota plants in Kentucky

GM, Ford and Toyota canceled shifts at assembly plants in Kentucky on Thursday after more than two feet of snow pounded parts of the state overnight, prompting some government officials to declare an emergency. Read More »

Supplier Chassix buys times with debt holders

Chassix, the auto-parts maker owned by billionaire Tom Gores' Platinum Equity LLC, said its bondholders agreed to refrain for a month from pursuing a default after the company missed an interest payment. Read More »

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Lotus CEO leans towards SUV launch as sales pick up

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, focused on the British sports car maker's survival, says the next all-new Lotus vehicle is likely to be a crossover SUV. Read More »

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GM hires new media-strategy director

General Motors has hired Jonathan Halvorson as director of global media strategy and branded entertainment. The appointment is effective April 1. Read More »

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Mercedes Metris cargo van to enter Ford Transit Connect's turf

Ford's segment-leading Transit Connect small cargo van may get its toughest challenge yet from an unlikely competitor in the U.S.: Mercedes-Benz. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Putting spotlight back on cars

Audi R8 steals show as product, not economics, takes center stage in Geneva; VW's cheaper EV; Tesla saving energy. Read More »

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Continental 'interested' in being partner on possible Apple car

Continental would be interested in acting as partner for technology giant Apple if the tech company decides to build a car, CEO Elmar Degenhart said. Read More »

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VW's German workers get 3% wage increase

Volkswagen will give workers at German plants a 3.4 percent wage increase even as the automaker looks to boost profitability by cutting costs. Read More »

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BMW says talks with Apple don't involve developing i3-based car

BMW said its talks with Apple do not involve developing or building a car for Apple based on the BMW i3, denying a German magazine report. Read More »

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Novelis teams with German partner on aluminum advances

Aluminum giant Novelis and German supplier Henkel said today they signed an agreement to develop advanced bonding technologies for aluminum-intensive vehicles. Read More »

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Lower oil prices to boost global auto sales 1.5%, forecast says

Falling oil prices will boost global auto sales 1.5 percent through 2019, with the biggest windfalls coming in North America, IHS Automotive said in a new forecast. Read More »

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First Shift: Mercedes midsize van debuts

Metris hits U.S. roads in Oct.; restyled Fiat 500?; Audi Wi-Fi push; impact of IIHS; Ford brings classic toy to life. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Record-breaking Rolls-Royce expects further gains from growing lineup

Rolls-Royce set a new sales record in 2014 and looks likely to keep raising deliveries in the future following the announcement last month that it would develop an ultraluxury SUV. Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, the brand's CEO, discussed this and other topics with Automotive News Europe. Read More »

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Fiat Chrysler's Polish plant will build restyled Fiat 500, Lancia Ypsilon, reports say

Fiat Chrysler will start producing restyled versions of its Fiat 500 and Lancia Ypsilon models this year at its Tychy plant in Poland, reports said. The plant already builds the current versions of the two models alongside Ford's Ka minicar. Read More »

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DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:

No German-driven 'rat race' for Volvo

Volvo r&d boss Peter Mertens is not impressed with the proliferation of models at the Swedish brand's bigger German rivals. “They are in a rat race. We are not going to follow them,” he said. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: A cool take on Feb. sales

Snyder on snow, luxury war and road to 17M; Malibu tease; 124 Spider comeback; Audi spoofs 'Birds'; another CNG Ram. Read More »

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Next Malibu tackles weight, space challenges

The next-generation Chevrolet Malibu will have more interior space and weigh 300 pounds less than the current car, General Motors said today. Read More »

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First Shift: February winners, losers

Nissan advances in weather-beaten month; Toyota diversifies leadership; Sprinter van plan?; watching Apple, Google. Read More »

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Ford warns on UK leaving EU

Ford of Europe CEO Jim Farley said the UK needs to stay in the EU to keep its manufacturers at the forefront of global production. "We really believe that the UK being part of the EU is critical for business," Farley said in a radio interview. Read More »

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Audi R8 e-tron signals shift by German automakers to high-end EVs

German carmakers are shifting their focus towards high-end electric vehicles such as the Audi R8 e-tron and away from cheaper city cars in an effort to revive environmentally-friendly but unpopular zero-emission vehicles. Read More »

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2015 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Fiat's Mazda-based roadster will be called the 124 Spider

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that Fiat will call its new Mazda-based roadster the 124 Spider, reviving a name from the 1960s. The roadster will be based on the Miata MX-5. Read More »

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BMW CEO Reithofer sees challenges mounting for his successor

The new boss of BMW Group, Harald Krueger, will have to cope with the rise of electric cars, automated driving and new competitors, as well as the traditional uncertainties over consumer demand and fuel prices, the company's outgoing CEO, Norbert Reithofer, said. Read More »

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Fiat brand will never again be a mass-market player in Europe, Marchionne says

The Fiat brand will never again be a mass-market marque in Europe, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said. The change reflects Fiat's increasing strategic emphasis on profit and brand discipline. Read More »

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Loan amounts, payments reach new highs

The average amount financed for a new vehicle reached a record $28,381 in the fourth quarter of 2014, Experian Automotive said today. That was an increase of $950, or 3.5 percent, from the year-earlier quarter and a rise of $582, or 2. Read More »

U.S. light-vehicle fuel economy slips 0.2 mpg in February, report says

The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. decreased 0.2 mpg last month from January, likely because of severe weather in much of the country, according to a monthly report by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Read More »

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NHTSA expands Ford Fiesta door-latch probe to 2013 Fusion, Lincoln MKZ

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding a September investigation of door-latch failure in the 2011-13 Ford Fiesta to include the 2013 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Read More »

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AutoNation's 8% sales gain beats market for Feb.

AutoNation said its new-vehicle retail sales jumped 8 percent in February compared to a year earlier, reaching 23,780 new units. Read More »

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Ram will expand lineup of CNG-powered trucks

Fiat Chrysler is expanding the availability of compressed natural gas on its heavy duty Ram pickup. The CNG-fueled truck, originally engineered for fleet operators, is available now only in a four-door crew cab, four-wheel-drive and long-bed model. Read More »

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Jeep ramps up dealers in China as production commences

Jeep will increase its dealerships in China by about a third this year and will start local production of its Cherokee SUV in November followed by the smaller Renegade model in 2016, CEO Mike Manley said. Read More »

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ZF-TRW deal to be approved by EU regulators, report says

EU antitrust regulators are expected to clear German car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen's $13.5 billion bid for US peer TRW Automotive Holdings with conditions, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters today. Read More »

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Chevy Bolt EV variant may be sold as an Opel in Europe, sources say

General Motors may sell a version of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car in Europe as an Opel/Vauxhall model, company sources said. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

BYD heralds its vehicle sales in Japan

Can the Chinese succeed where the Koreans and Americans largely have failed: penetrating Japan's auto market? Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

America, land of big spaces, spurs Hyundai Tucson redesign

How do you design a crossover with a name evoking the old West -- that cowboy, cactus, rugged desert terrain ethos? Read More »

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Online retail tools are changing F&I jobs, work force analyst says

The neat organization of dealership F&I departments isn't so neat anymore. And industry researchers believe online retail is the reason why. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

The auto fallout from tax refund delays

Tax refund season is typically the high point of the year for subprime auto lenders, but so far the early tax refund statistics are down slightly from a year ago. Read More »

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Millennials coming on stream in auto loans, leases

Millennials get a bum rap as being less interested in driving and cars -- and in auto finance -- than previous generations, TransUnion says in a new study. In fact, millennials are the fastest-growing group of car buyers in auto lending, the TransUnion study found. Read More »

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Toyota Financial explores how to improve e-commerce

As more shoppers turn to e-commerce as part of buying a car, Toyota Financial Services is turning to its U.S. dealers to find ways to improve its digital offerings. A major push: e-contracting, which Toyota Financial Services launched about two years ago. Read More »

Santander Consumer USA to pay $9.35 million settlement over military repos

Santander Consumer USA will pay at least $9.35 million to resolve charges that it improperly repossessed the cars of members of the military, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Read More »

F&I TIP:

Allow customers time to ponder

Customers sometimes need to go home and think, and that’s OK, says Brandon Wood, finance manager at Van Bortel Ford in East Rochester, N.Y. “I work for a dealer principal who never wants any customer feeling pressured, period,” he says. Read More »

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Toyota promotes Europe CEO Leroy to new global role

Toyota will add Europe boss Didier Leroy to its board and promote him to global head of business in developed countries in a wider management shuffle. Johan van Zyl, currently CEO of Toyota's Africa region, will become Europe chief. Read More »

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