Headlines for Monday, January 21, 2013

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BEST PRACTICES:

Go to class, win a Dart

Lots of dealers have given away cars to boost their business and help local charities. But a Chrysler Group dealership's annual $75,000 car raffle has pumped more than $1 million into struggling local schools and earned the dealership dozens of extra sales. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Feds to lift 5-star bar?

NHTSA ponders 'small overlap' crash test; Jag on the prowl for compact; Rechtin on Vette's 'borrowed' styling Read More »

Auto marketers flocking to Super Bowl

Hyundai and Kia each will have two spots during the Super Bowl, the companies said here last week during the auto show. They join a pack of auto brands eager to reach the game's huge audience. Read More »

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:

Enough mandates, already!

Texas Chevrolet dealer Greg May says he could do without the latest mandate from General Motors to hire a firm to handle his online reputation management. May said GM's intentions are good but the execution is ham-handed. Read More »

Past winners talk about being a Rising Star

Past winners of the Automotive News Europe Rising Star award say that since being named they’ve enjoyed increased recognition from inside and outside their companies. Read More »

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First Shift: Detroit's pickup 'dust-up'

Snyder on a big segment where Ford, GM and Chrysler continue to shine; Zetsche era extended?; Alfa's return; Batman's $4.6M ride Read More »

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Zetsche expects to stay on as Daimler CEO

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he expects to have his contract renewed by the company's supervisory board in February after his current term as head of the car and truck maker expires at the end of this year. Read More »

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Cars.com to open 'Why Drama' campaign with Super Bowl spot

Cars.com will return to the Super Bowl next month with a commercial touting how the vehicle shopping Web site takes the drama out of car buying. In a statement, Cars. Read More »

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Seattle startup tied to Wagoner delivers cars for test drives

A new online service enables car shoppers to test drive vehicles without going to a dealership. Tred, a Seattle startup with ties to former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, cuts dealership trips by delivering new vehicles for consumers to test drive and possibly purchase. Read More »

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GM offers maintenance plan to fleet buyers

GM is offering a two-year, 30,000-mile maintenance plan through its Business Choice program for business fleet buyers. Read More »

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VW names new sales strategy boss

Volkswagen Group has appointed Gert Schardey to run sales strategy and business development at its core VW brand. Read More »

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Bentley ultraluxury SUV nears final approval

Bentley Motors is close to a decision to build an ultraluxury SUV, according to CEO Wolfgang Schreiber. The vehicle would share a platform with Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche. Read More »

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2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW:

BMW EV's range extended by motorcycle engine

BMW AG will offer a two-cylinder motorcycle engine and a generator to extend the range of its i3 electric. Herbert Diess, BMW's head of r&d, said the package will be offered as an option on the i3. Read More »

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Q&A: DAVID STRICKLAND:

NHTSA may add 'small overlap,' angled crash tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration soon may revise its five-star crash safety program with new tests for cars and trucks, Administrator David Strickland tells Automotive News. Read More »

North America car and truck production by model, December & YTD

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

North America car and truck production by plant, December & YTD

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

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GM looks for early contract talks at CAMI plant, CAW says

The CAW is recommending workers at a General Motors plant accept what it says is the automaker's request to open labor talks months ahead of a September contract expiry, believing it could help secure jobs at the southern Ontario site. Read More »

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Toyota set to pick Prius developer as next chairman, report says

Toyota will probably pick Takeshi Uchiyamada, who led the development of the Prius hybrid car in 1990s, to replace Fujio Cho as the company's next chairman, Nikkei reported today, without citing anyone. Read More »

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2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW:

$30,000 is the new luxury-car hot spot

There's a new price battleground -- $30,000 -- for luxury-car makers as they chase younger buyers with small front-wheel-drive vehicles that are sliding down into mass-market territory. Read More »

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2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW:

Prime time for big pickups

Low incentives, new products and construction sites filled with aging pickups have set the stage for an especially competitive -- and lucrative -- battle in the one segment the Detroit 3 still dominate: big pickups. Read More »

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Alfa Romeo brand to re-enter U.S. market in late 2013

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has reiterated his intention to reintroduce the Alfa Romeo brand to the U.S. market later this year with the 4C coupe sports car. Read More »

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KEITH CRAIN:

The car is alive and well

There have been a few years recently that have been pretty bleak for those of us in the automobile business. Thankfully, 2012 was a great year in North America for suppliers, manufacturers and automobile dealers Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News. Read More »

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Honda concept sets off small-crossover buzz

With plans for a crossover based on the Fit subcompact in mid-2014, Honda is primed to have the first entry in a segment with intriguing prospects. And if the small-crossover category takes off, Honda could dominate it for years, judging by the wait-and-see attitude adopted by other automakers. Read More »

Chrysler near a deal for preferred lender

Chrysler Group is close to signing a new preferred auto lender that promises to boost leasing for dealers. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker is "in the final stretch" of negotiations with the financial services provider, which he did not name. Read More »

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Denso plans $1 billion in N.A. projects

Denso International America Inc. plans to invest about $1 billion in North America over the next four years, including about $750 million in the United States that will create more than 1,200 jobs, the supplier said at the Detroit auto show last week. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Sizing up Detroit

West Coast Editor Mark Rechtin -- our tireless chronicler of such things as "micro-cheese-grater" interiors and front ends that evoke "a dachshund snorting a gopher hole" -- walked the floor of the Detroit auto show gathering first impressions of new cars and concepts. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Nissan Leaf price cut puts heat on rivals

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn opened his press conference last week at the Detroit auto show with a bombshell: Nissan will cut the base price of the Leaf electric vehicle by $6,400. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Compact is 'top priority' for Jaguar

Jaguar wants to re-enter the compact segment and is considering multiple body styles, the brand's top executive said. Read More »

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Side Swipe

Ask a world-famous designer at the Detroit show why his new vehicle has a sharp crease down its side, and chances are he'll talk about emotion. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Mercedes to add 2 models to S-class range

Mercedes-Benz's redesigned S-class range, which begins to arrive this fall, will grow from three vehicles to five with the addition of a convertible and an ultraluxury sedan. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

VW to make turbo engines standard

By year end, three of the key cars in Volkswagen's U.S. lineup will be offered with a smaller, turbocharged engine, VW executives said last week, as the brand downsizes in an effort to boost fuel economy. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Lutz, GM end consulting deal

General Motors has parted ways with former product boss Bob Lutz, 80, who had been a paid part-time consultant for GM since September 2011. Read More »

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Tesla factory running full tilt

Tesla Motors' Fremont, Calif., assembly plant is now at its full run-rate of 20,000 electric Model S sedans per year. The company also has begun producing 60 kWh vehicles -- the midgrade trim level -- in addition to the top-end 85 kWh cars. Read More »

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

VW ponders U.S. pickup

Ulrich Hackenberg, the Volkswagen AG board member in charge of product development, says VW might consider a pickup for its U.S. lineup -- but not until after 2018. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Keep recession's hard-learned lessons in mind

This is no time to get complacent. The U.S. auto industry is back on track. There is momentum, and it's all in the right direction. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Calif.'s leadership is bold, vital

California's zero-emission vehicle program is already showing signs of success. The policy has helped make California the leading U.S. market for hybrid and electric vehicles. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Detroit should have an auto showplace

It's time for Detroit to have an automotive showplace worthy of the Motor City. What better way to do that than with a site like the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany? Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Toyota Furia sheds some light on the next Corolla

Toyota offered a vision of its next-generation Corolla sedan that arrives in late 2013 with the unveiling of the Furia concept at the Detroit auto show. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Nissan spices up Versa hatch

Nissan will position its redesigned Versa hatchback to go after what it expects to be continued growth in the compact and subcompact segments. The company unveiled the hatchback at the Detroit auto show last week. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Mercedes' big CLA buildup begins with the Super Bowl

A 60-second TV spot in the fourth-quarter of next month's Super Bowl will kick off Mercedes-Benz's marketing for the CLA, a four-door compact with coupe styling that goes on sale in September. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Niche products still a priority at Nissan

The casual observer of Nissan product development for the past year or two could easily get the idea that the company has shifted its focus from interesting-but-marginal niche products to big-selling mainstream volume products. Not so, says the automaker's top global product planning executive. Read More »

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NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Execs unfazed by Dart's slow start

Top Chrysler Group executives took responsibility for the 2013 Dodge Dart's sluggish sales start but said they have "a lot of levers" available to boost sales. Read More »

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW:

Lincoln to explore 'mass customization'

Lincoln wants to let shoppers custom-order vehicles with an array of special touches. Read More »

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European car sales rise 8% in February as region's economy revives
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European December car sales jump 13%, boosted by discounting
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W. European 2013 sales beat forecast
Western Europe's 12 percent rise in new-car sales in December caused the region's overall 2013 volum ...
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Car-sales rise in southern Europe fails to halt regional decline in 2013
A rise in December new-car sales in France, Italy and Spain points to a pick-up in demand in souther ...
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VW picks former Audi r&d boss to run Bentley, Bugatti brands
Volkswagen said Audi's former development chief, Wolfgang Duerheimer, will head its Bentley and Buga ...
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Ford of Europe executive Elena Cortesi has been given a global role as the automaker's corporate communications manager. ...
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