Headlines for Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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PSA reaches deal with majority of French workers on restructuring

PSA has struck a deal with five French unions, representing 76 percent of its workforce, over severance packages that the automaker will offer employees as it seeks to reduce its headcount in the country by 17 percent. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

BMW X4 to lure new buyers to brand, sales boss says

BMW's new X4 model will bring a new type of customer to the brand, sales chief Ian Robertson said. The X4 will launch next year as a sportier version of the X3 SUV with a lower roofline and coupe styling. It follows BMW's launch of the coupe-styled X6 as a sportier alternative to the X5. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

Bentley may build its new SUV in Slovakia

Bentley may build a planned SUV in Volkswagen's factory in Slovakia. The brand's CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said VW could give a green light for production in the next few weeks and it may opt to build the SUV outside the UK. Read More »

EUROPEAN SALES:

Ford, GM and Fiat worst hit by 10% drop in European car sales in February

Ford, General Motors and Fiat were the automakers worst hit as European passenger car registrations fell 10 percent last month to their lowest February level for 23 years. The region's deepening recession continued to deter customers from buying cars despite steep discounting. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

Fiat says profit to fall as Jeep shortage adds to Europe woes

Fiat warned first-quarter earnings will fall as U.S. delivery snags at Chrysler Group's Jeep brand compound the effects of Europe's sales slump. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

Suzuki expects a big sales boost from larger SX4

Suzuki expects a sales boost for its SX4 crossover after moving the car into a larger segment. The SX4 will compete against models such as the Nissan Qashqai. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

McLaren Automotive will post 2012 loss but is positive on future earnings

McLaren Automotive will be profitable next year after posting a loss for the year ending March 31, Managing Director Mike Flewitt said. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

BMW forecasts flat 2013 profit on Europe decline

BMW forecast unchanged 2013 pretax profit as European auto sales drop and the automaker increases spending to bring out 25 new models in the next two years. Pretax profit climbed 6 percent to 7.82 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in 2012. Read More »

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ELECTRIC CARS:

BMW details driving range of i3 EV

BMW says its i3 EV, which will begin sales in Europe, the United States and China this year, can cover up to 220 kilometers (136 miles) on a single battery charge, which can be extended up to 350 kilometers using an optional range extender. Read More »

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Volvo said to win China approval to begin local car production

Volvo is said to have won the approval of China's main industry planner to begin making vehicles in the country. The automaker, which is owned by China's Geely, has set itself the target of boosting local sales to 200,000 by 2020 from 41,989 last year. Read More »

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