Headlines for Monday, February 24, 2014

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Weather weakens prices of late-model used cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Last month, the average price decline of 2008-12 used vehicles was steeper than that of the previous month and steeper than expected perhaps because of the harsh weather in much of the country.

Report: CPO sales could double in 3-5 years

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
U.S. new-vehicle sales slipped in January, but certified used-vehicle sales ushered in the new year with double-digit percentage increases.

Ford's reported pick of QNX over Microsoft for next-gen Sync boosts BlackBerry stock

11:52 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
With the next-generation Ford Sync switching to QNX in favor of Microsoft, according to people briefed on the matter, BlackBerry's stock surged today.

Dealers advise Mitsubishi at U.S. plant

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Mitsubishi wants more product input from its dealers.

Nissan adds Micra, cuts Versa sedan in Canada

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
The Nissan Micra subcompact is inexpensive, fuel efficient, styled for European tastes and poised to make its North American debut -- but only in Canada.

Exec: Think plastics for lightweight, durable parts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Lanxess AG, a German chemical company spun off from Bayer AG in 2004, is working on plastics that can replace metal in auto parts such as springs and brake pedals.

Adaptive Web sites make their way to dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Smart Web sites have been a long time coming to auto retailing.

Infiniti auction goal: Lift margins

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Infiniti has introduced a live online auction program that gives its dealers first crack at off-lease vehicles entering the network.

Nissan's homegrown star in Smyrna

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
If having the neighborhood root for you counts for anything, Randy Knight should have an easy time running Nissan's big assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn., this year.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Jag, dealers debate data

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Automaker's quest for customer info irks some stores; inside Honda's Celaya, Mexico plant; next-gen Cruze spied.

Visteon makes deal to use Autonet Mobile 'connected car' software

9:35 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Visteon has announced an agreement with Autonet Mobile that will allow Visteon to integrate Autonet's telematics software into its next-generation infotainment systems.

Honda forms new Acura planning arm after sedan sales fall

5:34 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Honda, which saw a 10 percent drop in U.S. Acura sedan sales last year, is creating a new group to plan business development for the premium brand.

Ford plans to drop Microsoft in favor of BlackBerry for in-car sync system, report says

Feb. 24, 2014 17:52 CET
Ford will base the next-generation Sync system on BlackBerry's QNX and no longer use Microsoft's Windows, sources said. Using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system, they said.

THE VOLKSWAGEN VOTE

King: UAW appeal in VW vote targets outsiders

5:18 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
UAW President Bob King said on Monday that the union's appeal of a failed organizing effort at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga will focus on the actions of outside parties, not the German automaker.

Rumored rwd Cadillac LTS spied

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
After more than a decade of rumors, a big, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac sedan looks to be a go.

Tesla cuts losses but sees costly year ahead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Tesla Motors finished its first year as a full-fledged automaker with 22,477 cars sold, $2 billion in revenue and a net loss of $74 million.

Rep. John Dingell, who championed the auto industry, to retire

10:52 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history and staunch ally to the U.S. auto industry, plans to retire at the end of his current term.

Nissan recalls 16,838 Frontier trucks in North America to inspect, repair circuit breaker

12:25 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Nissan is recalling 16,838 Frontier pickup trucks in North America to address an electrical issue that could cause a fire, according to documents filed with U.S. safety regulators.

VW labor leaders try to save works council

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Now that Volkswagen workers here have turned away the UAW, labor leaders within VW are going back to the drawing board.

Concerns raised over Audi, BMW lending cars to EU ahead of tough CO2 targets

Feb. 24, 2014 16:21 CET
Some European politicians and transparency campaigners have raised concerns about German luxury carmakers Audi and BMW providing free cars to EU member states while negotiations were under way over strict new CO2 emissions targets.

2014 GENEVA AUTO SHOW

Ford says new technology makes revised Focus one of its most advanced cars

Feb. 24, 2014 11:20 CET
Ford unveiled a face-lift for its Focus hatchback, adding fresh styling, new technology and a more premium feel to the company's No. 2 seller in Europe.

BASF undeterred by EV market's setbacks, invests in battery tech

10:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
BASF is betting customers will flock to electric cars, using its chemical products to create a battery that will enable vehicles to run longer.

Fisker, new Chinese owner to restart Karma output this year

7:23 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Fisker Automotive, which has been acquired by China's largest auto parts company, plans to restart production of its Karma plug-in hybrid luxury car "within a year" and will also complete the half-finished development of a second model, according to a senior executive.

Chrysler turned away by bankruptcy court in tax-refund quest

12:34 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Chrysler Group couldn't get a New York bankruptcy court's help in its bid to recover an alleged $50 million overpayment of state unemployment insurance premiums.

LABOR'S UNREST

Tracing the UAW's struggle with foreign automakers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Automotive News spoke to labor analyst Kristen Dziczek about the root of the issues that led up to the recent vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

JESSE SNYDER

At Volkswagen, labor is indeed a full partner

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
I was shocked by two Southern politicians so eager to score points with local conservative voting bases that they insulted half the board members of the automakers whose U.S. plants they so covet.

DAVID BARKHOLZ

VW workers saw little gain in UAW vote

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
The UAW's cooperative partnership with the Detroit 3 helped the union get an organizing election at Volkswagen in Chattanooga.

EDITORIAL

What does the UAW offer today's workers?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
After its narrow defeat at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant, the UAW needs to engage in some serious soul-searching.

VIDEO: First Shift: Ford's partner losing Sync?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Automaker said ditching Microsoft for QNX; 1-liter engine for Focus; Honda making history; Mitsubishi dealers hit factory floor.

2014 GENEVA AUTO SHOW

Citroen reveals softtop C1; touts 'cheerful' design

Feb. 24, 2014 12:52 CET
Citroen has given its new C1 minicar what it calls a "cheerful" design. The brand is also adding a C1 variant with a sliding fabric roof to compete against models such as the Fiat 500 Cabrio and Opel Adam Rocks.

Honda taps first female board member in diversity push

Feb. 24, 2014 09:32 CET
Honda appointed its first female board member today and promoted a foreigner to the highest position yet held by a non-Japanese in a move to inject wider outside perspective into its top management as it expands internationally.

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE CONGRESS 2014

Brussels congress to look at Europe's slow climb

Feb. 24, 2014 06:01 CET
As the European auto industry emerges from the depths of the downturn, companies are shifting their focus from basic survival to cautious growth.

Hyundai r&d chief makes a comeback after 3-month hiatus

7:10 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Hyundai reinstated former r&d president Kwon Moon-sik, just three months after he had quit over a string of quality problems. Hyundai also said its design center boss left for "personal reasons."

Hyundai r&d chief makes a comeback after 3-month hiatus

Feb. 24, 2014 13:10 CET
Hyundai reinstated former r&d president Kwon Moon-sik, just three months after he had quit over a string of quality problems. Hyundai also said its design center boss left for "personal reasons."

Brussels congress to look at Europe's slow climb

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
As the European auto industry emerges from the depths of the downturn, companies are shifting their focus from basic survival to cautious growth.

MEXICAN STRATEGY

Mazda expects many advantages from new Salamanca plant

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Mazda's new assembly plant in Salamanca, Mexico gives the company a low-cost production base; an export platform for shipping cars; and a natural hedge against swings in the yen's exchange rate.

Lithia, Sonic: Service is key to '14 growth

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Lithia and Sonic Automotive, the nation's third-largest dealership group, see significant opportunities for revenue growth this year by improving customer experience and increasing customer-pay, as opposed to factory warranty, service business.

5 YEARS LATER

GM, Chrysler bounce back from the brink

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
General Motors' comeback from near-collapse has been faster and stronger than most experts believed it could be.

Jag wants customer data, irks its dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Jaguar Land Rover North America is putting dealers on the spot by requesting customer data from dealership computer systems -- and promising a financial penalty to dealers who resist.

The Battle for Billings

A Montana dealer fights to reopen his terminated Chrysler-Jeep store

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Nearly five years after Chrysler terminated his Billings, Mont., Chrysler-Jeep store, along with 788 other dealerships around the country, Steve Zabawa believes he is on the threshold of reopening.

Sonata drags down Hyundai

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Hyundai notched big gains in its sales, market share and image when its swoopy 2011 Sonata hit the market.

5 YEARS LATER

2009 timeline: February meltdown

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
A timeline of the events that made up the industry collapse.

Go high tech, no pressure

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2014
Patsy Lou Automotive Group in Flint, Mich., is embracing technology and a no-pressure environment to draw younger consumers. Offices in the bright, industrial auxiliary showroom have been converted to mini lounges with flat-panel TVs and high-top tables.

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