Headlines for Tuesday, March 13, 2012

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Suppliers to the 2012 Chrysler 200

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Chrysler engineers morphed the Sebring into a competitive mid-sized sedan with tighter ride and handling, a more refined interior and a 3.6-liter V-6. This supplier data is compiled by SupplierBusiness.

GM preps new Chevy model for showrooms, NASCAR race circuit

10:06 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
GM said it will replace its Impala NASCAR entry with a new model that it also will sell to consumers. GM said the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car and the showroom model will closely resemble each other and will debut in 2013 as a new Chevy nameplate.


Johnson Controls has high hopes for rugged new starter batteries

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Lithium ion batteries may be the battery industry's glamour product, but Johnson Controls Inc. is betting heavily on an upgraded version of the lowly starter battery for sales growth. Johnson Controls is marketing absorbent glass mat batteries that replace standard lead acid batteries.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: How Ford wooed Mulally

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
New book chronicles how Ford wooed its superstar CEO, U.S. optimistic on EV costs, Volvo said to be in talks with basketball star Jeremy Lin.

BMW says it will reach 2 million car sales target ahead of forecast

March 13, 2012 11:46 CET
BMW forecast it would reach its target of annual sales of 2 million cars four years earlier than planned. The automaker expects to surpass the 2 million vehicle mark in 2016, including its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, without profitability suffering as a result.

Volvo negotiating China endorsement deal with NBA star Jeremy Lin

1:34 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks basketball player who surged in popularity this year, is in talks on an endorsement deal with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.'s Volvo Cars, three people familiar with the matter said.

Mexico's cap on vehicle exports to Brazil should be temporary, trade group says

3:34 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Mexico's government should only accept temporary restrictions on trade after Brazil requested a cap on vehicle exports to Latin America's largest economy, said Eduardo Solis, president of Mexico's Automobile Industry Association.


GM ponders how to replicate success of Camaro in redesign

3:51 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
GM is wrestling with development of the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

Honda, buoyed by rising Civic stockpiles and gas prices, ready to 'shoot back'

11:19 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Honda's Civic, stung by critical reviews and tight U.S. supplies in 2011, has outsold rival small cars and the company has enough "ammunition" to hold the spot, an executive said. U.S.

U.S., Europe and Japan launch rare earth trade case against China

2:49 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
The United States, Europe and Japan joined forces on Tuesday against China's restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals that are critical to production of hybrid and electric vehicles, other advanced technology and clean energy goods expected to provide the jobs of the future.

Audi eyes motorcycle maker Ducati for lightweight engine expertise

1:23 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Audi is in talks to buy Ducati for its lightweight engine know-how, its racetrack pedigree and the distinctive sound and styling of its motorcycles.

Japanese headlight makers probed by antitrust watchdog

12:20 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating four Japanese headlamp makers for evidence of possible price fixing, the companies said today.

VW plans $40M parts warehouse, distribution center in Tenn.

1:32 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Volkswagen Group of America plans to invest $40 million to build a warehouse in Roane County, Tenn., to distribute domestic auto parts for the Passat sedan made at VW's plant in Chattanooga.

Asian suppliers lead EV battery race

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Asian battery suppliers are poised to dominate the global automotive market for lithium ion batteries, a report by Pike Research of Boulder, Colo., concludes. LG Chem Ltd.

Bertone will unveil Nuccio supercar concept at Beijing show

March 13, 2012 06:01 CET
Stile Bertone will not unveil its Nuccio high-performance coupe concept until the Beijing auto show in April. The Italian design company unveiled a full-sized plaster and resin model of the Nuccio at the Geneva auto show last week.


Why Audi will get Ducati

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn recently told me his company had "no plans" to enter the motorcycle business. That will change if VW subsidiary Audi buys Italian motorcycle maker Ducati. Here are five reasons this deal seems likely to happen.

Porsche 2011 profit rises 22% on demand for Cayenne

March 13, 2012 12:34 CET
Porsche said annual profit last year rose 22 percent on continuing demand for the Cayenne SUV. Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 2.05 billion euros ($2.69 billion) from 1.67 billion euros a year earlier, the carmaker said.

Toyota can't require arbitration in acceleration lawsuits

9:15 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Toyota can't force named plaintiffs seeking group status for a lawsuit over alleged losses from unintended acceleration to arbitrate their claims rather than proceed to trial next year. U.S.

Renault-Nissan said to finalize AvtoVAZ deal in April

March 13, 2012 15:09 CET
The Renault-Nissan alliance will take a majority stake in Russian automaker AvtoVAZ in the coming weeks, French online newspaper LaTribune.fr reported, citing Renault's Russia general manager Bruno Ancelin.

VIDEO: First Shift: Lutz stands up for Volt

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Ex-GM product chief decries Volt attacks, BMW expects to exceed 2011's record profit, Japanese luxury retailers ranked best in online responses.

Pininfarina mulls limited run of the Cambiano plug-in hybrid

March 13, 2012 11:00 CET
Pininfarina may build a limited run of its Cambiano plug-in hybrid coupe concept unveiled at the Geneva auto show last week. The 680-hp model has a 275kph top speed but offers CO2 emissions of just 45 grams per kilometer.

Volkswagen says court decision on Suzuki not expected until 2013

March 13, 2012 06:01 CET
Volkswagen, facing arbitration brought by Suzuki to end their partnership, said the London court handling the proceedings won't make a decision before 2013.

Magna Seating to open 5.6 million-euro plant in Serbia

March 13, 2012 06:01 CET
Magna Seating, a unit of Magna International Inc., Canada's biggest auto-parts supplier, plans to open a factory producing car-seat covers in northern Serbia, the country's investment promotion agency said.

Ferrari to show Enzo replacement to select few by year-end

March 13, 2012 06:01 CET
Ferrari will show the replacement for the Enzo supercar to a select group of current and potential customers at the end of 2012, Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said.

Metaldyne acquires plant in Czech Republic

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Metaldyne LLC has acquired a factory in Zbysov, Czech Republic. The company will expand the plant's forging and machining lines to make differential side gears, pinions, transmission shafts and other components.

Hirotec America opens 2 Michigan plants

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Hirotec America Inc., a supplier that specializes in bodyshop assembly tooling for vehicle closures, is opening two plants in Michigan: one in Chesterfield Township and another in Port Huron.

Sevcon and Flextronics to produce EV drivetrains

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Sevcon Inc. and Flextronics Automotive have agreed to produce drivetrains for hybrid-powered vehicles and electric cars. Sevcon, of Southborough, Mass., will produce motor controllers.

Sun Capital sells Fluid Routing Systems

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Sun Capital Partners Inc. has sold Fluid Routing Solutions, a manufacturer of fuel management systems and hoses, to Park-Ohio Industries Inc. for about $98 million.

Key Plastics sells part of European operation in management buyout

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Key Plastics LLC has sold part of its European operation in a management buyout. Key Plastics, of suburban Detroit, makes interior trim, door handles and other components.

BorgWarner to supply turbos for Hyundai trucks and buses

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
BorgWarner Inc. is supplying a two-stage diesel turbocharger to Hyundai Motor Co. for commercial vehicles in Asia. The turbocharger is designed for a 5.9-liter six-cylinder diesel engine used in medium-duty Korean-built urban trucks and buses such as the Aero Town, Green City and Mega Truck.

Suppliers race to fill fresh orders in North America

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Now that annualized U.S. vehicle sales have breached 15 million units, suppliers are trying to head off possible production bottlenecks.

Supplier personnel

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
Personnel changes for Robert Bosch LLC, Pirelli & C. S.p.A., Meritor Inc. and Visteon Corp.

Two giants join forces in the infotainment market

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2012
The big boys are moving into the infotainment business. Intel Corp. has created a $100 million investment fund to encourage hardware and software developers to develop new technologies for automotive infotainment. Intel isn't a big player within the auto industry.

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