Headlines for Friday, March 16, 2012

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RICK KRANZ

Race is on to uncover Chevy's newest nameplate headed to showrooms

4:24 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
There's a lot of buzz surrounding Chevy's mysterious new model. I'm betting it's the vehicle former GM product czar Bob Lutz talked about a few years ago.

Toyota calls Schlicht back to Europe to help with slumping sales

March 16, 2012 06:01 CET
Former Lexus Europe boss Karl Schlicht will return to the region from Japan to lead Toyota and Lexus' product planning, sales, marketing and aftersales. Schlicht will take over duties currently handled by Toyota Europe President Didier Leroy, who remains the automaker's top man in Europe.

2013 Ford Taurus Interceptor touts mpg improvements

3:48 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
The 2012 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor will use 35 percent less fuel than the Crown Victoria, while the Explorer-based 2013 Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle will use 32 percent less than its competitors, Ford said on Friday.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Giving Volt 2nd chance

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Product chief says GM must educate people about the car, why carmakers don't mind showing a little light, Lapham on Fisker's 'special' circumstance.

GM sees Europe pricing weakness leading to broad capacity cuts

March 16, 2012 17:34 CET
General Motors sees "clearly deteriorating" sales and pricing in Europe's car market leading to restructuring across the industry, according to analysts who met with the automaker's management.

Ford says 1,700 U.S. factory workers accept buyout

5:32 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
About 1,700 Ford factory workers in the United States have accepted early retirement offers and will leave the company by June 1. Ford said the buyout offers, which were unveiled last fall to reduce its ranks of skilled trades and production workers, ended on March 9.

VIDEO: Chrysler's Francois on Eastwood, YouTube, SNL

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Olivier Francois is the man behind Chrysler's "Born of Fire" 2011 Super Bowl Ad with rapper Eminem and this year's successor with Clint

Settlement in Honda Civic mpg case receives tentative OK

4:15 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
A U.S. Superior Court judge in California tentatively approved a settlement that will give Honda Civic hybrid owners up to $200 cash to settle claims that the car's fuel economy was falsely advertised, the Associated Press reported.

Toyota tweaks U.S. executive responsibilities

3:41 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Toyota Motor has shuffled the structure and oversight of its top executives in the United States. Four Toyota executives will receive broader cross-affiliate responsibilities in their roles as senior vice presidents of Toyota Motor North America, the company said today in a statement.

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Waiting to know Mahindra

3:48 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
I'm embarrassed to admit that six years ago, when a couple of dealers tipped me off that an Indian vehicle manufacturer named Mahindra & Mahindra intended to enter the U.S. market, I had no idea who Mahindra was.

American Honda offers voluntary buyouts to senior employees

3:04 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
American Honda is offering voluntary severance packages to senior employees across its sales operation in the United States. Employees who are 59 and older and have worked 15 years at the company are eligible for the Voluntary Retirement Program, Honda said in an internal memo dated March 9.

Civil-rights, labor groups push Hyundai execs to fight Alabama immigration law

3:14 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
A coalition of U.S. civil rights and labor groups used Hyundai's shareholder meeting today in Seoul to prod company executives to help overturn Alabama's controversial immigration law.

2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Next Detroit show moves one week later

3:23 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
The Detroit auto show is starting a week later in 2013. Show officials today announced the event will begin in the third week of January, Jan. 14-27, instead of the second to accommodate journalists’ holiday vacations, said Marc Harlow, a spokesman for the Detroit auto show.

JAMES B. TREECE

Only in Japan: Pop star speeds in a Chevy (No, not a Corvette)

2:48 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
A pop star is caught speeding -- doing 75 mph in a 50 mph zone -- in a Chevrolet. In most countries, this would be a story about a Corvette.

U.S. lawmakers urge Obama act on China auto parts

2:37 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
A group of 188 lawmakers today urged President Barack Obama to crack down on "predatory" Chinese pricing practices, which they said are threatening the domestic auto parts industry.

Mexico to limit Brazil vehicle exports under three-year pact

10:43 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Mexico agreed to quotas on its vehicle sales to Brazil over the next three years, a move that will reverse a surge in Mexican auto exports to Latin America’s largest economy.

HARALD HAMPRECHT

The (r)evolution at BMW

5:00 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer wants to sell 2 million cars a year in 2016 instead of 2020, reaching the milestone four years ahead of schedule. BMW's target is the most ambitious goal of all three German premium automakers.

Ford gets expanded credit, strengthens balance sheet

9:50 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Ford announced an expanded and extended revolving credit facility on Thursday, as the automaker tries to bolster its balance sheet and ultimately reach an investment-grade credit rating.

CAR CUTAWAY

Takata-Petri surrounds Mercedes C-class coupe occupants with airbags

8:11 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Takata-Petri supplies all seven of the airbags in the new Mercedes-Benz C-class coupe as well as the car’s front seat belts. Those parts play an important role in the C-class coupe’s top safety rating of five stars from testing agency EuroNCAP.

HARALD HAMPRECHT

The (r)evolution at BMW

5:00 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer wants to sell 2 million cars a year in 2016 instead of 2020, reaching the milestone four years ahead of schedule. BMW's target is the most ambitious goal of all three German premium automakers.

VIDEO: First Shift: Karma's successful failure

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2012
Fisker rolling out a software fix for its $100K-plus plug-in hybrid, Japan automakers talk currency, Ford's financial step, Chrysler's ad philosophy.

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