Headlines for Thursday, April 19, 2012

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VIDEO: 2012 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 3

6:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Finalists for the 18th annual Automotive News PACE Awards. Winners will be announced April 23 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2012 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 4

6:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Finalists for the 18th annual Automotive News PACE Awards. Winners will be announced April 23 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2012 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 2

6:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Finalists for the 18th annual Automotive News PACE Awards. Winners will be announced April 23 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2012 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 1

6:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Finalists for the 18th annual Automotive News PACE Awards. Winners will be announced April 23 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2012 PACE Finalists - Manufacturing & IT

6:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Finalists for the 18th annual Automotive News PACE Awards. Winners will be announced April 23 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Piech risks overreaching with Audi's Ducati purchase

April 19, 2012 06:01 CET
Ferdinand Piech, who has added six brands during his two-decade tenure leading Volkswagen, is about to add another with the purchase of Ducati. This time he risks overreaching.

BEIJING AUTO SHOW

Mercedes CLA concept previews expanded compact line

2:02 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Small doesn't have to be dull and boxy. That's the message Mercedes-Benz plans to pitch as it prepares to unveil the CLA Concept Style Coupe at the Beijing auto show.

MIKE COLIAS

Beijing show offers respite for weary GM execs

4:05 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Next week's Beijing auto show probably can't come soon enough for General Motors' top brass. For at least a week, GM execs should be able to sidestep the chorus of questions from the media and investors about GM's game plan to stem the tide of red ink flowing from Europe.

2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW

Mercedes previews a new sporty premium compact car

April 19, 2012 12:16 CET
Mercedes will preview its new CLA premium compact car by unveiling a concept called the Concept Style Coupe at the upcoming Beijing auto show.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Red-hot Benz concept

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Mercedes shows its style, Volkswagen braces for 'demanding year,' study says gasoline prices swaying purchase decisions, biggest car-repair gripes.

VIDEO: First Shift: Ford ups ante in China

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Ford to build a $760 million plant in bid to play catchup, GM seeks greater say in Chinese venture, no easy resin choices, Ghosn profiles Leaf buyers.

Gentex Q1 earnings rise, but shares plunge 16%

2:17 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Automotive mirror supplier Gentex Corp. reported a 9 percent increase in first-quarter earnings, citing higher demand from North American and European customers. But Gentex shares plunged 16 percent for the day because of analysts' reactions to the company's tighter profit margins.

Stainmaster carpet producer may help ease looming shortage of auto resin nylon12

2:52 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
The makers of Stainmaster carpet may help prevent a shutdown of automotive production resulting from a recent shortage of resin. Wichita, Kan.

Ford to build $760 million plant in China

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2012
Ford, in a bid to catch up with GM and VW in the world's largest auto market, said it will build a $760 million assembly plant in Hangzhou, China. The project will help Ford double its manufacturing capacity in the country to 1.2 million vehicles a year.

Abu Dhabi set to quit Daimler, report says

April 19, 2012 11:46 CET
Abu Dhabi is to exit its investment in German premium carmaker Daimler, a German magazine reported on Thursday. The Gulf state's investment fund Aabar is currently examining ways of disposing of its remaining 3 percent stake, manager magazin reported, citing company sources.

VW's Winterkorn warns of 'very demanding year' ahead

April 19, 2012 10:16 CET
Volkswagen is bracing for a "very demanding year" as the European debt crisis continues and global economic growth slows, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. Despite this, the automaker remains "cautiously optimistic" for 2012 and aims to increase auto sales and revenue beyond 2011 results, he said.

Hyundai gives Santa Fe an upscale makeover to boost global sales

April 19, 2012 06:31 CET
Hyundai aims to sell 152,000 revamped Santa Fe SUVs globally this year, as it seeks to hold off a surge from high-end foreign brands at home. The third-generation Santa Fe is Hyundai's sole model to be launched globally this year.

IG Metall union rejects wage offer in German carmaking state

April 19, 2012 06:01 CET
A German union seeking a pay rise for 3.6 million engineering workers in North Rhine-Westphalia, home to plants from Ford and Opel, rejected on Wednesday a pay rise offer of 3 percent presented by employers and said it was likely to start token strikes to back its pay claim.

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