Headlines for Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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Suppliers to the 2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart is Chrysler Group's first vehicle on a Fiat platform. The car, due in showrooms in the second quarter, debuts with a 2.0-liter I4 and a 1.4-liter turbocharged I4. A high-mileage version delivers an estimated 41 mpg on the highway. Read More »

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Nissan and General Electric's Smart Grid

Experts say that one of the keys to the success of electric cars is the so-called smart grid. This technology creates harmony between EVs, and everything else that uses power. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Toyota profit boom?

Japan's top automaker appears poised to make a big profit in year ahead, risky endeavor for teen drivers, letting loose on lending. Read More »

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Investigators probe whether a Fisker Karma caused Texas house fire

Insurance and fire investigators in suburban Houston are probing a house blaze that destroyed a new Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid car last week. In a statement to Autoweek, an affiliate of Automotive News, the company said the cause of the fire is unclear and no injuries were reported. Read More »

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CHRISTINA ROGERS:

Romney takes credit for auto rebound and critics howl

Mitt Romney lobbed a bomb Monday. And today he felt the political blowback. Read More »

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First Shift: Detroit's rising fortunes

GM and Ford move up in the Fortune 500's Top 10, VW of America's customer czar heads to GM, Nissan stores stand out in SF. Read More »

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:

Don't write off the Dodge Grand Caravan just yet

Mark Twain once famously said: "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." According to Chrysler Group, so too have the reports of the death of the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. Read More »

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GM international unit hires sales exec Barnes from VW

GM today hired veteran sales executive Mark Barnes away from Volkswagen and installed him as GM's top sales executive in charge of China and other overseas markets. Read More »

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Selling Chryslers in Iraq

Former Chrysler sales chief Gary Dilts and Shakir Alkhafaji are co-owners of the only two Chrysler dealerships in Iraq. They tell Automotive News TV's Leslie Allen how the venture got started and some of the challenges they face running a business in a danger zone. Read More »

Survey: Young U.S. drivers know risks, but text anyway

Most young American drivers agree that it is dangerous to text while driving, but nearly a third admit they do it anyway, a survey by Consumer Reports shows. Read More »

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Opel aims to rival Fiat 500 with a new model called Adam

Opel/Vauxhall said its new minicar will called Adam when the model launches in 2013. With the Adam, the GM unit aims to rival cars such as the Fiat 500 and Mini. The car, previously code-named Junior, will debut at the Paris auto show in September. Read More »

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Ford beefing up China dealer network

Ford is beefing up its dealer network in China as it pushes hard to catch up with rivals such as Volkswagen AG and GM. Ford plans to add about 110 dealers this year in China, similar to the number it added last year, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of Asia-Pacifica and Africa. Read More »

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Toyota to boost Kentucky engine output with $30 million expansion

Toyota said today it will spend $30 million to expand its Georgetown, Ky., plant, boosting the factory’s annual four-cylinder engine capacity by more than 100,000 units. Read More »

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Ford says parts shortages curtail Ranger output in Asia

Ford Motor, working to reverse losses in Asia, remains hamstrung by auto parts shortages that are limiting production of the Ranger small pickup the company is counting on to rebuild profit in the region. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Time for old automakers to make a progressive move with a female CEO

Mary Barra is GM’s global product development chief and CEO Dan Akerson has specifically named her as a candidate to succeed him. Read More »

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Google gets first self-driven car license in Nevada

Google's self-driven cars will soon be appearing on Nevada roads after the state's Department of Motor Vehicles approved on Monday the nation's first autonomous vehicle license. Read More »

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With TRW touch pad, drivers write commands to cut distraction

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has introduced an infotainment touch pad that can be molded onto the surface of a vehicle's armrest, steering wheel or dashboard. Read More »

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CAR CUTAWAY:

Federal-Mogul, Bosch win big with the new Hyundai ix35.

Federal-Mogul and Robert Bosch have a number of key parts in the new Hyundai ix35. Along with the pistons, rings and bearings, Federal-Mogul provides bushings for the SUV's new six-speed automatic transmission. Bosch supplies the control unit and injectors for ix35's gasoline engines. Read More »

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VW brand posts April sales rise on China, U.S. demand; western Europe volume down

Global deliveries of Volkswagen's core VW brand increased by 6.3 percent in April, pushing up four-month sales by 9.4 percent to 1.66 million. Read More »

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Kia says product renewal will help brand meet aggressive Europe sales goal

Kia is confident that new products will help the Korean automaker to meet its aggressive sales target in Europe despite the region's economic troubles. Read More »

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Suppliers to the 2012 Chevrolet Impala

The 2012 Chevrolet Impala gets a new 3.6-liter V-6 with direct injection and a six-speed automatic transmission. A redesign is coming for the 2014 model year. This supplier data is compiled by SupplierBusiness. Read More »

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BMW on track for record full-year car sales after April gains

BMW Group marked a new sales record for April, increasing volumes by 6.1 percent. Sales were driven by strong demand for BMW's core brand, which rose 7.4 percent. Read More »

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Subaru parent signals plans to boost North American capacity

Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. today signaled plans to expand its manufacturing capacity in North America while it lowered its long-term global sales targets. Read More »

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Beijing Auto to produce first Saab-based model this year

China's Beijing Auto will start selling its first model based on the old Saab 9-5 platform later this year. The company, which purchased the technology from Saab in 2009, plans to launch further models based on the technology, known as the M-trix platform within BAIC. Read More »

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Audi beefs up lineup in China to lure younger buyers

Audi is aggressively expanding its lineup in China to exploit growing demand among newly prosperous young Chinese for crossovers and compact luxury vehicles. The automaker plans to double production capacity in China to 700,000 units by 2015. Read More »

Rheinmetall plans IPO of Kolbenschmidt Pierburg car parts unit

Rheinmetall, the maker of KS Kolbenschmidt engine pistons, will sell shares in its automotive division in an initial public offering in the first half of this year in order focus on its defense business. Read More »

Price dispute won't hinder supplies to Eberspaecher - for now

Eberspaecher North America's price dispute with a Tier 2 supplier won't affect its ability to receive parts, at least for now. A federal judge in Detroit has granted a preliminary injunction against Nelson Global Products Inc. Read More »

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Cooperation is best solution to material shortages

Increasingly, automakers are finding themselves in a Darwinian competition for raw materials with other industries. Over the past couple of years, automakers and suppliers have been whipsawed by spot shortages caused in part by fluctuating demand in other industries. Read More »

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Q&A: AUTOLIV'S STEVE FREDIN:

Small cars need smarter seat belts, airbags

Airbags and seat belts -- mature products for suppliers -- are getting a fresh look from automakers that are trying to secure five-star crash ratings for small cars, says Steve Fredin, president of Autoliv Americas. Read More »

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Nylon snafu highlights need for many sources of raw material

The auto industry has become acutely aware of the dangers of a supply chain in which one Tier 3 manufacturer might produce the bulk of a key raw material such as nylon 12, a material used to coat fuel lines and other components. Read More »

Supplier personnel

Personnel changes for Accuride Corp., Comprehensive Logistics Inc., Ricardo Inc. and Power Drives Inc. Read More »

Visteon opens radiator plant in China

Visteon Corp. has opened a factory in Chengdu, China, to produce aluminum radiators for Volkswagen and other customers. Read More »

TRW wins contracts for electric brake systems

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. says it will produce electric parking brakes for two automakers in North America. Read More »

Magna E-Car Systems opens EV parts plant in Michigan

Magna E-Car Systems has opened a plant in Grand Blanc Township, Mich., to produce electric motors, inverters and powertrain controllers. Read More »

Visteon sells Michigan HQ to Sovereign Partners

Visteon Corp. sold its corporate headquarters in Van Buren Township, Mich. to Sovereign Partners LLC, a real estate investment firm, for $81.1 million. Read More »

Ford, Dow form partnership for carbon fiber composites

Ford Motor Co. has formed a partnership with Dow Chemical Co. to produce parts of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic for high-volume vehicles. Read More »

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