Headlines for Thursday, October 4, 2012

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Backseat in big debate

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Obama, Romney mum on bailout; Fisker, Tesla loans rapped; Ford ads poke fun at Prius; plus, who's up for coveted award.

VIDEO: First Shift: VW Golf to bypass Tenn.?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Mexico plant called top contender to build car; glitch hits Subaru, Scion coupes; how Subaru uses 'word of mouth on steroids'


Ford's C-Max goes for laughs to dethrone Prius in 'Hybrid Games'

5:57 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
When Ford and its Team Detroit ad agency were creating a campaign for the new C-Max Hybrid, they had one clear target in their sights: the undisputed champion of the hybrid world, the Toyota Prius.

Tesla CEO says company is fine, repaying U.S. government loans

10:33 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Tesla CEO Elon Musk dismissed fears the electric carmaker was in financial trouble and said it was making an advance payment on the federal loan used to make its Model S sedan.

Denso develops lithium ion battery for vehicles with stop-start systems

3:11 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Japanese supplier Denso said it has developed a lithium ion battery pack to boost fuel efficiency of vehicles with stop-start systems.

Visteon’s Leuliette sees 'clarity' on revamping by end of 2013

2:40 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Visteon will decide its strategy for each of its units by the end of 2013 and provide investors “clarity,” the company's permanent CEO Tim Leuliette says. Leuliette ascended to CEO after serving as interim chief following the ouster of Don Stebbins on Aug. 10.

U.S. regulators investigate auto supplier Stabilus' struts

12:25 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation to determine which automakers may have produced vehicles with gas-filled struts on rear liftgates that are prone to failure.


2013 VW Beetle convertible to get platform shared with Jetta, Golf

11:46 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
The convertible version of the Volkswagen Beetle gets a debut at the Los Angeles auto show in late November, shortly before the car goes on sale. The launch of the 2013 VW Beetle convertible trails the arrival of the redesigned Beetle coupe by about a year.

Priority Auto CEO apologizes for customer’s arrest in Va.

11:25 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
The CEO of a Virginia dealership group has apologized for the arrest of a customer in June after one of his dealerships mistakenly undercharged the customer for a vehicle, then told local police he stole the vehicle when he resisted the dealership’s efforts to get him to pay the difference.

Dodge Dart gets top crash-test rating

10:49 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
The Dodge Dart, the model Chrysler is betting on becoming a top-selling small car, was among four new vehicles on the United States market to receive a top crash-test rating by an influential safety group on Wednesday.

Ford takes on Toyota Prius in ad campaign for C-Max hybrid wagon

9:35 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
Ford, introducing its first hybrid-only model, is targeting Toyota's market- leading Prius in a series of advertisements starting today. The C-Max wagon, a vehicle Ford brought from Europe and equipped with a gasoline-electric propulsion system, arrived in showrooms last month.

Mercedes posts record vehicle sales on U.S., China demand

Oct. 4, 2012 14:20 CET
Mercedes-Benz posted record global vehicle sales for September thanks to growth in China and the United States and despite falling volume in Europe.

Visteon CFO Welch resigns

Oct. 4, 2012 06:01 CET
Supplier Visteon announced the resignation of Executive Vice President and CFO Martin Welch. Welch will be replaced on an interim basis by Michael Widgren, who has served as Visteon's vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer since May 2007.

UK car sales rise in September, bucking downward European trend

Oct. 4, 2012 12:42 CET
UK new-car sales rose for a seventh consecutive month in September in contrast to other major European markets. Industry association SMMT sees consumer confidence returning.

Volkswagen may build new Golf in Mexico

Oct. 4, 2012 09:22 CET
Volkswagen favors using its factory in Puebla, Mexico, as another production site for the new Golf, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said.

Faurecia helps make new Citroen DS5 safer to pedestrians

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 4, 2012
French supplier Faurecia plays a key role in the bold front end of the new Citroen DS5.