Headlines for Friday, October 5, 2012

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AutoNews Now: Breezy way to hike MPG

A move toward active grille shutters to improve aerodynamics, Nissan planning lower-cost Leaf, Lapham: Europe's dating game. Read More »

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First Shift: Vans get European flair

The classic ride for hippies and handymen is turning continental, Dodge Dart aces crash tests, U.S. probes gas liftgate struts. Read More »

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North America car and truck production - 10/08/2012

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Nissan plans Leaf EV with budget trim level to spur sales

Nissan, looking to bolster tumbling sales of its Leaf electric car, will roll out a budget variant next year in a bid for a more-affordable sticker. The entry trim level would be positioned below the two higher-specification grades currently offered, two people familiar with the plan said. Read More »

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Ricardo Inc. names Magna vet Apostolos as president

Engineering consulting firm Ricardo has named longtime Magna executive Thomas Apostolos as its new president. Apostolos, 50, spent 19 years at Canadian supplier Magna International, most recently as president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors Asia Pacific. Read More »

Ford Escape stalling complaints prompt request for U.S. study

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today that it will review a request to investigate 1.6 million 2005-12 Ford Escapes for alleged engine problems. Read More »

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Redone Mazda6 gets sporty stance

A top Mazda program manager says the automaker tried to imbue the 2014 Mazda6 with sporty character to compete in a mid-sized sedan segment known for value and practicality. Mazda designers pulled the sedan's wheels closer to the corners, stretched the wheelbase and reduced the length. Read More »

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Honda Pilot, Odyssey probed by U.S. for rollaways in 2003-2004 models

Federal safety investigators are probing consumer complaints that certain 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs can roll away after the key has been removed from the ignition. Read More »

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GM Canada to add shift to meet Chevrolet Impala demand

General Motors of Canada said today it will add a third shift to the flexible manufacturing line at its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, so that it can meet demand for its Chevrolet Impala sedan. The shift addition is in line with a contract agreement the company reached last month with the CAW. Read More »

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GM to shift fuel cell program from upstate New York to Michigan

General Motors said it plans to close its hydrogen fuel-cell research operation in upstate New York and move it to Michigan. The move is scheduled to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

A made-in-America hybrid Accord coming in 2015?

Honda is having another go at a hybrid Accord. But when the two-motor plug-in electric-gasoline sedan arrives in the United States early next year, volumes will be small. Now Honda has a solution: Start building the hybrid system stateside. Read More »

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Toyota China sales tumble in Sept. as islands row hits Japan Inc.

Toyota's China sales fell about 40 percent in September from the year before, while those of rivals such as Hyundai and BMW jumped, underscoring how badly Japanese brands have been hit by a territorial row between the two countries. Read More »

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VW Beetle convertible to get platform shared with Jetta, Golf

The convertible version of the Volkswagen Beetle will get its debut at the Los Angeles auto show in late November, shortly before the car goes on sale. The convertible, like the coupe, uses VW's PQ35 front-drive platform that is shared with the current Jetta and Golf. Read More »

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BMW's surge in China sales reduces auto-market slowdown concerns

BMW Group's new-car sales in China surged last month, helping to ease concerns that the world's biggest automotive market is cooling too quickly. Read More »

GM says it won't sell Opel; PSA alliance on track

General Motors reaffirmed its commitment to Opel/Vauxhall, rejecting an Italian newspaper report that Fiat is ready to buy Opel if GM's alliance with PSA/Peugeot Citroen dissolves. Read More »

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Renault will use Turkey, not France, as main Clio production base, union claims

Renault declined to comment on union claims that Turkey will become the main production site for its new Clio subcompact car in a move to cut costs. Renault plans to build more than 70 percent of its fourth-generation Clio models in Turkey, union sources told Reuters. Read More »

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Ford promotes German engineer Schamel to global role

Ford is strengthening Europe's role in the company's engine development with the appointment of Andreas Schamel as its first European-based director of global powertrain, research and advanced engineering. Read More »

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