Headlines for Friday, October 5, 2012

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Breezy way to hike MPG

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
A move toward active grille shutters to improve aerodynamics, Nissan planning lower-cost Leaf, Lapham: Europe's dating game.

VIDEO: First Shift: Vans get European flair

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
The classic ride for hippies and handymen is turning continental, Dodge Dart aces crash tests, U.S. probes gas liftgate struts.

Nissan plans Leaf EV with budget trim level to spur sales

11:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

Ricardo Inc. names Magna vet Apostolos as president

4:39 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

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

4:09 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

Redone Mazda6 gets sporty stance

10:00 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

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

3:24 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

GM Canada to add shift to meet Chevrolet Impala demand

2:53 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

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

2:26 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.


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

11:43 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

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

10:16 am U.S. ET | Oct. 5, 2012
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.

VW Beetle convertible to get platform shared with Jetta, Golf

Oct. 5, 2012 06:01 CET
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.

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

Oct. 5, 2012 07:49 CET
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.

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

Oct. 5, 2012 12:04 CET
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.

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

Oct. 5, 2012 11:22 CET
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.

Ford promotes German engineer Schamel to global role

Oct. 5, 2012 12:25 CET
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.

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