Headlines for Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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Porsche names VW executive Blume as production chief

Oct. 10, 2012 09:57 CET
Porsche named Volkswagen's production planning head, Oliver Blume, as its new executive board member in charge of production and logistics.

Consumers likely to pay cost of replacing counterfeit airbags, dealers say

4:14 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has uncovered a counterfeit airbag ring that distributed potentially dangerous parts, some in the dealer community are worried that consumers will have to pay the replacement costs.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Counterfeit-airbag alert

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
U.S. refers worried owners to factory; Chrysler commercial Marchionne finds most pivotal; plus, Lexus print ad that moves.

Q&A

F&I winner prefers paper and pen to iPad

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Dina Wilson is director of finance for the Cumberland, Md., dealerships of Timbrook Automotive, with Buick-GMC, Kia and Nissan new-car stores, plus a used-car store, Timbrook Auto Outlet.

Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally on power window glitch

6:18 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Toyota plans to recall 7.43 million vehicles worldwide -- including 2.47 million units in the United States -- in the single biggest automotive recall since 1996 to fix faulty power window switches.

VIDEO: First Shift: Massive Toyota recall

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Automaker calling in 7.4M vehicles worldwide for power-window switch glitch, U.S. airbag warning, iPhone and car colors.

PSA, Fiat debt ratings cut by Moody's on Europe concerns

Oct. 10, 2012 10:49 CET
PSA and Fiat had their debt ratings lowered to three levels below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service as slumping European car markets take a toll on the automakers' finances.

Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally on power window glitch

Oct. 10, 2012 12:18 CET
Toyota announced the biggest single automotive recall since 1996 to fix malfunctioning power window switches, saying it will pull back 7.43 million vehicles worldwide, including 1.39 million in Europe. No injuries or accidents were reported from the faulty parts.

Sirius hikes forecast for 2012 subscriber growth on auto sales

6:20 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Sirius XM Radio, the satellite-radio broadcaster, boosted its forecast for 2012 subscriber gains to 1.8 million from 1.6 million, helped by growth in auto sales.

White, silver top list of most popular car colors again, PPG says

4:04 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Conservative paint colors were the most popular globally during the 2012 model year, with white again taking the top spot in PPG Industries' annual color survey. Natural colors such as brown, orange and gold rose slightly in popularity.

U.S. safety regulators warn about counterfeit airbags

9:23 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Federal safety regulators today issued a warning to consumers with repaired vehicles that they may have air bags that don't inflate in an accident.

GUEST COMMENTARY

Toyota's latest recall narrows recovery window

11:05 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
It may take just 40 minutes to replace the gizmo responsible for Toyota's latest embarrassment, but with 7.4 million cars to fix, that's 565 years of mechanic time. Actually it is neither the first nor the most serious of Toyota's recent difficulties.

Acura to drop ZDX crossover after 2013 model year

2:44 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
American Honda said it will cancel the Acura ZDX five-door crossover after the 2013 model year. Production of the ZDX, which shares its platform with the Acura MDX crossover, will cease in early 2013 when the automaker transfers MDX production from Alliston, Ontario, to Lincoln, Ala.

Fiat, Peugeot debt ratings cut by Moody's on Europe woes

4:49 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Peugeot and Fiat had their debt ratings lowered to three levels below investment grade by Moody's Investors Service as slumping European car markets take a toll on the automakers' finances.

HANS GREIMEL

Tokyo Motor Show rebranded as technology show

1:29 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
The beleaguered Tokyo Motor Show, beset by fading importance and falling attendance, has taken a beating in recent years from bigger, brighter shows in China and beyond.

Lutz joins board of steel materials supplier

12:17 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Former GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz has joined the board of a private steel materials design company in which the U.S. automaker has invested.

JAMIE LaREAU

Think you're good? Try selling F&I to Justin Bieber

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Imagine your favorite Hollywood actor sitting across from you as you pitch the benefits of an extended-service contract. Or picture batting around the benefits of paint and fabric protection to the prince of darkness, Ozzy Osbourne.

Q&A

Honda Finance's next big job: Take dealers digital

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Consistency has helped American Honda Finance Corp. become a powerhouse in leasing. David Paul, vice president, American Honda Finance, has spent 27 years at the company. He took the helm July 1.

California fine-print case could shake up dealers, auto lenders

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
If the California Supreme Court lets a ruling on arbitration stand against an auto dealership in Santa Clarita, dealerships and lenders in the state could be more vulnerable to litigation, including class-action lawsuits, the American Financial Services Association says.

JIM HENRY

Losing your car key is no small matter

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
It’s shocking that replacing a smart car key -- one with an embedded computer chip -- is so expensive, running as much as $400, consumer advocates and dealership F&I managers say.

U.S. Fidelis co-founders get prison terms for service-contract fraud

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
The two brothers who founded U.S. Fidelis Inc. received prison terms and were ordered to pay more than $4 million apiece in restitution stemming from their defunct company's aggressive marketing of bogus extended-service contracts directly to consumers.

TIMELINE: Major global recalls in the auto industry

9:51 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
Toyota said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks for Japan's biggest automaker.

Russian car sales rise 10% in September as market cools

Oct. 10, 2012 11:18 CET
Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Russia grew 10 percent year-on-year in September to 259,582 units, but the market is showing signs of a slowdown, the Association of European Businesses said in a statement.

Mercedes falters in bid to retake premium crown

Oct. 10, 2012 08:04 CET
Mercedes-Benz is falling further behind in the global luxury-sales contest with rivals BMW and Audi. A disjointed strategy in China, sluggish expansion of entry-level models and an aging S-class sedan, have all helped push the once-dominant upscale nameplate firmly into third place.

Lithium ion battery breakthrough could cut costs, U.S. researchers say

Oct. 10, 2012 06:01 CET
University of California, San Diego researchers say they have developed a way to better estimate what goes on inside lithium ion batteries -- a breakthrough that could lead to lower battery costs and faster charging times for electric vehicles.

BorgWarner CEO sees 'difficult' fourth quarter on Europe slowdown

Oct. 10, 2012 06:01 CET
Supplier BorgWarner, which makes turbochargers, is concerned the fourth quarter may be “more difficult” for companies as a slowdown in Europe widens, CEO Tim Manganello said in an interview.

How tech pitches boost service plans

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2012
"You're driving a spaceship." That's what Megan Jacoby tells customers when she pitches an extended-service contract to them. And when Jacoby, the finance director at Bob Smith BMW in Calabasas, Calif.

Automotive News
Special Video Report
Colo. stores use cameras, computers to build transparency

Colo. stores use cameras, computers to build transparency

Planet Honda's technicians-turned-video directors are with one tap bringing the service bay to customers, while digital files are providing a clear snapshot of a used-car's history at Kuni Lexus of Greenwood...
» Watch the Video
     
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