Headlines for Friday, October 12, 2012

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Tesla challenges independent dealer network

11:17 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Tesla has opened "showrooms" around the country to market its sleek electric cars.

VW may add budget subbrand by 2015, sources say

5:48 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
VW may launch a new low-cost subbrand by 2015 to take on rivals including Renault's Dacia and Nissan's Datsun in markets including Europe, two company sources said on Friday.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: GM, Detroit debated

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Vice presidential candidates argue over auto bailouts; Volkswagen 'looking' at budget cars; Lapham on GM's telecom executives

GM mulls merging Opel with PSA's auto division, sources say

Oct. 12, 2012 16:40 CET
General Motors and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are exploring ways to combine their European operations. One option is for GM's Opel/Vauxhall unit to merge with PSA's automotive operations, sources said.

BMW lets U.S. lessees skip payments in drive to pass Mercedes

3:10 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
BMW AG, falling behind Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in U.S. luxury auto sales, is introducing an incentive program through the end of this month that lets lease owners skip payments if they buy a new vehicle.

GM, Peugeot mull European joint venture

10:40 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
GM and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are exploring ways to combine their European operations in a second phase of the alliance they forged earlier this year, sources said.

Chrysler's Mopar targets more accessory sales with SEMA lineup

2:34 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Chrysler Group's Mopar parts and service brand will take 23 customized vehicles to the giant Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas at the end of the month to try to capture more of the aftermarket accessory sales now going to independent producers.

Aabar sells Daimler voting stake as Europe decline hurts car profit

Oct. 12, 2012 06:01 CET
Aabar Investments sold its remaining voting stake in Daimler AG two weeks after the world's third-biggest luxury-car manufacturer predicted the European auto-market contraction will hurt profit at its main brand. The Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund disposed of its 3.1 percent holding on Oct. 5.

VW Group September sales rise 6.5%; U.S., China offset Europe drop

Oct. 12, 2012 14:32 CET
VW Group's global vehicle sales rose by 6.5 percent in September as continued growth in the United States and China helped offset plummeting sales in western Europe.


Tokyo auto show rebranded as technology show

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
The beleaguered Tokyo auto show, beset by fading importance and falling attendance, has taken a beating in recent years from bigger, brighter shows in China and beyond.

VIDEO: First Shift: Toyota tops in loyalty

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Retention lead regained after 3 years; Lexus sees sales hurdle; Hyundai sunroofs probed; dealer trades Mustangs for horses

Lexus sedans pose risk for trunk entrapment, Consumer Reports says

6:34 am U.S. ET | Oct. 12, 2012
Toyota Motor Corp.'s new Lexus ES and GS sedans have emergency trunk release handles that break too easily and risk trapping someone in the cargo space of the luxury cars, according to Consumer Reports magazine.

Porsche SE faces further lawsuit over VW takeover plan

Oct. 12, 2012 08:58 CET
Porsche SE, the holding company and former owner of German carmaker Porsche, has received a fresh lawsuit linked to its 2008 attempt to take over Volkswagen Group in the form of a 213 million euro ($275 million) claim from the family of a deceased industrialist.

Toyota supplier Tokai Rika's stock falls almost 10% following recall

Oct. 12, 2012 06:01 CET
Shares in Toyota supplier Tokai Rika fell nearly 10 percent in Japan following disclosures that it made parts involved in the automaker's global recall this week of 7.43 million vehicles for defective power-window switches.

Tesla gets $10 million California grant for electric SUV project

Oct. 12, 2012 06:01 CET
Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors received a $10 million grant from the U.S. state of California to buy assembly equipment and add 500 workers to build a rechargeable SUV in the state.

Ford board deliberates on successor for Mulally

Oct. 12, 2012 06:01 CET
Ford's board discussed a succession plan for CEO Alan Mulally at its monthly meeting on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the discussions.