Headlines for Monday, November 5, 2012

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Former Toyota exec Illingworth learns retail is up-close, personal, fast

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Like a lot of other car company honchos, former Lexus and Toyota executive Dave Illingworth wanted to become a dealer. So in the thick of the recession he opened Toyota of Warsaw, a new store in Warsaw, Ind., population 13,500.

Farley, veteran marketer VanDyke will guide and reinvent Lincoln

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Officially, Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co.'s executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, will add the title of global leader of Lincoln to his already long list of responsibilities. But now he'll get a major assist from veteran marketer Matt VanDyke.

American Suzuki to exit U.S. auto market

7:05 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
American Suzuki, rocked by a plunge in volume while the industry continues to climb back from a deep recession, is ending U.S. auto sales after nearly 30 years.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: 30 years of Honda in Ohio

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
From one factory in the corn fields, nearly a dozen facilities have sprouted; plus, Nissan's 6th-plant scenario; Tesla losses grow.

VIDEO: First Shift: Autos better off in 2012?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
In pre-election report, Jesse Snyder looks four years back; Toyota's big N.A. boost; Fusion pulls disappearing act in TV ad.


After Samurai rollover allegations, Suzuki never fully recovered in U.S.

8:01 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
American Suzuki Motor’s automotive run in the United States began in 1985 with its Samurai subcompact SUV. And although the Samurai was a smash hit out of the gate, subsequent bad press and legal snarls derailed the brand permanently.

Hyundai, Kia sued in U.S. court for overstated fuel-economy labels

4:29 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Hyundai and Kia face a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status and unspecified damages for consumers who bought vehicles with overstated fuel-economy labels.

GM tech secrets offered to Chinese by engineer, U.S. says

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
A former GM engineer and her husband stole trade secrets related to hybrid car technology from the automaker to use in developing such vehicles in China, a federal prosecutor said at the beginning of trial.

Tesla stock rises on bullish outlook, but posts wider Q3 loss

7:34 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Electric car maker Tesla Motors said it was on track to reach an annual production rate of 20,000 for its Model S sedan in December, sending its shares up nearly 9 percent.

October auto sales generated highest ever U.S. fuel economy, report says

3:57 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Fuel economy for new vehicles sold in the United States rose to an all-time high in October, University of Michigan researchers said in a monthly report.

Merrilee Crain, director of Automotive News parent company, dies at 69

11:12 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Merrilee Patterson Crain -- secretary and board member of Crain Communications Inc., publisher of Automotive News -- died Friday. She was 69.


Does what you drive to the polls indicate how you’ll vote?

1:57 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Can Democrats and Republicans find some common ground behind the wheel? A survey by totalcarscore.com, a Web site that does car reviews, product comparisons and automotive research, suggests a relationship between the type of vehicles people drive and how they’ll vote on Tuesday.

PSA's Varin says no further asset sales planned after Gefco deal

Nov. 5, 2012 14:05 CET
Following the signing of a deal on Monday to sell PSA's 75 percent stake in Gefco to Russian Railways for 800 million euros ($1.03 billion), the carmaker's CEO Phillipe Varin said the company was not planning any further asset sales.

Volvo's 10-month car sales fall 5.9%

Nov. 5, 2012 15:00 CET
Volvo said its global vehicle sales fell 5.9 percent in the first ten months, but the decline leveled off in October, thanks in part to the success of the new V40 model.

Renault, Caterham JV will revive Alpine brand

Nov. 5, 2012 12:34 CET
Renault and UK sports car maker Caterham Group will form a joint venture to develop sports cars and plan to launch one model each within four years. The deal will revive Renault's Alpine sports car brand, which ceased production in the 1990s.

GM secures $11 billion line of credit

9:06 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
General Motors said it clinched an $11 billion revolving credit facility, further strengthening the largest U.S. automaker's balance sheet.

GM, Ford sales rise in China as consumers shun Japanese brands

8:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
GM and Ford reported gains in sales in the world’s largest auto market last month as Chinese consumers shunned Japanese brands amid a territorial dispute between the two countries.

Toyota internal document shows China cuts lasting to July

7:27 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Toyota researchers estimate Japanese automakers are unlikely to fully restore Chinese production before July because of consumer backlash stemming from a territorial dispute between the two countries, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News.


Hyundai-Kia admits mpg ratings were bogus

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Hyundai and Kia built their reputations with high-mpg vehicles in the past few years. But much of that marketing sparkle went poof last week. The EPA forced the two companies to scale back inflated mpg ratings on 900,000 vehicles in the 2011-13 model years.

Hyundai, Kia mileage claims to harm brand value, Interbrand says

6:56 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Hyundai and Kia have harmed the value of their brands by overstating the mileage of some of their vehicles, market researcher Interbrand said today.

Toyota doubles N.A. earnings, lifts global forecast

1:31 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales surged 45 percent in North America in the latest quarter while operating profit in the region doubled to help the automaker raise its full-year profit outlook.

Toyota mulls new look for next Prius

Nov. 5, 2012 06:01 CET
Toyota is studying whether to keep the hybrid line's aerodynamic wedge-shape as the automaker designs the next-generation car, due to arrive in the spring of 2014.


Mulally, then Fields and then ...

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Alan Mulally will stay Ford Motor Co. CEO at least through 2014. Joe Hinrichs (pictured) will return from the Asia Pacific Africa region to head Ford's business in the Americas. Oh, yeah, and Mark Fields is Ford's COO. The shuffle makes Fields the undisputed top candidate to replace Mulally, 67.

Ito predicts Fit will lead a surge in Honda sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito expects the subcompact Fit hatchback to be Honda's fastest-growing nameplate in North America over the next four years.


Our slow recovery? Not so bad, really

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
It's hard to miss the contrast between U.S. and European auto sales. They are polar opposites these days. And the trend lines for both auto industries are accelerating -- away from each other Jesse Snyder is senior writer at Automotive News.


Pushing dealers to upgrade stores fuels a 2-tiered price war

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
GM is spending more than $5 billion to transform its dealership network. But not all of that cash is going toward shiny tile and silver exterior cladding. The way the money is flowing from GM's Essential Brand Elements program has triggered side effects.


Impact on sales is expected to be brief

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Insurance checks cut in November and December are expected to help automakers and dealers more than make up for the sales that Hurricane Sandy wiped out at the end of October.

Honda plans $200 million investment in Ohio units

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Honda Motor Co. said it will spend $200 million on its engine and transmission factories in Ohio and hire 200 workers there.

Ford posts strong 3rd-qtr. profits on N.A., pricing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Propelled by its thriving North American operations and strong worldwide pricing, Ford Motor Co. racked up record pretax profits in the third quarter even though its share dropped in several key markets.

Strong N.A. results buoy GM

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Stout pricing and rising volumes in North America are propping up General Motors' bottom line. Last week, GM posted a $1.48 billion third-quarter net profit, as strength in North America continued to blunt Europe's impact on its bottom line.

Ghosn: We need another N.A. plant

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn says the company will need another assembly plant in North America within five years -- after it reaches his goal of taking 10 percent of the U.S. market.

Redoing Reynolds

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
In the six years that software entrepreneur Bob Brockman has owned Reynolds and Reynolds, car dealers have seen a steady cadence of new software to help run their businesses, even though fewer dealers are buying it.


Roger Penske will speak at World Congress

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Roger Penske will be the dinner keynote speaker on Jan. 15, the first day of the Automotive News World Congress.

Why Girsky sees hope for Opel

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Steve Girsky sees some hope for General Motors' European business. Last week, GM's interim head of Europe outlined the reasons GM can reach breakeven on the troubled continent by mid-decade

Marchionne favors Town & Country minivan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
CEO Sergio Marchionne wants the Chrysler Town & Country to survive as the Chrysler Group's traditional minivan with sliding doors, but he says a final decision is still in the works.


Prep work helped dealership group weather the storm

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
DCH Auto Group has 15 dealerships with many millions of dollars in inventory in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Nine stores were in Sandy's path. But DCH was spared devastation.


Penske surveys New Jersey store damage: 'It was devastating'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Penske Automotive Group CEO Roger Penske found devastation when he visited his company's dealerships in Jersey City, N.J., on Wednesday, Oct. 31.


Used-car prices expected to rise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Customers replacing damaged vehicles in the wake of Sandy will push up used-vehicle prices across the country, used-vehicle experts say.


Limited time, lack of storage hurt N.Y. dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
When auto dealers on New York's Long Island and in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan learned that Sandy was approaching, they faced an alarming challenge: lack of vehicle storage space on higher ground.


European brands take worst sales hit from Sandy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Sandy's biggest impact may be felt by European brands that depend heavily on sales in the hard-hit region.


Promotions: A study in contrasts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
The promotions and personnel changes announced by Ford Motor Co. last week were all internal and probably not much of a surprise to anyone.


After the storm, finding the good in a bad situation

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
The auto industry is only beginning to tally its share of the damage caused by last week's terrible hurricane, which wreaked havoc and created unbearable situations for people up and down the East Coast.


Good move, Chrysler

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2012
Chrysler Group's plan to award more no-bid contracts to favored suppliers is a bold stroke and a necessary step in the company's ability to develop loyalty among its 3,000 suppliers.

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