Headlines for Monday, November 12, 2012

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Q&A

With Fields as COO, Mulally sees Ford gaining momentum

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Alan Mulally, 67, will stay on as Ford CEO for at least two more years, while Mark Fields, 51, currently president of the Americas, will become COO on Dec. 1. Ford appears to be cruising along smoothly, but some problems persist.

Mulally: Gadgets bring owners, dealers closer

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Ford Motor Co. is battling problems with new technologies, as shown by consumer complaints about the MyFord Touch controls system. But CEO Alan Mulally is adamant that Ford will continue to be a technology leader.

BEST PRACTICES

Driven by auto industry and finding a cure

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Auto dealer Jenell Ross and her team of some 200 friends, family members and dealership employees aren't about to let the threatening weather dampen their spirits.

VIDEO: Ford's Mulally: 'We're not going to back off' on tech

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Alan Mulally says the automaker's MyFord Touch infotainment system is still a reason to buy a Ford. One of his main tasks in his final years as CEO will be to continuously improve the much-criticized technology. Mulally also must make Lincoln relevant again.

Chrysler tries to make a comeback in cities it left in 2009

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
In a number of decent-sized markets, Chrysler's bankruptcy approach was riskier and more unusual. It decided to simply start over, ceding untold business to competitors in the interim, rather than working with established dealers who had been there for decades.

Fiat appoints company veteran Altavilla as Europe chief

Nov. 12, 2012 10:42 CET
Fiat has appointed company veteran Alfredo Altavilla as head of the automaker's money-losing European operations.

Honda gives first look at redone '13 Civic

9:00 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Just 18 months after the Civic's 2012 model year redesign hit the market, Honda is launching a mid-cycle change for the compact sedan and coupe. The 2012 Civic's interior layout and materials were widely panned by critics at the time, although the nameplate has continued to sell well.

MARK RECHTIN

Lamborghini: Aventador Roadster goes 0-to-62 in three seconds

4:00 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
If Lamborghini makes a coupe, you can be sure a topless version is coming as well. Sure enough, the Italian supercar-maker revealed today a roadster version of its Aventador LP700-4.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Peek inside Honda R&D

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Style meets safety at sprawling Ohio complex; Ford Raptor fetching $160K in China; plus, Toyota's high-speed safety system.

UAW trust demands Fiat pay $342 million for Chrysler stake

5:54 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Fiat must more than double its offer for a 3.3 percent stake in automaker Chrysler that is held by a union-related trust, the trust claimed in a countersuit filed on Monday. Fiat's offer of $139.

VIDEO: First Shift: Honda chief on sales goals

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Ito: Growing N.A. sales 18 percent 'not just a dream;' tiny Fit's big role; Chrysler engine investments; Storm ruins 800 Fords.

Faurecia to cut 3,000 jobs as growth focus shifts outside Europe

Nov. 12, 2012 20:01 CET
Faurecia, Europe's largest maker of car interiors, plans to cut about 3,000 jobs in its home region, or 7.5 percent of the workforce, by the end of next year as it retrenches in lackluster European markets.

Dealers: Take Suzuki deal or fight?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Suzuki dealers face a decision: Give up their franchises in exchange for cash or fight the factory in bankruptcy court. The question for dealers: Are the offers comparable to what they would have received under state franchise laws?

Manheim eases policies to help Sandy-affected dealers

5:28 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Auction giant Manheim is relaxing some policies at 11 mid-Atlantic and Northeast auction sites in an effort to help dealers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

TALK FROM THE TOP: SERGIO MARCHIONNE, CEO, CHRYSLER-FIAT

Marchionne: Struggling in Europe, 'comfortable' with Chrysler

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
For Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, these are the best of times and the worst of times. While Fiat is being hammered by the economic turmoil in Europe, Chrysler continues to pile up profits and rack up market share gains in the United States.

Ford dealer Don Ackerman dies at 86

2:55 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Don Ackerman, the former owner of Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas, died Oct. 22. He was 86.

Faurecia to cut 3,000 jobs in Europe as it seeks growth elsewhere

2:08 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Faurecia, Europe’s largest maker of car interiors, plans to cut about 3,000 jobs in its home region, or 7.5 percent of the workforce, by the end of next year as it retrenches in lackluster European markets.

Hertz to divest more outlets to win approval of Dollar Thrifty deal, report says

1:50 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Hertz has agreed to shed more airport locations than previously offered, which may lead the Federal Trade Commission to allow the $2.6 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. to go forward, two people familiar with the negotiations told Bloomberg.

Supplier group chief De Koker to retire

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Neil De Koker, 69, president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, is stepping down at the end of 2013.

ELECTION 2012

Obama, Congress face the moment of truth on taxes, spending cuts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
With President Obama's auto agenda likely to be unchanged in his second term -- electric cars and stricter fuel economy rules -- industry leaders have turned their attention to a more immediate concern inside the Washington beltway.

Mitsubishi outlines its comeback plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has had a dismal year. But President Osamu Masuko isn't discouraged. He has a U.S. comeback plan that aims to boost sales 45 percent to 80,000 units in the next fiscal year, from a projected 55,000 in the one ending March 31.

GREEN CARS

BMW pushes ahead with EVs, green technology

Nov. 12, 2012 06:01 CET
At a time of retrenchment in electric vehicles and alternative powertrains, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer reaffirmed his company's commitment to new technology, particularly electric drive.

DAMAGED

Hyundai and Kia undercut their main selling point when they overstated mpg

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
After Hyundai and Kia admitted this month to selling 900,000 2011-13 vehicles with overstated mileage ratings, the South Korean companies have a big problem: a credibility gap with customers that could turn into long-term damage to the brands.

DAVE GUILFORD

BMW pushes ahead with EVs, green technology

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
This is a time of retrenchment in electric vehicles and alternative powertrains. Entrepreneurs are flaming out and major automotive players are quietly putting their more adventuresome technologies on the back burner.

MARK RECHTIN

Hyundai has been busted before

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
It was revealed on Nov. 2 that Hyundai Motor America and its Kia Motors America affiliate had overstated fuel economy ratings on 900,000 vehicles. It's not the first time Hyundai has been caught in its own false claims Mark Rechtin is West Coast editor for Automotive News.

MIKE COLIAS

Why is GM far less profitable than Ford?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
It has been more than three years since General Motors emerged from bankruptcy. So why is GM still far less profitable than archrival Ford Motor Co.? We recently got a refreshingly candid answer Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.

KEITH CRAIN

Expect more changes in 2nd term

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Now that President Obama has been re-elected, one might assume that his second term will be a continuation of policies from the first four years. But we should expect changes and additions in the next couple of years Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.

ELECTION 2012

Ohio dealer tops clunkers author in House race

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
All seven current and former dealers running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives won on Election Day, mostly by comfortable margins. But the one hotly contested race -- in Ohio -- involved Washington's handling of the auto industry.

Online dealer reviews drive showroom traffic

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Reviews have become an integral part of dealership online marketing because Internet shoppers are more likely to visit a store if they see good reviews. That has created an opportunity for some companies, such as Chicago-based Cars.

Nelson joins Automotive News in D.C.

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Gabe Nelson has joined Automotive News as a reporter in the Washington bureau, where he will report on government policy as it affects automakers, suppliers and dealers. He also will cover Volkswagen of America and Audi of America.

Many East Coast dealers expect a sales surge

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Many East Coast dealers affected by Hurricane Sandy expect sales and service business to increase significantly as soon as this week.

Chrysler gets tax break for engine plant

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Chrysler Group plans a $40 million expansion of its Trenton Engine Plant in suburban Detroit to build new 3.2-liter V-6 engines and expand production of other V-6 and I-4 engines.

Make your store a great workplace

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Want to strengthen your dealership by making it better for your employees? Find out how by attending “How to Make Your Dealership a Great Place to Work,” an Automotive News PowerTRAINING Webinar.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Companies mimic EPA tests

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
The discovery of Hyundai and Kia's inflated fuel economy ratings could call into question how automakers test and report such ratings going forward.

He said it

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
On Feb. 11, 2009, just months after the Detroit 3 were first called to Washington to testify before Congress, Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik spoke at the Midwest Automotive Media Association's annual breakfast during the Chicago Auto Show.

SUZUKI: CALLING IT QUITS

Chairman blames exchange-rate losses, lineup

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Suzuki Motor Corp. Chairman Osamu Suzuki defended his decision to end U.S. auto sales saying his small-car lineup was a bad match for the market and ravaged by exchange rate losses.

SUZUKI: CALLING IT QUITS

Workers' clues: Big deposits, missing bosses

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
For American Suzuki employees, the first hints that something was awry surfaced on Nov. 2. The company unexpectedly deposited large sums of money into the bank accounts of many automotive division employees.

How Sandy-damaged cars will be replaced

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Used vehicles from the West Coast could be shipped across the country to help East Coast dealers meet the anticipated demand for replacing vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy, says Paul Lips, executive vice president for operations and finance at auction company ADESA.

Obituaries

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Information about Rusty Restuccia, a 33-year veteran of Ford Motor Co. and former head of the company's minority dealer program.

PRODUCTION

N.A. output up 16% in Oct.

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
North American car and truck production in October rose 16 percent from a year earlier to an estimated 1,484,816 units. It was the highest monthly total of 2012.

HANS GREIMEL

VW split may have forced Suzuki's hand

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
It's a small stumbling block in the mountain of problems plaguing beleaguered Suzuki in America. But its ugly fallout with partner Volkswagen made it even more untenable for Suzuki to keep selling cars in the United States Hans Greimel is Asia editor for Automotive News.

FINAL ASSEMBLY

Next-gen Toyota Prius: How much will the wedge look evolve?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
Will Toyota stick with the distinctly wedgy (OK, iconic) Prius shape when the next generation of the hybrid arrives in spring 2014?

FINAL ASSEMBLY

For Ford CEO Alan Mulally, neatness counts

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 12, 2012
In interviews at least, Ford CEO Alan Mulally does not come across as one of those F-bombing Detroit auto bosses of yesteryear, the tough-talking guys who used profanity early and often -- and quite creatively.

Automotive News
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