Headlines for Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Tata denies report on alliance talks with PSA

Tata denied a report on Wednesday that it is in talks to set up an alliance with PSA. "That is absolutely incorrect," Tata spokesman Debasis Ray told Reuters. Read More »

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FROM THE CURRENT ANE PRINT ISSUE:

Are Korean automakers winning the right way in Europe?

While struggling European carmakers reduce production and consider plant closures, Hyundai and affiliate Kia are reporting record sales. The Korean brands attribute buoyant sales to their lean organizations and modestly priced, desirable new cars. Others disagree. Read More »

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Customer Incentives

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Chrysler, Ford join Toyota in opposing Mexico's fuel economy, emissions proposal

Mexico's first fuel economy standard, nearly three years in the making, is stalled because of challenges from Toyota, Ford, Chrysler Group and other automakers. Nom-163, aligned with the U.S. Read More »

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Chrysler in talks to tap Santander as preferred financing provider, report says

Chrysler Group is in exclusive talks with Banco Santander to make its U.S. unit the automaker's preferred financing provider, people familiar with the matter said. Chrysler entered a 30-day negotiating period with the lender, which would be the U.S. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Ghosn's advice for U.S.

U.S. needs an energy policy, Nissan CEO says; safety board 'wishes' for technology mandate; plus, Toyota's age-defying Avalon. Read More »

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First Shift: 670,000 U.S. Prius recall

As Toyota agrees to settlement over prior recalls, it will call back 2.8M vehicles globally; Audi upbeat; GM's Disney redesign. Read More »

Mexico, Argentina in preliminary pact to resume auto free trade

Mexican automakers said on Wednesday they had reached a preliminary agreement with counterparts in Argentina to resume free trade in vehicles, but both urged their governments to begin a formal dialogue to settle remaining differences. Read More »

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Exec says Toyota expects U.S. share to recover to 15% in 2013

Toyota Motor Sales expects its market share in the United States to return to above 15 percent in 2013 when a string of redesigned vehicles arrives. Toyota is still recovering market share that fell during the inventory shortages after last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Time to brace for the luxury rush

For the past 10 years or so, December has become the biggest sales month of the year for luxury brands. But it seems as if those brands' year-end sales pushes start earlier every year. Read More »

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Ford sees margins shrinking as buyers shift to small cars

Ford said its record profit margins are shrinking in North America as buyers downsize from trucks to small cars. The shift will reduce Ford’s North American margins to 8 percent to 10 percent over time, down from 12 percent in the third quarter. Read More »

GM Financial taps DataScan, Openlane.com to remarket off-lease vehicles

General Motors Financial will tap DataScan Field Services and ADESA auction company’s Openlane.com to help dealerships process off-lease vehicles starting in December, the financial company said today. Read More »

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GM will focus on plug-ins and EVs, but not hybrids

General Motors' future green-car efforts will focus on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, rather than conventional hybrid powertrains, product chief Mary Barra said today. Read More »

Penske buys two Wisconsin dealerships

Penske Automotive has acquired two Wisconsin dealerships for an undisclosed amount. Jon Lancaster Toyota Scion and Lexus of Madison are expected to contribute about $130 million in annual revenue, Penske Automotive said in a release. Read More »

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Rance Crain to be inducted into Advertising Hall of Fame

Rance Crain, editor-in-chief of Advertising Age and president of Crain Communications Inc., the parent company of Automotive News, has been named to the American Advertising Federation's 64th annual Advertising Hall of Fame. Read More »

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GM to recall 15,575 cars, including Cadillac XTS, to fix safety flaws

General Motors said it is recalling 15,575 Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet cars -- including Cadillac's new flagship sedan, the XTS -- to correct potential safety flaws. Read More »

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Relaxed lending, wider credit can propel U.S. car sales only so far, economists warn

A rebound in U.S. auto sales has been buoyed by the return of easy lending, even to borrowers with flawed credit histories. But some economists question whether the gains can be sustained without a boost in hiring. Read More »

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Toyota plans to export U.S.-made Venzas to South Korea

Toyota plans to export its Kentucky-built Venza crossover to South Korea, the first time the vehicle will be sold outside North America. Venza exports are forecast to be about 600 units annually, said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. Read More »

Pitching F&I after customers leave store

At what point should F&I managers stop pitching F&I products and take a customer's “no” for an answer? A panel of five F&I managers at a conference in September said it takes at least three or four “nos” to convince them that a customer really can't be persuaded. Read More »

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Q&A:

N.J. store predicts upsurge in GAP after Sandy

Hurricane Sandy and a snowstorm a week later eventually will generate business for the F&I department and other profit centers at Freehold Buick-GMC in central New Jersey. But for now, Chris Bell, finance director for the store, says the emphasis is on cleanup. Read More »

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NTSB says feds should require more vehicle safety features

Federal regulators should require all passenger and commercial vehicles sold in the United States to use technology such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control to reduce the number of deadly driving accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board said... Read More »

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New World Omni chief has banks, airline, AutoNation on resume

World Omni Financial Corp., parent of Southeast Toyota Finance and other auto financial services companies, last week named Dan Chait president.
Read More »

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Tenneco, ZF play key roles in new Mercedes C-class coupe's handling

ZF Friedrichshafen and Tenneco make significant contributions to the ride and handling of the new Mercedes C-class coupe. ZF, of Germany, supplies the car's standard McPherson spring struts on the front and the rear dampers. Read More »

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Delphi completes acquisition of French connectors unit

Delphi Automotive has completed the $982 million acquisition of FCI Group's Motorized Vehicles Division, which supplies connectors. Read More »

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Lamborghini CEO says ultraluxury car demand won't grow in 2013

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said global demand for ultraluxury sports cars will probably not increase next year as the European debt crisis drags on and China's economy slows. Read More »

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Stadler says Audi to hit 2012 global sales goal despite Europe's slump

Audi, the world's second-largest maker of luxury cars, said it's on track to reach a goal of selling a record 1.4 million vehicles in 2012 and expects the momentum to continue into next year. Read More »

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Visteon opens design center in India

Visteon has opened a design center in Pune, India. The facility, part of a Visteon engineering center, will house experts in human-machine interface, plus engineers, program managers and market researchers. Read More »

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