Headlines for Monday, December 17, 2012

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BEST PRACTICES:

Going above and beyond is part of Pa. Audi store's culture

It's one thing to go out of your way to help a customer and another to do it the Audi Mechanicsburg way. Read More »

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Dealer Mungenast on keys to customer retention

At Ray Mungenast's signature Lexus store in suburban St. Louis, a commitment to customer satisfaction lives in the form of a fireside lounge, an in-store coffee bistro, and nearly three dozen service bays that have kept the traffic flowing, even when times were tough. Read More »

Dealership buy and sell

This Automotive News feature lists recent dealership acquisitions as reported by brokers, official announcements and news media. Read More »

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FINAL ASSEMBLY:

Who fingered Kia, Hyundai? A U.S. rival, Oge says

A complaint from a U.S. automaker led the EPA to investigate Hyundai-Kia's misleading mpg numbers, a former agency official tells our Washington reporter. But which automaker dropped the dime? Read More »

WEBINAR: Become a full Internet dealership

You may think your dealership is dialed in and ready for Internet sales growth in 2013. But to truly connect with the estimated 90% of consumers who start the car buying process online your entire staff needs to be thinking Web. Read More »

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JAMES B. TREECE:

GM pickups raise the 'wow' bar

General Motors' new pickups have plenty of cool extra features. I'm not talking about the big stuff. I give the Chevrolet and GMC pickup truck specialists the benefit of the doubt on the big stuff. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Stores try 'no-dicker' sales

Some retailers are reviving one-price model to serve a new generation; Toyota Matrix leaving U.S.?; Nissan hybrid ramp-up. Read More »

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GM idles Chevy Malibu plant, tries to clear glut

General Motors has idled the primary assembly plant that makes the Chevrolet Malibu for nearly three weeks amid swollen inventories of the mid-sized sedan. Read More »

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Ford: We'll learn from launch recalls

Four recalls on the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape crossover, on the heels of embarrassing technology glitches and delays introducing other important models, have raised concerns about Ford's launch processes. Read More »

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Infiniti to rebadge car, light-truck lineup under Q, QX series

Infiniti is renaming its entire product portfolio for the 2014 model year, returning to the letter “Q” from the brand's early history for every car and “QX” for every Infiniti crossover and SUV. Nissan Motor Co.' Read More »

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Chrysler says startup van maker has won a U.S. monopoly

A startup van maker that has received U.S. government loans won a regulatory decision that Chrysler said will give its competitor a monopoly on selling wheelchair-accessible minivans to transit agencies. Read More »

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First Shift: Toyota's big comeback?

As rival heads for sales finish line, GM, VW battle for second place; NY official raps Nissan taxi; GM 'hungry' to hype trucks. Read More »

Industry report exposes why some dealerships lose employees

Conventional wisdom would say the more hours a salesperson works, the more money he or she earns. Not so, according to a new industry report on the automotive dealership work force. Read More »

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Johnson Controls appeals A123 bankruptcy sale to Wanxiang

Johnson Controls, the lead bidder at the auction for assets of bankrupt A123 Systems, said it is appealing the court decision that gave China's Wanxiang Group approval to buy most of the assets. Read More »

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Chrysler would invest $162 million in transmission plant, create 850 jobs

Chrysler Group wants to invest nearly $162 million in an Indiana plant finished in 2008 but never occupied because of a failed joint venture and Chrysler's bankruptcy. Read More »

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VW says it will resume Routan production in 2013

Volkswagen today wiped out rumors of the Routan's demise, saying that production of the Chrysler-built minivan should resume by summer 2013. Read More »

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Ford loses bid for $445 million in interest on income taxes

Ford can't collect $445 million in interest on overpayment of income taxes, an appeals court ruled, saying the Internal Revenue Service didn't improperly calculate what the company was owed. Read More »

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Average wholesale used-vehicle prices, November

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

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Honeywell, DuPont coolant safe to use, auto engineers group says

An air-conditioning refrigerant that has been criticized as potentially unsafe to car passengers is actually safe to use, according to preliminary results released by the SAE, an influential automotive engineering association. Read More »

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Honeywell, DuPont coolant safe to use, auto engineers group says

An air-conditioning refrigerant that has been criticized as potentially unsafe to car passengers is actually safe to use, according to preliminary results released by the SAE, an influential automotive engineering association. Read More »

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THE DEALER SPEAKS: TOM MOOREHEAD, OWNER, BMW OF STERLING AND MINI OF STERLING:

NAMAD chief: Minority dealers must help increase their ranks

Tom Moorehead is the owner of BMW of Sterling and Mini of Sterling in Sterling, Va. -- as well as two hotels. So he's used to working with several business models. Read More »

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THE DEALER SPEAKS: TOM PRICE, CEO, PRICE FAMILY DEALERSHIPS:

After selling out to Sonic, Price builds another empire

Tom Price built the First America Automotive retail empire in the western United States through the 1990s before selling it to Sonic Automotive Inc. in 2000. But Price chafed under the public-company structure, and after three years, he bailed out to start anew. Read More »

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No-dicker stickers win backers in Internet era

Consumers now have unprecedented Internet access to vehicle prices, so some dealers are turning to an old retail concept: no-dicker selling. Read More »

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Auto, oil execs open Round 2 of sulfur spat

By calling for cleaner gasoline to help reduce tailpipe emissions, automakers again have put themselves on a collision course with the oil industry. Automakers say they are willing to follow California rules across the United States. Read More »

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King: UAW workers won't bolt

UAW President Bob King said he expects few defections by his members when Michigan's right-to-work law takes effect in March. Unionized workers at parts suppliers will be among the first to test King's confidence. Read More »

Chrysler eyes empty Indiana plant

Chrysler Group wants to make parts -- probably transmissions -- at an Indiana plant finished in 2008 but never occupied because of a failed joint venture and Chrysler's trip to Bankruptcy Court. Read More »

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GM pickup strategy: Zig as rivals zag

Last week's premiere of General Motors' redesigned full-sized pickups spotlighted the divergent truck strategies of GM and its Detroit 3 rivals. Read More »

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Diesels? 8-speed? Stay tuned

A diesel engine for the light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra? How about an eight-speed transmission? Will General Motors bring back a hybrid for its pickups and SUVs? Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS WORLD CONGRESS:

Audi of America's Keogh to speak at World Congress

Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, will be a featured speaker on Jan. 16, the second day of the Automotive News World Congress. Read More »

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Ford store's busiest sales staffer doesn't sell

Jamie Wilson is among Village Ford's busiest sales staffers, but he doesn't sell any cars at the Dearborn, Mich., dealership. Read More »

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Matrix looks like a goner, Toyota hints

Toyota will roll out Tundra and Corolla redesigns next year and will revise the RAV4, Avalon and Highlander, but there are some things the division probably won't do. Read More »

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Nissan shifts Leaf marketing strategy

Nissan admits its launch strategy on the Leaf miscalculated the short-term market potential for the electric vehicle and says it will do a better job of targeting potential buyers. Read More »

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Landers ends partner role in retail group

Longtime dealer Steve Landers is stepping away from the partnership that has been one of the industry's fastest-growing dealership groups in recent years. Landers, 59, is selling most of his interest in RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings of Little Rock, Ark. Read More »

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Jaguar kills $1 million-plus C-X75 hybrid sports car

Jaguar has decided not to build the C-X75, a $1 million-plus hybrid sports car that was scheduled to go into production next year. Read More »

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Tesla wins license; dealers fight on

When Tesla Motors Inc. won a dealer license in suburban Boston last week, it was the second blow for Massachusetts dealers who call the electric vehicle maker's retail stores illegal. Read More »

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Ford van's diesel could migrate to pickups

When the Ford Transit commercial van debuts in early 2014, it will get the same two V-6 engines Ford offers in the F-150 pickup. But it's the Transit's third engine offering that could have the biggest long-term implications for Ford: a 3. Read More »

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Honda to preview crossover, next MDX in Detroit

American Honda will preview two vehicles next month at the Detroit auto show, a small crossover that will join the lineup in 2014 and the redesigned Acura MDX. The company released teaser shots of two concepts that are expected to closely resemble the production versions. Read More »

Nissan's hybrid surge: 15 new models by 2017

Nissan Motor Co., aiming to challenge Toyota Motor Corp. in the hybrid vehicle segment, plans to expand its hybrid offerings by 15 models in five years. Eleven of those new gasoline-electric cars will feature Nissan's new front-wheel-drive hybrid system, scheduled to debut next year. Read More »

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Amid slow sales, Coda idles 50

Coda Automotive, the U.S. assembler of Chinese-made electric vehicles, appears to be facing a cash crunch amid sluggish demand for its $38,000 sedan. The company has laid off about 50 employees, representing about 15 percent of its work force. Read More »

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KEITH CRAIN:

So who owns the data?

I talked to an expert in data resources about all the data that companies own, and how those companies may not have the foggiest notion of how much that information is worth. Read More »

OPINION:

Refiners must do their part for clean air, emission rules

Automakers are telling regulators at the EPA it's OK to impose stricter emission standards, which the industry says it is willing to meet if refiners reduce the sulfur in gasoline. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Harmony works best

Michigan's conversion to a right-to-work state is a redefining moment in the history of organized labor. But it should not adversely affect the relationship between Detroit's automakers and the UAW. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

GM also needs to excite customers

CEO Dan Akerson's view of what General Motors needs to rectify isn't wrong ("Akerson's goal: Faster, leaner, smarter," Dec. 10). Read More »

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