Headlines for Thursday, January 3, 2013

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Dealers' lawsuit against Tesla in Mass. dismissed by judge

6:30 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Dealers trying to block Tesla's retail stores in Massachusetts lost another round this week when a judge dismissed their lawsuit against the electric vehicle maker.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: A strong finish to 2012

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
VW, Honda among top gainers in December, while Nissan, Kia sales fall; fire risk prompts recall; Kia rolls with Google.

Ford stays on top in Canada; Chrysler passes GM as No. 2

4:22 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Ford was the top-selling automaker in Canada for the third year in a row in 2012 but Chrysler, boosted by demand for its fuel-efficient passenger cars, knocked GM from the second spot.

Toyota expects to outperform industry again in 2013

11:32 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
After two years marred by natural disasters and recalls, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. appears to have regained its momentum. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. ended 2012 with December sales increasing 9 percent. Toyota's total of 2.


Automakers close out 2012 strong as Dec. volume rises 9%; SAAR reaches 15.38 million

8:45 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
U.S. light-vehicle sales -- led by Volkswagen, BMW and Honda -- jumped 9 percent in December, pushing the seasonally adjusted sales rate above 15.3 million for the second consecutive month and helping the industry finish 2012 on a high note. Automakers sold 14.

VW, Audi see more U.S gains in 2013

4:46 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Strong sales of larger sedans and crossovers propelled Audi to a U.S. sales record in 2012 and Volkswagen division, aided by a full year of selling the redesigned Passat and Beetle, is on pace to reach its own milestone in 2

Altima boosts Nissan as competitors roil December

1:47 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Despite rough competition in the mid-sized sedan segment, the redesigned Nissan Altima helped lift Nissan Division to its best sales year ever in the United States. Nissan Division sales fell 4 percent in December to 86,663, despite the presence of the new-generation Altima.

Outgoing Civic leads Honda December rebound

1:43 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
American Honda's U.S. sales rose 26 percent in December from last year, when inventories were crimped by the Thai floods that ravaged Honda's supply network. The strong December results helped American Honda's full-year 2012 sales rise 24 percent to 1.

Ford's advances in Dec., 2012 trail industry's

11:24 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Ford Motor Co. reported a 2 percent sales increase in December, the smallest gain among the major automakers in the U.S. market. Behind it was only Nissan North America, which posted a 2 percent sales drop.

Subaru reports 4th record sales year in a row

1:50 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Subaru of America said it posted its fourth consecutive record year of sales and predicted that sales in 2013 will reach another high. Subaru sold 336,441 vehicles last year, up 26 percent over 2011.

Hyundai awards U.S.-made Sonata parts contract to Denso

2:41 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Hyundai Motor has selected Toyota-affiliated Denso to supply air-control components for the Sonata sedan that is made in the United States, Bloomberg reported. Hyundai used to rely on South Korean supplier Halla Climate Control for those parts.

Pickup push drives GM to 5% increase

11:20 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
General Motors' best month for pickup sales in four years helped slash the company's bloated truck inventory and propelled GM to a 5 percent sales gain for December. But that 5 percent gain, to 245,733 vehicles, trailed the industry's 9 percent increase.

GM, defying Daimler's fire concerns, sticks with new refrigerant from Honeywell, DuPont

1:31 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
GM is sticking with its decision to introduce a new, more environmentally safe refrigerant in its vehicles despite claims by Daimler AG that it may cause fires in an accident.

VIDEO: First Shift: Why 2013 sales may lag

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Snyder: What could slow sales momentum this year; Honda Civic's 'refreshing' ad; rear-view rule delay; non-car owners' clout.

Strong December sales build momentum for 2013

5:32 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
A strong December helped push 2012 U.S. light-vehicle sales to 14.5 million units, up 13 percent from 2011 and the highest volume in five years. Automakers sold 1.4 million cars and light trucks in December, 9 percent above a strong year-earlier performance.

Hyundai-Kia share slips despite growth

5:35 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
The Hyundai-Kia group posted record U.S. sales of 1.3 million units in 2012, but its market share declined for the first time in 20 years. The slowdown was caused by limited vehicle supplies and resurgent competition from Japanese brands, which bounced back after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


Dodge Dart posts best sales month yet despite Avenger discounts

4:08 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Chrysler Group's new Fiat-based compact sedan posted its best-ever sales month in December, more than a half-year after the 2013 Dodge Dart began showing up on dealer lots.


3 things buyers will love about 2013 -- and 3 they'll hate

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
With 2012 U.S. auto sales in the books, we're three days into a 2013 that doesn't look too bad. Virtually everybody is assuming continued sales growth, though a bit slower. Savor that thought just a moment.

BMW's 39% December gain overtakes Mercedes for U.S. sales crown

3:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
BMW sales surged 39 percent in December, powered by the 5-series car line, helping it top Mercedes-Benz in luxury-brand sales in the United States for the second consecutive year. Sales for BMW increased to 37,399 vehicles last month, boosted by a 72 percent gain for its midsize 5 series.

GM could face $918 million hit from bankruptcy-related lawsuit

5:43 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
A federal bankruptcy judge could soon rule on whether the 2009 government-led restructuring of General Motors improperly favored hedge funds, and an adverse ruling could cost the automaker nearly $1 billion.

Subaru recalls vehicles in U.S. for lighting issue

8:12 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Subaru is recalling vehicles in the United States for potential lighting problems that could lead to smoke or fire, according to federal safety regulators.

Fiat exercises options to increase stake in Chrysler to 65%

5:27 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Fiat plans to boost its stake in Chrysler Group to 65 percent by exercising its option to purchase an additional 3.3 percent from the UAW's retiree health-care fund.

Chrysler Group up 10% in December, 21% for 2012

11:29 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Strong sales of pickups and small cars pushed Chrysler Group sales up 10 percent in December, helping the automaker finish up 21 percent for 2012. The company sold 152,367 light vehicles in December, its 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year U.S. sales improvements.

GM trust to sell former La. plant to maker of high-mileage 3-wheel vehicles

3:19 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Elio Motors has agreed to purchase a former General Motors assembly plant near Shreveport, La., and will use it to build three-wheeled vehicles that it says will get more than 80 miles on a gallon of gasoline, the company said today.

VIDEO: Honda launches Civic campaign -- again

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
Trying to build momentum behind the midcycle freshening of its core compact car, Honda is launching the Civic with a new advertising campaign for the third time in 20 months.

28 GM workers can proceed with suit against automaker, UAW

2:16 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 3, 2013
A federal judge says 28 workers at General Motors’ Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant can proceed with their lawsuit against the automaker, the UAW and UAW Local 1112 alleging that the workers were wrongly classified as temporary employees and were improperly terminated in 2007, according to...

U.S. new-auto registrations to grow 6.6% in 2013, Polk estimates

Jan. 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Sales of new autos, a bright spot for the U.S. in 2012, will grow further this year as an improving economy and demand for pickups and for mid-sized cars boosts registrations 6.6 percent, according to R.L. Polk & Co. About 15.

Hyundai, Kia forecast smallest growth in global sales in 7 years

Jan. 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Hyundai and smaller affiliate Kia forecast their slowest sales growth in seven years as a slowing global economy and strengthening won saps demand. The two companies plan combined sales to rise 4.1 percent to 7.

German car sales fell 2.9% in 2012

Jan. 3, 2013 13:01 CET
German auto sales fell 2.9 percent in 2012 to their lowest level in two years, in line with a trend of weaker car demand in other key markets in Europe. New car registrations in Europe's biggest economy dropped 16.

Car slump in France, Spain and Italy spells gloomy 2013

Jan. 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Car sales in France, Spain and Italy in 2012 fell to the lowest levels in years, with December registration data underscoring the challenges facing the broader European economy.

With Adam, Opel hopes to prove it can build a money-making minicar in Germany

Jan. 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Opel/Vauxhall is confident it can produce its new Adam minicar in Germany and still make money. "The way the car has been constructed gives us the possibility to build in Germany and still be profitable," Opel sales and marketing boss Alfred Rieck told Automotive News Europe.

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