General Electric's commitment to buy 25,000 electric autos, promoted as the largest ever when it was announced more than two years ago, is taking a detour. The obstacle: Customers of GE's corporate fleet-services unit wanted more options.
The soaring Japanese yen has killed any hope of launching a variant of the money-losing, carbon-fiber Lexus LFA sports car, at least for now. When the last $375,000 LFA was built Dec. 14, Toyota was left with a very costly and sophisticated -- yet nearly idle -- carbon-fiber factory.
After keeping a low profile at several recent North American auto shows, Nissan is mounting a full-blown return to the spotlight at next week's Detroit auto show -- complete with the release of a new show fragrance the brand hopes will become its trademark smell.
Is the theory of Win on Sunday, sell on Monday a myth? Alain Visser says yes. Volvo's sales chief is a diehard race fan, but he's also a realist when it comes to the true return on investment provided by a motor sports sponsorship.
Lots of vehicles overachieved like crazy in what was a big, booming sales year for the industry, but many failed to live up to expectations in 2012. Winners benefited from fresh designs with fuel efficiency and appealing technology.
It has yet to be shown that star designers can be transformed into heads of big car company divisions. So when designer Peter Schreyer was named president of Kia Motors over the holidays, we wondered about the wisdom of the move.
Audi is firming up plans for its plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico. In the employee newspaper Audimobil, Mattias Rust, project manager for staff in Mexico, said construction will begin in 2014 and production will start in May 2016 with about 3,800 employees.
Automotive News Europe needs your help to find the Rising Stars in the European automotive industry. We define a Rising Star as an automotive executive with a pan-European profile who has driven change, fostered innovation and made courageous decisions. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1.
Next week's Detroit auto show will demonstrate that automakers are gunning for good looks and speed, even as cars and light trucks are shrinking to save fuel. Audi is showing the RS7, a high-performance version of the A7. And Chevrolet will unveil a redesigned Corvette.
Daimler said global sales at its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit rose 0.4 percent to 132,589 in December as strong U.S. demand offset weaker deliveries in China and western Europe. Through December, sales rose 4.5 percent to a record 1.42 million.
British new-car registrations rose 5.3 percent to 2.04 million cars in 2012, the highest level since 2008, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said today. The rise was in stark contrast to other major European markets, which all suffered major declines last year.
Jaguar Land Rover said UK vehicle sales rose 19.7 percent to 68,586 in 2012. Deliveries of Land Rover SUVs rose almost 25 percent to 54,480, boosted by demand for the Range Rover Evoque, while registrations of the Jaguar brand increased 2.4 percent to 14,105 vehicles, the company added.
U.S. auto sales may not surpass 16 million units for at least two years, but with most automakers already posting healthy profits and struggling to find production capacity to meet demand, few are in a hurry to get there. And as sales grow more slowly, competition will intensify.
Avis Budget Group Inc.'s proposed purchase of Zipcar Inc., a car-sharing company, will enable the combined company to meet swings in customer demand with fewer vehicles, the top executive at Avis Budget said. The result could be annual savings of $50 million to $70 million.
Veteran journalist and former Automotive News staff member Kathy Jackson, 62, will receive the 2013 Urban Wheel Lifetime Achievement Award. Peter Brown, publisher of Automotive News, will present the award to Jackson at the 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards on Sunday, Jan. 13, in Detroit.
If you want a true read on the strength of General Motors in the U.S. market, wait until mid-2014. That was the message last week from GM North America President Mark Reuss as he fended off questions about GM's 17.9 percent U.S. market share for 2012.
Last year was a very good year. Nearly everybody ended the year smiling. Dealers saw the best profits in quite a while, and suppliers also did well. Manufacturers had financials that showed healthy profits after a long period of drought.
Toyota Motor Corp. has bungled many aspects of the unintended-acceleration mess. But the proposed settlement of lawsuits involving a presumed loss of value in some used Toyota and Lexus models is outrageous and amounts to legalized extortion, which could total as much as $1.4 billion.
The majority of customers shop more than one dealer, which leads to the dickering. And why do most shoppers not trust the first price they get? Because the manufacturers are constantly changing the marketing programs and consequently the prices of vehicles.
Auto dealers spend serious money on technology aimed at putting them in contact with customers. But investing in a phone system or developing a Web site isn't enough. Dealers must develop their people.