Headlines for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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How a Chrysler-Jeep store's service writers learned to feed the F&I office

10:53 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Some experts say that attempts to sell extended-service contracts in the service lane will likely fail if service writers steer customers back to the F&I office. But Mike Casisa, finance director at Southern Chrysler Jeep-Greenbrier in Chesapeake, Va., says his store is an exception.

Auto lenders decry Georgia's tax hike on leases

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Starting March 1, the state of Georgia is expected to implement a new tax that auto lenders complain would put a higher tax burden on cars acquired through a lease than on vehicles purchased using a loan or cash.


Lexus IS: Talking 'bout evolution

1:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
As modern-era sage Vincent Vega says, “It's the little differences.” So it is with the redesigned 2014 Lexus IS sedans that will debut next week at the Detroit auto show.

Auto execs discount overcapacity, eye new global investments

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
A growing number of global auto executives say they are planning to increase investments in factories and distribution networks as their fears of widespread overcapacity wanes.


Nissan store prevails in suit over financing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
The South Carolina Court of Appeals has tossed out a $19,963 judgment against a Nissan store, finding no bad-faith violations of the state dealer law in the financing and repossession of a used car. Dick Smith Nissan in Columbia, S.C.

Jeep posts global sales record

12:23 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Global sales of Jeep-branded vehicles reached a record 701,626 units in 2012, despite the elimination of one nameplate. The global sales figure topped the brand's previous record of 675,494, set in 1999, and was a 19 percent gain over 2011.

JOHN K. TEAHEN JR. -- 1925-2013

Jack Teahen -- friend, mentor, 'numbers nut,' curmudgeon, cornerstone of Automotive News -- dies at 87

12:38 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
John K. Teahen Jr., who was born a week before Automotive News' founding in 1925 and became a pillar of the publication through six decades of writing and editing, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, after a long illness. He was 87. His first byline appeared in Automotive News on Nov. 14, 1955.

GM in talks with UAW on lump-sum offer for hourly retirees

5:12 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
GM is in discussions with the UAW on offering lump-sum pension payouts to hourly retirees in the United States. GM CEO and Chairman Dan Akerson made a comment on the discussions at a briefing with reporters today at the company's headquarters in Detroit.


How Jack steered us away from stupidity

9:34 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
I don't think I realized how much I enjoyed having Jack Teahen around. I guess I'll realize that more now that he won't be stopping in for his periodic newsroom visits.

Colleagues remember a man of patience, wit

2:09 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Reflections from some former colleagues:


F&I will get tougher in post-cliff economy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
The hardest job in a dealership this year will be selling finance and insurance. Now any F&I manager reading this would laugh and say that's always the case. But fasten your seatbelt because it's going to be especially challenging this year.

The curmudgeon and the copy editor

9:51 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
When I got to Automotive News about 15 years ago, Jack Teahen and I hit it off right away. We had some things in common: Irish backgrounds; experience at the Detroit Free Press; a fondness for grammar, punctuation and syntax; and the reputation of being just a bit curmudgeonly. Who, me?

Hyundai picks former Russia boss to head Europe unit

Jan. 9, 2013 17:38 CET
Hyundai has appointed former Russia boss Byung Kwon Rhim to head its growing operations in Europe. Rhim, 52, also has held several marketing positions within Europe and previously headed the Europe division at Hyundai's headquarters in Korea.

VIDEO: First Shift: A new leader for NADA

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Peter Welch moving up from California role, Ram touts best-in-class towing, Dart R/T becomes GT, Toyota gets star power.

Kia's Super Bowl spot will pitch the Sorento

4:32 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Kia will return to the Super Bowl with a 60-second spot in the fourth quarter featuring its 2014 Sorento crossover. The spot will be the second TV commercial in a new campaign for the Sorento, Kia's No. 2 seller last year.

Chrysler sees UAW trust pushing for possible IPO

4:34 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Chrysler Group said its minority shareholder demanded a registration for its holdings in a step toward a possible public stock offering. Chrysler, majority owned by Fiat SpA, will comply with the demand by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which owns 41.

A man with the heart of a lion

4:00 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Jack Teahen reminded me of Georg Auer, Austrian correspondent for Automotive News Europe who also worked well into his eighties. Both were slightly built, but each had the heart of a lion.

GM, Isuzu weigh joint development of new truck

2:40 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
General Motors and Isuzu Motors will discuss the possibility of jointly developing a next-generation pickup truck, GM said in a statement on today.

Toyota leads U.S. recalls for 3rd time in 4 years

4:25 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Toyota Motor Corp., for the third time in four years, led the auto industry in U.S. recalls in 2012 with 5.3 million vehicles called back, according to a review of recall data by The Detroit News. Toyota accounted for most of the 13.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Smart money on VW?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Volkswagen, BMW said most likely to add global share; GM expects U.S. gain; remembering Automotive News' Jack Teahen.

A wealth of experience ... and humility

3:35 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Jack Teahen was 44-years-old, well into his long, distinguished career as an auto journalist, when I was born. I finally caught up with him when I joined Automotive News in 2004.


New laws mean nothing, until distracted driving is seen as uncool

3:32 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. That's the intention behind a new law in Michigan targeting novice teenage drivers.

Jack’s lesson: Learn to question

3:24 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
I went to work at Automotive News in 1984 and soon after my arrival became the General Motors reporter. Jack Teahen was my editor. He scared the bejesus out of me. He’d grill me on details, especially related to numbers, and question whatever line GM execs fed me.

My mentor was Jack Teahen

2:59 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
More than 30 years ago, when the tools of my trade were canary yellow copy paper, a No. 2 pencil, scissors, rubber cement and an IBM Selectric typewriter, my mentor was Jack Teahen.

A hyphen blunder and the wrath of Jack

2:44 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
I owe my depth of knowledge of the auto industry to Jack Teahen. Without Jack I would have been consigned to writing press releases a long time ago.

Teahen was tough and, oh, so good

1:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
"Wow, what a grouch." That was my first impression of Jack Teahen, who was managing editor of Automotive News when I joined the newspaper as a reporter 29 years ago next month. Of course, by the end of my first week I had changed my mind completely.

Old-school, with a sense of history

2:27 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Jack Teahen was old-school. In a world enraptured by smartphones, tablets and iPads, he wrote out his data longhand. Books piled up on his desk, and handwritten notes spilled to the floor.

GM expects 'modest' U.S. market share gains in 2013, Akerson says

10:59 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson expects GM to make "modest" market share gains in the United States this year, driven by the momentum of a busy launch schedule.

Mercedes 'on a roll' in U.S., Cannon says

10:39 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz expects to sell a record number of vehicles this year in the United States, a crucial growth market now that demand for the brand in China has tailed off sharply.


Smaller, smarter cars to star in Detroit

Jan. 9, 2013 06:01 CET
Next week's Detroit auto show will demonstrate that automakers are finding ways to provide sharp looks and speed, even as cars are shrinking to save fuel. Audi may show the RS7, a high-performance version of the A7, while Chevrolet will unveil a redesigned Corvette.

Renault to increase production in Turkey on recovering local demand

Jan. 9, 2013 10:19 CET
Renault plans to increase local production in Turkey to take advantage of a market expected to grow slightly in 2013. The automaker aims to use as much as 92 percent of the 360,000 vehicles-a-year capacity at its Bursa plant this year, compared with almost 86 percent in 2012.

PSA 2012 deliveries drop on Europe, Iran

Jan. 9, 2013 08:34 CET
PSA vehicle deliveries dropped 16.5 percent to 2.97 million last year as the struggling automaker lost ground in the European market and withdrew from Iran.

Russia car output to soar, but not without risks

Jan. 9, 2013 08:00 CET
Russia's auto industry is in danger of sliding into the same overcapacity problem as the rest of Europe, analysts say. The warning comes after contract manufacturer Avtotor Holding became the latest to announce a major investment in Russian auto production.


Overcapacity in Russia?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Automakers for months have been announcing plans to add local manufacturing in Russia. The list of companies planning to increase output includes VW, Nissan and Ford. But when Russian sales unexpectedly fell flat in November it caused concern.

France seeks EU approval for PSA aid, report says

Jan. 9, 2013 10:09 CET
The French government has officially sought approval from the European Union for its 7 billion euro ($9.2 billion) state loan guarantee for PSA's financing arm, a French newspaper reported today.

Japanese automakers take aim at Europe's growing wagon segment

Jan. 9, 2013 06:01 CET
The European market for compact station wagons is becoming more competitive after Honda said it will join Toyota in adding a wagon variant to its Civic lineup.


Auto-credit worries appear over

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Hopefully this isn’t wishful thinking, but strong 2012 U.S. auto sales seem to indicate once and for all that consumer credit won’t be a drag on another year of improving sales in 2013.

Ram boosts towing capacity on heavy-duty pickup

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 9, 2013
Ram has fired the latest salvo in the ongoing pickup war between the domestic automakers, releasing what the brand claims is now best-in-class towing capacity for its 2013 heavy-duty pickups.

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