Headlines for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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Warrantech hunts automaker tie-ups

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Warrantech Corp. expects to pursue more relationships with automakers this year, says Chris Murphy, executive vice president of sales for the automotive sector. He also says dealers can expect more regional pricing for tire-and-wheel policies since claims vary a lot from region to region.

GAP prices should stay steady despite Sandy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
GAP claims likely are spiking because of October's Hurricane Sandy, but some experts say that probably won't lead to any immediate increase in pricing for GAP for dealers or customers.

Banks boost auto lending

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Wells Fargo and Chase, two of the biggest auto lenders, continued to expand in the fourth quarter, while regional player Huntington Bank posted record volume. For dealers that means no letup in sight in the competition for their business among banks, captive finance companies and credit unions.

Chrysler near a deal for preferred lender

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Chrysler Group is close to signing a new preferred auto lender that promises to boost leasing for dealers. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker is "in the final stretch" of negotiations with the financial services provider, which he did not name.

2013 Ford Fusion gets mixed review from Consumer Reports

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
The 2013 Ford Fusion mid-sized sedan won praise for its handling and sportiness from Consumer Reports, but the magazine's automotive experts faulted the car for poor fit and finish and fuel economy that falls well short of claims on the window sticker.

Penske, Group 1, Lithia shares rise to records after analyst report

4:55 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Penske Automotive Group, Group 1 Automotive, and Lithia Motors reached record prices after a KeyBanc Capital Markets report about the auto retailers cited a "confident" outlook on vehicle sales in the United States. Penske gained 4.2 percent to $32.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Whitacre's pick: Reuss

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
In forthcoming book, ex-CEO reveals his favorite to lead GM; Europe woes hit Bosch; Mazda: CX-5 to lead U.S. sales push.

DAVE GUILFORD

Why Super Bowl ads have become awkward

4:17 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
We haven't seen many of automakers' Super Bowl ads so far. But we probably will. The argument seems to be that putting your ad up on the Web in advance is free, so why not get the additional exposure?

GM's Reuss was considered for CEO job in 2010, Whitacre says

12:04 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
GM's North American president, Mark Reuss, was considered for the top job at the automaker in 2010 before his lack of seasoning led the board to the current CEO, Dan Akerson, according to an excerpt from a forthcoming book by former CEO Ed Whitacre.

VIDEO: First Shift: A tepid view of Fusion

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Consumer Reports likes ride, but not fit and finish; Toyota-BMW deal said near; navigation frustration; Mercedes 'ghost' buster.

Delphi weighs 'bolt-on' acquisitions against dividend

6:08 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Delphi Automotive said it is considering “bolt-on” acquisitions as well as a potential dividend, as it weighs priorities for its cash.

VIDEO: Mercedes' Cannon on luxury race, Super Bowl

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Steve Cannon, 51, took over as Mercedes-Benz's U.S. chief in January 2012. In this video, he talks about finishing behind BMW in the U.S. luxury race, his sales outlook for 2013 and attracting younger buyers to the brand.

JIM HENRY

Subprime lenders court Orlando magic

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Dealers shopping for subprime lenders could wear out some shoe leather at the upcoming NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando next month.

VW flips switch at largest solar installation at U.S. plant

1:04 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Volkswagen switched on its largest photo-voltaic installation worldwide as Europe's biggest carmaker builds on its U.S. auto factory's recognition by an environmental group for sustainable operations.

Massachusetts dealers appeal Tesla ruling

12:26 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Massachusetts dealers are appealing a court’s dismissal of their lawsuit against electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and other dealership plaintiffs trying to block Tesla’s factory-owned stores filed an appeal Tuesday.

Ford restarts Genk production after parts blockade ends

Jan. 23, 2013 17:31 CET
Ford restarted production at its factory in Genk, Belgium, after a blockade by workers over plans to shut the site ended.

Ford restarts Genk production after parts blockade ends

11:31 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
Ford restarted production at its factory in Genk, Belgium, after a blockade by workers over plans to shut the site ended.

PSA and Bosch unveil a battery-free hybrid

Jan. 23, 2013 09:22 CET
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen plans to launch hybrid cars partially powered by compressed air by 2016. The carmaker says the so-called "Hybrid Air" system developed with supplier Robert Bosch will be lighter than a hybrid running on gasoline and battery power.

Store loses arbitration bid in suit over fees

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 23, 2013
A California dealership cannot force a customer to arbitrate his individual and class-action allegations of illegal fee collection and other claims, a state appellate panel has ruled.

Opel union spurns GM's demand for wage freeze

Jan. 23, 2013 10:40 CET
German trade union IG Metall said it will not accept demands by General Motors to freeze wages for workers at its money-losing Opel division in Germany.

Porsche expects Macan to copy Cayenne's success in China

Jan. 23, 2013 06:01 CET
Porsche is counting on emulating the success of its Cayenne SUV in China when it launches the smaller Macan in the market next year as part of expansion plans aimed at making China the carmaker's No. 1 market.

Bosch auto unit misses sales target by 600 million euros

Jan. 23, 2013 12:00 CET
Robert Bosch's auto division boosted global sales by 1.7 percent to a record 30.9 billion euros last year, but missed its 2012 sales target by 600 million euros. The auto unit -- and Bosch as a whole -- will hold back on investments this year because of Europe's weak market, company executives said.

Opel board to appoint Neumann as CEO at Jan. 31 meeting

Jan. 23, 2013 12:12 CET
Opel's supervisory board will likely confirm the appointment of former VW China boss, Karl-Thomas Neumann, as its new CEO at a meeting on Jan. 31.

Toyota nears final deal to license fuel-cell technology to BMW, report says

Jan. 23, 2013 06:01 CET
Toyota is nearing a final agreement to license its fuel-cell vehicle technology to BMW, the Nikkei reported.

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