Headlines for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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2013 Ford Fusion gets mixed review from Consumer Reports

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Whitacre's pick: Reuss

In forthcoming book, ex-CEO reveals his favorite to lead GM; Europe woes hit Bosch; Mazda: CX-5 to lead U.S. sales push. Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

Why Super Bowl ads have become awkward

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? Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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First Shift: A tepid view of Fusion

Consumer Reports likes ride, but not fit and finish; Toyota-BMW deal said near; navigation frustration; Mercedes 'ghost' buster. Read More »

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Delphi weighs 'bolt-on' acquisitions against dividend

Delphi Automotive said it is considering “bolt-on” acquisitions as well as a potential dividend, as it weighs priorities for its cash. Read More »

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China's Top 5 Sellers by Segment - 2012

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

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Sales by Top Manufacturing Groups in China - 2012

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

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Light-Vehicle Sales in China - 2012

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

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Light-Vehicle Production in China - 2012

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

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Mercedes' Cannon on luxury race, Super Bowl

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. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Subprime lenders court Orlando magic

Dealers shopping for subprime lenders could wear out some shoe leather at the upcoming NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando next month. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

Massachusetts dealers appeal Tesla ruling

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. Read More »

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Ford restarts Genk production after parts blockade ends

Ford restarted production at its factory in Genk, Belgium, after a blockade by workers over plans to shut the site ended. Read More »

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Ford restarts Genk production after parts blockade ends

Ford restarted production at its factory in Genk, Belgium, after a blockade by workers over plans to shut the site ended. Read More »

GAP prices should stay steady despite Sandy

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. Read More »

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Banks boost auto lending

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. Read More »

PSA and Bosch unveil a battery-free hybrid

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. Read More »

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Chrysler near a deal for preferred lender

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. Read More »

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Q&A:

Warrantech hunts automaker tie-ups

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. Read More »

Store loses arbitration bid in suit over fees

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. Read More »

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Opel union spurns GM's demand for wage freeze

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. Read More »

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Porsche expects Macan to copy Cayenne's success in China

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. Read More »

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Bosch auto unit misses sales target by 600 million euros

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

Toyota is nearing a final agreement to license its fuel-cell vehicle technology to BMW, the Nikkei reported. Read More »

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