Headlines for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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GM, in more marketing shifts, names new ad boss for Cadillac, report says

General Motors said it has appointed a new director of advertising for the Cadillac brand. Craig Bierley will succeed Molly Peck, who is becoming director of Chevy advertising. Peck replaces Kevin Mayer, who left GM last year to become vice president of U.S. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Chrysler takes Italian turn

12 new Fiats, Alfas headed for U.S., while plans change for Chrysler, Dodge small cars; Honda, Acura getting Apple's Siri. Read More »

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Chrysler bolsters plan for Fiat, Alfa in U.S.

Chrysler Group has dropped plans to add two small cars each to its Chrysler and Dodge brands this year, according to a revised product plan revealed by the automaker today. The original plan called for the cars to be assembled by Fiat in Europe. Read More »

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Ghosn sees long European slump unless region gets competitive

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said the European auto market won't recover before 2020 unless governments take action to make their economies competitive. Read More »

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First Shift: Chrysler profit rises 68%

CEO vows to build on achievements; Toyota recalling 1.3M Corollas, Lexuses; Smart, Jeep Web sites named most satisfying. Read More »

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Ferrari to help Alfa Romeo on engines, Marchionne says

Fiat will announce within a month a technical cooperation between its Ferrari and Maserati subsidiaries on engine work aimed at rebuilding the Alfa Romeo brand, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday. Read More »

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Auto insurance 'arms race' questioned: Rodgers clashes with Flo

American auto insurers, a group that has enlisted Hollywood actors and professional athletes to pitch their coverage, failed to boost sales even after spending billions of dollars on advertisements, McKinsey says. Read More »

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VW plans further cuts in German Passat production

VW plans further temporary halts in production of the Passat in Germany in the coming weeks as a result of the weak European market. Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

How Boeing prepared Alan Mulally for Ford

Ever wonder how Alan Mulally walked into Ford from the aircraft industry and knew exactly what to do to whip the company back into shape? Read More »

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GM to invest $200 million at its powertrain headquarters

GM is investing $200 million in its global powertrain center in suburban Detroit, part of a plan to consolidate work done elsewhere and accelerate development of new engine technologies. Read More »

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Chrysler Q4 profits jump 68% to $378 million

Chrysler Group reported net income of $378 million in the fourth quarter as a yearlong string of sales gains in the United States led the automaker to its second consecutive annual profit. Read More »

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Reaction: Concern over future cash generation, product delays, margins

What analysts have to say about Chrysler's 2012 financial results and outlook: Read More »

Fiat wants to quickly buy UAW trust's stake in Chrysler

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the Italian automaker would like to see the minority holder of U.S. affiliate Chrysler Group LLC sell out as soon as possible. Read More »

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Honda puts Siri in three '13 models

American Honda says it will install Apple's Siri voice-activated telematics assistant into several of its 2013 models. The 2013 Honda Accord and Acura RDX and ILX will offer Siri as a dealer-installed option, the company said in a statement today. Read More »

New tailpipe emission regulations mulled by White House

The White House has started weighing a proposal to set stricter limits on tailpipe emissions, which could require automakers to put more emissions controls into their new cars and trucks within a few years. Read More »

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MIKE COLIAS:

Why one Chevy dealer REALLY loves the new Corvette Stingray

Many people liked Chevrolet's decision to badge its next-generation Corvette with the throwback Stingray name. Steve Hurley really liked it. He's dealer principal at Stingray Chevrolet in Plant City, Fla. Read More »

Subprime lenders expect strong 2013

Three subprime auto lenders say strong growth should continue in 2013. “We expect to be just short of doubling our number of dealers this year,” said David Satterfield, co-COO for First Investors Financial Services of Houston. Read More »

Dealers see rise in F&I profit per vehicle

Seventy-five percent of car dealers responding to a survey by KeyBanc Capital Markets in December said they expected their gross F&I profit per vehicle to rise in the fourth quarter. Read More »

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Ally Financial needs 'concrete plan' to unwind from U.S., watchdog says

The Treasury Department needs a “concrete plan” to unwind the 2009 bailout of Ally Financial, the former auto-finance arm of GM, an administration watchdog says in a new report. Taxpayers still own 74 percent of Ally, which owes $14. Read More »

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Q&A:

Why F&I bundling has 'exploded'

Pitching auto customers a package of F&I products for one price, called bundling, speeds up the F&I sales process and helps dealerships shoehorn more products into a limited menu. It also gives customers fewer chances to object to pricing for individual items. Read More »

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Ford sees surge in U.S. hybrid sales on way to annual record

Ford, which has introduced five new electric-powered models in the past year, expects its sales of hybrid vehicles to surge by fivefold in January to start a record year for the company. Read More »

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Marchionne confirms Fiat's 2013 outlook despite Europe 'free fall'

Fiat today confirmed that it expects its Fiat and Chrysler auto divisions to increase sales to a combined 4.3 million to 4.5 million vehicles this year and boost revenues to between 88 billion and 92 billion euros. Read More »

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Opel union seeks job guarantees for Bochum closure

German trade union IG Metall wants GM to guarantee no Opel employee at the Bochum car plant will join the ranks of the unemployed once production ends. Read More »

Fiat, Alfa to get U.S. boost from new Chrysler product plan

The Fiat and Alfa Romeo brands will get a big boost in the United States from Chrysler Group's new long-range product plan revealed today. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Private equity likes the F&I space

Investor interest shows that F&I is an attractive business to be in. Read More »

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Opel says it has 20,000 orders for Adam

Opel has received more than 20,000 customer orders since October for the new Adam minicar, a crucial product for the money-losing brand. Opel and GM need the Adam to be a success if it is to turn around its European business. Read More »

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Fiat Q4 profit up 29% helped by narrower Europe loss

Fiat reported a 29 percent gain in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by record sales of Jeep models and a narrower loss in Europe. Read More »

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Toyota to recall 1.3 million vehicles for airbag, wiper glitches

Toyota will recall nearly 1.3 million cars globally for two separate defects, including 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the United States to fix airbags that could be deployed inadvertently, the automaker said today. Read More »

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Fisker hires turnaround specialist

Fisker Automotive, the plug-in hybrid maker that's seeking a partner or a buyer, hired a turnaround special to help manage day-to-day operations during negotiations. Read More »

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Ally Financial needs 'concrete plan' to unwind from U.S., watchdog says

The Treasury Department needs a “concrete plan” to unwind the 2009 bailout of Ally Financial, the former auto-finance arm of GM, an administration watchdog says in a new report. Taxpayers still own 74 percent of Ally, which owes $14. Read More »

Cutbacks at PSA and Renault meet growing resistance

Labor tensions at France's automakers took a turn for the worse as Renault workers protested over planned cuts and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's restructuring plan hit a legal setback. Read More »



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