Headlines for Friday, February 1, 2013

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Geely rescues London black cab maker

Feb. 1, 2013 10:34 CET
Geely agreed to purchase Manganese Bronze Holdings, rescuing the maker of London's iconic black taxis.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Detroit's hot January

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Ford leads domestic push, Toyota rises 27%; speeding up Lincoln MKZ; free GMC Sierra upkeep; Lapham on AutoNation.

Ford sued in the UK by over 1,400 ex-employees on Visteon pension switch

Feb. 1, 2013 17:33 CET
Ford was sued by more than 1,400 former UK workers for making misleading statements about the security of transferring their pensions to Visteon during the 2000 spinoff of the auto-parts company.

VIDEO: First Shift: Nissan's painting prowess

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Tenn. project cuts time needed to color cars nearly in half, Toyota stays on top in brand perception; GM taps military leader.

Mazda Europe names new chief information officer

Feb. 1, 2013 06:01 CET
Mazda Europe has promoted company veteran Alex Janssens to be the unit's first chief information officer.

Ford adds Lincoln MKZ inspectors to speed launch

1:11 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Ford, seeking to speed deliveries of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ to dealers, is shipping some of the sedans to Michigan for quality inspections that can't be handled fast enough at the car's Mexican assembly plant.

Toyota extends surge into 2013

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Toyota's sales in the United States jumped 27 percent in January, echoing their increase for all of 2012 and signaling another year of market-share gains.

JANUARY U.S. AUTO SALES

U.S. sales climb 14% on robust car, crossover, pickup demand

8:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
U.S. auto sales, led by Toyota Motor and the Detroit 3, rose 14 percent in January, giving the industry a bigger lift to begin 2013 than analysts expected. Demand pushed the seasonally adjusted sales rate to 15.3 million, slightly below December's 15.4-million rate but well above January 2012's 13.

Toyota, Detroit 3 set pace as industry feeds on optimism

4:06 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
The Detroit 3 and Toyota led auto sales in the United States to a 14 percent gain last month as robust demand from November and December carried into the new year.

Declining January car sales sink European upturn hopes

Feb. 1, 2013 10:51 CET
New-car sales extended their declines in France, Italy and Spain last month, leaving little hope of a European auto market rebound anytime soon.

New crossovers keep Nissan, Infiniti ahead for January

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Sales gains from the recently launched Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti JX crossovers kept those two brands from falling below prior year volumes last month. Nissan Division posted a 2 percent improvement for January, selling 73,793 cars and trucks, an increase of 1,276 from January 2012.

Spotty January for Honda; Accord, RDX surge

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
American Honda's January sales increased 13 percent, as strong gains for the redesigned Accord sedan and Acura RDX crossover countered sluggish demand for much of the lineup.

Ford sales rise 22%, paced by Fusion's 65% gain

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
The Ford Fusion is finally beginning to live up to Ford Motor's expectations. Sales of the swoopy redesigned mid-sized sedan with the Aston Martin-inspired looks soared 65 percent in January to 22,399 units, the company said today.

GM sales rise 16% on pickups

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
General Motors sales rose 16 percent in January on sharper pickup sales and strong results for Cadillac and Buick.

Volkswagen finally loses some steam

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
After three straight years of double-digit U.S. sales gains, Volkswagen Group began 2013 with a 9 percent advance -- its first monthly increase below 10 percent since January 2011.

JESSE SNYDER

How much longer can the good times roll?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
The auto industry in the United States is the healthiest I’ve ever seen it. Suppliers and automakers are matching production to supply without big incentives, managing capacity and developing attractive models.

Plug-in hybrid, EV sales drop sharply from December

4:41 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
U.S. sales of plug-in electric cars started 2013 slowly, as demand for the Chevrolet Volt, the Toyota Prius plug-in and Nissan Leaf declined in January from December.

Chrysler wins U.S. ruling against two dismissed dealerships

4:31 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
A federal judge has ruled against two Chrysler Group dealerships in New York whose owners lost their franchises as part of the automaker’s 2009 bankruptcy.

NICK BUNKLEY

Lincoln's Super Bowl sign of the 'alpacalypse'

10:13 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Last year, General Motors ran a Super Bowl spot asserting that the Chevrolet Silverado is the only truck strong enough to survive an apocalypse. Now, Ford is showing us what happens when its Lincoln MKZ encounters an "alpacalypse."

Mercedes takes early U.S. luxury lead after outselling BMW

3:26 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Mercedes-Benz sales in the United States surged 11 percent in January, getting an early jump on its effort to top BMW in luxury auto sales for the year.

Detroit 3 boost Canada sales in January

2:43 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
The Detroit 3 automakers posted gains last month in Canada, helped by demand for fuel-efficient passenger cars and mirroring robust sales in the United States last month.

Chrysler gain propelled by sedans and coupes

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Chrysler rode strong sales of sedans and coupes to a 16 percent sales increase in January, increasing its string of consecutive monthly year-over-year sales gains to 34 months. Chrysler Group sold 117,731 vehicles last month, compared with 101,149 units in January 2012.

Denso raises profit outlook, sees yen boost for cars, suppliers

2:22 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Global auto supplier Denso today raised its annual profit forecast by 6.7 percent to 240 billion yen ($2.6 billion), helped by a weakening yen that also benefits its Japanese customers including Toyota.

Spain new car sales fell 9.6% in January

Feb. 1, 2013 11:46 CET
Spanish new-car sales dropped 9.6 percent to 49,671 in January, car manufacturers' association Anfac said.

Subaru gets off to a strong start

11:59 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Subaru of America posted a 21 percent gain in January sales as it built on the momentum of four consecutive years of sales increases.

LUCA CIFERRI

Europe: Bad and getting worse

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Fiat and Ford lost a combined 2 billion euros in Europe last year and both automakers expect this year to be even tougher. Ford predicts its 2013 European loss will rise to $2 billion while Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says that Europe "perhaps has not yet hit bottom."

Ford sued in the U.K. by over 1,400 ex-employees on Visteon pension switch

11:33 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Ford was sued by more than 1,400 former United Kingdom workers for making misleading statements about the security of transferring their pensions to Visteon during the 2000 spinoff of the auto-parts company.

Lear posts strong Q4 profits on higher North American sales

9:38 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Seating and electronics supplier Lear said strong gains in North America powered improved fourth quarter profits. The spike of auto sales in Lear's home market overcame a slight drop in Europe, where the auto industry continues its downward trend.

GM offers two years' free maintenance to GMC Sierra buyers

9:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
GMC is launching a free-maintenance promotion for Sierra pickup buyers with an advertising campaign that kicks off this weekend.

ANE monthly e-magazine goes live Monday

Feb. 1, 2013 06:01 CET
The new issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine goes live on Monday, Feb. 4. Our cover story looks at the challenges facing European automakers as they battle to keep their light commercial vehicle businesses profitable.

PSA unions bicker over job cuts at crisis-hit automaker

Feb. 1, 2013 06:01 CET
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen labor leaders squared off against one another over a plan to eliminate 17 percent of the automaker's French work force, with three of the five main unions urging immediate action to stem losses.

Daimler will buy 12% stake in Beijing Auto's car unit

Feb. 1, 2013 12:04 CET
Daimler will pay 640 million euros for a 12 percent stake in the car unit of Chinese partner Beijing Automotive and get two seats on the board, the German company said on Friday.

Toyota tops car brands in U.S. consumer perception, survey says

12:16 am U.S. ET | Feb. 1, 2013
Toyota again topped an annual consumer survey on brand perception in the United States released today as all the top automakers' scores rose from last year.

Automotive News
Special Video Report
Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota's Lentz in Texas: A Lexus regret, fixing 'starved' Scion, the next Prius

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz is a pioneer. He and a handful of other employees moved to north Texas last September to help build the automaker's new U.S. headquarters.
» Watch the Video
     
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