Headlines for Monday, February 4, 2013

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Bigger, faster, better

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Sheehy Ford Ashland's new dealership was built for one main purpose: to expand its service business. The new store in Ashland, Va., opened in June with seven additional Quick Lane service bays, new tire displays, larger tire inventory and more technicians and service advisers.


At Miami store, selling new tires is just the beginning

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Selling tires is fine. But what Nestor Alvarez really likes about tires is that they provide an opportunity to sell alignment, brakes and other items in his dealership's service department. Alvarez is the service manager at Land Rover North Dade, a Miami dealership.


Maybe the next franchise shouldn't be an auto brand

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
To fortify his Hyundai-Kia retail business, Florida dealer Scott Dance has turned to a nontraditional franchise for daily rental cars and used-vehicles sales, under the Payless brand.

3 to contend for '13 global sales title

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Toyota Motor Corp. rebounded sharply in 2012 to pass General Motors and Volkswagen AG and reclaim the global sales crown. But in 2013, all three automakers have a shot at taking the top spot and cracking the 10 million unit barrier.

VIDEO: John F. Bergstrom's profit-sharing plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
John F. Bergstrom – CEO of Bergstrom Automotive Group in Neenah, Wis. – donates 25 percent of dealership profits to local charities and raises funds for parks, hospitals and the arts.

VIDEO: Jack Kain's lifesaving mission

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Jack Kain who owns a Ford dealership bearing his name in Versailles, Ky., is committed to bucking up the local organ-donor registry one dollar at a time. And for Kain, this cause is personal.

VIDEO: Dick Olson visits prisoners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Dealer Dick Olson and his wife, Debbie, are active in prison-ministry outreach through their church. Olson, who is president of Bison Ford in Great Falls, Mont., hands out books and Bibles to inmates weekly.


Sports lover's gift helps school, honors family

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
At age 11, Alan Helfman started doing odd jobs at his dad's store, Helfman River Oaks Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Houston.


Son's illness made giving personal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
For Atlanta dealer Jim Ellis, a longtime contributor to mental illness causes, the connection is personal. Ellis and his wife of nearly 60 years, Billie, experienced the devastation that mental illness can cause when their son, Greg Ellis, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.


Techs' checks ensure children travel safely

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
In April, parents flocked to Smith South Plains Ford-Lincoln-Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Levelland, Texas, to have qualified technicians check their vehicles' child safety seats for proper sizing and installation.


Sharing values, ideas

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Working with kids and young adults has been a longtime passion for Paul Moak Jr. The second-generation dealer, with stores housing Honda, Subaru and Volvo cars in Jackson, Miss., grew up in Scouting and has been active in it as an adult.


Sharing time and wisdom is part of dealer's routine

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
When Tari Cash was trying to break into the auto business in 2008, her father, a Harvard University business professor, suggested she contact a former student and car dealer, Marcy Maguire, who might make time for a phone call or a job lead.


Penske is a go-to guy for Detroit projects

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
The name Roger Penske is synonymous with Detroit cleanup and security. Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive Group Inc., is the go-to guy for many tangible downtown improvements.


Megadealer Wilson, aka layaway angel

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
California megadealer David Wilson estimates that he and his dealerships have given away about $10 million over the years. But it's one of his smaller outlays that has commanded attention the past two years.


Lather up! Hosting car washes is a tradition in Long Beach

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Most Sundays, a line of dirty cars waits to visit Glenn E. Thomas Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram. Almost every weekend for the past two decades, the dealership has hosted a charity car wash for local school and college groups from the Long Beach, Calif., area.


Ga. dealer rewards great teaching

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
The most fun Valery Voyles has all year is when she hands over car keys to four dedicated teachers in her community each fall. Those teachers are all winners of local Teacher of the Year programs in suburban Atlanta, where Voyles, 56, runs her family's six dealerships.


Family illness made dealer an activist

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Jay Cimino's childhood town, Trinidad, Colo., needed better health care. So in 2005 Cimino founded the Trinidad Community Foundation to raise money for health care and education. But he needed a place for Trinidad residents to go to get that health care.


Dealer's cause: Organ donation awareness

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Every day the clock ticks and Jack Kain, owner of Jack Kain Ford in Versailles, Ky., and former chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, prays it will be the day the phone rings.


Dealer takes time to visit prisoners

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Most Tuesday evenings Dick Olson is in prison. But not as an inmate. Dick and his wife, Debbie, distribute books and Bibles to more than 400 inmates at the Cascade County Regional Detention Facility in Great Falls, Mont.


Dealer shares profits, gets his community involved

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Bergstrom Automotive Group has a company policy of giving 25 percent of its profits to local causes every year, and also regularly gathers donations from the community.


Dealer Fitzgerald is a teacher, not just an auto seller

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Jack Fitzgerald, owner of 15 dealerships in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida, has reams of government spreadsheets and documents on his Web site, together with his own tip sheets for buying a car.


Colorado dealer thanks the troops

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Ask Colorado and Texas dealer Mike Shaw why he devotes so much time and passion to honoring the military personnel in his region, and he enthusiastically describes the dangerous and demanding job that the U.S. armed forces face every day.


Texas dealer works to leave a legacy of aiding education

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Each November, international students attending Texas A&M University get to experience life on a Texas ranch, including riding horses, watching a blacksmith and eating barbecue.

Fiat mulls low-cost brand, Marchionne says

Feb. 4, 2013 13:50 CET
Fiat is considering launching a low-cost sub-brand to rival Dacia, CEO Sergio Marchionne said. If approved, cars for the brand would be built outside of Europe to reduce manufacturing costs.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Big game, big triumphs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Marchionne: Super Bowl standouts getting tougher; Ford gets Budweiser cameo; 'Vette for Ravens QB; Chicago show preview.

Nissan will build VW Golf rival in Spain

Feb. 4, 2013 20:47 CET
Nissan will build a compact car to rival the VW Golf at its plant in Spain, dashing hopes that the model would be made in one of alliance partner Renault's factories in France.

VIDEO: First Shift: Chrysler's 'Super' surprise

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Patriotism rules the day in two-minute commercials for Jeep, Ram; January sales winners, losers; NADA's energy appeal.

German new-car sales down 8.6% in January

Feb. 4, 2013 12:29 CET
New-car registrations in Germany dropped 8.6 percent to 192,090 in January, the KBA federal transport agency said, continuing the sales slide in major European markets

Infiniti wants to go home -- but it's tricky

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Launched as Nissan Motor Co.'s Japanese luxury brand in 1989, Infiniti has had the odd history of never being offered in its home market. Infiniti's worldwide president wants to change that and introduce the brand to the nation that created it.


How Twitter-verse viewed the auto industry’s Super Bowl spots

3:12 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Automakers spent millions of dollars last night to be memorable. Automotive News’ 30,000-plus Twitter followers were eager to praise some commercials, while shredding others like wild dogs on fresh steak.


Toyota, Nissan to take another shot at Detroit 3 pickup dominance

11:51 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Japanese automakers are about to make another run at challenging Detroit's dominance in trucks. When it comes to pickups, loyalty runs deep. There is no model more important or more zealously defended by Detroit. The $8,000 to $10,000 in gross profit each truck hauls in for U.S.

Fiat dealers welcome a surge of promised products

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Fiat dealers in the United States, struggling to turn a profit selling versions of just one nameplate, got great news last week.


'AutoNation' now a brand; who's next?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
AutoNation Inc.'s move to put its corporate name on most of its stores signals the next wave for a dealership business model that has moved from exclusively mom-and-pop stores in a short period of time. Some other large dealership groups -- Sonic Automotive Inc.


Big, boring but profitable

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
They are big and boring-looking, but light commercial vehicles are crucial to the financial health of many European volume brands. LCVs provide hefty profits -- as high as 9 percent -- and that cash has been invaluable to Renault, Fiat, Peugeot and Opel.

Fiat set to build Maserati, Alfa Romeo SUVs in Turin

Feb. 4, 2013 10:46 CET
Fiat will build Maserati's new Levante SUV at its flagship Mirafiori plant in Turin, union sources said. The automaker may also build an SUV for Alfa Romeo in the same factory, the sources said.

Fired up for fuel cells

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
A fresh wave of enthusiasm for fuel cell vehicles among automakers is running up against an old problem. It's a Catch-22. Carmakers are reluctant to build fuel cell vehicles in significant volume without stations to refuel them.

A lifetime of achievement

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Edsel Ford II received the 2013 Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award during the Washington Auto Show.

Sedans and pickups strong in '13

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Strong demand for mid-sized cars and pickups, two segments expected to propel the auto industry to a six-year high in 2013, helped U.S. auto sales increase 14 percent in January.

Does your store have what it takes?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
In 2012, Automotive News set out to find the best dealerships to work for in North America. We want to hear from you again in 2013.

Honda near ad agency choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
American Honda has narrowed the list of advertising agencies competing for its $900 million account, and incumbent RPA is still in the hunt to retain both the creative and media-buying work.

Chrysler's new roadmap

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Chrysler Group has dropped plans to pack five more small nameplates into its crowded Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Ram showrooms. Instead, it's adding nameplates at its Fiat and upcoming Alfa Romeo dealerships.

Chrysler brand chief wants more nameplates

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Chrysler brand head Saad Chehab says he would like more nameplates for the Chrysler brand, but for now he's concentrating on a redesigned Chrysler 200 sedan, due next year on a Fiat platform.

Nissan: Leaf sales to lag until U.S. plant restocks supply

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2013
Nissan expects sales of its Leaf electric vehicle to sag through March, until a new American assembly line can fill a near-empty dealer pipeline. The problem is purely logistical, Nissan says.

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