Headlines for Thursday, February 14, 2013

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AutoNews Now: GM's 'seeds of growth'

As red ink flows in Europe, CEO keeps goal to break even by mid-decade; dealerships on rise; Tesla battles Old Gray Lady. Read More »

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GM's Q4 operating profit rises 14% to $1.25 billion

General Motors posted strong fourth-quarter profits in North America and Asia but wider losses in Europe while recording its third straight profitable year since exiting bankruptcy. Read More »

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Chrysler plans diesel version of 2014 Ram half-ton pickup

Chrysler Group's Ram brand plans to sell a half-ton pickup later this year with a diesel engine -- its first such offering since 1978. Read More »

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U.S. dealership count edges up again; more gains seen

The number of auto dealerships in the United States rose for the second straight year in 2012 and is projected to increase for "the next few years," reversing a decades-long pattern, a study says. Read More »

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Managing the coming 'chaos': Analysts weigh in on GM

GM reported a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, citing wider losses in Europe and lower vehicle prices in its core North American market. What analysts have to say: Read More »

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GM: 'No intention' of investing more cash in Peugeot

DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors is "not betting on" an uptick in European auto demand later this year and has no plans to provide additional funds to its struggling partner in the region, France's PSA Peugeot Citroen, GM's CFO said Thursday. Read More »

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First Shift: GM profits rise

A Q4 advance despite Europe's drag; tighter MPG scrutiny; U.S. funds battery-plant playtime; plus for BMW brand. Read More »

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Ford promotes Elena Ford to senior role to improve dealer standards

Ford is promoting Elena Ford, great-great-granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford, to a newly created senior executive position charged with improving global dealer standards. Read More »

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GM is confident of Europe turnaround after losses doubled

General Motors reiterated that it expects to break even in Europe by mid-decade after reporting losses in the region that more than doubled. GM said the market will fall further in 2013. Read More »

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Lampert's RBS hedge fund cuts stake in AutoNation

Edward Lampert, the billionaire chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, reported that he and his hedge fund cut a stake in AutoNation, the country's largest auto retailer. Read More »

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BorgWarner may delay projects as growth slows; defends turbochargers

BorgWarner may put off some investment projects as part of a push to offset an expected slowdown in sales growth. Read More »

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Chrysler recalls 370,297 trucks for possible loose fastener

Chrysler Group said it was recalling 370,297 pickup trucks and SUVs globally because a loose fastener could cause the rear axle to lock up and make a driver lose control. Read More »

BorgWarner: M&A 'extremely active,' but closing deals tough

Merger and acquisitions activity remains high in the auto industry, but it has become more difficult to finalize deals in the tougher economic environment, the chief financial officer of auto parts supplier BorgWarner said on Thursday. Read More »

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Fiat wins removal of false 500X image from Geneva show site

Geneva auto show organizers apologized to Fiat after a fake image of the automaker's upcoming 500X crossover was published on the show's Web site. The picture was taken off the site after Fiat complained that the image was not genuine. Read More »

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Toyota settles recall cases with attorneys general in 29 U.S. states

Toyota Motor North America has settled its outstanding cases with attorneys general in 29 states and one U.S. territory regarding allegations of foot-dragging in its safety recall process from 2005 to 2010. Read More »

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Tata Motors Q3 profit falls as Jaguar Land Rover cash boom shifts into reverse

Hit by falling margins and rising capital expenditure, roaring Jaguar Land Rover may be heading for a speed trap. Read More »

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Renault-Nissan, UniCredit create Russia finance venture

Renault-Nissan will create a joint venture with Italian bank UniCredit to sell loans to car buyers in Russia. The alliance will have a 60 percent stake in the venture, while UniCredit will hold 40 percent, the companies said in a joint statement. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Why Daimler should have more faith in Italy

Daimler is one of the companies bracing itself against Italy's possible exit from the euro. The controversial move comes at a tense time for the country. Read More »

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Tesla steps up defense of Model S after New York Times review

Tesla Motors released data gathered during a New York Times test drive of the Model S, stepping up its defense of the vehicle to counter a critical review. Read More »

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Opel labor talks resume Friday with no end in sight

German labor leaders will return to the negotiating table with Opel for two days of talks starting Friday. Read More »

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Renault 2012 earnings beat estimates as debt is eliminated

Renault eliminated debt at its auto manufacturing unit last year for the first time since its tie-up with Nissan. The company said 2012 earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items were 729 million euros, beating analysts' estimates. Read More »

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Russian automakers mull luxury brand to rival BMW, Mercedes

Russian automakers are considering their government's desire for a domestic luxury brand to challenge the dominance of Western premium brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, but they appear cool on the proposal. Read More »

Europe's January car sales offer little hope of recovery

LMC Automotive says it sees little hope of auto sales recovering in Europe this year after registrations in January plunged 9.5 percent. LMC predicted western Europe's full-year sales will drop 4.1 percent this year to 11.27 million, the sixth continual year of decline. Read More »

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