Headlines for Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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BMW taps wind power to guard profits

Feb. 19, 2013 09:04 CET
BMW will harness winds whipping across eastern Germany to secure power -- and defend profits -- as costs rise due to Germany's 550 billion-euro ($740 billion) shift away from nuclear energy.

Ford, PSA and Toyota hit hard as Europe sales slump to 23-year low

Feb. 19, 2013 08:34 CET
European passenger car registrations fell 8.5 percent in January to their lowest total for the month since 1990. Ford, PSA and Toyota had the steepest declines while Opel and Kia bucked the downward trend, along with most premium brands.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Why Chrysler's dissatisfied

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Dealerships to get intense training in how to please customers, Mulally parting gift, Geely after Fisker, Chevy SS at Daytona.

Ford to give Mulally bonus payment after he retires

11:12 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Ford is planning to pay a bonus to CEO Alan Mulally after his employment ends as a reward for leading the automaker through its turnaround.


IEE seat sensors help optimize airbags in new Mini Coupe

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Safety specialist IEE equips the Mini Coupe with an occupant sensing system that adjusts the operation of the airbag with help from a pressure-sensitive matrix sensor in the seat. Pattern recognition and anthropometric parameters tell the airbag control unit if the seat is vacant.

VIDEO: First Shift: Score one for Tesla?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
New York Times editor: Model S critic failed to use good judgment; Mitsubishi, Toyota Geneva entries; Fiat dealers' Alfa test.

Jeep gets hacked on Twitter

4:07 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
The Jeep brand's Twitter account was hacked this afternoon and given a thorough makeover by Internet tricksters.

Ford dusts off Fiesta Movement to pitch refreshed subcompact

4:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Ford is again calling on Web-savvy millennials to help launch its Ford Fiesta subcompact.

Group 1 to revise pay plans after Q4 net income drops 18%

1:16 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Group 1 Automotive will tweak its pay plan for dealership sales staffers after the retailer's fourth-quarter variable compensation expenses came in $2 million higher than expected -- contributing to an 18 percent drop in fourth-quarter net income.


Selling a dealership: A painful process of letting go

3:13 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Having the heart of an auto dealer doesn’t always mean having the stomach for all the business entails. Take the former dealer who recently told me his story but did not want his name used.

Asbury says Q4 net income rises 6% to $22.8 million

1:50 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
Asbury Automotive Group reported a 6 percent gain in net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 as gross profits rose in all areas of the dealership group’s business. Asbury’s net income in the fourth quarter was $22.8 million, up from $21.5 million in the year-earlier period.

GM picks new global HR chief

12:33 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
General Motors has named Melissa Howell vice president of global human resources, effective immediately. Howell, 46, succeeds Cynthia Brinkley, a former AT&T executive hired in June 2011.

Tesla test drive report had problems, Times editor writes

12:13 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2013
The New York Times auto critic who had a Tesla Model S stall during a test drive took imprecise notes that left him open to valid criticism, the paper’s public editor wrote.

Infineon to make power chips on large wafers

Feb. 19, 2013 12:46 CET
Germany's Infineon will become the world's first chipmaker to produce more profitable chips on large, 300mm (12-inch), thin wafers.

Carmakers pin hopes on Europe's UK bright spot

Feb. 19, 2013 14:18 CET
The UK was the only major European car market to grow sales last year, but to maintain the growth, automakers may have to keep offering such large incentives that they may erode any remaining profit.


Citroen shrinks the C4 Picasso

Feb. 19, 2013 11:23 CET
Citroen will give its next C4 Picasso a more compact size and better fuel efficiency to propel the model to higher in the medium minivan segment where it lags behind Renault, Ford and Volkswagen.

Car dealer Pendragon gets UK profit boost

Feb. 19, 2013 08:46 CET
Car dealer Pendragon posted an 18 percent rise in full-year profit, helped by growing new car sales in Britain, Europe's only bright spot for car sales.

BMW to recall 570,000 vehicles in North America

Feb. 19, 2013 06:01 CET
BMW has told safety regulators it will recall about 570,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada because of a faulty battery cable connector that can fail and cause an engine to stall.

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