Headlines for Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW

Nissan extends range for Europe-built Leaf

Feb. 27, 2013 15:34 CET
Nissan has extended the range and lowered the price of the Leaf electric car that the automaker will begin making in the UK in April.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Fuel for ethanol debate

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
AAA warning about E15 gasoline; Honda expanding, this time in Japan; U.S.-built Toyotas Russia-bound; Ford trims waste.

Abraham Venable, GM's envoy to black-owned business, dies at 82

5:49 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Abraham S. Venable, who oversaw General Motors' outreach to black-owned businesses during the 1970s and 1980s after what he called a frustrating attempt to get government to help them, has died. He was 82.

Ford to cut waste per vehicle built 41% by 2016

4:04 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Ford Motor Co. plans to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills for each vehicle that it builds by 41 percent as part of a five-year plan through 2016. Ford plans to reduce waste generated per vehicle globally to 13.4 pounds per vehicle, from 22.7 pounds in 2011, the company said today.

Group 1 acquires 4 Ford dealerships in U.K.

5:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Group 1 Automotive acquired four Ford dealerships in the United Kingdom that the Houston-based dealership group expects to generate approximately $177 million in annual revenues. The dealerships are being acquired from Inchcape Retail Ltd.

Group 1 of U.S. buys four Ford dealerships in England

Feb. 27, 2013 23:30 CET
U.S. auto retailer Group 1 Automotive Inc. acquired four Ford dealerships in England, adding to its UK holdings. The dealerships are being acquired from Inchcape Retail Ltd.

Honda to open first new Japan plant in 49 years

11:49 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
In July, Honda Motor Co. is planning to do something it hasn't done for almost 50 years: open a car factory in Japan. The new factory, with an annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles, is opening just as a weaker yen is making Japanese manufacturers such as Honda more profitable.

MARK RECHTIN

Is Tesla's fight with The New York Times over?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Tesla Motors' CEO Elon Musk has been at war with The New York Times regarding a recent negative review that he claimed was rigged to make the Model S sedan fail.

VIDEO: First Shift: Hyundai settling MPG suits

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Cases stem from inflated mileage claims, Kia may also settle; Tesla vows fast loan payback; dealer Boch mulls Boston Globe buy.

UAW meets with Nissan workers in Tenn. about organizing

10:23 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Workers from Nissan's auto plant in Smyrna, Tenn., met this week with UAW representatives to discuss another organizing effort at the Japanese automaker's first U.S. factory. The UAW is now active in trying to organize workers at two Nissan plants.

GM targets 20% increase in plug-in hybrid output this year

12:49 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
GM is planning this year to build as many as 36,000 Chevrolet Volt and other plug-in hybrids, 20 percent more than it sold in 2012, two people familiar with the effort said.

Federal-Mogul plans more plant closings amid cash burn, third straight quarterly loss

3:41 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Federal-Mogul said the slowdown in Europe's vehicle market contributed to a third straight quarterly loss and will force more plant closings in the region.

Federal-Mogul plans to close plants in Europe after third straight quarterly loss

Feb. 27, 2013 21:41 CET
U.S. supplier Federal-Mogul said the slowdown in Europe's vehicle market contributed to a third straight quarterly loss and will force more plant closings in the region.

U.S. teen driver deaths spiked in first half of 2012, new survey says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Teen driving deaths in the United States increased in the first six months of last year, further eroding a decade-long reduction, possibly as a result of more accidents caused by texting and talking behind the wheel, state highway officials said.

Lithia works to energize F&I after flat forecast

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
Lithia Motors, expecting flat F&I revenue per vehicle this year, is looking for ways to improve, including working with underperforming stores.

Q&A

JM&A chief on the poker chip staffing strategy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
As president of JM&A Group, Forrest Heathcott has a window into the many strategies employed by dealers to sell F&I products. JM&A Group, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Auto loan market viewed as healthy despite delinquency creep

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
While the number of auto loans past due two months or more has edged up for the first time in three years, the market overall is still healthy, Experian Automotive says.

Chase Auto Finance has new CEO

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
JPMorgan Chase & Co. named Thasunda Brown Duckett CEO of Chase Auto Finance, one of the nation's largest auto lenders. Marc Sheinbaum, 55, had been CEO of Chase Auto Finance since 2007. He is leaving the company after asking to pursue other opportunities, the bank said. He will stay through March.

JAMIE LaREAU

Sell a service contract on a lease? It's all in the pitch

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
For dealers, a lease deal usually means a bum deal on the back end. The sale of a high-profit product such as an extended-service contract is typically off the table.

JIM HENRY

Auto industry as boogeyman? Depends on your view

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
The Federal Trade Commission's latest annual report of U.S. consumer complaints could be a good inkblot test for how people feel about auto finance.

VW cuts bonuses to German workers by 4%

Feb. 27, 2013 14:36 CET
Volkswagen will pay its German workers a 7,200-euro ($9,400) bonus for 2012, a reduction of 4 percent on the previous year's payout despite posting record profits and sales last year.

2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW

Dacia will debut new Logan wagon, refreshed Duster

Feb. 27, 2013 09:01 CET
Dacia will debut a new version of its Logan MCV station wagon, along with a face-lifted Duster SUV, at the Geneva auto show, according to reports.

Feds eye finance reserve

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 27, 2013
For more than two years, dealers have been bracing for possible actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, formed after the financial crisis of 2008. Now the federal agency has taken its first auto-related action.

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