Headlines for Wednesday, February 27, 2013

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Nissan extends range for Europe-built Leaf

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. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Fuel for ethanol debate

AAA warning about E15 gasoline; Honda expanding, this time in Japan; U.S.-built Toyotas Russia-bound; Ford trims waste. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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Ford to cut waste per vehicle built 41% by 2016

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. Read More »

Group 1 acquires 4 Ford dealerships in U.K.

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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Honda to open first new Japan plant in 49 years

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. Read More »

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MARK RECHTIN:

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

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. Read More »

North America car and truck production by plant, January

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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First Shift: Hyundai settling MPG suits

Cases stem from inflated mileage claims, Kia may also settle; Tesla vows fast loan payback; dealer Boch mulls Boston Globe buy. Read More »

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UAW meets with Nissan workers in Tenn. about organizing

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

North America car and truck production by model, January

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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Lithia works to energize F&I after flat forecast

Lithia Motors, expecting flat F&I revenue per vehicle this year, is looking for ways to improve, including working with underperforming stores. Read More »

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Q&A:

JM&A chief on the poker chip staffing strategy

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. Read More »

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Auto loan market viewed as healthy despite delinquency creep

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. Read More »

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Chase Auto Finance has new CEO

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. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

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

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. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Auto industry as boogeyman? Depends on your view

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. Read More »

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VW cuts bonuses to German workers by 4%

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. Read More »

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Dacia will debut new Logan wagon, refreshed Duster

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. Read More »

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Feds eye finance reserve

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. Read More »

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