Headlines for Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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Ford calls for mutual U.S.-Europe auto standards in trade deal

Ford wants trade tariffs between the U.S. and Europe removed and believes the two markets' regulators should accept each other's safety and environmental standards. Read More »

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U.S. car and light-truck inventories, on Mar. 1

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

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AutoNews Now: Geneva's supercars

Eye candy from Lambo, McLaren, Ferrari; GM goal: 15 percent weight loss; Toyota borrows page from West in exec shuffle. Read More »

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GM's Akerson vows lighter vehicles, hails potential of CNG

General Motors aims to cut the weight of its North American vehicles by as much as 15 percent by the 2016 model year, compared with GM's current fleet, CEO Dan Akerson said today. GM estimates that a 10 percent reduction in curb weight cuts fuel consumption by about 6.5 percent. Read More »

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GM struggles to overcome Chevrolet-Opel rivalry

The rivalry between GM's Opel and Chevrolet brands in Europe risks damaging both automakers. While Chevrolet is GM's largest and most important brand worldwide, selling roughly 5 million cars last year alone, it is outsold five-to-one by Opel on its home turf in the EU. Read More »

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First Shift: Exec shakeup at Toyota

New jobs for N.A. leaders, board seat for ex-GM exec Hogan; Mulally's reward; an eye on distraction; Subaru's pet project. Read More »

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Johnson Controls explores sale of auto-electronics division

Johnson Controls said it has hired JP Morgan to explore the potential sale of its automotive electronics unit and denied having plans to sell its interiors business. Read More »

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Tesla opposes Minnesota legislation that would block its stores

Tesla Motors is trying to amend Minnesota legislation that would block it from opening stores and service centers in the state. Read More »

GM hiring 1,000 information technology workers in Ariz.

General Motors plans to hire 1,000 information technology employees for a new office in Chandler, Ariz., as part of its effort to bring such work back into the company instead of using outside contractors. Read More »

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U.S. Fleet Sales, Feb. & YTD

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

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:

A prenatal nose job for the Jeep Cherokee? Or...

Is Jeep planning a nose job for the 2014 Cherokee, even before its official unveiling this month in New York? A mule spotted last week by an Automotive News reporter in Los Angeles shows that they're at least testing the idea. Read More »

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NICK BUNKLEY:

Whitacre-as-savior concept gets the Lutz lash

So Ed Whitacre thinks he saved General Motors. Bob Lutz thinks that claim is a total crock of (rhymes with part of “Whitacre”). Read More »

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Q&A:

Why Ford Credit is more frog than swan

Ford Motor Credit appears unchanged compared with the morphing that the former captive finance companies of General Motors and Chrysler underwent as a result of those automakers' bankruptcies. Read More »

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COMMENTARY:

Facebook fills F&I training void

Do you feel you get enough in-house training? I posted that question on a Facebook page catering to F&I managers and trainers last week and got about a dozen replies. Responses were mixed, but the overall sentiment was no Jamie LaReau covers auto dealers for Automotive News Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

Japan may crack open market to join U.S. free-trade agreement

Is Japan poised to open its market to more imports? Japan's automakers are desperate for their country to enter a free-trade deal with the United States. But U.S. automakers oppose Japan's entry, saying Japan's market is closed. Read More »

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U.S. investigating Ally's retail financing practices

Ally Financial said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently told the U.S. auto lender that it is being investigated for certain "retail financing practices." Read More »

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How dealerships can fall prey to bank fraud

Identity theft and bank fraud are a real minefield for dealerships, according to dealership consultant Gil Van Over. In a recent presentation aimed at lenders, he showed how dealerships face threats from many directions. Read More »

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

European automakers go big on small SUVs

The popularity of subcompact SUVs is one of the bright spots in Europe's auto-sales slump and mass-market carmakershave been quick to join this growing segment. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Flat fee ahead?

It seems likely that the Consumer Financial Protection Board will get lenders to reduce the allowable finance reserve further or move to a flat fee, which many lenders have done. Such a change affects dealership profits. Read More »

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Renault gains union OK to cut 7,500 jobs, freeze pay

Renault can eliminate 7,500 jobs and freeze wages as part of a labor deal offering increased domestic production, after one of the main French unions at the carmaker gave their approval today. Read More »

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Automaker chiefs urge end to European austerity

Automakers joined growing opposition to Europe's austerity measures. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn urged government spending to revive the region's anemic sales, which he forecast won't recover for another three years. Read More »

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BMW shrugs off Europe market decline as Daimler seeks capacity

BMW and Daimler are shrugging off the European auto-market decline as sales growth in China and the United States pushes their luxury-car production to maximum rates. Read More »

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NICK GIBBS:

EcoSport shows flaw in Ford's global design policy

Ford is downplaying sales expectations of the EcoSport subcompact SUV in Europe, admitting it was designed with emerging markets in mind. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

The LaFerrari is a Ferrari first

The LaFerrari supercar is the first model entirely designed by the company's styling center. Ferrari says it is not a bad sign for longtime partner Pininfarina. Read More »

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DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:

Honda shows its European side

Honda is showing its European side with the Civic Tourer concept. The car was designed by a German specifically for Europe with the aim of being sleeker than BMW's wagons. Read More »

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Toyota revamps management to battle GM, Volkswagen

Toyota President Akio Toyoda overhauled his top management for a second straight year, strengthening his control over the world's largest carmaker to vie with General Motors Co. and Volkswagen. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

The LaFerrari is a Ferrari first

The LaFerrari supercar is the first model entirely designed by the company's styling center. Ferrari says it is not a bad sign for longtime partner Pininfarina. Read More »

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Ford to import EcoSport crossover, key to European margins

Ford will import its EcoSport compact crossover from India for the European market, where the vehicle will compete in a growing, but increasingly crowded segment. Read More »

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Ford awards Mulally nearly $12 million in performance bonuses

Ford CEO Alan Mulally this week was awarded performance bonuses worth nearly $12 million, Ford disclosed to U.S. regulators. Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

For Ghosn, just another impressive day in the media glare

For several years at major auto shows, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has invited media to freewheeling Q&A sessions. Ghosn continued the tradition here today in an unscripted, open-ended session with about 75 international journalists. Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

In the limelight, exotics shrug off austerity

So where's the new austere, euro-pinching European auto industry, the one that's struggling to cut capacity and bring wages to a competitive level? No where to be seen, at least at the luxo-elite displays here in Geneva. Read More »

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2013 GENEVA AUTO SHOW:

Hyper-hybrid LaFerrari could redefine green cars

The LaFerrari is one of the most electrifying debuts at this year's Geneva show, and not only because of its sleek carbon-fiber body or its top speed of more than 350 km/h. Read More »

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Toyota names former GM exec Hogan to board in overhaul

Toyota appointed former General Motors executive Mark Hogan to its board, installing the first foreigner since 2007 and the first outside director ever in an attempt to breathe fresh perspective into the mammoth Japanese carmaker. Read More »

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Marchionne says Fiat is in talks with banks about Chrysler merger

Fiat- Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said he is in talks with banks about financing a merger of the two automakers. The deal would involve purchasing the 41.5 percent of Chrysler that Fiat doesn't own. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

A little education can save a lot of complaining

It's easy to be cynical about this, but consumer education could ease the sting of tougher regulations that seem to be in the works for auto lenders and dealers. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Facebook fills F&I training void

Do you feel you get enough in-house training? I posted that question on a Facebook page catering to F&I managers and trainers last week and got about a dozen replies. Responses were mixed, but the overall sentiment was no. Read More »



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