Headlines for Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Safety group says new crash tests point to underride hazards

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety unveiled new crash-test results today that highlight the weakness of steel guards installed on the back ends of large truck trailers. Read More »

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Chevy advertising account goes to McCann

The advertising joint venture formed last year to handle Chevrolet's creative advertising has split apart, with McCann Worldgroup emerging as the lead agency for the bow-tie brand globally. Read More »

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U.S. lawmakers urge Obama to keep auto tariffs on Japan

Four dozen Democratic lawmakers on Thursday expressed concern about Japan joining free trade talks with the United States and urged President Barack Obama to maintain U.S. tariffs on Japanese autos and trucks. Read More »

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2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW:

2014 Range Rover Sport leaked online

It's getting harder and harder to keep the wraps on the redesigned Range Rover Sport. Over the past few weeks, the company has been teasing the new Range Rover Sport, which will debut at the New York auto show later this month. Read More »

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BMW appoints ex-Audi sales chief Schwarzenbauer chief of Mini, Rolls

BMW Group has hired Peter Schwarzenbauer, the former Audi sales chief, to head its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands and named Harald Krueger as its new head of production. Krueger succeeds Frank-Peter Arndt, who is leaving the company due to health reasons. Read More »

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Serbia cranks up Fiat 500L output

The Serbian unit of Fiat plans to produce between 110,000 and 160,000 of its new 500L family of compact cars for Europe and the United States this year, a key boost for Serbian exports, the head of the factory said. Read More »

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Chrysler hiring 200 at Ohio plant to boost Wrangler output

Chrysler Group will hire 200 people at its Ohio Jeep plant that makes the rugged Wrangler SUV. Demand for the Wrangler and the Wrangler Unlimited has prompted Chrysler to find ways to increase production at the Toledo, Ohio plant, said Jodi Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman. Read More »

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GM plans entry-level Corvette sports car, report says

GM is planning to build an entry-level Chevrolet Corvette that would cost less than $50,000 and widen the iconic sports car brand's appeal, people familiar with the plans told Reuters. Read More »

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A123 wins court approval to seek creditors' vote on payment plan

A123 Systems, the bankrupt former electric-car battery maker, won court approval to seek votes from creditors on its repayment plan. Read More »

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Photo of new Range Rover Sport leaked online

An image of the new-generation Range Rover Sport appeared Wednesday on Facebook community page VMax 200. The page has since been removed. Land Rover said on Monday that the premium large SUV would be unveiled March 26, on the eve of the New York auto show. Read More »

GM aims to spend $38 million on Michigan plant where it plans to move Camaro output

GM wants to invest more than $38 million in a Lansing, Mich., plant where it plans to move Chevrolet Camaro production. Read More »

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NICK BUNKLEY:

Buick, attacking dinosaur image, now dodges them in ads

Buick has come a long way in the last decade, but ask anyone who doesn't work for GM or one of its dealerships to describe Buick customers, and you'll probably hear two words: "old people." Read More »

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VW CEO Winterkorn pans hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells have failed to live up to promises and are unlikely to become a cost-effective way to power cars in the near future, Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn said today. Read More »

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Honda recalls 250,000 vehicles for braking problems

Honda Motor Co. is recalling nearly 250,000 vehicles globally, including some Acura MDX crossover SUVs, due to braking problems, the automaker said on Thursday. Read More »

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Nissan may build Leaf EV in China, government says

Nissan may build Leaf electric vehicles in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, according to a government statement. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Keeping up with Wrangler

Chrysler strives to meet demand for hot Jeep; Pacino and the Grand Cherokee; Audi versus BMW; made-in-China Leafs? Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

While U.S. shrugs, China sees gold in green tech

I'm on the outside looking in, of course, but it's not real hard to figure out what's probably happening at Fisker Automotive. Co-founder Henrik Fisker quit his namesake company this week, citing disagreements with management. Read More »

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Most Americans drive while distracted on phones, CDC study finds

About seven of 10 Americans talk on their mobile phones while behind the wheel, a dangerous distraction that is more common in the U.S. than in Europe, U.S. health officials said today. In the United States, 3. Read More »

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BMW 2012 profit gains as China demand offsets Europe drop

BMW reported a 3.5 percent gain in 2012 profit as demand for the new 3-series sedan in China and the U.S. more than offset a market downturn in Europe. Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 8.3 billion euros ($10.7 billion) from 8.02 billion euros a year earlier. Read More »

Daimler will avoid forced firings as it seeks savings at Mercedes

Daimler will avoid forced job cuts as it reduces costs at Mercedes to keep pushing toward its goal of overtaking BMW. "We're looking everywhere to increase efficiency at Mercedes-Benz Cars," spokesman Florian Martens said. Read More »

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CAR CUTAWAY:

Bosch, BorgWarner help cut CO2 in new Kia Cee'd

With the help of powertrain technologies from suppliers including Robert Bosch and BorgWarner, the second-generation Kia Cee'd has improved its fuel efficiency compared with the previous-generation model. Read More »

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VW targets hike in U.S. sales, China output to counter Europe slump

VW is counting on growth in China and the United States, along with gains in the luxury-car market with the Audi brand, to help offset declining demand in Europe amid a recession. Read More »

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BMW names ex-Audi sales chief Schwarzenbauer boss of Mini, Rolls

BMW Group has hired Peter Schwarzenbauer, the former Audi sales chief, to head its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands and named Harald Krueger as its new head of production. Krueger succeeds Frank-Peter Arndt, who is leaving the company due to health reasons. Read More »

Germany said to make new offer over EU-Daimler coolant dispute

Germany has written to the EU with a new set of proposals aiming to break a deadlock over a law requiring carmakers to stop using extremely potent greenhouse gases in air cooling systems, EU sources told Reuters. Read More »

Porsche SE reports surge in net income on sale of auto unit

Porsche SE, Volkswagen Group's largest shareholder, reported a surge in 2012 net income after selling the remainder of its automaking business to VW last year. Read More »

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First Shift: Taking 'big' bite out of Buick

Ad campaign uses dinosaurs to trample old ideas about luxury; Volkswagen's defense plan; fatal flaw in big rigs?; Nissan recall Read More »

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VW targets 60% rise in China production by 2018

VW Group plans to increase production 60 percent by 2018 in China, where the German company's earnings last year rose more than 40 percent to 3.7 billion euros, the carmaker said today. Read More »

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BMW's 2012 profits edge up as U.S., China offset Europe slump

BMW reported a 3.5 percent gain in 2012 profit as demand for the new 3-series sedan in China and the U.S. more than offset a market downturn in Europe. Earnings before interest and taxes rose to $10.7 billion, the company said today. Read More »

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Audi, BMW, Mercedes look for edge with virtual showrooms

Audi has opened the second of 20 planned digital showrooms designed to impress urban customers with an interactive experience that goes well beyond the standard dealership fare of brochures and machine coffee. Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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