Headlines for Friday, March 15, 2013

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Opel to freeze pay as Ford's Belgian workers agree on severance

March 15, 2013 15:19 CET
GM and Ford won employees' approval in Europe for labor-cost cut plans to restore earnings in the region in response to a recession that's reducing vehicle sales. Manufacturing workers at Ford's plant in Genk, Belgium, and its suppliers will end walkouts after agreeing to severance packages.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Mulally's comp drop

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
CEO's pay takes a hit as Ford misses key targets; Obama pursues funding for EV, CNG, biofuel research; Lapham recalls 'Irish Popemobile'

VW, UAW discuss setting up Chattanooga labor board

3:08 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Volkswagen and the UAW have discussed setting up a German-style labor board at VW's assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., the automaker's human resources chief said today.


Is that available with the Luddite package?

2:59 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
This month the iconic British motoring series Top Gear stumbled into a fantastic idea for automakers to pursue on future vehicles.

Obama seeks $2 billion in research on cleaner vehicles, fuels

3:38 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
President Obama, faced with few options for financing his clean-energy ambitions, on Friday proposed diverting $2 billion in revenue from federal oil and gas leases over the next decade to pay for research on advanced vehicles.

Ford CEO Mulally's 2012 compensation falls 29% to $20.99 million

9:15 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Ford CEO Alan Mulally's compensation fell 29 percent in 2012 as the company failed to hit several performance targets. Mulally's pay dropped to $20.99 million from $29.5 million in 2011. Mulally received $2 million in salary, a $3.95 million cash bonus and stock awards totaling $14.

Toyota recalls FJ Cruiser to inspect, repair rear seat-belt retractors

2:54 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Toyota is recalling about 310,000 FJ Cruiser compact SUVs worldwide because cracks can develop in the rear door panels, allowing the seat-belt retractors to detach.

Chrysler restructuring expert tapped to fix Detroit's fiscal woes

7:49 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Kevyn Orr, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's pick to take control of Detroit, will probably need every ounce of experience he gained helping Chrysler Group reorganize to create a plan for the Motor City to survive.

GM, Ford secure cuts in labor costs in Europe

9:19 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
GM and Ford won employees’ approval in Europe for labor-cost reductions to restore earnings in the region in response to a recession that’s reducing vehicle sales.

U.S. fuel economy posts biggest gain since 1975

1:19 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
The fuel economy of vehicles sold in the United States last year had the sharpest gains in almost four decades, with Honda Motor, Volkswagen AG and Mazda producing the most efficient fleets.

Japan has more work to do to join trade talks, U.S. says

11:42 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
The United States on Friday cautiously welcomed Japan's interest in joining negotiations on a U.S.-led Pacific free trade pact, emphasizing that Tokyo must demonstrate its willingness to tackle longstanding trade barriers to U.S. goods and services.

VIDEO: Buick's Tony DiSalle on 'attainable luxury'

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Buick's U.S. sales are up 22 percent through February. The brand lost share last year, but has outperformed the industry over the past six months.

VIDEO: First Shift: A budget 'Vette for '15?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 15, 2013
Stingray lite said to be in works; Chevy ad shakeup; room for more VW brands; BMW, Toyota, VW get respect

PSA mirrors VW, readies megaplatform to cut costs

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
PSA is planning to produce its compact, mid-sized and SUV models on a common platform that also is likely to underpin models made by alliance partner GM.

Porsche hopes to match last year's 2.4 billion euro profit in 2013

March 15, 2013 11:34 CET
Porsche is aiming to match last year's profit in 2013, the company said on Friday. In 2012 Porsche posted an operating profit of 2.44 billion euros ($3.17 billion). Porsche said net debt dropped to 1.87 billion euros at the end of December from 2.58 billion at the end of 2011.

Girsky irked by Europe's chilly reception for plug-in

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky isn't happy with the lukewarm reception the Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid has received in Europe.

VW shares worth 929 million euros put on sale by Deutsche Bank

March 15, 2013 11:04 CET
Deutsche Bank put on sale a block of about 5.8 million Volkswagen AG preferred shares for as much as 929 million euros ($1.21 billion) in an accelerated bookbuilding.

Winterkorn open to further VW acquisitions

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
VW Group remains open to making further acquisitions, though the German group has its work cut out integrating its 12 brands, CEO Martin Winterkorn said. "We are currently well positioned with 12 brands, but there are always opportunities that one cannot pass up," Winterkorn said.

Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
New Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann says he can revive the beleaguered European brand and stem its persistent losses -- with plenty of help from parent company General Motors.

VW, BMW predict 'difficult' 2013 on Europe slump, China slowdown

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
VW Group and BMW Group predicted a "difficult" 2013 as the European auto market contracts, vehicle prices in the region drop and growth in China slows. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said the automaker is confronting "tougher competition and difficult economic conditions."

Europe's sales disaster is deja vu for GM's Docherty

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
Susan Docherty, head of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe, is girding for an industry sales slide of 6 percent this year atop last year's 8 percent drop. But there's a bright side: She has seen this play before.

PSA sells BNP stake for 177 million euros to boost financing

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
PSA sold its stake in French bank BNP Paribas for about 177 million euros ($229 million) to boost financing as part of a restructuring at Europe's second-largest carmaker.

XL1 coupe paves the way for VW plug-in hybrids

March 15, 2013 06:01 CET
The debut of the Volkswagen XL1, touted by VW as the world's most fuel-efficient production car, marks VW's entry into the plug-in hybrid market.

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