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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.