Headlines for Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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John Broderick, auto consultant and former Ford, Subaru employee, dies

John Broderick, an automotive consultant who had worked for Ford Motor Co. and Subaru of America, died Feb. 15. He was 66. Read More »

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PSA reaches deal with majority of French workers on restructuring

PSA has struck a deal with five French unions, representing 76 percent of its workforce, over severance packages that the automaker will offer employees as it seeks to reduce its headcount in the country by 17 percent. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

BMW X4 to lure new buyers to brand, sales boss says

BMW's new X4 model will bring a new type of customer to the brand, sales chief Ian Robertson said. The X4 will launch next year as a sportier version of the X3 SUV with a lower roofline and coupe styling. It follows BMW's launch of the coupe-styled X6 as a sportier alternative to the X5. Read More »

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Ford to pay $750 million severance to workers at Belgium plant

Hourly workers at Ford's plant in Genk, Belgium, will get $750 million in severance as part of a deal that allows the automaker to close that factory by the end of 2014. Ford and the 4,000 hourly workers at the plant reached a deal last week that allows the U.S. Read More »

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First Shift: Nissan taxi picks up critics

Wheelchair-access plan may remove at least one NY political obstacle, Honda's agency shuffle, Sonic delay, Europe sales fall. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

Bentley may build its new SUV in Slovakia

Bentley may build a planned SUV in Volkswagen's factory in Slovakia. The brand's CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said VW could give a green light for production in the next few weeks and it may opt to build the SUV outside the UK. Read More »

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GM's liquidating trust settlement talks fail

The trust liquidating General Motors' old assets in bankruptcy said settlement talks with a group of note holders failed, in a lawsuit over how hedge funds made claims in the company's 2009 bankruptcy. Read More »

EUROPEAN SALES:

Ford, GM and Fiat worst hit by 10% drop in European car sales in February

Ford, General Motors and Fiat were the automakers worst hit as European passenger car registrations fell 10 percent last month to their lowest February level for 23 years. The region's deepening recession continued to deter customers from buying cars despite steep discounting. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

Fiat says profit to fall as Jeep shortage adds to Europe woes

Fiat warned first-quarter earnings will fall as U.S. delivery snags at Chrysler Group's Jeep brand compound the effects of Europe's sales slump. Read More »

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Fiat says profit to fall as Jeep launch compounds Europe woes

Fiat SpA warned first-quarter earnings will fall as U.S. delivery snags at Chrysler Group's Jeep brand compound the effects of Europe's sales slump. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

Suzuki expects a big sales boost from larger SX4

Suzuki expects a sales boost for its SX4 crossover after moving the car into a larger segment. The SX4 will compete against models such as the Nissan Qashqai. Read More »

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Ford to pay $750 million severance to workers at Belgium plant

Hourly workers at Ford's plant in Genk, Belgium, will get $750 million in severance as part of a deal that allows the automaker to close that factory by the end of 2014. Ford and the 4,000 hourly workers at the plant reached a deal last week that allows the U.S. Read More »

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Detroit Electric to start EV output in Michigan this summer

Detroit Electric, the Detroit electric vehicle startup led by former Lotus executive Albert Lam, said today it plans to start building a two-seat electric sports car this summer in Michigan. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Should EVs speak up?

Automakers say too much sound could hurt sales of electrified cars; Fisker losing suitors?; insider's view of Jeep Cherokee. Read More »

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2014 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW:

Chrysler video teases '14 Jeep Cherokee

Chrysler Group has released a short video showing the upcoming 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk traversing obstacles off-road in Texas before its official launch next week at the New York auto show. Read More »

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BMW, for now, to rely on S.C. plant to build new X4

Despite tight capacity to build its expanding crossover lineup, BMW AG says its Spartanburg, S.C., plant will be the sole global source for the X4 crossover coming next year. Read More »

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U.S. upgrades probe of fuel leaks in 250,000 Mercedes E-Class models

U.S. safety officials have upgraded an investigation into an estimated 250,000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans for a possible leak from the fuel tank. Read More »

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Funding rift prompted resignation of Fisker founder, report says

The abrupt resignation of Fisker Automotive's founder Henrik Fisker was prompted by disagreements with the company's chief executive over funding and operational strategy, two people familiar with the matter said. Read More »

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BMW sees 2013 pretax profits flat on new-model rollout, Europe woes

BMW AG says 2013 pretax profits will remain flat as European auto sales drop and BMW spends money to bring out 25 new models in the next two years. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

McLaren Automotive will post 2012 loss but is positive on future earnings

McLaren Automotive will be profitable next year after posting a loss for the year ending March 31, Managing Director Mike Flewitt said. Read More »

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COMPANY EARNINGS:

BMW forecasts flat 2013 profit on Europe decline

BMW forecast unchanged 2013 pretax profit as European auto sales drop and the automaker increases spending to bring out 25 new models in the next two years. Pretax profit climbed 6 percent to 7.82 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in 2012. Read More »

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ELECTRIC CARS:

BMW details driving range of i3 EV

BMW says its i3 EV, which will begin sales in Europe, the United States and China this year, can cover up to 220 kilometers (136 miles) on a single battery charge, which can be extended up to 350 kilometers using an optional range extender. Read More »

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GABE NELSON:

Why no Disneyland of cars in Detroit?

When Volkswagen executives designed the Autostadt, a combination of museum, theme park and car dealership down the road from VW's corporate headquarters, they were not following an old German formula. They were imitating America. Read More »

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Volvo wins approval to produce in China, report says

Volvo Cars, the Swedish carmaker owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., won the approval of China's main industry planner to begin making vehicles in the country, three people familiar with the matter said. Read More »

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Ford, GM and Fiat hit hard as European auto sales fall 10% in Feb.

Ford, GM and Fiat were the automakers worst hit as European passenger car registrations fell 10 percent in February. The region's deepening recession continued to deter customers from buying cars despite steep discounting. Read More »

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Volvo said to win China approval to begin local car production

Volvo is said to have won the approval of China's main industry planner to begin making vehicles in the country. The automaker, which is owned by China's Geely, has set itself the target of boosting local sales to 200,000 by 2020 from 41,989 last year. Read More »

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L.A. store showcases new cars to idled drivers

L.A. store showcases new cars to idled drivers

Dealer Hani Nassif is putting Hyundais face-to-face with gridlocked motorists – both day and night. The cars are housed in a massive glass display bridge alongside Interstate 405 near Los Angeles. Mon., June 9
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