Headlines for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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Subaru to show hybrid XV Crosstrek in New York

9:00 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Subaru will unveil a hybrid version of its Subaru XV Crosstrek small crossover at next week's New York auto show. The car will be the brand's first gasoline-electric vehicle and employ technology based on Toyota Motor Corp.'s hybrid system.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: How Audi lights the way

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
LED tech that's coming to Europe, but held back in U.S.; Energy loans in limbo; Subaru's first hybrid; Jeep Easter concepts.


Opel will build next Mokka in Europe

March 20, 2013 06:01 CET
Opel says it will build the next generation of its Mokka subcompact crossover in Europe and not in Korea, where the current model is manufactured.


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

March 20, 2013 06:01 CET
Hourly workers at Ford's plant in Genk, Belgium, will get $750 million in severance as part of a deal to close that factory by the end of 2014. The per-worker severance payment is less than what GM spent in 2010 to close its factory in Antwerp, Belgium

China imposes strict fuel-economy standards on auto industry

11:11 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
China imposed long-debated stringent fuel economy standards on Wednesday, making life tougher for cash-strapped small domestic brands that are already struggling amid a slowdown of the world's biggest auto market.


Renault's Dacia output halted by pay strike in Romania

March 20, 2013 16:45 CET
Renault's Romanian unit Dacia stopped production as employees went on strike in a dispute over pay, the company said.

VIDEO: First Shift: Jeep lag is Fiat drag

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Sales slump as Italian automaker needs U.S. boost; a designer steel challenge; BMW to rely on S.C.; Ford's allergy attack.


VW China recall may cost more than $600 million

March 20, 2013 10:00 CET
VW Group's recall in China to fix defective gearboxes may cost it more than $600 million. The recall affects 384,181 vehicles including the VW Golf Audi A3, China's quality inspector said.


Skoda sees new models helping to offset Europe slump

March 20, 2013 14:34 CET
Skoda is confident that deliveries this year will rise as the introduction of new or updated models, including a new large SUV, the Octavia compact and the Rapid Spaceback compact hatchback, offsets a drop in European demand.

Jeep, Mopar unveil concepts ahead of annual Utah safari

1:49 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Jeep and Mopar today showed off six heavily modified off-road vehicles, including a Jeep Wrangler made to look like a Navy battleship, that the brands will take this month to the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Arnie Addison, founder of Bay Cities Auto Auction in Calif., dies

5:21 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Arnie Addison, a founder of Bay Cities Auto Auction in Hayward, Calif., died March 1. He was 83.

German union chief to VW Tennessee workers: Join UAW

4:42 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
The UAW has won the backing of the head of an influential German union in its effort to represent the hourly workers at Volkswagen AG's Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant.

Detroit 3, Hyundai-Kia capturing larger share of youth market

3:04 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
U.S. automakers and South Korean affiliates Hyundai and Kia are boosting their share of sales to younger U.S. buyers at the expense of Japanese brands, according to a pair of market researchers.

Buick, Caddy recall 33,700 new vehicles to fix transmission software

12:27 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
GM is recalling about 33,700 model-year 2013 Buick LaCrosse sedans and Cadillac SRX crossover vehicles globally to address a potential software problem that could increase the risk of a crash.

VW's China recall may cost more than $600 million

9:04 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Volkswagen AG recalled a record number of vehicles in China to replace defective gearboxes that may result in the loss of acceleration, in a move that may cost the company more than $600 million.


Corvette Stingray price? Read the fine print for a clue

12:00 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
If you're counting pennies to buy a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, your target price is $71,860.


Why every second matters in service lane F&I sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Selling extended-service contracts and other F&I products in the service lane is an appealing idea, says dealership F&I chief Mike Komander, but it's complicated and time-consuming.

Leasing growth hinges on carmakers, Ally says

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Leasing continues to recover but is unlikely to take a much larger share of retail deliveries unless automakers pay out more incentive money, said Bill Muir, president of Ally Financial.

Ford sees credit losses inching up

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Ford Credit CFO Mike Seneski expects the lender's credit losses for bad loans to rise slightly this year while losses stay well below the company's 10-year average.


EU politicians back compromise on car emissions targets

March 20, 2013 12:47 CET
The European Union's industry committee has backed a compromise that would give carmakers limited leeway in the race to cut CO2 emissions in line with targets while rejecting German calls for more lenient rules.

U.S. scrutiny of dispute provisions in loan contracts threatens dealerships

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
U.S. dealerships, which increasingly ask car buyers to sign binding arbitration agreements in the finance and insurance office, soon could be barred from using that dispute-resolution provision.

Dealers urged to replace loan reserve profit

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Auto dealers are saying it's urgent to sell more F&I products, such as extended-service contracts, now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau seems ready to put stricter limits on how much dealers can earn on customer interest rates, also known as the dealer reserve.

Legal experts split over class-action waivers

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Class-action waivers minimize the risk of car-buyer class actions that are costly for dealerships to defend. But are they enforceable?


Dealers and credit unions: Strife or synergy?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Is there peace or war between auto dealers and credit unions -- or something in between? From many angles it looks like peace.


Audi headlights banned in U.S. by 1968 ruling

March 20, 2013 14:29 CET
Audi customers buying the A8 sedan in the United States will have to live without new matrix-beam headlights because of a 45-year-old regulation that prohibits their use on U.S. roads.


Subaru designs will embrace angular face of Viziv concept

9:00 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Subaru will gradually adopt the angular face of the Viziv concept crossover shown at the Geneva auto show across its lineup, the brand's global design chief says.


A case for a la carte menus

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2013
Many F&I managers believe bundling is their best friend. By bundling, they can offer customers several F&I products in a package costing less than buying each product individually. A bundle might consist of an extended-service contract, key fob protection and GAP, all for a single price.


Mazda6 seeks gain in shrinking sector

March 20, 2013 06:01 CET
Mazda hopes to have a bigger impact in the shrinking mid-sized segment with the new Mazda6. Buyers are increasingly switching to crossovers from sedans. As a result, European sales of mid-sized cars dropped by 13 percent to 751,805 last year, according to researchers JATO Dynamics.

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