Headlines for Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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LATEST LAUNCHES

Renault touts low running costs for Zoe EV

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
Renault says the new Zoe is the first mass-market EV available at an affordable price with low running costs and a long driving range. The automaker expects the battery-driven hatchback to be the biggest seller among its range of electric vehicles that also includes the Fluence Z.E. sedan, Kangoo Z.

WPP India unit sacks employees after sexist Ford ads

March 26, 2013 19:31 CET
An Indian unit of advertising group WPP has sacked employees over a series of ads, including one showing women tied up in the trunk of a Ford driven by ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Dealership profits on rise

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Retailers see 6 pct. more black ink, new-car departments increase revenue share; Chrysler's Calif. climb; Mustang to hit gold.

RESTRUCTURING

GM's Girsky slashes at Opel's culture

March 26, 2013 08:34 CET
General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky took inspiration from a historical figure to try and stem chronic losses at Opel. GM is the leader in China and the United States but turning around its Europe operations remains spectacularly challenging.

NEW PRODUCT

Audi aims A3 sedan at young luxury buyers

March 27, 2013 01:00 CET
Audi released the first images of its A3 sedan, a new variant of its A3 compact line that will compete for young luxury buyers with the Mercedes-Benz CLA. The sedan will mainly be aimed at customers in the United States and China where sedans are more popular than in Audi's home European market.

VIDEO: First Shift: Mulally on yen, ad gaffe

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Ford CEO affirms opposition to Japan trade-talks role, addresses ad gaffe; Jeep Russia update; Honda deemed most trusted.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

2014 Cadillac CTS emerges before New York auto show

9:23 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Cadillac's plans to make a big splash at the New York auto show with the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan were jump-started Monday by the Internet as a number of photos of the car were posted online.

SUPPLIERS

Faurecia to build new N.A. headquarters, tech center

March 26, 2013 21:48 CET
Faurecia North America is planning to build a new North American headquarters and technical center north of Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich.

NEW PRODUCT

Mitsubishi replaces Colt with smaller Space Star

March 26, 2013 12:48 CET
Mitsubishi seeks to gain sales in the minicar segment in Europe with the launch of the Space Star, which replaces the Colt subcompact. The Space Star's retail price of 9,690 euros will help it gain share against rivals such as the Nissan Micra and the Fiat Panda, a Mitsubishi spokesman said.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Audi's A3 sedan gets 4 engine options; 5-door to stay as plug-in

7:36 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Audi said Tuesday that it will bring a range of A3 models to the United States, including gasoline and diesel versions of the new A3 sedan, as well as a high-performance S3 sedan and a plug-in hybrid version of the five-door A3.

MARK RECHTIN

Why the '14 Honda Odyssey won't be a crummy minivan

5:00 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Don't take this the wrong way, but the 2014 Honda Odyssey sucks. Literally. For its midcycle freshening, the Odyssey is including the "HondaVAC," which Honda claims is the first-ever in-vehicle vacuum system.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Redesigned Cadillac CTS boosts performance, size to take on BMW, Benz

6:00 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
The redesigned Cadillac CTS sedan shows that the brand is sticking with performance in its bid to get onto the shopping lists of import-minded buyers.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

2014 Range Rover Sport is lighter, more nimble

7:30 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
The Range Rover Sport, redesigned for 2014 and slimming down like the rest of the brand's lineup, is shifting to an aluminum architecture and gaining a third row of seats. It is being unveiled at the New York auto show this week.

RYAN BEENE

Kia's challenge: Keep the heart in the Soul

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
It's an age-old problem: how not to screw up a smash hit when you design the successor. Thus close attention will be paid to the second-generation Kia Soul at the New York auto show this week.

Faurecia to build new N.A. headquarters, tech center

3:48 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Faurecia North America is planning to build a new North American headquarters and technical center north of Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Toyota's Carter: Industry's dubious claims hurt consumer trust

4:15 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
In the wake of bad publicity from inaccurate fuel-mileage ratings and other misleading marketing claims, the automotive industry has a trust problem with American consumers a top Toyota official said today.

WPP India unit sacks employees after sexist Ford ads

1:31 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
An Indian unit of advertising group WPP has sacked employees over a series of ads, including one showing women tied up in the trunk of a Ford driven by ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

GM freshens 2014 Regal with awd, more technology

1:12 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
General Motors today unveiled the 2014 Buick Regal ahead of its debut at the New York auto show and the new model will make all-wheel drive available along with new technology that helps drivers connect more safely.

AutoNation boosts pay for Jackson, Maroone

2:41 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
AutoNation, the largest U.S. dealership group, slightly increased pay packages for its top two executives in 2012. CEO Mike Jackson received total pay and compensation of $6.6 million, up from $6.4 million in 2011. Jackson's salary of $1.2 million was unchanged. His bonus was $2.

GABE NELSON

Why automakers took up ethanol with the Supreme Court

2:07 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
In a slow trickle over the past year, the first gas stations have started carrying E15, a blend of gasoline that includes up to 15 percent ethanol. Automakers say the fuel could harm older engines, which were not built to handle so much ethanol.

2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

Jaguar to bring only 30 XKR-S GT sports cars to N.A.

1:54 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Jaguar is revealing a top-shelf sports car at the New York auto show that promises to be nearly as rare as its feline namesake in North America -- only 25 for U.S. buyers and five more for Canadians.

Ford, GM trump Toyota as brands win return buyers, Experian says

1:41 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Ford and General Motors, gaining ground over Japanese automakers with their most stylish sedans and small cars since the 1970s, are topping Toyota in customer loyalty, researcher Experian Automotive said today.

Mulally says he’s concerned about effect of weaker yen

10:59 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he’s concerned that the depreciation of the yen is bolstering the competitiveness of Japanese carmakers.

GREEN CARS

France's EV push presents power grid challenge

March 26, 2013 15:59 CET
The rising popularity of electric vehicles in France could present a problem to the country's fragile power grid, power sector executives say, particularly if owners all recharge their batteries at the same time of day.

DAVE GUILFORD

In N.Y., cars consumers actually want to buy

9:44 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2013
The automotive sales climate is quite different on the different sides of the Atlantic Ocean -- and the auto shows in Europe and the United States show it.

SUPPLIERS

Saint-Gobain to close Belgian windscreen factory that supplies Ford's Genk plant

March 26, 2013 15:38 CET
French supplier Saint-Gobain plans to close a factory in Belgium that supplies glass windscreens to Ford's doomed plant in Genk. Ford announced late last year that it would be closing the Genk plant as well as two others in Britain, to stem losses in Europe.

SUPPLIERS

Continental says 2014 sales growth may quicken if economy holds

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
German supplier Continental says it expects 'high single-digit growth' in 2014 if economic conditions don't worsen. The company added that it is sticking to its forecast of a 5 percent increase in sales this year.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

De Nysschen picks new Infiniti team

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti, has overhauled his top management with hand-picked executives tasked with taking the brand global. The changes inject the top ranks with non-Japanese executives, many poached from rivals.

PRODUCTION

Fiat, Serbia said to agree deal to build cheaper 500L for domestic market

March 26, 2013 11:15 CET
Fiat and Serbia have agreed on a subsidy deal to produce a cheaper version of the 500L minicar for domestic sales, a local newspaper reported. Under the agreement, Fiat's Serbian unit would produce the model for 10,900 euros ($14,200), which is around 3,000 euros less than its regular sticker price.

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