Headlines for Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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Tesla offering special financing plan for Model S sedan

5:18 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Tesla Motors has joined forces with USBank and Wells Fargo Bank to create vehicle financing and leasing products that allow consumers to lease a Model S electric sedan for a net payment of about $500 a month after a 10 percent down payment and calculated savings.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: March brings sales lift

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Forester sends Subaru climbing, Detroit 3, VW gain, Korean rivals slip; buyers ignore fiscal woes; pivotal role for Mazda3.

Ford volume climbs 6% on pickups, crossovers

4:24 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales in March were its highest since May 2007, the company said today, led by sales of pickups and crossovers.

Ford, Chrysler see Canadian sales climb; GM falls

12:43 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
New vehicle sales in Canada at both Ford and Chrysler accelerated in March, lifted by strong demand for pick-up trucks, the companies said today. GM sales fell 11 percent during the month.

Kia down again; March sales fall 15%

3:46 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Kia Motors America’s March sales tumbled 15 percent from the all-time monthly sales record set in March 2012, the company said today.

Toyota's sales edge up 1%; Camry slips

4:40 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s U.S. sales edged up 1 percent in March, to 205,342 units. That lagged the industry's 3 percent gain, but was enough to make March the automaker's best month in terms of volume since the federal cash-for-clunkers program in August 2009.

GM sales rise 6%, led by Cadillac, Buick

2:32 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
General Motors' U.S. sales rose 6 percent in March, the company said today, as new nameplates helped Cadillac achieve a 50 percent gain and Buick rise 37 percent. Chevrolet sales rose just 1 percent, hindered largely by 22 percent declines for the Malibu and Impala sedans.

U.S. sales climb again, reach volume last seen in '07

5:08 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
In the highest-volume month since August 2007, automakers broadly advanced to sell 1.45 million light vehicles in March. That's only 3 percent higher than strong year-earlier results. But the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 15.


Honda, Detroit 3 set pace as March sales advance 3%

8:00 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Light-vehicle sales -- led by strong pickup and crossover demand at Detroit's automakers -- rose 3 percent to 1.45 million units last month, slightly below forecasts but a positive signal the spring selling season is off to a solid start. It was the industry's best month since 1.

Subaru recalls 2005-2009 Legacys and Outbacks to check brakes

11:57 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Subaru is recalling about 225,000 Legacy and Outback sedans and wagons from model years 2005-2009 in the United States and Canada to check for corroded brake lines.


Race for luxury lead heats up

April 2, 2013 06:01 CET
Audi and Mercedes are both vying to be the world's No. 1 luxury brand as the race heats up to topple BMW from the top position. The three premium giants not only want to lead with the most sales, but also in profitability and with the desirability of their products.

French March car sales decline 16.4%

April 2, 2013 10:37 CET
French car registrations fell 16.4 percent in March and 14.7 percent overall in the first quarter, according to figures from CCFA, the country's main auto industry body.

Hyundai volume drops 2% on tight Sonata supplies

3:46 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Hyundai Motor America today said its U.S. sales fell 2 percent in March as Sonata sales fell because of inventory limitations, more than offsetting record sales of its compact cars.

Infiniti moves summer sale into April to build on strong March

3:41 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Infiniti will attempt to extend its strong March floor traffic by moving up its annual summer sales event into April, a senior Infiniti manager said today. The luxury make will hold its first spring sales event near the middle of this month and has already produced national TV spots to support it.

Accord fuels Honda gains in March

4:40 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Boosted by strong Accord sales and new Acura products, American Honda's March sales of 136,038 units rose 7 percent over last March's numbers.

BMW's March advance trims Mercedes lead in U.S. luxury race

3:03 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
BMW AG reported a 13 percent U.S. sales increase in March, cutting into the luxury-auto lead of Mercedes-Benz as both brands set records for the month.

Chrysler sales up 5%; pickups, mid-sized sedans jump

12:48 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Record sales of pickups and mid-sized sedans boosted Chrysler Group sales by 5 percent in March, extending a string of consecutive monthly sales increases to 36.

Faurecia wins approval to build new NA headquarters

4:09 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Faurecia North America Inc. has received final approval to build a three-story, 278,000-square-foot North American headquarters in suburban Detroit that will house the company's administration and a technical center for its automotive seating and exteriors units.


Cadillac tries to overcome walk-on status

10:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
When I was in college, I walked onto the football team. It didn't take long for me to grasp a cold reality: To get the coaches' attention, I had to be better than the scholarship players. That's where Cadillac is today in its quest to play on the same field with the German luxury brands.


What’s that odd, pleasant feeling?

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Feel like something’s missing, but can’t quite put your finger on it? The chaos is missing. Look around. Everybody is quietly working away.

German automakers face trade probe in Korea

April 2, 2013 12:18 CET
Four German automakers have been raided by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission on suspicion of price fixing and collusion, the importers' association says.

Obama selects key auto bailout figure for deputy budget director

3:23 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
President Obama said he intends to nominate White House aide Brian Deese as the new deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Beetle marketing push pays off for VW

2:53 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Volkswagen brand's vehicle sales rose 3 percent last month from a year earlier with most of the gains coming from one nameplate: the Beetle. The brand sold 37,704 vehicles in March, its third straight month of single-digit sales increases after a nearly two-year run of double-digit gains.

VIDEO: Chrysler's Saad Chehab on marketing and minivans

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Beirut native and Detroit-educated Saad Chehab joined Chrysler from Ford in 2009. He led the Chrysler brand to a 39% gain in U.S. sales last year. In this segment, Chehab addresses the brand's marketing strategy, the fate of the Town and Country minivan and the possibility of more nameplates.

NHTSA checking 2006-08 Hyundai Sonatas after reports of rusted suspension frames

10:29 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is checking Hyundai Sonatas from the 2006-08 model years in response to complaints about rusted rear suspension frames.

GM Financial completes $2.6B deal for Ally units in Europe, Latin America

11:14 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Ally Financial said it completed the sale of most of its operations in Europe and Latin America to General Motors Financial for about $2.6 billion. Ally, in a statement today, said it will get about $2.4 billion at closing and about $190 million in dividends prior to closing from the GM unit.


BMW, Audi show off rival visions

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
The escalating rivalry among Germany's premium automakers was fully on show at the annual financial results conferences of Audi and BMW.

Lear reaches deal with dissident shareholders, expands buyback

April 2, 2013 06:01 CET
In the midst of a proxy fight with dissident investors, Lear announced an agreement with shareholders Marcato Capital Management and Oskie Capital Management to expand a stock buyback and keep the hedge funds' nominees off Lear's board.


BMW, Audi show off rival visions

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
The escalating rivalry among Germany's premium automakers was fully on show at the annual financial results conferences of Audi and BMW.

VIDEO: First Shift: Sonata corrosion probe

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2013
Suspension failures reported; bailout to budget post; Fiat's electrifying perk; methanol at the pump?; Mazda's movie enterprise.

VW to drop Routan minivan

April 2, 2013 06:01 CET
Volkswagen plans to discontinue sales of the Routan, a rebadged Chrysler Group-built minivan VW has offered in North America since 2008, the company's top U.S. executive said.

Ghosn, Mulally revive touchy Japanese currency issue

April 2, 2013 06:01 CET
A long-distance debate last week between two CEOs -- Ford's Alan Mulally and Renault-Nissan's Carlos Ghosn -- reignited a hot-button debate in the industry over the value of the Japanese yen. Is the weakening value of the yen giving the Japanese an unfair edge?

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