Headlines for Friday, April 5, 2013

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2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW:

BMW, amid crossover surge, preps X4 for 2014 debut

BMW, capitalizing on rising demand for crossovers in Europe and the United States, is expanding its new 4-series lineup with the X4 crossover that will go on sale next year. Read More »

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BRUCE GAIN:

Automakers rethink cockpits to help save lives

Automakers are rethinking the way they design car cockpits to reduce cognitive overload as more sophisticated infotainment systems risk increasing driver distraction, a problem that has been linked to an increasing number of fatal accidents. Read More »

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North America car and truck production - 04/08/13

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Cadillac's big sprint

GM brand breaks out from middle of luxury pack; Fisker lays off most of its staff; post-riot changes for Suzuki unit. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

Lexus will launch hybrid SUV to rival Q3

Lexus plans to show a production-ready hybrid SUV to rival Audi's Q3 and BMW's X1 at next year's Geneva auto show, a company source said. Read More »

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Fisker lays off 75% of its employees amid financial woes

Fisker Automotive, the plug-in hybrid sports car maker grappling with financial woes, today laid off 75 percent of its more than 200 employees. About 53 senior managers and executives have been retained to pursue buyers for the company's assets. Read More »

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Dealership regroups after the murder of a sales manager on the job

Florida dealer A.J. Hiers and his staff are coming to terms with the violent death of a colleague killed on the job on March 30. John Pratt, 64, was murdered while test driving a vehicle. Read More »

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NICK BUNKLEY:

In the computer age, it's time to analog-off

My 2-year-old son recently started asking about the clock hanging on the wall of his bedroom. What does learning how to tell time have to do with cars? Ideally, nothing, because analog clocks have no reason to be in cars anymore. Read More »

Used-vehicle prices drop for 3rd straight month

The Manheim Used Vehicle Index in March dropped for the third month in a row, a "natural realignment" with prices in the new-vehicle market, Manheim chief economist Tom Webb said today. Read More »

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GM alerts 779,000 owners to need for more-frequent oil changes

General Motors is warning owners of almost 800,000 2010-12 vehicles that they may need oil changes more frequently than their onboard oil monitoring systems are telling them. Read More »

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Customer Incentives

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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SALES:

Mercedes sales up 5.7% in March on strong U.S. demand

Daimler said vehicle sales at its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit rose 5.7 percent to a record 150,430 units in March compared with the same month a year earlier because of strong U.S. demand and small gains in Europe and China. Read More »

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SALES:

UK car sales continue to buck Europe's downturn with 5.9% rise in March

New-car sales in the UK rose 5.9 percent to 394,806 in March, the 13th successive month of growth, as consumer demand continued to defy the downward trend in other major European markets. Read More »

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Kia eyes BMW, Audi; aims to add technology

Not only is Kia benchmarking BMW and Audi; it is crawling out of the shadow of its bigger corporate sibling, Hyundai. Its new goal: model its own brand identity after Volkswagen's as it seeks to be mass-market yet one notch above the pack in terms of quality and flair. Read More »

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GM, Opel CEOs to meet Germany's Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson and the new head of GM's Opel unit, Karl-Thomas Neumann, will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel next Thursday, along with members of the GM board, a government spokesman said on Friday. Read More »

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GM to invest $332 million in 4 U.S. sites

GM said it will invest about $332 million in four U.S. manufacturing sites to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmission systems. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Porsche switches gears on powertrains

It wasn't long ago that gasoline was the only fuel a Porsche could use. Today, the powertrain options at the Volkswagen Group subsidiary include diesel, gasoline-electric hybrid and, soon, plug-in hybrid. Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche's r&d boss, is spearheading the changes. Read More »

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First Shift: Tesla e-mail 'overzealous'

Buyers were urged to complete purchases to aid profit goal; next BMW crossover; Lexus small SUV?; distractions, daydreams. Read More »

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Tesla's Musk calls e-mail sent by sales staff 'overzealous'

Elon Musk, the billionaire who leads Tesla Motors, called an e-mail sent by his sales staff last month “overzealous” and said the wording wasn't approved by the electric-car maker. Read More »

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SALES:

Fiat turns to Germany as Italy sales seen as worst since 1966

Fiat, faced with Italy sales that could fall to their lowest level for 47 years, is seeking to boost sales in Germany by offering steeper discounts than any other automaker there. Read More »

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GM reviews South Korea operations as tensions rise with North

GM CEO Dan Akerson said the automaker is making backup plans for its operations in South Korea as tensions with North Korea heighten. Chevrolet Europe gets most of its cars from South Korea. Read More »

NUTS & BOLTS:

1 million VW sales in the U.S. by 2018? Well ...

Does Volkswagen still expect to hit its much talked-about target of 1 million sales in the United States by 2018? At the New York auto show last week, Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW Group of America, offered a roundabout answer that smelled, at best, like a maybe. Read More »

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Dealer Ron Rossi's electrifying crusade

Dealer Ron Rossi's electrifying crusade

Honda retailer Ron Rossi has never forgotten what he learned in his family's grocery business in the 1970s: Save money by saving energy. Mon., March 17
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