Headlines for Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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Daimler likely to cut 2013 outlook on weak Europe

Daimler is likely to cut its 2013 profit outlook when it reports first-quarter earnings later this month amid weak demand, especially in Europe. "Not much tailwind is anticipated from the markets in the coming months. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: GM pouring $5.2B into Opel

Akerson: European unit 'a key to our success'; Daimler may cut outlook; Mitsubishi plug-in still on hold; Ford Raptor's new skin. Read More »

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First Shift: GM 'refriends' Facebook

Chevrolet mobile campaign further unravels Ewanick moves; Chrysler recalling more than 214K vehicles; Ford Marketing 101. Read More »

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Nissan will move Primastar van output to France from Spain, report says

Nissan plans to move production of the Primastar van from Spain to Renault's Sandouville plant in France, sources said, helping its French alliance partner keep a pledge to raise domestic output in return for union concessions. Read More »

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Ford, allies in U.S. Congress make case for EU trade deal

Ford, which wants the U.S. government to align vehicle standards with those of the EU, has enlisted a longtime ally in its campaign: U.S. politician John Dingell, who is known for his ardent backing of the domestic auto industry. Read More »

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Musk: Tesla could build second plant in Texas

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says he would consider locating a second automotive assembly plant in Texas. Read More »

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NEWS ANALYSIS:

Rethinking the lithium ion battery revolution over cost, safety

On the eve of a Washington forum, a growing number of engineers say the lithium ion battery revolution in cars and other products has stalled, undercut by high costs, technical complexity and safety concerns. Read More »

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Ford, allies in Congress make case for EU trade deal

Ford Motor Co., which wants the federal government to align U.S. vehicle standards with those of the European Union, has enlisted a longtime ally in its campaign: U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the 29-term Michigan Democrat known for his ardent backing of the domestic auto industry. Read More »

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CarMax quarterly profit rises, but used-car sales momentum drops

CarMax, the largest retailer of used cars in the United States, reported a 13 percent gain in fourth-quarter profit, but comparable used-car sales grew at a slower pace than the previous quarter. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Lots of chatter on CFPB and dealer reserve

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s effort to cut dealer reserve is sparking a fair amount of online debate. Read More »

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Musk says Texas dealers 'unjust' in preventing Tesla stores

Texas dealers are unjustly trying to prevent Tesla Motors from competing in their state, company founder and CEO Elon Musk told state lawmakers late Tuesday. Read More »

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GM will invest 4 billion euros in Opel through 2016

General Motors said it will invest 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in Opel to support new model launches, renewing its commitment to its European division. Opel plans to introduce 23 new or refreshed models and 13 new powertrains by 2016. Read More »

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Probe of U.S. electric-car loans pledged by Republican Issa

A House panel chairman said he'll accelerate a probe into the Energy Department's loans for alternative-fuel vehicles after Fisker Automotive dismissed most of its workers and hired bankruptcy lawyers. Read More »

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Dacia says strikes may push production to Morocco

Renault's Dacia unit may shift output to cheaper sites in Morocco if a pay conflict in Romania escalates. Workers at Dacia's assembly plant went on strike for two days demanding a 40 percent pay increase. Read More »

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Service lane focus lifts Lithia's F&I sales

New software and a boost in spiffs have made it easy -- and lucrative -- for Lithia Motors Inc.'s service advisers to sell extended service contracts and lifetime oil change plans. Read More »

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How the Fed fueled surge in subprime loans

Jeffrey Nelson was able to put up a shotgun as down payment on a car. At car dealers across the United States, loans to subprime borrowers like him are surging. Subprime auto lenders are showing up in a lot of personal bankruptcy filings, too. The Federal Reserve has made it all possible. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Strange question? Not really

Should an F&I officer or a salesperson explain the risks of a big down payment to a lease customer? Read More »

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Ally, GM Financial deal highlights opposite goals

With a single transaction last week, Ally Financial and GM Financial took giant steps in opposite directions. Ally got somewhat smaller and much more local; GM Financial got a lot bigger and much more international. Read More »

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New-car loans hit record 65 months

Car buyers are flocking to loans more than five years long in search of lower monthly payments or more vehicle for the same payment. Read More »

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Mitsubishi extends halt of Outlander hybrid shipments

Mitsubishi will extend its production and shipment stoppage of its Outlander plug-in hybrids until it finds the cause of an overheating lithium-ion battery in one of the vehicles, the automaker said today. Read More »

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Q&A:

Why BMW Financial is tackling tough e-contracts

Customers hate to wait. That's why BMW Group Financial Services has spent three years developing and rolling out e-contracts to replace paper finance contracts. Read More »

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VW-brand China sales rise 12.9% in March

Volkswagen-brand sales in China increased 12.9 percent to 206,800 units in March, cementing China's status as the automaker's key growth market. Read More »

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Polish car production falls 24% in first quarter

Polish car production fell an annual 24 percent in the first quarter following a decision by Fiat to transfer output of its best-selling Panda minicar from Poland to Italy and layoff workers at its Tychy factory. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Peugeot already sees benefits from upmarket move

The boss of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's namesake brand says he's already seeing benefits from efforts to move upmarket, which the automaker considers crucial to returning to profit. Read More »

LEGAL FILE:

Ex-Suzuki dealer who ran sales scam loses punitive damages fight

A former Kansas City Suzuki dealer who ran a too-good-to-be-true sales promotion has lost a bid to overturn a jury’s $500,000 punitive damage award to two customers. Read More »

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