Headlines for Monday, April 15, 2013

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VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 4

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of Product - Group 4. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 3

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of Product - Group 3. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 2

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of Product - Group 2. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Product - Group 1

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of Product - Group 1. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Manufacturing

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of manufacturing. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Finalists - Information Technology

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Finalists for the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Awards in the category of information technology. Winners were announced April 15 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

VIDEO: 2013 PACE Award Winners

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Winners of the 19th annual Automotive News PACE Award, announced April 15, 2013 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

Automotive News PACE Awards

Continental, Federal-Mogul lead PACE Award winners

9:30 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Suppliers Continental Automotive Systems and Federal-Mogul Corp. led the field of winners by picking up two Automotive News PACE Awards each on Monday night. The 19th annual awards honor outstanding innovations from suppliers.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: iPads, apps and 'snacks'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Automakers using technology to speed buyers through the showroom; Dodge chief named head of Ram; making a case for steel.

THE SUPPLIERS SPEAKS: RANDALL SCHEPS, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, ALCOA

Q&A: Alcoa expects aluminum bodies for volume vehicles

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Aluminum -- already the material of choice for engine blocks and many wheels and hoods -- will find a place in the body-in-white, predicts Randall Scheps, Alcoa's director of marketing.

BEST PRACTICES

A 5th-generation store with 21st-century skills

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
When you find a thriving seven-franchise dealership in sparsely populated South Dakota that has been in the same family for 106 years, you know they've learned a thing or two about finding and keeping customers.

Suppliers hustle to fill orders

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
As automakers in North America crank up production, suppliers that chopped capacity during the recession have become a critical bottleneck. Asked to boost production, many suppliers say they finally are making money again and are loath to take risks.

Jeep dilemma: Keep SUV guts, add comfort

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
With the help of key suppliers -- ZF Friedrichshafen and American Axle & Manufacturing -- that developed two major innovations, the Cherokee is Jeep's best hope to compete with today's Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape.

VW names Stackmann as new Seat boss

April 15, 2013 17:49 CET
VW Group has named Juergen Stackmann as head of its money-losing Seat brand. He replaces James Muir, who will assume an unspecified senior management role within the group.

Mercedes joins growing list of UAW organizing targets

4:10 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
The UAW, which has been trying more aggressively to organize foreign-owned auto plants in the United States over the past two years, is taking another shot at organizing the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Ala.

Opel to push growth in Russia, Akerson tells paper

April 15, 2013 10:07 CET
General Motors' Opel brand will push growth in Russia and Turkey to offset slumping European slumping business but steer clear of China, GM CEO Dan Akerson said.

Plans for a Mercedes subcompact are a risk for Daimler

April 15, 2013 20:19 CET
Daimler could follow its German competitors into the market for premium subcompact cars but it will have to keep its costs down and volumes up to make money off any future Mercedes.

Airbag recall shows risk of global supply chains

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
A massive vehicle recall by four Japanese automakers because of faulty airbags underscores the perils of huge global supply chains as companies increasingly rely on a handful of suppliers for common or similar parts.

Ford, GM partner on 9-, 10-speed gearboxes

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Ford and GM are developing nine- and 10-speed transmissions jointly for use in cars, crossovers, pickups and SUVs. The rivals say partnering on the automatic front- and rear-wheel-drive gearboxes will get them to market faster and cheaper.

OBITUARY

S.C. dealer Steve Dyer dead at 56

1:55 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Steve Dyer, CEO of Dick Dyer & Associates Mercedes-Volvo here, died March 27. He was 56. Steve Dyer had worked for Dick Dyer & Associates, which was founded by his father, since he was a teenager.

GABE NELSON

Whatever happened to the backup camera mandate?

1:12 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Just a few months ago, it seemed to be a done deal that light vehicles sold in the United States would need backup cameras within a few years.

Ford's top execs devote much more time to China

12:01 pm U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
During a recent visit to China, Ford COO Mark Fields ran the company's global business-plan review meeting -- a weekly gathering that includes all of the company's senior leaders -- from Ford's China headquarters in Shanghai. The meeting ran until 1 p.m.

Chrysler names Bigland to replace Diaz at Ram; Kuniskis to lead Dodge

10:30 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Chrysler Group has named Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales and Dodge, to replace Fred Diaz as head of Ram, effective today. Diaz resigned Friday to take a job at Nissan.

Judge asks PSA to delay French job cuts

April 15, 2013 16:19 CET
PSA may have to postpone job cuts by at least 10 days as it awaits a court ruling on its restructuring the strategy.

CAR CUTAWAY

BWI helps give Mini Roadster its distinctive handling

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
BWI Group provides the Mini Roadster's struts and shocks. The company's dampers, which are used by all models in the Mini lineup, incorporate compression and rebound valving designs that are specifically engineered to specifications developed for the BMW subsidiary.

SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW PREVIEW

Crossovers and SUVs will take center stage in Shanghai

April 15, 2013 06:01 CET
Automakers will test China's huge appetite for crossovers and SUVs with introductions at the Shanghai auto show. Acura, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen plan world debuts for compact crossovers, while Jeep -- which arguably started the SUV craze -- will roll out its new Cherokee.

VIDEO: First Shift: Ford, GM get team in gear

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Rivals to work on 9- and 10-speed transmissions; U.S.-made Infinitis?; UAW push at Ala. Mercedes plant; pioneer before '42.'

Q&A

Musk: Why franchised dealers are wrong retail route for EVs

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
After testifying last week before Texas legislators, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talked in depth with Automotive News about his reluctance to use franchised dealers. The following is an excerpt of the interview with Automotive News reporter Amy Wilson:

Tesla's Musk: I'll take store fight federal

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
If Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk can't win against dealers at the state level, he will make a federal case of his bid to sell electric vehicles directly to the public through factory stores.

Ford, GM partner on 9-, 10-speed gearboxes

April 15, 2013 06:01 CET
Ford and General Motors are developing nine- and 10-speed transmissions jointly for use in cars, crossovers, pickups and SUVs. The rivals say partnering on the automatic front- and rear-wheel-drive gearboxes will get them to market faster and cheaper.

SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW PREVIEW

A bevy of crossovers and SUVs will take center stage at China's auto extravaganza

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Automakers will test China's huge appetite for crossovers and SUVs with introductions this week at the Shanghai auto show. Acura, BMW, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen plan world debuts for compact crossovers, while Jeep -- which arguably started the SUV craze -- will roll out its new Cherokee.

Nissan lures Ram brand boss Diaz

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
The departure of Fred Diaz, head of Chrysler Group's Ram brand, to become Nissan Division's top sales executive marks the first time a Chrysler brand chief has voluntarily left for another automaker since Fiat S.p.A. took over Chrysler four years ago.

Focus or Corolla: Who's No. 1?

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
The "world's best-selling vehicle nameplate" has a nice ring to it, and last week Ford laid claim to that title in 2012, just as it had for 2011. But Toyota would have none of it, claiming that its Corolla was the real No. 1.

Fiat plans lowball lease to push 500e

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
To make its 500e electric more appealing to shoppers, Fiat will offer the car for the same monthly lease payment as the base 500 with a gasoline engine.

Hyundai puts growth on hold

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Hyundai Motor Co.'s limited global production capacity is capping the company's growth, a top executive says. The company is squeezing nearly every unit possible from its assembly plants.

Musk: Franchises are wrong route for electric vehicles

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
After testifying last week before Texas legislators, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talked about his reluctance to use franchised dealerships to sell his electric vehicles.

American Axle clutch helped Cherokee crawl

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
American Axle & Manufacturing had been trying unsuccessfully for years to expand into the clutch business. But it wasn't it realized that its clutch design had a better use beyond an automatic transmission that it found an enthusiastic buyer in Chrysler Group.

Hot Hyundai-Kia hit icy patch in first quarter

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Hyundai-Kia U.S. retail sales, excluding fleet sales, totaled about 248,900 vehicles in the first quarter, down 9 percent from last year. Meanwhile, major competitors all increased sales to retail customers.

GM to spend $5.2 billion on Opel through '16

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
General Motors said it will invest 4 billion euros, or about $5.2 billion, in Opel by the end of 2016 to support new model launches, renewing its commitment to its money-losing European division.

Chevy ad vet named Cadillac's marketer

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson has picked Steve Majoros, a veteran of ad agency Campbell-Ewald and a force behind such well-known Chevrolet campaigns as "Like A Rock" and "American Revolution," as his global marketing director.

Ford: New EcoBoost to fuel China sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
China gets part of the credit for Ford Motor Co.'s newest EcoBoost engine, a 1.5-liter powerplant. China gives car buyers a roughly $300 tax break for buying a vehicle with an engine of 1.5 liters or less.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Used-car shoppers want it all online

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
Dealers should post rich information online to sell used vehicles, not just new ones, according to respondents in a new study by J.D Power and Associates.

Study: Parts industry makes up 2.3% of U.S. GDP

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2013
The auto parts industry is the nation's biggest manufacturing employer, accounting for 2.3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, a new study says.

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