Headlines for Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Opel names new human resources boss

April 17, 2013 14:47 CET
Opel has named Ulrich Schumacher its new human resources and labor relations boss. The 55-year-old German, who has worked at Ford and Magna International, also will serve as vice president of human resources for General Motors Europe.

Europe car sales drop 10% as Germany plunges

April 17, 2013 08:34 CET
European car sales dropped 10 percent in March as declines at PSA, Ford and VW and a plunge in Germany put the industry on pace for the fewest annual deliveries in 20 years.


MG previews brand's first production SUV

April 17, 2013 10:22 CET
MG Motor said its MG CS concept previews a potential compact SUV/crossover that would target young, fashion-conscious people. The MG CS is similar in size to the Nissan Qashqai.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Green leaps for automakers

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
From Chrysler's engines to GM's EV motors, a push to meet mpg mandate; letting up on suppliers; Ford deepens China tie.

Toyota offered $146.5 million to expand Kentucky plant to make Lexus ES

6:04 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Toyota Motor Corp. is being offered $146.5 million in tax incentives by Kentucky to expand its plant in Georgetown to build the Lexus ES.

Chrysler's Graczyk replaces McNabb as head of Maserati North America

3:28 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Maserati has named Chrysler executive Robert Graczyk CEO of the company's North America division, effective immediately. Graczyk, former director of sales at Chrysler Group's Asia-Pacific region, replaces Mark McNabb, who left the company to become COO of Volkswagen of America.

Opel confirms Bochum plant to close in late 2014

April 17, 2013 17:13 CET
GM's Opel unit solidified plans to close its car plant in Bochum, Germany, at the end of 2014 after workers rejected a wage freeze, the first shutdown of an auto factory in the country since World War II.

VIDEO: First Shift: Toyota hybrid milestone

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Sales hit 5 million; VW, BMW, Acura and Mercedes crossovers to take center stage in Shanghai; Golden State warriors?


With GLA, Mercedes aims for younger shopper

5:07 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Mercedes-Benz is poised to take aim at the growing compact crossover segment with the five-door GLA -- a vehicle company executives say will be packed with premium features but carry a competitive price tag.

ArcelorMittal sues Severstal, Nisshin over cold-rolled sheet patent for auto parts

1:04 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
ArcelorMittal USA, part of the world's biggest steelmaker, sued units of OAO Severstal, Russia's second-largest steelmaker, and Nisshin Steel Holdings for allegedly infringing a patent for metal used in auto parts.

Heuliez, VW in partnership talks

April 17, 2013 11:31 CET
French contract manufacturer Heuliez is in partnership talks with Volkswagen. Heuliez said VW may supply parts to the company in exchange for manufacturing services.


Who's the No. 1 lender? Gimme an A …

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Who's No. 1 in auto finance? It depends on who's doing the telling.

Ford hikes stake in China's Jiangling Motors to 31.5%

12:45 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Ford Motor Co. has raised its stake in China's Jiangling Motors to 31.5 percent from 30 percent and is looking to increase it to as much as 32 percent over the next year, both companies said on Wednesday.

Former A123 battery maker's settlement with Fisker approved

12:19 pm U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
B456 Systems, the bankrupt electric-car battery maker formerly called A123 Systems, received approval of a settlement with Fisker Automotive, reducing its claims by 89 percent to $15 million.

Carmaker ties boost lending at Chase, Wells Fargo

7:54 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Expanding retail partnerships with automakers are paying off for Wells Fargo Dealer Services and Chase Auto Finance.

Visteon eliminates 2 senior execs as climate division shifts to South Korea

11:40 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Visteon said it terminated Joy Greenway, president of its climate controls business, as the supplier moves climate operations to its South Korean joint venture.


Payment packing is deception -- 'it's not OK'

7:42 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
There's a stubbornly held belief around some dealerships that salespeople can get away with "payment packing" -- traditionally defined as adding extras to a monthly payment quote without divulging them -- as long as the F&I manager eventually discloses to the customer what went into the payment.

F&I Week

Please tell us: Which sales props work for you?

10:30 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
One store displays a jar of screws and nails to show consumers the everyday threats to tires. F&I managers at another use computer chips to illustrate how an innocent-looking little chip can generate a big repair bill if it fails.

Opel board meets to seal fate of Bochum plant

April 17, 2013 13:30 CET
Opel's supervisory board is meeting today to approve the first closure of a German auto plant in the country since World War II. The carmaker is shutting the Bochum plant, which builds the Zafira minivan, as part of a wider restructuring plan in Europe.

Some subprime lenders trade margin for volume

8:04 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Striking the right balance between margins and volume is tough for auto lenders. But fierce competition in the subprime segment, especially from new players, could be making the challenge more difficult for longtime subprime companies.

Nissan considers expanding North American Infiniti production

9:54 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Nissan's Infiniti unit, seeking a bigger share of global luxury vehicle sales, is considering adding a second production site in North America to produce models for the brand locally.

BMW's China JV will build EV under Zinoro brand

April 17, 2013 06:01 CET
BMW's Chinese joint venture with Brilliance Automotive will build an electric car to be marketed under the newly created Zinoro brand. The car will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014.

Toyota hybrid sales gain as U.S. demand offsets slump in Japan

9:37 am U.S. ET | April 17, 2013
Toyota, the world’s biggest maker of hybrid vehicles, boosted first-quarter sales of dual-powered autos as a jump in overseas demand outweighed a drop in Japan, where government subsidies expired last year.

Daimler exits EADS with $2.9 billion stake sale to focus on cars

April 17, 2013 09:19 CET
Daimler has sold its remaining stake in European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. for 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to focus on its auto business.

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