Headlines for Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Customer Incentives

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Opel names new human resources boss

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. Read More »

Europe car sales drop 10% as Germany plunges

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. Read More »


MG previews brand's first production SUV

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. Read More »


AutoNews Now: Green leaps for automakers

From Chrysler's engines to GM's EV motors, a push to meet mpg mandate; letting up on suppliers; Ford deepens China tie. Read More »


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

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. Read More »


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

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. Read More »


Opel confirms Bochum plant to close in late 2014

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. Read More »


First Shift: Toyota hybrid milestone

Sales hit 5 million; VW, BMW, Acura and Mercedes crossovers to take center stage in Shanghai; Golden State warriors? Read More »


With GLA, Mercedes aims for younger shopper

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »


Heuliez, VW in partnership talks

French contract manufacturer Heuliez is in partnership talks with Volkswagen. Heuliez said VW may supply parts to the company in exchange for manufacturing services. Read More »


Who's the No. 1 lender? Gimme an A …

Who's No. 1 in auto finance? It depends on who's doing the telling. Read More »


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

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. Read More »

Former A123 battery maker's settlement with Fisker approved

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. Read More »

Carmaker ties boost lending at Chase, Wells Fargo

Expanding retail partnerships with automakers are paying off for Wells Fargo Dealer Services and Chase Auto Finance. Read More »


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

Visteon said it terminated Joy Greenway, president of its climate controls business, as the supplier moves climate operations to its South Korean joint venture. Read More »


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

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. Read More »

F&I Week:

Please tell us: Which sales props work for you?

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. Read More »


Opel board meets to seal fate of Bochum plant

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. Read More »


Some subprime lenders trade margin for volume

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. Read More »


Nissan considers expanding North American Infiniti production

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. Read More »


BMW's China JV will build EV under Zinoro brand

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. Read More »


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

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. Read More »


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

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. Read More »

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