Headlines for Thursday, April 18, 2013

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Lutz on fixing 'unholy mess'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Ex-GM exec: Raise gas tax; Maserati N.A. CEO jumps to VW, Chrysler exec heads to luxury brand; 1 million Mustangs.

Texas dealers confront aftermath of destruction

3:30 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Greg May Chevrolet in West, Texas, is coping with damage and devastation. Last night, a blast at a fertilizer plant a mile from the store killed several people and injured more than 100. "It's been quite devastating," said Gary Rodenbaugh, general manager of Greg May Chevrolet.

Toyota to shift Lexus ES output to Kentucky

12:25 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Toyota plans to invest $360 million to bring production of the Lexus ES sedan to Kentucky, making it the first model from Toyota's premium brand to be built in the United States as the carmaker pushes to localize more manufacturing.

Fisker was allowed to draw on U.S. loan after default, report says

4:19 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Fisker Automotive was allowed to keep using money from an Energy Department loan after violating its terms multiple times, according to a research report.

VIDEO: First Shift: Toyota to expand in Ky.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Friday announcement slated, report says plant will add Lexus ES; AutoNation acquisitions; a 46 mpg Chevy; Hyundai idea hunt.

BRAD WERNLE

It's hard to see where China's love affair with cars will lead

3:07 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
If you hang around anyone connected with the Chinese auto industry for any length of time, you'll hear mind-boggling numbers about the industry's rosy future.

2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW

Mercedes unveils GLA concept

April 18, 2013 09:01 CET
Mercedes released pictures and details of the Concept GLA ahead of its debut at the Shanghai auto show. The production version will launch next year as a competitor to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

Chery to ax subbrands, trim lineup

3:04 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Chery plans to drop its three subbrands and eliminate half its models to revamp its unprofitable business.

AvtoVAZ to lower sales forecast on weak Russian market

April 18, 2013 15:57 CET
AvtoVAZ, Russia's largest carmaker, will cut its 2013 sales and production forecasts due to the weak state of its home market, the company's CEO said. "We saw a certain decline in sales in March," Igor Komarov said.

Automakers will likely lower targets as German car sales plunge

April 18, 2013 17:34 CET
Daimler and other global automakers will probably have to lower their forecasts after demand in Germany dropped the most in 2 1/2 years. The plunge in the German market is prompting companies to increase discounting, in turn pressuring earnings.

BMW plans perks to win EV customers

April 18, 2013 08:34 CET
BMW will offer extra services to attract drivers to its "i" electric-car lineup, including occasional use of fuel-powered models.

GM: Chevy Cruze diesel to deliver 46 mpg on highway

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
GM said the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel will deliver an estimated 46 miles per gallon on the highway, besting the company's initial target by four mpg.

AutoNation Q1 earnings soar; acquisitions continue

6:30 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
AutoNation said first-quarter net income rose 14 percent to $83 million, up from $73 million a year ago. With profits up in all categories of its business during the first quarter, particularly finance and insurance and parts and service, AutoNation is snapping up more dealerships.

Visteon's Leuliette rules out sale of climate business sought by Mando

1:33 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Visteon CEO Tim Leuliette ruled out selling control of the company’s climate-control business that South Korea’s Mando has been seeking to buy. "First of all, the business isn’t for sale," Leuliette said in reference to Halla Visteon Climate Control.

MIKE COLIAS

Why GM might rename its new mid-sized pickups

1:08 pm U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Mark Reuss says the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-sized pickups will be so much better than the bland outgoing models, General Motors might come up with new names.

Subaru to unveil U.S. capacity expansion to increase inventories

11:31 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries intends to end a shortage of its vehicles at U.S. dealerships soon by expanding capacity in the country, its largest market.

VW hires McNabb from Maserati to extend U.S. sales surge

9:45 am U.S. ET | April 18, 2013
Volkswagen of America has hired Maserati North America CEO Mark McNabb, a former Nissan and General Motors sales executive, as its COO. McNabb, 51, will start at Volkswagen on May 1. He will report to CEO Jonathan Browning and oversee U.S. sales as VW continues an ambitious growth strategy.

PSA mulls Aulnay plant closure this year, sources say

April 18, 2013 14:34 CET
PSA may shut its Aulnay plant near Paris as early as September, ahead of a proposed closure in 2014, because strikes are disrupting production, according to sources.

Volvo to report big operating loss in China, paper says

April 18, 2013 11:07 CET
Volvo is set to report an operating loss in China for 2012 of between 2 billion to 4 billion Swedish crowns ($308 million to $615 million) as weak car sales and a costly new factory weighed on results, a Swedish daily newspaper reported on Thursday.

Airbag maker Takata to book $307 million loss after Japan autos recall

April 18, 2013 09:31 CET
Takata, the airbag manufacturer that last week was cited in the recall of 3.4 million vehicles made by Japanese automakers, said on Thursday it will book an annual extraordinary loss of $307 million.

GKN's first-quarter profit falls on auto-industry volatility, restructuring costs

April 18, 2013 13:27 CET
UK supplier GKN said today that first-quarter profit fell 4 percent after its auto-parts unit was hit by a restructuring charge and falling vehicle production in Europe, Japan and India.

BMW, VW supplier SGL issues profit warning

April 18, 2013 12:34 CET
SGL Carbon, which is partly owned by the BMW and VW groups, reduced its profit outlook because of a "slow start" to the year, particularly for its graphite-materials and carbon-fiber units.

Bosch sees sales gain of 4% in 2013 on growth outside Europe

April 18, 2013 10:04 CET
German supplier Bosch forecasts its sales will increase as much as 4 percent this year as growth outside Europe makes up for a recession in the region.

Recall of airbags shows risk of global supply chains

April 18, 2013 06:01 CET
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.

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