Headlines for Friday, April 19, 2013

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Kentucky lands a Lexus

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Toyota move shows N.A. clout; as Fiat EV loses money, CEO calls for U.S. to be technology neutral; Lapham takes the bait.

Maserati Ghibli tests Fiat's push into luxury

April 19, 2013 20:53 CET
The Ghibli is an early test of Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne's efforts to squeeze more cash out of the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands. Maserati faces a difficult balancing act to emulate the success of BMW, Daimler and Audi by rolling out more affordable models aimed at a broader client base.

Volvo CEO sees more tough times for Europe

April 19, 2013 09:05 CET
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson is bracing for more tough times in Europe, where the automaker's sales fell 15 percent in the first quarter. Samuelsson expects growing sales in China and a rebound in the United States will result in flat overall vehicle sales for the year.

Robotics company Kuka acquires assembly and welding supplier

3:59 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Kuka AG has acquired the welding equipment and assembly supplier Utica Enterprises in suburban Detroit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kia prices Cadenza large sedan at $35,900

4:19 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Kia has set the starting price of its new range-topping Cadenza sedan at $35,900, including shipping, to target the high-end of the large sedan segment.

LUCA CIFERRI

Looking for a Chinese car in Shanghai

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
If I were an executive at a Chinese domestic automaker, I would be very worried. Why? Because it is difficult to find a Chinese-brand car on the streets of Shanghai.

JASON STEIN

The (domestic) auto industry hits a wall in China

2:53 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
If you listen to the industry experts -- and in this country there are more than a few who claim to know how the future will unfold -- they'll tell you that the good times in China are over.

VIDEO: First Shift: VW cutting jobs in Tenn.

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
500 contract workers to go as Passat sales slow; LG Chem's stalled battery plant to start; Snyder: Suppliers' expansion dilemma.

LUCA CIFERRI

Looking for a Chinese car in Shanghai

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
If I were an executive at a Chinese domestic automaker, I would be very worried. Why? Because it is difficult to find a Chinese-brand car on the streets of Shanghai.

Toyota says Prius line may not reach 2013 U.S. target

2:32 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Toyota's Prius hybrids, after record sales in the United States last year, may not reach a target for growth in 2013 as gasoline prices fall faster than the automaker expected, its top North American executive said.

VW lays off 500 in Chattanooga as Passat sales fall short

10:23 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Volkswagen is eliminating 500 contract jobs and reducing work shifts at its new assembly plant in Tennessee to ease an oversupply of the Passat sedan.

APRIL U.S. AUTO SALES

U.S. sales projected to rise 7% as annual rate stays above 15M

10:03 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Drivers replacing aging vehicles will keep auto sales for the United States “in a healthy holding pattern” in April, industry analysts said today while raising the forecast for the full year.

2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW

Riviera concept shows Buick design direction

12:15 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
General Motors unveiled a gull wing, two-door Buick Riviera concept car today at an event here prior to the Shanghai auto show, which opens on Saturday.

Honda recalls over 225,000 SUVs and minivans in U.S., Canada

11:17 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Honda is recalling about 225,300 SUVs and minivans in the United States and Canada to replace a part that if not operating could allow the driver to shift out of park without depressing the brake pedal.

LG Chem aims to start U.S. car battery plant later this year

9:48 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
South Korea's LG Chem aims to start production at its Michigan car battery factory in the second half of this year, two executives said today, as the firm tries to revive the plant's fortunes despite slow demand for electric vehicles.

VW recall highlights perils of too much success in China

April 19, 2013 06:34 CET
VW, Mercedes and BMW all posted record global sales last year, fueled by demand in China. This year, that growth is at risk after the Chinese government stepped up scrutiny of the automakers and media outlets questioned their quality, leading in one case to a recall of VW cars.

YANG JIAN

Chinese automakers will showcase strategies at Shanghai show

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
The Shanghai auto show will provide an opportunity for Chinese carmakers to declare they've learned from past mistakes.

VW will expand China lineup 29% in sales push

April 19, 2013 11:04 CET
Volkswagen plans to expand its lineup by 29 percent in China to offer 90 cars, SUVs, vans and heavy trucks in the country. China is a key market for VW in its drive to take the industry's global top spot in five years.

PSA says vehicle sales in China rose 31% in first quarter

April 19, 2013 10:58 CET
PSA said new-car sales in China rose 31 percent to 142,000 in the first quarter, a record for the automaker. Growth was driven by a 24 percent rise in deliveries for PSA's joint venture with Chinese automaker Dongfeng, the company added.

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

April 19, 2013 06:01 CET
Volkswagen of America has hired Maserati North America CEO Mark McNabb, a former Nissan and GM sales executive, as its COO.

NEW PRODUCT

Renault hints at Twingo design with the Twin'Z EV concept

April 19, 2013 06:01 CET
Renault has said its Twin'Z rear-wheel-drive electric concept car is part of a design study for the third-generation Twingo, due to go on sale next year. The automaker, which unveiled the concept last month, has not specified which design elements the Twingo will take from the concept.

2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW

French automakers count on luxury appeal for success in China

April 19, 2013 06:01 CET
German automakers have long seen China as a key market. Now their French rivals, hit by slow sales in Europe, are playing catch up, and they are counting on the popularity of France's luxury fashion brands to help them.

Fiat will add second shift at Maserati factory, report says

April 19, 2013 09:03 CET
Fiat will add a second shift at the Turin factory where it builds Maserati cars, a source said. Fiat is investing 1.2 billion euros in the luxury marque as it seeks to boost global sales from 6,000 last year to 50,000.

Jaguar Land Rover hires industry veteran

April 19, 2013 06:01 CET
Jaguar Land Rover North America has hired industry veteran Duke Hale to help improve its reputation for customer service -- especially for the Land Rover brand.

Magna CEO Walker: Engineering expertise can help cut weight

April 19, 2013 06:01 CET
Magna International plans to use its expertise in body engineering to help automakers cut vehicle weight, CEO Don Walker says.

MARK RECHTIN

Get ready for Fisker's public flagellation

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 19, 2013
Top executives from Fisker Automotive are going to be called before Congress on April 24 for a public flagellation. The reason: Alleged profligacy with $193 million of taxpayer money from Department of Energy loans that are unlikely to be repaid.

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