Headlines for Friday, April 19, 2013

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AutoNews Now: Kentucky lands a Lexus

Toyota move shows N.A. clout; as Fiat EV loses money, CEO calls for U.S. to be technology neutral; Lapham takes the bait. Read More »

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Maserati Ghibli tests Fiat's push into luxury

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. Read More »

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Volvo CEO sees more tough times for Europe

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. Read More »

Robotics company Kuka acquires assembly and welding supplier

Kuka AG has acquired the welding equipment and assembly supplier Utica Enterprises in suburban Detroit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read More »

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North America car and truck production - 04/22/13

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Kia prices Cadenza large sedan at $35,900

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. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Looking for a Chinese car in Shanghai

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. Read More »

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JASON STEIN:

The (domestic) auto industry hits a wall in China

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. Read More »

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First Shift: VW cutting jobs in Tenn.

500 contract workers to go as Passat sales slow; LG Chem's stalled battery plant to start; Snyder: Suppliers' expansion dilemma. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Looking for a Chinese car in Shanghai

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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VW lays off 500 in Chattanooga as Passat sales fall short

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. Read More »

APRIL U.S. AUTO SALES:

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

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. Read More »

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2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW:

Riviera concept shows Buick design direction

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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VW recall highlights perils of too much success in China

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. Read More »

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YANG JIAN:

Chinese automakers will showcase strategies at Shanghai show

The Shanghai auto show will provide an opportunity for Chinese carmakers to declare they've learned from past mistakes. Read More »

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VW will expand China lineup 29% in sales push

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

Volkswagen of America has hired Maserati North America CEO Mark McNabb, a former Nissan and GM sales executive, as its COO. Read More »

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NEW PRODUCT:

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

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. Read More »

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2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW:

French automakers count on luxury appeal for success in China

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. Read More »

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Fiat will add second shift at Maserati factory, report says

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. Read More »

Jaguar Land Rover hires industry veteran

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. Read More »

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Magna CEO Walker: Engineering expertise can help cut weight

Magna International plans to use its expertise in body engineering to help automakers cut vehicle weight, CEO Don Walker says. Read More »

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MARK RECHTIN:

Get ready for Fisker's public flagellation

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. Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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