Headlines for Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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AutoNews Now: Redefining 'domestic' content

New index tracks economic impact of buyers' choices; feds dig in on distraction; rivals bid for JCI unit; Ford earnings preview. Read More »

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Ford hybrid owners sue over fuel-efficiency rating claims

Ford was sued by Pennsylvania car owners who said its hybrid models don’t deliver on fuel-efficiency claims. Read More »

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Henrik Fisker: 'Confluence of events' led to company's downfall

Henrik Fisker's congressional testimony on Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will paint the automaker he founded as a victim of "a confluence of events" and as a still-salvageable enterprise. Read More »

Delphi, Continental bid for Johnson Controls' auto electronics unit, report says

Delphi Automotive and Continental both bid for Johnson Controls' automotive electronics unit, Bloomberg sources said. The supplier is considering the sale to free up cash and focus on more profitable divisions, such as car seats. Read More »

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VW exec Muir will move to top sales post from Seat, report says

VW executive James Muir, who is being replaced as head of the struggling Seat brand, will get a top sales job with VW Group, a report said. Read More »

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DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:

Green group spills oil; makes confusing point on CO2

Green lobby group T&E has released a YouTube video that it hopes will put pressure on lawmakers to prevent them from weakening Europe's passenger-car CO2 target of 95 grams per kilometer for 2020. The trouble is that the video's message is difficult to understand. Read More »

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First Shift: U.S. seizes Fisker cash

Feds recoup $21 million; Chinese automaker plans U.S. entry; Sharapova to pitch for Porsche; lessons from a tragedy. Read More »

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LATEST LAUNCHES:

Renault Captur joins crowded segment

Renault hopes a spacious interior and a competitive price will help the Captur win buyers in Europe's fast-growing small SUV segment. Read More »

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Daimler said to plan transmission plant in Romania

Daimler plans a large investment to build transmission components in Romania at the site of an existing joint venture, a German newspaper reported. Read More »

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Ford may post record Q1 profits in North America, analysts say

Ford may post its highest first-quarter North American profit ever, the latest sign the automaker's comeback is gaining momentum. According to analyst estimates at Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, Ford probably earned a record $2. Read More »

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Fiat close to securing financing for Chrysler buyout, report says

Fiat could secure financing by May for a possible buyout of the rest of Chrysler, sources said. CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to merge the carmakers to create the world's seventh-largest auto group, tapping Chrysler's cash flow to offset Fiat's losses in Europe. Read More »

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U.S. union leader prods Opel workers to keep German plant open

Workers at Opel's factory in Bochum, Germany, should accept a deal they previously rejected to keep their jobs, Bob King, the head of the U.S.-based United Auto Workers union, said. Read More »

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UAW's King prods Opel workers to revote, keep German plant open

The head of the UAW suggested German hourly workers at a General Motors plant should accept a deal they previously rejected in order to keep their jobs. Read More »

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Tesla store license rejected by Virginia

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has rejected Tesla Motors' bid for a dealership license. In a ruling issued Monday, Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb turned down Tesla's request, which dates back to March 16, 2012. Read More »

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NHTSA recommends disabling built-in texting, Web browsing

Federal regulators, moving to curb distracted driving, issued final voluntary safety guidelines today that would disable certain in-vehicle functions such as manual texting and video phoning while driving. Read More »

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Sonic gets over Feb. hiccups to see Q1 profit gains

Pricing challenges and a slowdown in California in February put pressure on Sonic Automotive's profit margins during the first quarter. But the nation's third-largest dealership group bounced back to post a 4 percent increase in net income for the first quarter of 2013. Read More »

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Mitsubishi to revamp Japan plant; capacity cuts expected

Mitsubishi Motors plans to unveil a restructuring plan for its flagship Mizushima assembly plant in Japan on Thursday, a spokesman said today. Read More »

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Fiat close to securing financing for Chrysler buyout, report says

Fiat could secure financing by May for a possible buyout of the rest of Chrysler, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters today. Read More »

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Gentex earnings drop 2% in first quarter

Gentex, a supplier of automotive rearview mirrors and related parts, reported a 2 percent decline in net profits for the first quarter, citing a decrease in vehicle production in Japan, Korea and Europe. Read More »

Delphi, Continental bid for Johnson Controls' auto electronics unit, report says

Delphi Automotive and Continental AG both bid for Johnson Controls' automotive electronics unit, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Johnson Controls received first-round bids this month and is now setting up meetings with suitors such as Delphi and Continental, the report said. Read More »

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DUSTIN WALSH:

A name change to 456 as easy as 123? Not quite

On March 22, A123 Systems Incorporated became B456 Systems Incorporated. But confusion followed the announcement and continues to follow the battery maker in the wake of its bankruptcy. Read More »

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Johnson Controls posts lower quarterly profit, reaffirms 2013 outlook

Johnson Controls, citing weaker automotive production in Europe, posted lower profits during its most recent quarter, but reaffirmed its financial outlook for the year. Read More »

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Spain's Gestamp opens China parts factory

Spanish supplier Gestamp has opened its sixth China plant. The new factory is in the northeast city of Shenyang and will to supply carmakers in the region including BMW, VW, Daimler, Hyundai and GM. Read More »

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Mercedes, BMW, Audi chase young, female, frugal customers in India

In an effort to raise stuttering sales in India that far lag emerging Asian rival China, Mercedes, Audi and BMW are targeting young and female buyers outside the ultra-rich classes with small locally made cars. Read More »

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Faurecia Q1 revenue rises as N. America, Asia sales offset weak Europe

French supplier Faurecia said today that first-quarter revenue rose 1.7 percent as growing sales in North America and Asia helped offset the slowdown in European markets. Read More »

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