Headlines for Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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Customer Incentives

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

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Ford to shutter Australia car, engine plants in 2016

Ford, citing high operating costs, falling sales and financial losses, will close its Australian car and engine assembly plants in 2016, ending almost nine decades of manufacturing in the country. Read More »

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Tesla pays back balance of DOE loan

Tesla Motors said it paid off the entire balance of its federal government loan given as part of a Department of Energy program to spur development of alternative energy vehicles. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Seeking store-closure data

Lawmakers dig into fairness of '09 dealer shutdowns; GM treasury group to leave NY for Motown; Harbaugh moves from field to track Read More »

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First Shift: Heating up Ford production

Another Detroit automaker scales back summer shutdowns; VW tackles diesel goofs; Hyundai markets to 'second screen.' Read More »

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Michael Stanton, longtime D.C. advocate for automakers, to retire in 2014

Michael Stanton, a longtime lobbyist and a driving force for automakers in public policy, plans to retire as president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers in early 2014. Read More »

Gentex CFO leaves but will work with supplier as consultant

Gentex, a maker of rearview mirrors and electronics parts, said its CFO and vice president of finance has left the company but will remain a consultant with the supplier. Read More »

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DAVE GUILFORD:

Why Infiniti, Lincoln face the same challenge

The luxury marque hasn't lived up to its dreams. In fact, there was talk that its parent company might kill it. Now with a dynamic new leader, it's trying to build buzz with a more exciting lineup. Read More »

North America car and truck production by model - April & YTD

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

North America car and truck production by plant - April & YTD

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

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F&I Week:

U.S. regulators and F&I: Your questions answered

Dealers have been hungry for guidance following signals from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on such matters as the finance reserve and sale of products, including extended-service contracts.
Read More »

AutoNation unit launches Shop-By-Payment service

AutoNation's lead-referral subsidiary has unveiled an online service that lets consumers search dealership Web sites for new and used vehicles based on monthly payments. When a consumer chooses the desired payment a sales lead is sent to the dealership. Read More »

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Ford, Chrysler to reduce summer shutdowns at most N.A. plants

Ford Motor and Chrysler Group said today they are scaling back annual summer production shutdowns this year in hopes of boosting output of key models in North America. General Motors declined to disclose specific summer plans. Read More »

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Easier credit, lower auction values are mixed bag for dealers

For lenders, the average loss for bad auto loans rose in the first quarter, reflecting factors that directly affect dealerships: easier credit and softer used-vehicle prices. Read More »

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M-B Financial customers pay loans from their cars

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services customers can now make payments, manage their accounts or contact a dealer directly from their cars using the Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 in-car infotainment system, the company said this week. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Are worries over slower, smaller tax refunds overblown?

Some lenders complained in first-quarter earnings reports about smaller and later tax refunds. IRS refund statistics weren’t down by much, but any change is important because tax refunds contribute to the annual peak in subprime financing, according to dealers and subprime lenders. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

For happier customers, sales and F&I need to talk

Good communication between sales and finance staff cannot be overstated. That’s my takeaway from reading a recent chat on a Facebook page shared by finance managers. Read More »

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Kia says free maintenance won't hurt F&I sales

Kia's first-ever offer of free scheduled maintenance, on the new 2014 Cadenza, shouldn't affect dealership sales of extended-service contracts, the carmaker says. Read More »

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GM moving treasury office to Detroit headquarters from New York

GM said it will move its treasury office to its Detroit headquarters from New York in mid-2014, affecting about 70 employees. Read More »

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Daimler may sell company-owned German dealerships to cut costs

Daimler may sell four company-owned Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Germany to cut costs and help close a profitability gap with rivals BMW and Audi. Read More »

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PSA will close r&d site to reduce spending

PSA will shut a French r&d facility as part of a program to reduce spending. Read More »

Two Denso execs to plead guilty to price fixing, U.S. says

Two executives at Toyota-affiliated supplier Denso have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices and have agreed to cooperate with an ongoing criminal investigation, the U.S. Justice Department said. Read More »

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Lutz's VL Automotive, Chinese supplier bid for Fisker, report says

A boutique carmaker led by a former GM executive Bob Lutz and China's largest auto parts supplier submitted an offer to buy cash-strapped automaker Fisker Automotive, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Read More »

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VW to modify late-model diesels in N. America to prevent improper fueling

Volkswagen plans to refit more than a quarter million 2009-12 diesel cars to prevent North American customers from mistakenly pumping gasoline into the fuel tanks. Read More »

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Opel keeps Bochum logistics center open to fulfill contract

Opel will keep a spare-parts distribution center open until 2016 at its plant in Bochum, Germany, as long as two years after car production ends at the site. Read More »

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2013 RISING STARS:

Automotive News Europe salutes Darren Cox

Automotive News Europe salutes the winners of the 2013 Rising Stars awards. Every day until June 12 one of the 18 winners will be featured. Today's Rising Star is Darren Cox, Nissan's global motorsports director. Read More »

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Experian names John Gray head of auto unit

Experian has named John Gray president of its automotive business unit, effective immediately, with responsibility for the strategic direction, leadership and overall growth of the business. Read More »

Special Report
No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

No. 1 store empowers, retains employees

Texas dealer Greg May encourages his staffers to provide input and solve problems on their own. Mon., October 20
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