Headlines for Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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European car sales sink to 20-year low in May

June 18, 2013 11:15 CET
European car sales fell to a 20-year low in May as rising joblessness caused by a recession in the euro region reduced demand. Registrations dropped 6 percent to 1.08 million vehicles with all volume automakers reporting sales declines.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Chrysler to inspect Jeeps

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
'Voluntary campaign' resolves tiff with NHTSA; GM goes dark on production data; Suzuki safety probe; rise of the 'mega-platforms.'

Toyota uses Twitter to show how Auris hybrid is made

June 18, 2013 09:26 CET
Toyota will use Twitter to show how it builds the Auris hybrid at its UK factory. The company aims to reach new customers in what it says is a world-first social media project.

American Axle hopes demolition of Detroit complex will spark interest in property

12:21 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
American Axle & Manufacturing's historic Detroit Manufacturing Complex is set for demolition as the supplier pushes forward with a new plan to unload the shuttered property.

VIDEO: First Shift: Tenn. goes fishing for Fiat

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
State approaches Marchionne about Chrysler-Fiat HQ, report says; European sales setback; Honda, Ford put robots to the test.

Japan eyes reform of auto market as trade talks loom

12:04 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Japan sees an urgency in overhauling policies that favor domestic industries such as automakers as it seeks to revive the economy and join talks on a Pacific-region trade deal, the government's ambassador to the United States said.

Chrysler changes course, elects to inspect, modify older Jeep SUVs

2:22 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Chrysler Group, saying it's settled a dispute with federal safety regulators, will inspect older-model Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs and install a trailer hitch assembly if necessary to “better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.”


So who won the Chrysler-NHTSA recall fight?

6:01 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Now that Chrysler Group has agreed to inspect and modify as many as 1.56 million older-model Jeep SUVs at the request of federal regulators, one inevitable question remains. Who won?

Enhanced 2014 Buick LaCrosse starts at $34,060

4:06 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
The refreshed 2014 Buick LaCrosse will be priced starting at $34,060, with shipping, or $610 higher than the outgoing 2013 model, GM said today.

Jaguar Land Rover targets 1 million sales in long term

3:39 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Jaguar Land Rover is targeting global sales of 750,000 units by the end of the decade, with an eventual target of 1 million units, a top executive said today.

Tesla plans Model S battery swap as fast refueling option

3:29 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Tesla Motors, already adding a network of fast-charging stations for its luxury electric cars, is readying a service to rapidly swap a car's battery with a charged pack for added convenience.


Pickup.com shootout is a salvo in ongoing pickup battle

12:07 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
If you'll forgive the metaphor, the shootout described this week by the editors at pickuptrucks.com may say more about the automaker/gunslingers themselves than the effectiveness of their chosen hardware.


Range anxiety, hydrogen style

3:08 pm U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Honda's hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the FCX Clarity, has been known to travel thousands of miles without refueling. But only while sitting on the back of a truck.

GM: Labor costs must be cut to save Australia plants

3:34 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
GM's Holden unit and its labor unions will begin talks to reduce costs enough to keep its Australian plants viable, a month after Ford said it will stop making cars locally.

Suzuki airbag warning lights probed by NHTSA

10:28 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2013
Federal safety regulators say they have opened an investigation into problems on two models of Suzuki vehicles for potentially malfunctioning warning lights for front passenger seats.

Rolls-Royce picks veteran BMW engineer to lead manufacturing

June 18, 2013 06:01 CET
Rolls-Royce has named Frank Ludwig, 42, as its manufacturing director. The German national has been with Rolls' parent, BMW Group, since 2002 and has held manufacturing jobs at the Mini and BMW brands.

Daimler-BYD JV says big China dealer group may sell Denza EV brand

June 18, 2013 13:46 CET
Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology, a 50-50 JV between Daimler and BYD, may sell its Denza-brand electric cars at Zhongsheng Group Holdings' dealerships, the partnership said.

Volvo said to be poised to begin China output at Chengdu plant

June 18, 2013 14:47 CET
Volvo will start building a stretched variant of the S60 at its first China manufacturing plant in Chengdu in the second half of this year, according to a Chinese media report.

New subcompact to lead MG's European expansion

June 18, 2013 13:16 CET
MG Motor, owned by China's SAIC Motor, will start production of the MG3 in England later this summer. The subcompact will lead MG Motor's expansion into other European markets.

Aston Martin shareholder asks lenders for 50% cut on debt, sources say

June 18, 2013 11:49 CET
Aston Martin shareholder Investment Dar is asking its creditors to take a 50 percent write-down on the of Kuwaiti company's debt as it seeks to meet repayments after defaulting on a loan three years ago, three people familiar with the matter said.