Headlines for Monday, July 1, 2013

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Car chip speeds up store's service process

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
At Audi Coral Springs, minutes count. That's why its service department has technology that recognizes when a customer's vehicle arrives in its service lanes.

GM dumps plan for a flashier Cadillac sedan

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
General Motors has decided to deep-freeze a range-topping ultraluxury sedan it was developing for Cadillac, according to three people with knowledge of the company's plans.


New Chevy executives' mission: Fast results in Europe

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Chevy's inability to establish a foothold in Europe is the only real blemish on an otherwise sharp, decadelong global expansion for GM's largest brand. Figuring out the path forward for Chevy Europe is Job 1 for Alan Batey, the first global chief of Chevrolet in its 102-year history.


Time for a new target at VW Group?

July 1, 2013 06:01 CET
Rapid growth at Volkswagen Group has the CEO of Europe's largest automaker convinced that the company will not only be the first automaker to sell 10 million cars in a year, it will do so ahead of his target year of 2018. Martin Winterkorn shared this bold prediction during a recent interview.

Ford: Tremor signals enthusiasts' return

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Ford is aiming its 2014 F-150 Tremor pickup at a slender niche in the huge pickup market: performance enthusiasts who want a short-wheelbase, regular-cab pickup that accelerates like a rocket. After all, Ford says regular cabs account for only 5 percent of its industry-leading F-150 volume.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Ford on quality woes

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Increased availability of 'MyFord Touch' affecting ratings; Toyota using spiffs to help keep Camry ahead; VW's 10M sales race.

VW plans to offer Golf GTD performance diesel in U.S.

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Volkswagen plans to broaden its diesel lineup in 2015 with the Golf GTD, the brand's first performance-oriented diesel car for the United States. The GTD, available as a two- and four-door hatchback, borrows the sports suspension from the gasoline-powered Golf GTI. It is powered by a 2.

Kia tweaks the tiger nose

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Spy photographers caught a glimpse of the freshened 2014 Kia Sportage's front fascia without camouflage.

Nissan to boost small van output

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Nissan dealers are selling their new compact NV200 commercial van as fast as the company can deliver them, and planners are pressing Nissan's Mexican factory to step up production. The Sentra-sized NV200, produced in Cuernavaca, Mexico, went on sale in late March. It is powered by a 2.

Toyota: Whatever it takes to keep Camry crown

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
For 11 straight years, the Toyota Camry has carried the powerful marketing message of being America's best-selling car. But with the competition nipping at the Camry's heels, Toyota officials must contemplate how far they're willing to go to retain the title.

VIDEO: First Shift: First glimpse of new Datsun

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Revived nameplate to be unveiled in India mid-month; Taurus throttle fix; Honda recalls Fit; Snyder: Key sales races.

NADA: U.S. dealers' average pretax profit rose 6% in 2012

3:42 pm U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Car dealers in the United States had a good year in 2012. Higher new- and used-vehicle retail sales volumes and prices pushed revenues higher, resulting in a 6 percent rise in pretax profit at the average dealership, even though total dealership pretax margins eased slightly.


VW boss thinks he'll beat his 2018 target for 10 million sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Rapid growth at Volkswagen Group has convinced CEO Martin Winterkorn that the company not only will be the first automaker to sell 10 million cars in a year but will do so before his target of 2018.

Hyundai hit with $14 million verdict in Virginia airbag trial

4:11 pm U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
A jury in Virginia decided that Hyundai Motor should pay $14 million to a man who suffered traumatic brain damage in a car accident after the side airbags in his 2008 Hyundai Tiburon coupe failed to deploy. A Hyundai spokesman said the automaker plans to appeal.

Old-time price war? Not so much

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Fears that the auto industry could become embroiled in an old-fashioned price war have fizzled as automakers hold firm in their post-recession pricing discipline, even as rising demand, rapid production increases and currency fluctuations create the temptation to grab market share by throwing cash...

Tesla stock hits new record after bullish analyst report

3:24 pm U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Tesla shares today surged to a record high after an analyst almost doubled her price target for the maker of electric cars and increased estimates of its 2013 deliveries.

Federal-Mogul sells connecting rod and camshaft business

2:46 pm U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Diversified auto supplier Federal-Mogul has sold its connecting rod and camshaft business to JD Norman Industries. The deal divests Federal-Mogul's connecting rod machining plant in Windsor, Canada, and its camshaft foundry in the United Kingdom, the supplier said today.

Bosch battery partner has checkered past

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, aiming to develop an advanced lithium ion battery that can power electric vehicles much longer than today's batteries, has dumped its South Korean battery partner for a Japanese one.

Nissan seeks summer buzz from videos

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
To launch its critical Versa Note subcompact hatchback this summer, Nissan Division will rely on short blips of creativity from consumers who probably have never driven the car.

Supplier group's new chief seeks overseas ties

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
After two decades of steady growth in North America, the Original Equipment Suppliers Association is preparing to seek overseas alliances. The association's new president, Julie Fream, said last week she plans to seek ties with supplier organizations outside of North America.

Ford, Hyundai defect probes ended by NHTSA

9:16 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Federal safety regulators closed an investigation into defective engine cables in more than 467,000 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable cars after Ford said it would fix the problem without issuing a recall.

Ford sees SUVs boosting Russia sales to aid Europe

July 1, 2013 06:01 CET
Ford expects a rise in SUV production in Russia to boost second-half vehicle sales in the market and help reduce losses in Europe. Ford's deliveries in Russia fell 18 percent this year through May, trailing a 4.5 percent industrywide drop.


Why Fiat must race to launch Jeep output in China

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has said the company might seek a new Chinese partner to help produce Jeeps in China. This is bad news for Fiat and its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile.

Check out the ANE monthly e-magazine

July 1, 2013 06:01 CET
The latest issue of the Automotive News Europe monthly e-magazine takes an in-depth look at Volkswagen Group; reveals why BMW sales chief Ian Robertson thinks the automaker's new battery-powered vehicles will be game-changers; and details how automakers are maintaining the size of their...

OK, enough cheering, Akerson tells the troops

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Last week, hundreds of General Motors employees packed into a section of GM's sprawling engineering center in suburban Detroit to celebrate the company's top ranking in a major vehicle-quality study.

Study: Renters likely to become conquest buyers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Rental fleets are a good way for car companies to show off their products to potential buyers, says Kurt Kohler, senior vice president of North American fleet for Enterprise Holdings, parent of the Enterprise, National and Alamo rental brands, which commissioned the study.

Moving time at Subaru: Time to start fretting

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Uh-oh. Subaru, whose sales have soared over the last several years, wants to move to a new headquarters.

Father of much-maligned Trabant is dead at 91

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
The Trabant, whose basic design didn't change for 30 years, became the most ubiquitous vehicle in communist East Germany and other Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War era.

Feds extend reach into F&I departments

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has started to flex its muscle in another area of the car market: add-on products such as service contracts.

At Ford, 5 from Gen 5 in the family business of great-great-granddad

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
The Ford family's fifth generation -- the great-great grandchildren of Ford Motor founder Henry Ford -- now are among the ranks of the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

3 GM brands get new lead designers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
A reshuffling of General Motors' design team -- the second in a year -- has put new lead designers in place at Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Taking over design for both Cadillac and Buick will be Andrew Smith, now head designer for the Holden brand in Australia.

GM joins program to cut energy costs

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
General Motors has joined a U.S. Department of Energy program to cut energy costs at 25 of the company's U.S. facilities.

Braman, GM settle pricing suit

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Billionaire megadealer Norman Braman has settled his two-tier pricing lawsuit against General Motors. Settlement terms were unavailable. A brief document filed in federal court in South Florida noted that all disputes between Braman and GM are settled.

NADA starts convention a day earlier in '15

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
The National Automobile Dealers Association, ending a practice of more than four decades, will hold its annual convention and expo Thursday to Sunday instead of Friday to Monday, beginning in 2015.

Export scammers' gain is dealers' pain

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
High prices and heavy demand for luxury cars and SUVs in China, caused in part by 25 percent tariffs on imported new vehicles, mean scammers, who illegally exported thousands of luxury vehicles to China, can often sell the vehicles for at least double what they would get in the United States.

BMW adds standard connectivity features

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
BMW of North America is adding features to its ConnectedDrive infotainment system as standard equipment on most 2014 vehicles. BMW Assist with the eCall enhanced collision notification system has been made standard on all but the X6 crossover and some 3-series hybrid models.

Cherokees to arrive in third quarter

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
The first salable 2014 Jeep Cherokee was produced in Toledo, Ohio, last week, but early vehicles built will be held to verify quality, Jeep brand head Mike Manley told reporters Friday.

Ram expands powertrain choices

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Ram will offer a new optional 6.4-liter V-8 engine for its 2014 heavy-duty pickup to compete with Ford's 6.2-liter gasoline V-8. The 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a light-duty diesel. The powertrain changes were revealed at a press event here last week.

Redesigned Mazda3 gets more gadgetry for 2014

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Mazda will introduce an updated infotainment and connectivity system in its 2014 Mazda3, finally addressing a major criterion for new-car buyers and an area in which Mazda has lagged the competition.


Store's sales pitch: 'We speak your language'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Nine of Don Hicks' 150 employees at Shortline Subaru in Aurora, Colo., speak one or more languages besides English. Hiring bilingual employees is a key goal for Hicks.

Tesla may take dealer fight to feds

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
With the 2013 legislative season drawing to a close in many states, Tesla Motors is keeping its options for a federal challenge open after mixed results this year in its rift with dealers over its direct-selling model.


What does GM have to hide?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Last month, General Motors said it will stop publicly disclosing monthly North American production numbers and will eliminate regional production reports. You can't help but wonder what's going on at GM.


Automakers must adapt to evolving sense of quality

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 1, 2013
Automakers have substantially improved vehicle quality, but they must expand and intensify efforts because consumer perceptions of quality are changing.

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