Headlines for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Budget cars boost leasing

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Lease growth occurs in budget, mid-sized segments; decades-old tech catches eyes of buyers; Thunderbirds-inspired Mustang

Germany's average car age rises to record 8.7 years old on Europe crisis

July 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Germans are driving older cars as they balk at big purchases during the euro zone crisis. Germany's car sales slumped 5 percent in June and full-year sales are seen at about 3 million.

BMW, GM, Toyota hit by Egypt unrest

July 3, 2013 19:35 CET
BMW, General Motors and Toyota have had to temporarily shut down all or parts of their operations in Egypt because of political unrest in the country. BMW and GM closed their sales and production units in the country today following yesterday's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

Canada auto sales rise 1% in June on Detroit 3 truck volume

9:20 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Canadian auto sales in June rose 1.3 percent to 171,608 vehicles, with the Detroit 3 reporting double-digit volume sales gains for pickup trucks, while deliveries of sedans and other passenger cars fell 5 percent.

Dealers get a reprieve on U.S. health care mandate

10:57 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
By delaying for one year a requirement that employers offer health insurance to their workers or pay fines, the Obama administration has given a reprieve to car dealers and other small-business owners grappling with how to comply with the new health care law.

Chrysler recalls 840,000 vehicles, mostly in U.S. for headrests

3:41 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Chrysler Group is recalling 840,000 vehicles in the United States and other countries, mostly for active-restraint head rests that are possibly flawed.

IHS expects to complete Polk acquisition in mid-July

4:18 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
IHS said its purchase of R.L. Polk, which provides automotive data and marketing services, should be finalized the week of July 15.

BMW’s U.S. plant to get new boss

4:10 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
BMW Group’s manufacturing operation in the United States will get a new leader as part of a management shuffle effective Nov. 1, the company said today.


Does CFPB disclosure order hint at future rules?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
The recent consent orders agreed to by U.S. Bank, Dealers' Financial Services and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provide a hint at what disclosure forms might look like if the CFPB were to design them. And dealerships likely would not like their structure.


Nissan's plan to get the East to embrace the Leaf

1:58 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
The West Coast has always been a sweet spot for sales of the Nissan Leaf, one of the first EVs on the U.S. market -- and now that comfort is spreading east.

AutoNation posts 10% unit sales gain in June

1:18 pm U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
AutoNation, the largest auto dealership group in the United States, said today that its new-vehicle unit sales rose 10 percent in June from a year ago.

Service contract rates hit 20-year high

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Dealership customers are buying service contracts at a greater rate than any in the past two decades.

A tip for selling F&I in the service lane

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
A trade-or-keep program in the service department drives sales of vehicles and F&I products. That's one of the key tips that emerged from last month's Automotive News F&I Week.


Dealerships lag in transparency, tech 'readiness'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Dealership F&I departments are way behind their customers when it comes to pricing transparency and willingness to do business online, says Paula Tompkins, CEO of software provider ChannelNet.


Mitsubishi store prevails in finance dispute

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
A customer who denies signing a sales contract for a Chrysler Pacifica but accepted loan proceeds and racked up 20,588 miles can't disavow the deal, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled.

How visual aids can prop up F&I pitches

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Nothing is as effective as a visual aid in presenting the benefits of F&I products to car buyers. Why? Visual sales aids "substantiate product claims," said Glenn Roberts, national training and business development manager for Zurich Insurance.

CFPB orders $6.5M in refunds to military members in auto-loan case

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered U.S. Bank and an affiliate to repay a total of $6.5 million to more than 50,000 military service members to resolve claims that the companies deceived car buyers who arranged auto loans and insurance deals through a military program.

1 woman in F&I, maybe, but 3? Now that's rare

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Walk into Gordon Atkisson's adjoining Chrysler and Chevy stores here in rural Pennsylvania, and you'll find something unusual. "I have two finance managers, and both are women," says Atkisson, president of Country Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram and Jeff D'Ambrosio Chevrolet next door.

GM China's sales rise 11% in June on strong demand for premium models

10:28 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
General Motors said June sales in China rose nearly 11 percent year-on-year to 236,207 units on strong demand for SUVs and premium models.

Detroit seizes share in first half with new kind of buyer

9:41 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler captured buyers at a rapid rate in the year's first half as all three Detroit automakers gained market share in the United States for the first time in 20 years.

VIDEO: First Shift: June winners, losers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Ford gains volume while Volvo drops; GM, Ford, Chrysler collectively boost share; Ram boss says gasoline engine 'can do the trick'

BMW trims Mercedes' 2013 luxury lead in U.S. as 3-series demand soars

July 3, 2013 06:01 CET
BMW boosted U.S. sales of its 3 series 63 percent last month, helping the automaker set a June record and narrowing the luxury-vehicle lead of Mercedes-Benz brand.

Toyota will recall 185,000 vehicles globally for power-steering flaw

July 3, 2013 10:03 CET
Toyota will recall about 185,000 vehicles globally, including the Yaris subcompact made in France, because of a glitch in the electric power steering system that could make the steering heavier. No accidents or injuries have been reported from the flaw, a Toyota spokeswoman said.


VW production boss Macht drives group's green agenda

July 3, 2013 06:15 CET
Michael Macht, VW Group's production boss, has a major task to deal with besides the everyday issues of throughput times and returns on capital. VW Group has set itself ambitious ecological targets as it seeks to become the world's greenest automaker.


It's in the numbers: Toyota internationalizes

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 3, 2013
Toyota is often criticized for being the most Japanese of Japanese companies in the pantheon of Japan Inc. But the new motto under President Akio Toyoda is "Internationalize!" Skeptical? Consider this: Toyota is dumping the use of Japanese numerical notation for the Western way.

Mazda to double Skyactiv transmission capacity

July 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Mazda will more than double capacity for its Skyactiv transmission series in two years to meet what it expects to be booming demand for its next wave of cars, which will rely on the gearboxes.

Nissan aims to add Twizy-topping rival

July 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Nissan is working on an innovative urban electric vehicle that it says improves on the Twizy produced by alliance partner Renault.

Audi is top premium brand in China sales satisfaction survey

July 3, 2013 06:01 CET
Audi has received the top ranking for a premium brand in J.D. Power and Associates' 2013 China Sales Satisfaction Index. The automaker received a score of 721, compared with the premium market average of 665.