Headlines for Monday, July 8, 2013

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Record store profits -- and more to come

Last year was the best ever for auto dealership profits, and signs point to a better 2013. In 2012, pretax profit at the average U.S. dealership rose 6 percent to $843,697 in constant 1982 dollars. NADA chairman David Westcott is optimistic about the industry's profits this year. Read More »

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Daimler says France is blocking Mercedes registrations over new refrigerant

France has blocked the registration of some new Mercedes vehicles due a controversial air-conditioning refrigerant. Daimler confirmed that authorities have refused to register Mercedes A class, B class and CLA cars. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: High-tech headlight hope?

Transatlantic trade pact could simplify vehicle standards; Dodge Dart's 'home run'; telecom giants dial into telematics. Read More »

Ford shifts installers of EV chargers

Ford Motor Co. has contracted with a new vendor to install home charging stations for electrified vehicles. Read More »

Car hacking: A new threat emerges

Robert Bosch GmbH warns that in today's world of increasingly interconnected cars, you could be a victim of automotive cyberattack. Read More »

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UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES:

With co-op funds, dealers see more searches and higher costs

Kevin Mayer, vice president of marketing for VW of America, said VW's 619 U.S. dealers have seen a big spike in Web site traffic from more paid search. Read More »

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Nissan, in bid to boost Leaf, plans 100 EV chargers for dealers

Nissan, aiming to boost sales and ease concerns about owning the Leaf electric vehicle, plans to install more than 100 public DC quick chargers at dealers certified to sell the EV in 21 U.S. markets. Read More »

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Automotive News Best Dealerships To Work For 2013

A letter from Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein recognizing the Automotive News Best Dealerships to Work For for 2013. Read More »

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PSA's first-half deliveries fall 9.8% on Europe woes

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's global vehicle sales fell 9.8 percent in the first half as the company lost ground in a shrinking European market, partly offset by gains in China and Latin America. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Ferrari's next big challenge: Talk more, e-mail less

To encourage more talking and less e-mailing Ferrari introduced a rule that e-mails sent by employees can have no more than three internal recipients. Read More »

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Renault-Dongfeng may sign China production deal this month

Renault and Dongfeng Motor are hoping to sign a joint-venture deal later this month to begin production of vehicles in China. The operation would have annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles and begin producing SUVs and minivans in 2014. Read More »

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Nissan goes back to future with Datsun in emerging markets

Nissan said its first new Datsun will be unveiled in India this month. The small hatchback will cost less than $6,600 and will be sold in Russia, India, Indonesia and South Africa. Read More »

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Seat proposes cutting working hours at Spain plants

VW Group's Seat division is asking workers to take turns to stay at home to cope with weak demand. Seat wants to halt production for 16 days on one of its lines between September and December and stop production for 35 days next year on another line. Read More »

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Fiat buys additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

Fiat raised its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent as part of CEO Sergio Marchionne's step-by-step purchases to lead to full control of Chrysler and the creation of a merged company that would be able to compete better with Toyota, GM and VW. Read More »

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BMW extends global sales lead over Audi, Mercedes

BMW's brand sales rose faster in June than at Audi and Mercedes as demand from China and the United States helped the premium carmaker to extend a lead over the two rivals in the first six months of the year. Read More »

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Toyota Camry, Honda Civic inventories rise, report says

The Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, the top-selling mid-size and compact cars in the United States, face risks of reduced production as inventories of the models rise, an RBC Capital Markets report said. Read More »

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Survey: Mercedes stores have the most effective salespeople

A study of car dealership sales techniques shows that luxury brands often are the most effective deal-closers and also are best at making customers happy. Among mass-market brands, Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Toyota were the leaders. Read More »

Jaguar Land Rover production threatened by strike vote

Jaguar Land Rover and logistics company DHL said plans are in place to minimize the impact on production at the carmaker's British plants from a threatened strike by DHL staff. Read More »

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Datsun debuts in New Delhi

Nissan Motor Co. released sketches of the first car in the newly revived Datsun lineup, which goes on sale in 2014. The car is scheduled to be unveiled in New Delhi on July 15. Read More »

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GM, Honda join to trim costs of fuel cell research

General Motors and Honda Motor Co. to join forces to help bring the pricey technology into the mainstream. Read More »

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Safety tech supplier Mobileye says equity is worth $1.5 billion

Mobileye, whose collision-avoidance technology has been adopted in cars made by the likes of BMW and General Motors, said on Sunday it had raised money from five investors that valued its equity at $1.5 billion, highlighting the market potential for driver-assistance systems. Read More »

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Cutting spiffs tops Toyota's to-do list

Toyota's new top executive for North America lists lower incentives and greater local purchasing and product development among his top objectives. Read More »

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BMW tees up ad within an ad with TaylorMade

BMW ads aired during United States Open coverage on NBC and the Golf Channel in June came with a distinct twist. Read More »

Obamacare advice: Don't wait

Car dealers have an extra year to grapple with a key provision of President Barack Obama's health care law, but the question is, will they make the most of it? The Obama administration said last week that it will wait until 2015 to enforce the so-called employer mandate, which requires businesses... Read More »

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First Shift: Fiat raising Chrysler stake

Italian firm exercises a third option in step toward 68 percent stake; Pope says no to flashy cars; 'mystery' win for Benz. Read More »

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GM reaffirms plan to move Opel upmarket in Europe

General Motors reiterated a plan to position Opel as a more expensive brand in Europe while carving out a space for Chevrolet as its value offering. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

VW's Hackenberg seeks to build greener models, plus a 6,000-euro car

VW Group development coordinator Ulrich Hackenberg is looking at ways of shaving weight, cutting CO2 emissions and lowering the costs of future models. He says that VW can challenge value brands by building a 6,000-euro car. Read More »

Advertisers stay glued to screens

The top 10 automaker advertisers continued their rapid shift to new forms of digital advertising last year, plowing $5. Read More »

BMW, GM, Toyota hit by Egypt unrest

BMW, GM and Toyota had to temporarily shut down all or parts of their operations in Egypt because of political unrest in the country. Each expects a return to normalcy this week. Read More »

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New iron puts life in big-car segment

The market for large sedans has shrunk steadily over the past several years, thanks to the phaseout of fleet favorites such as the Ford Crown Victoria. But new or redesigned models from Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Chevrolet are breathing new life into the segment, especially in retail showrooms. Read More »

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Gardner, Ahmed join AN staff

Automotive News has added two editorial staff members: News/copy editor Omari Gardner and Web producer Shiraz Ahmed. Read More »

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Has the sun set on droptops?

While the economy has recovered somewhat, the convertible market is still stuck in a downdraft. Read More »

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HALFTIME REPORT: U.S. sales through June 2013

Six straight up years? After June's buoyant auto sales, it seems that 2013 will finish on the plus side, the fourth growth year in a row. And many analysts also expect increases through at least 2015. Read More »

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For a few grads, diplomas come with car keys

Executives from Alan Jay Automotive Network in Sebring, Fla., gave away four late-model cars to students at four local high schools. Read More »

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More Mini

The redesigned Mini Cooper S due in U.S. showrooms next year is expected to grow slightly longer, as this spy shot shows. The added length is most evident in the front overhang. Read More »

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Finding the way to say 'Look out!'

Automakers are adopting a common language on connected cars, but they are also determined to put their individual stamps on the driving experience. Read More »

Detroit 3 seek to keep tariffs

After a failed effort to exclude Japan from regional free-trade talks, the Detroit 3 are demanding that U.S. auto tariffs be phased out in no less than 25 to 30 years. Read More »

Mazda boosts tranny capacity

Mazda Motor Corp. will more than double capacity for its Skyactiv transmissions in two years. Read More »

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Chevy pushes a not-just-tough truck

General Motors' biggest advertising launch since its 2009 bankruptcy began last week with a commercial for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Read More »

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The double-figure derby: Who'll hit 10 million first?

No automaker has ever sold 10 million vehicles in one year. But now three -- Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors -- are closing in on that milestone. Read More »

Chrysler starts making Dodge Dart GT

Chrysler Group has opened ordering and begun production of the 2013 Dodge Dart GT, a more powerful version of the compact sedan. When Dodge announced the car in January, it said production would begin in the second quarter. Read More »

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Aero tricks, weight cut helped Versa capture fuel-economy crown

Nissan has claimed another best-in-class fuel economy title with its new Versa Note. Read More »

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Sweet vindication for GM's pickup planners

After 18 months of enduring skeptical questions about its huge pickup inventory, General Motors executives are enjoying sweet vindication. Read More »

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