Headlines for Monday, July 8, 2013

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Record store profits -- and more to come

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Daimler says France is blocking Mercedes registrations over new refrigerant

July 8, 2013 13:31 CET
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.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: High-tech headlight hope?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Transatlantic trade pact could simplify vehicle standards; Dodge Dart's 'home run'; telecom giants dial into telematics.

Ford shifts installers of EV chargers

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Ford Motor Co. has contracted with a new vendor to install home charging stations for electrified vehicles.

Car hacking: A new threat emerges

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Robert Bosch GmbH warns that in today's world of increasingly interconnected cars, you could be a victim of automotive cyberattack.


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

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

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

7:58 pm U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Automotive News Best Dealerships To Work For 2013

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
A letter from Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein recognizing the Automotive News Best Dealerships to Work For for 2013.

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

July 8, 2013 18:40 CET
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.


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

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Renault-Dongfeng may sign China production deal this month

July 8, 2013 11:19 CET
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.

Nissan goes back to future with Datsun in emerging markets

July 8, 2013 06:01 CET
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.

Seat proposes cutting working hours at Spain plants

July 8, 2013 22:54 CET
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.

Fiat buys additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

July 8, 2013 10:04 CET
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.

BMW extends global sales lead over Audi, Mercedes

July 8, 2013 14:38 CET
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.

Toyota Camry, Honda Civic inventories rise, report says

12:10 pm U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Survey: Mercedes stores have the most effective salespeople

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Jaguar Land Rover production threatened by strike vote

July 8, 2013 13:05 CET
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.

Datsun debuts in New Delhi

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

GM, Honda join to trim costs of fuel cell research

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
General Motors and Honda Motor Co. to join forces to help bring the pricey technology into the mainstream.

Safety tech supplier Mobileye says equity is worth $1.5 billion

9:55 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Cutting spiffs tops Toyota's to-do list

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Toyota's new top executive for North America lists lower incentives and greater local purchasing and product development among his top objectives.

BMW tees up ad within an ad with TaylorMade

9:07 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
BMW ads aired during United States Open coverage on NBC and the Golf Channel in June came with a distinct twist.

Obamacare advice: Don't wait

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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...

VIDEO: First Shift: Fiat raising Chrysler stake

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Italian firm exercises a third option in step toward 68 percent stake; Pope says no to flashy cars; 'mystery' win for Benz.

GM reaffirms plan to move Opel upmarket in Europe

July 8, 2013 06:01 CET
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.


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

July 8, 2013 06:01 CET
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.

Advertisers stay glued to screens

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
The top 10 automaker advertisers continued their rapid shift to new forms of digital advertising last year, plowing $5.

BMW, GM, Toyota hit by Egypt unrest

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

New iron puts life in big-car segment

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Gardner, Ahmed join AN staff

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Automotive News has added two editorial staff members: News/copy editor Omari Gardner and Web producer Shiraz Ahmed.

Has the sun set on droptops?

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
While the economy has recovered somewhat, the convertible market is still stuck in a downdraft.

HALFTIME REPORT: U.S. sales through June 2013

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 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.

For a few grads, diplomas come with car keys

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Executives from Alan Jay Automotive Network in Sebring, Fla., gave away four late-model cars to students at four local high schools.

More Mini

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Finding the way to say 'Look out!'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Automakers are adopting a common language on connected cars, but they are also determined to put their individual stamps on the driving experience.

Detroit 3 seek to keep tariffs

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Mazda boosts tranny capacity

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Mazda Motor Corp. will more than double capacity for its Skyactiv transmissions in two years.

Chevy pushes a not-just-tough truck

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
General Motors' biggest advertising launch since its 2009 bankruptcy began last week with a commercial for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

Chrysler starts making Dodge Dart GT

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
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.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
Nissan has claimed another best-in-class fuel economy title with its new Versa Note.

Sweet vindication for GM's pickup planners

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 8, 2013
After 18 months of enduring skeptical questions about its huge pickup inventory, General Motors executives are enjoying sweet vindication.

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