Headlines for Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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Toyota's Lexus marque to open luxury stores in branding push

Lexus plans to open luxury stores offering consumers goods including coffee cups glazed with volcanic ash and Italian leather bags to help boost the premium marque's brand image worldwide. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Obamacare: Dealers' dilemma

Why some retailers may hold back hiring; volume discounts on eBay listings; a hint of next Maxima?; Rechtin: Taste of Pebble. Read More »

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Saab gets ready to restart production

Saab's new owner aims to restart production at the automaker's mothballed factory in Sweden later this year with output of the mid-sized 9-3 model. Read More »

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Nissan concept photos hint at more aggressive Maxima

Nissan gave reporters a sneak peek at a future concept vehicle this week that hints at a more aggressive Maxima sedan in the works. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Why NADA says the CFPB's wrong on reserve

The National Automobile Dealers Association has come up with a catchy way to describe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's attack on dealer reserve. Read More »

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First Shift: A Titan chore for Ram?

Nissan-Cummins deal could threaten Chrysler's longtime marketing edge; Lexus boutiques; Snyder: Lose muscle to gain MPG? Read More »

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Continental to work with Google, IBM on self-driving cars, report says

German auto supplier Continental is close to agreeing on alliances with Google and IBM to develop autonomous driving systems for cars, a German newspaper reported. Read More »

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Tesla weighs overseas plants for mass-market electric vehicle

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the electric-car maker intends to add factories in Europe and Asia, anticipating volume gains from a planned mass-market battery car. Read More »

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Auto finance growth outlook sparks confidence

The outlook for auto finance growth is encouraging, the latest TransUnion report on auto loan volume and delinquencies shows. Read More »

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Space robot research could help improve vehicle communications, Ford says

Ford is teaming up with researchers at the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia to study communication between robots at the International Space Station and Earth in the hope of developing better systems for connected cars. Read More »

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Rechtin tours Pebble Beach

Classic luxury and sports cars recently decorated the fairways at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. But as Automotive News West Coast Editor Mark Rechtin explains in this video, a growing number of storied brands are committed to creating modern icons by increasing U.S. sales. Read More »

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Continental to work with Google, IBM on self-driving cars, report says

German auto supplier Continental AG is close to agreeing alliances with Google and IBM to develop autonomous driving systems for cars, a German newspaper reported today. Read More »

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GM Financial wants more GM dealer business

GM Financial plans to boost volumes with General Motors dealers in the United States and Canada. Read More »

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Q&A:

Sonic: Catching fraud saved millions

Sonic Automotive has prevented close to $3 million in fraudulent loans since it switched three years ago to an automated system to check customer IDs, says Todd Weeks, Sonic's national director of retail lending. Read More »

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Toyota sees steady Camry prices amid competition for U.S. car crown

Toyota, facing rising competition from Ford and Honda, plans to keep prices steady for its Camry sedan as it defends the bragging rights for top-selling car in the United States. Read More »

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Auto loans reach 6-year high

U.S. auto-loan originations are at their highest point in nearly six years, a new government report shows. In the second quarter, originations rose 11 percent to $91.8 billion for all credit tiers combined. Read More »

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Ally plans $5.9 billion buyback to help lender exit U.S. bailout

Ally Financial, the auto lender seeking to repay its government bailout, is raising $1 billion in a private placement and said it will pay $5.9 billion in a plan to buy back preferred shares held by the Treasury Department. Read More »

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Ferrari plans further hybrids to follow its LaFerrari supercar

Ferrari plans further hybrid models to follow the LaFerrari flagship to attract more wealthy buyers to the brand. Read More »

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Customer Incentives

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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EBay offers discounts for dealer-listing subscriptions

EBay has began offering discounts to dealers who buy national subscriptions to list their vehicles for sale on its site. Read More »

Toyota, BMW, GM hit by third day of strikes in South Africa

South African employees at carmakers including Toyota, BMW and General Motors, halted work for a third consecutive day as a labor leader said the industry scaled back a pay-raise offer. Read More »

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Infiniti names former GM Europe designer Cox to run London studio

Infiniti named Simon Cox to direct its new design studio in London. Cox was head of GM's advanced design studio in Coventry, England, between 1998 and 2010 and also worked for Ford. Read More »

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Fiat renews deal with Brazil's Itau Unibanco bank

Fiat says it has renewed a commercial cooperation agreement with Brazilian bank Itau Unibanco to support its sales operations in Brazil. Read More »

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Fiat, Guangzhou agree to build Jeeps at JV plant in China, report says

Fiat and China partner Guangzhou have agreed to produce Jeeps at a joint-venture assembly plant in the central China city of Changsha, according to Chinese media. Read More »

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Porsche plaintiffs lose bids for access to German prosecutors' files

Plaintiffs seeking damages from Porsche SE have been blocked by a German court from accessing files from the investigation of former Porsche executives Wendelin Wiedeking and Holger Haerter. Read More »

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BMW owners wait for repairs on supply chain breakdown

BMW is struggling to deliver spare parts on time because of a new supply-management system in Germany, which is forcing customers to wait for repairs. Read More »

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