Headlines for Wednesday, September 4, 2013

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Hot August caps a 'solid summer'

By almost any measure, August spelled recovery for U.S. auto sales. Not only have automakers sold more light vehicles in the first eight months this year (10.6 million) than in all of 2009 (10.4 million), but last month's 1.5 million sales topped the unit volume of every August since 2003. Read More »

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Ford gets boost from West Coast retail buyers

Spurred by strong retail gains on the West Coast and continuing strength in the truck market, Ford Motor sales rose 12 percent in August compared with August of 2012. 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 »

Automotive News SAAR - 2013

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

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VW: No decisions on worker representation at U.S. plant

Volkswagen's top executive in the United States said Wednesday the company has made no decisions on how workers could be organized at its Tennessee assembly plant, despite reports of high-level meetings between UAW organizers and top VW executives. Read More »

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Spanish price-fixing probe looks at VW, Renault, others

Spain's antitrust regulator is investigating possible price fixing in the country by automakers such as VW, Renault, Peugeot, Toyota, GM and Ford. Read More »

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Toyota hikes 2013 U.S. volume target after August sales surge

Toyota raised its 2013 U.S. sales target for the Toyota brand and Scion by about 50,000 units as combined deliveries of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles topped 230,000 in August. It was the company's best monthly sales total in more than five years. Read More »

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2013 FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW:

Ford joins race upscale in Europe with Vignale line

Ford of Europe will launch a badge called Vignale for upscale cars at the Frankfurt auto show with a concept based on the new Mondeo. With Vignale, Ford joins mass-market rivals such as PSA and Renault in creating specially badged vehicles aimed at luring buyers away from BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Read More »

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AUGUST U.S. SALES:

Honda, Toyota, Nissan set pace as August volume surges 17%

Japanese automakers helped lift U.S. light-vehicle sales 17 percent last month, topping forecasts and propelling the annualized selling rate to 16.1 million, the industry's best showing since late 2007. Read More »

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Volkswagen aims electric Up at BMW i3

VW will target potential buyers of BMW's battery-powered i3 city car with an electric version of its Up minicar. Read More »

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2013 FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW:

Lexus will unveil compact SUV to rival BMW X1, Audi Q3

Lexus is set to launch a rival the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 compact SUVs. The model will be previewed by the LF-NX concept at the Frankfurt auto show. Read More »

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2013 FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW:

Dacia Duster gets more rugged look

Dacia's best-selling model, the Duster SUV, gets a more rugged look to increase its appeal. Read More »

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2013 FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW:

Audi's 700-hp Sport Quattro concept revives classic nameplate

Audi's 700-hp Sport Quattro plug-in hybrid concept previews a possible technological flagship for the brand. Read More »

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First Shift: Pointing way to self-driving

VW, Mercedes and others adding autonomous features; Toyota recalling 369,000 vehicles globally; made-in-Mexico Infiniti? Read More »

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Toyota recalls 369,000 vehicles in Europe, U.S., Japan

Toyota said it is recalling about 200,000 hybrid SUVs globally including the Lexus RX400h, due to a glitch in the hybrid system's inverter. Read More »

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VW: No decisions on worker representation at U.S. plant

Volkswagen's top U.S. executive said the automaker has made no decisions on how workers could be organized at its Tennessee assembly plant, despite reports of high-level meetings between union organizers and top VW executives. Read More »

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Fiat may face 2015 trial over value of UAW's Chrysler stock

Fiat may have to wait until 2015 for a trial over the value of some Chrysler Group shares owned by a union health-care fund, further delaying a plan to combine the two companies. Read More »

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JESSE SNYDER:

Automaker discipline is holding … so far

Four years into the sales recovery, we’re all holding our breath. We all hope everybody remembers the hard lessons of the Great Recession. And fear somebody will crack open a fresh can of marketing excess -- especially we graybeards who remember previous boom-and-bust cycles. Read More »

Nissan, up 22%, sets August sales record

Nissan North America reported record August sales, and its Nissan brand reported the highest retail sales for any month in its history. Read More »

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BERTRAND GAY:

Why GM increasing its Peugeot shareholding is nonsense

The idea that GM would be interested in buying more Peugeot shares, as rumored earlier this summer, defies common sense. Even more ridiculous is the rumor that the Peugeot family will sell off to the Chinese. Read More »

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Core models spur Honda to 27% gain

American Honda posted the largest increase among volume automakers in August, with sales rising 27 percent to 166,432 vehicles on strong demand for its core products. Read More »

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U.S. light-vehicle sales by nameplate, Aug. & YTD

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

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U.S. total vehicle sales by make, Aug. & YTD

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

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U.S. car sales, Aug. & YTD

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

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GM sales rise 15% in best month since 2008

General Motors' sales in the United States rose 15 percent last month from a year ago, even as it reduced fleet deliveries by 8 percent. August was the best sales month in the United States for GM since September 2008 Read More »

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U.S. light-truck sales, Aug. & YTD

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

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Chrysler Group sales rise 12% on pickups, SUVs

Strong demand for its most profitable vehicles helped drive Chrysler Group sales up 12 percent last month to the company's best August since 2007. Read More »

2 dealers settle FTC charges over advertising

The Federal Trade Commission said it has reached settlements with two car dealers from Maryland and Ohio on charges that the dealers falsely advertised the costs or available discounts for vehicles. Read More »

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Lexus U.S. sales jump 23% for first monthly luxury lead in 2013

Toyota's Lexus, the top- selling luxury-auto brand in the United States for 11 years through 2010, posted a 23 percent increase in August for its first monthly win in a year. Deliveries rose to 29,792, Toyota said today in a statement. Read More »

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Chrysler Canada reports best year-to-date sales in 25 years

Chrysler's Canadian arm reported its best sales for the month of August in 13 years and its best sales year-to-date in 25 years, bolstered in part by robust passenger car sales, the auto maker said today. Ford Motor, the top seller in Canada, said its sales rose 7.1 percent to 27,268 vehicles. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: A late-summer sales boom

SAAR passes 16M for first time since 2007, Japanese lead gainers; Frankfurt peeks from Audi, Jeep, Infiniti; hot auto videos. Read More »

Demand for diesels, Audis bright spot for VW

Volkswagen Group of America gained from strong demand for diesel cars in August, but the VW brand's sales again fell shy of last year's pace as Audi continued its surge in the luxury segment with a 22 percent sales gain. Read More »

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Q&A:

Ally's ready if credit refreezes, exec says

Ally Financial Inc. fixed a failure in its traditional business model when it became a bank in late 2008, says Tim Russi, president of auto finance. Read More »

Halla Visteon starts HVAC unit production in Russia

Halla Visteon Climate Control said it has begun manufacturing operations for heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in Togliatti, Russia. Read More »

Captives advance on leasing, new-car loans

Captive finance companies picked up share in the second quarter, buoyed by a rise in leasing -- a lending area they dominate -- and gains in new-vehicle loans. Captives had the biggest share of new-vehicle loans in the quarter, and banks were No. 2. A year earlier, the opposite was true. Read More »

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Volvo targets BMW, Audi buyers with Chinese premium growth

Volvo is working to upgrade its model lineup with the aim of winning Chinese customers away from premium rivals BMW and Audi. Read More »

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Lexus lifts wraps on compact crossover concept

Lexus will show a long-anticipated compact crossover concept next week at the Frankfurt auto show, an angular, muscular hybrid that previews a vehicle expected to arrive next year. Read More »

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Ford's OK with below-average leasing

Ford Motor Co.'s lease penetration is below average, but Ford is OK with that, U.S. sales chief Ken Czubay says. "Leasing has done very well for us," he said in a conference call today for reporters and analysts. "We're prudent in managing that business, but it's a great tool for our dealers." Read More »

LEGAL FILE:

Ohio dealership group faces class-action

The Ohio Court of Appeals has upheld class certification in a suit alleging that the arbitration clause in a Cleveland-area dealership group's sales agreement was unconscionable and unenforceable. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

Why a North Korean car plant faces grim realities

There is no shortage of strange news from North Korea, the world’s only hereditary communist regime. Only a shortage of electricity, food, skilled labor, education and basic human rights. And that makes FAW Group's reported North Korean auto plant all the more remarkable. Read More »

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Fiat will build Maserati SUV in Italy starting next year

Fiat told union leaders that it would begin making a Maserati SUV at its Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy, after investing 1 billion euros at the plant by the end of next year. Read More »

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Easier credit, growth in leasing to continue, Experian says

The good news continues in auto finance with easier credit terms, growth in leasing and increased average loan amounts, according to second-quarter statistics released today by Experian Automotive. Read More »

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Toyota places cheap-lease gamble on new Corolla

Eager to regain market share in the price-sensitive compact segment, Toyota is cutting customer lease payments on the redesigned 2014 Corolla by setting residual values much higher than in the past, according to dealers and lease trackers. It's a risky move. Read More »

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