Headlines for Monday, October 7, 2013

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BIG APPLE BLING:

Refined '15 Cadillac Escalade premieres in New York

Still striking an imposing stance, the redesigned Cadillac Escalade is tauter and less truck-like. Inside, GM engineers and designers added some of the functionality and refinement missing from the current model, such as a fold-flat third row and plenty of real wood and suede trim. Read More »

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First Shift: Mulling Over Mulally

Ford board likely to discuss CEO's future plans this week; GM expands online sales tool; Ferrell to pitch Durango; Subaru's EyeSight. Read More »

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Q&A:

JCI works on cheaper EV, hybrid batteries

Brian Kesseler, newly appointed president of Johnson Controls Inc.'s Power Solutions division, says propulsion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles don't need to last 10 years. Read More »

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Honda designer wants sporty car

Honda Motor Co., aiming to re-energize its performance cred, is studying a revival of an S2000-type sporty car. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Frowning Fiat dealers

Less than half of U.S. stores are profitable; Mercedes CLA seen as conquest car; 100th anniversary of moving assembly line. Read More »

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Jeep pushes to increase in-house accessory sales

DETROIT -- With each new Jeep Wrangler it sells, Chrysler Group feeds a multibillion-dollar industry selling aftermarket parts and accessories. Read More »

Hyundai button to let drivers call for service

Service Link, the in-car feature that allows Hyundai owners to schedule service calls with dealerships, is generating about 300 appointments a day. Read More »

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Cadillac weighs large crossover under Escalade badge

Cadillac is considering adding a large crossover to its lineup and branding it under the Escalade name. Read More »

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Aston Martin scraps Cygnet city car after poor sales

Aston Martin will end production of its Cygnet minicar following poor sales of the Toyota iQ-based model. Read More »

Manheim says September used-vehicle prices up, but expected to moderate

The Manheim Used Vehicle Index rose in September for the fourth month in a row, capping its strongest quarterly gain since the middle of 2011, Tom Webb, Manheim's chief economist, said Monday. Read More »

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Ford steps up plans to make factories more flexible, efficient

Ford is expanding its manufacturing footprint in emerging markets and overhauling its production methods to give it more flexibility and reduce plant downtime, company executives said today. Read More »

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Ford steps up plans to make factories more flexible, efficient

Ford is expanding its manufacturing footprint in emerging markets and overhauling its production methods to give it more flexibility and reduce plant downtime, company executives said. Read More »

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Sporty crossover-coupes: A niche going nowhere

Sales of five of the six players in this arena -- the Infiniti FX/QX70, Acura ZDX, Toyota Venza, Honda Crosstour, BMW X6 and BMW 5-series GT -- plummeted in September. Read More »

VW labor chief says Chattanooga model hinges on works panel

Volkswagen's top labor leader, Bernd Osterloh, lent weight to efforts by the United Auto Workers union to represent workers at the automaker's U.S. plant, an issue that has raised opposition among some politicians and union critics. Read More »

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Collection Auto Group opens $20 million Mercedes store near Cincinnati

Collection Auto Group has opened Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell in Kentucky, a 330,000-square-foot, $20 million dealership in suburban Cincinnati that the group touts as a technology showcase. Read More »

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JESSE SNYDER:

Graded on a curve(d) calendar, August-September duo ain't all that bad

With 2,638,500 light-vehicles sold, this AugSept ain't all that bad. Read More »

30,000 South African auto workers to return to work after winning raises

About 30,000 South African auto industry employees began returning to work today after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa accepted a wage offer from companies to end a monthlong strike. Read More »

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GM to offer online car-buying program to dealers nationally

General Motors plans to go national by year end with a program that allows online shoppers to buy vehicles from start to delivery from dealership Web sites. Read More »

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VW labor chief says Chattanooga model hinges on works panel

Volkswagen's top labor leader lent weight today to efforts by the UAW to represent workers at the German company's Tennessee plant, an issue that has raised hackles among some politicians and union critics. Read More »

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Sales race: GM reigns but Ford gains

In 2007, the auto industry's last good year before the recession, General Motors outsold Ford Motor Co. in the United States by more than 105,000 units a month on average. In the past 12 months, the gap has narrowed to fewer than 25,000. Read More »

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Toyota rebuffed by U.S. Supreme Court on Prius brake lawsuits

The United States Supreme Court turned away a Toyota appeal that sought to force arbitration of California lawsuits over the brakes in Prius cars. Read More »

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BEST PRACTICES:

How to bring 100 new hires up to speed

Park Place Lexus Plano went on a hiring spree this year, creating and filling 100 positions. Read More »

Cooper Tire goes to court, demands Apollo close deal expeditiously

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co on Friday said it has filed a complaint in a U.S. court to push India’s Apollo Tyres to close its $2.5 billion acquisition of the American company in a timely manner. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Clear the barriers to free trade

The so-called chicken tax and other similar tariffs have outlived their original purpose. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Automaker- supplier trust is still crucial

Let's hope the bid-rigging news doesn't disrupt the mood at a time when automaker-supplier relations are on the mend. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Handling capacity

Automakers are rapidly adding manufacturing capacity in North America to meet growing demand. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Show me some eye-catching colors

One needs only to visit a collector car show to realize how boring today's color palettes are compared to cars from the 1950s and '60s. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Ford, Renault move upscale in bid to win back sales from German premium brands

Ford and Renault are launching upscale badges in Europe to reverse losses and boost profitability – but the strategy is not without potential risks. Read More »

South Africa union ends four-week strike in supplier sector

South African trade union NUMSA said it has reached a deal to end a strike in the supplier sector that has hampered car production already hit by previous industrial action at automakers including BMW, Ford and GM. Read More »

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Opel plans SUV-styled variant of Adam minicar

Opel will launch a SUV-styled version of its Adam minicar, a person familiar with the project told Automotive News Europe. Read More »

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Audi says September sales up 10% on U.S., China, Europe demand

Audi sales in September rose 10 percent to 150,300 on demand from the United States, China and Europe, the carmaker said. Read More »

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'SHE'S A FORCE':

GM gives fast-rising Boler-Davis a wide mandate

Twenty months ago, Alicia Boler-Davis was an assembly plant manager at General Motors. Today, the 44-year-old is one of the company's top 20 executives, reporting straight to CEO Dan Akerson. Read More »

GM recalls 1,658 Chevy Sonics to replace fuel tank part

GM is recalling 1,658 Chevrolet Sonic cars, as potentially faulty strap welds could cause the fuel tank to separate from the car. Read More »

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Dealers fume as Fiat's U.S. comeback stalls

This summer, Fiat dealers finally got a second nameplate, the 500L, to sell. Despite high hopes, the new car has failed to boost the brand's U.S. sales. After a 24 percent decline in September, Fiat brand sales are the same -- 32,743 -- as they were through nine months of 2012. Read More »

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Sold! Rare Chevys attract big spenders

Lambrecht Chevrolet's inventory controls were not exactly by the book, but things worked out in the long run. The Pierce, Neb., dealership simply put unsold vehicles in storage and waited for the day when they would be collectors' items. Read More »

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BETTER EYESIGHT:

Subaru improves safety system

Subaru, in the wake of accolades for its EyeSight safety technology package, will debut a new generation of the pre-crash safety system next year with significantly upgraded functions. Read More »

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SRT Vipers to go on test-drive tour

Chrysler next month will start a marketing program at dealerships to offer test drives of the SRT Viper. Read More »

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Aston kills pint-sized Cygnet

The tiny Cygnet -- surely the most unlikely car to wear the winged Aston Martin badge -- looks destined to end up as no more than a footnote in Aston history. Read More »

Pickups top Aug. output list

Escape production surged sixfold from the year-earlier month when the vehicle was in ramp-up mode. The next-largest output increase was the Honda CR-V's 23 percent gain. Read More »

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AutoNation CEO Jackson to speak at Congress

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson, who will speak in January at the 2014 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, has had a big year -- and a busy one. Read More »

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WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT:

U.S. sales through September 2013

Three-quarters through the year, we have learned a few things. For instance, it really matters in which month Labor Day sales are counted -- at least in monthly SAAR numbers. Perennial car and light-truck leaders, the Toyota Camry and Ford F series, are extremely hard to dislodge. Read More »

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Shortage of tool shops could stall U.S. industry's upturn

In the little corner of the car business where skilled machinists repair broken dies through the wee hours of the night and perfect the tools that will turn out smooth body panels, an alarm bell is ringing. Read More »

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Raves prompt Volvo to reconsider coupe

A senior executive says Volvo will reconsider a production run of the Concept Coupe revealed at the Frankfurt auto show. Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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