Headlines for Monday, October 21, 2013

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No. 1 store is all about support

Friendship Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram of Bristol, Tenn., is focused on supporting employees. The dealership covers half the cost of gym memberships, rewards workers with NASCAR tickets and offers profit sharing. Read More »

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Pickup truck price gap riles GM dealers

General Motors' game plan for the most important vehicle launch since its 2009 bankruptcy amounted to producing a knockout next-generation pickup that would command top dollar. Read More »

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Overdue Cherokees are on their way at last

New Jeep Cherokees were due in dealerships almost two months ago but have been held while Chrysler developed and installed new software to smooth out the way the engine, nine-speed transmission and innovative disconnecting drivetrain interact. Read More »

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Some stores see being pet-friendly as a plus

The Saco, Maine, dealership is one of a handful of dog-friendly stores around the country. The job titles on the store's Web site for Colby, Subie and Licorice aren't posted just to be cute. Colby and Subie, golden retrievers, and Licorice, a black Labrador retriever, really do have jobs. Read More »

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Many dealers don't value online reviews

A funny thing happened when eXteres Corp. tried to determine whether dealers do a good job of generating positive consumer reviews for their stores. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Sonic's used-car plan

Dealer group to 'attack' CarMax with separate stores; M-B vows to avoid games in luxury title bid; GM's social media team resolves complaints. Read More »

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VW, UAW look to avoid Pa. missteps in Tenn. organizing drive

Both Volkswagen management and the UAW want to see history play out differently in Tennessee from the last time the German automaker had an American assembly plant. Read More »

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PSA wins union backing for cost cuts before possible stake sale

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is drawing near a deal with unions to cut costs, a key hurdle the automaker must clear before a possible capital increase that will likely involve PSA's Chinese partner, Dongfeng Motor, and the French government. Read More »

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VW, UAW look to avoid Pennsylvania missteps in Tennessee plant

Both Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers union want to see history play out differently in Tennessee from the last time the German automaker had a U.S. assembly plant. Read More »

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DAVID BARKHOLZ:

Attention, Luddites: Dealers need not fear Shop-Click- Drive

The U.S. dealer community is casting a wary eye toward the national rollout of General Motors' online car-shopping program known as Shop-Click-Drive. Read More »

Sonic to take on CarMax with new line of used-car stores

Sonic Automotive, the nation's third-largest retailer of new vehicles is getting ready to take on the largest U.S. retailer of used vehicles. Read More »

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Surge in auto production impairs quality of parts, Ford purchasing boss says

The recent surge in auto production in the United States is hurting vehicle quality because automotive parts suppliers have less time to fix problems that emerge on the line, Ford's new global purchasing chief told reporters today. Read More »

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Hyundai recalls 27,500 Genesis sedans for brake issue

Hyundai said today it is recalling about 27,500 Genesis sedans in the United States from the 2009 to 2012 model years to address a potential brake issue. Read More »

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Sonic’s Q3 operating profit stable on rising revenue

Sonic Automotive reported steady third-quarter operating profit, and higher profit margins, as it continued to improve implementation of its True Price Strategy, which aims to limit negotiations on new-car purchases. Read More »

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Mercedes tech boss: Electric B class will top BMW's new i3

Daimler r&d chief Thomas Weber believes that the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive will outpace the BMW i3 and other competitors in the fast-growing niche for battery-powered vehicles. Read More »

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Self-driving car demand seen boosted by aging population

Self-driving cars being planned by Google and global automakers may help counter slumping demand from younger customers by tapping the fastest-growing demographic in the world’s largest vehicle markets: the elderly. Read More »

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BOB KING'S FINAL BATTLE:

UAW uses multifront push to organize imports

Through a strategy of coalescing global unions, civil rights activists and political figures, UAW President Bob King has engineered a broad push into a decidedly hostile corner of the country. Read More »

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Ford to sell Transit Connect Taxi in global markets

The Ford Transit Connect Taxi is going global as the automaker announced that it would begin selling the vehicles in Hong Kong in early 2014. Read More »

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Daimler receives over 30,000 orders for new Mercedes S class

Daimler has received more than 30,000 orders for the new Mercedes S class in less than three months since the model was launched. Read More »

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First Shift: Seeking GM pickup spiffs

Dealers say '14 Silverado, Sierra need to keep pace with rivals' discounts; Jeep Cherokees get closer to shipments; M-B says it will beat BMW in 2013. Read More »

German, Japanese carmakers drive Mexican auto-industry expansion

The Mexican auto industry is about to go on a $10 billion factory-building spree, spearheaded by German and Japanese automakers. Read More »

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Audi's Americas boss calls Tesla 'cool' while defending dealer model

Audi views electric carmaker Tesla as a competitor in the United States while questioning its choice to skip dealers and sell directly to consumers, Audi of America President Scott Keogh, said. Read More »

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EU offers to end tariffs on Japanese auto parts, report says

The European Union is ready to eliminate tariffs on Japanese auto parts in exchange for Japan ending import duties on a range of European food items, a report said. Read More »

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Mercedes U.S. chief: We'll beat BMW, no fire sale

Mercedes-Benz will snatch the U.S. luxury-sales crown from BMW in 2013, said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. Read More »

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Infiniti steps up Europe challenge with new product head

Infiniti named Nicolas Tschann as product director for Europe to help the brand become a stronger challenger to BMW, Audi and Mercedes in the region. Read More »

GM follows Volt formula with a CNG Impala

GM plans to launch a version of the Impala full-sized sedan that has tanks for CNG and gasoline, so the customer can run on what is cheap and available. Read More »

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Tariff talks lead to auto trade fight

With the White House seeking to finalize a trade treaty deal by year end, Japanese automakers and the Detroit 3 are embroiled in a good old-fashioned trade war. Read More »

Obituary: Alfred Warren Jr.

Alfred Warren Jr., formerly General Motors vice president of industrial relations, died Oct. 11 in Grosse Pointe, Mich. He was 87. Read More »

Sept. truck output up 24%

Robust truck output pushed North American car and truck production in September up 14 percent from the year-earlier month to an estimated 1,437,130 units. Read More »

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Hendrick will receive award from Crain

Auto dealer and race team owner Rick Hendrick will receive the 2014 Keith Crain/Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award on Jan. 22 at the 2014 Washington Auto Show. Read More »

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Toyota U.S. sales chief Carter to speak at Congress

Bob Carter, the veteran Toyota sales executive who has led the effort to regain the company's momentum in the United States following the 2010 recall crisis and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will speak at the Automotive News World Congress in January. Read More »

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Dealers

This week's dealer awards go to Alan Graf, Alan Graf Jr., Sal Anicito, Dave Paluzzi and Dave Anicito of Teterboro Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Little Ferry, N.J.; Ray Ingram of Jack Ingram Motors in Montgomery, Ala.; Charles Burton of Carlsen Porsche in Redwood City, Calif. Read More »

Next-gen Mini could have up to 10 variants

Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini, talked about product plans with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri. Read More »

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KEITH CRAIN:

The chance to create your future

The retail auto dealership is almost unique in giving young people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Coping with higher rates

A slight rise in interest rates from extreme lows will affect everything from auto and dealer floorplan loans to long-term debt for automakers and suppliers. Read More »

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BMW i3 app calculates range, finds public charging stations

The BMW i3 electric four-door comes with a host of special Internet-based services that make it easier to calculate the car's available range and find charging stations. Read More »

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The ELR's price tag: 'A bit of a shocker'

The hefty price tag Cadillac slapped on its ELR coupe has had the Internet abuzz. Read More »

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How consumers swallow those high car prices

Between January 2009 and June 2013, the average new U.S. light-vehicle transaction price rose $4,353, but consumers barely blinked at the higher price. Read More »

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Hubbub in the House of Morgan

There's turmoil at tiny Morgan, the family-owned British maker of retro roadsters. Read More »

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Ewanick kicks back: Partnership with soccer club was a 'no-brainer'

Ex-General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick says the Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship deal he signed last year was a "no-brainer." Read More »

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Panasonic to increase its battery capacity

Panasonic Corp. plans a big increase in lithium ion battery capacity next year, for both hybrid and electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model S sedan. Read More »

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BMW's i team: No rules, new segment

BMW set sustainability and technology targets early on for the i3 compact because research showed that potential buyers wanted more than just an electric car. Read More »

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Self-driving cars get a reality check

At the annual gathering to discuss intelligent transportation systems, engineers and operators alike injected doses of realism about the hurdles ahead for those technologies. Read More »

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