Headlines for Monday, October 21, 2013

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VIDEO: No. 1 store is all about support

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Pickup truck price gap riles GM dealers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Overdue Cherokees are on their way at last

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Some stores see being pet-friendly as a plus

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Many dealers don't value online reviews

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
A funny thing happened when eXteres Corp. tried to determine whether dealers do a good job of generating positive consumer reviews for their stores.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Sonic's used-car plan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

4:29 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

PSA wins union backing for cost cuts before possible stake sale

Oct. 21, 2013 14:04 CET
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.

VW, UAW look to avoid Pennsylvania missteps in Tennessee plant

Oct. 21, 2013 22:29 CET
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.


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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

11:33 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

10:34 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Hyundai recalls 27,500 Genesis sedans for brake issue

9:28 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Sonic’s Q3 operating profit stable on rising revenue

9:58 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Self-driving car demand seen boosted by aging population

11:12 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.


UAW uses multifront push to organize imports

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Ford to sell Transit Connect Taxi in global markets

1:30 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

Oct. 21, 2013 11:16 CET
Daimler has received more than 30,000 orders for the new Mercedes S class in less than three months since the model was launched.

VIDEO: First Shift: Seeking GM pickup spiffs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

German, Japanese carmakers drive Mexican auto-industry expansion

Oct. 21, 2013 13:36 CET
The Mexican auto industry is about to go on a $10 billion factory-building spree, spearheaded by German and Japanese automakers.

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

Oct. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
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.

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

Oct. 21, 2013 11:47 CET
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.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
Mercedes-Benz will snatch the U.S. luxury-sales crown from BMW in 2013, said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.

Infiniti steps up Europe challenge with new product head

Oct. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
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.

GM follows Volt formula with a CNG Impala

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Tariff talks lead to auto trade fight

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Obituary: Alfred Warren Jr.

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
Alfred Warren Jr., formerly General Motors vice president of industrial relations, died Oct. 11 in Grosse Pointe, Mich. He was 87.

Sept. truck output up 24%

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Hendrick will receive award from Crain

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.


12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Next-gen Mini could have up to 10 variants

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini, talked about product plans with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri.


The chance to create your future

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
The retail auto dealership is almost unique in giving young people the opportunity to become entrepreneurs.


Coping with higher rates

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

BMW i3 app calculates range, finds public charging stations

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
The hefty price tag Cadillac slapped on its ELR coupe has had the Internet abuzz.

How consumers swallow those high car prices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Hubbub in the House of Morgan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
There's turmoil at tiny Morgan, the family-owned British maker of retro roadsters.

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

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
Ex-General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick says the Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship deal he signed last year was a "no-brainer."

Panasonic to increase its battery capacity

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

BMW's i team: No rules, new segment

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
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.

Self-driving cars get a reality check

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2013
At the annual gathering to discuss intelligent transportation systems, engineers and operators alike injected doses of realism about the hurdles ahead for those technologies.

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