Headlines for Monday, November 11, 2013

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Volvo CEO on U.S. 'comeback'

Hakan Samuelsson says Volvo's U.S. revival will take root next year with new cars, fresh ads, and more leasing under a new U.S. boss. The CEO says the automaker is also working to regain the trust of dealers, whose patience has been tested in recent years. Read More »

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Kia aims for 120-mile driving range for Soul EV

Kia is targeting a 120-mile driving range on a single charge for the electric version of its Soul subcompact arriving next year in the United States. Read More »

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Mazda CX-5 with automatic brakes crashes during test drive, Japanese police say

A Mazda SUV equipped with an automatic-braking system crashed in Japan on Sunday during a dealership test drive, injuring the driver and front-seat passenger, according to the police. Read More »

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Getrag CEO expects big gains from dual clutches

German transmission maker Getrag foresees massive growth. By 2020, the supplier aims to produce 6.9 million transmissions a year, up from 3.9 million in 2012. Read More »

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HAKAN SAMUELSSON, CEO, VOLVO:

Volvo plans new cars, better styling, 'clever solutions'

Hakan Samuelsson had been a Volvo board member and a trucking executive when he became Volvo's CEO in October 2012, taking over a company with slumping U.S. sales and a dearth of fresh product. Read More »

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GM Financial hits brakes on subprime

GM has reduced its reliance on subprime lending and has brought its use of leasing closer to the level of the overall industry. Read More »

In the battle for lease business, captives are kings

The captive finance companies have a lock on leasing. Eight of the top 10 leasing companies are captives, data from Experian Automotive show. The other two are Ally Financial Inc. and Chase Auto Finance, which offer leases for automaker partners. Read More »

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Hyundai-Kia loosens lid on incentives

The Korean auto juggernaut that once kept executives from Detroit and Japan up at night now finds itself slogging through a much more competitive marketplace. Read More »

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RUPERT STADLER, AUDI CHAIRMAN:

Audi chief prefers steady growth to profit-cutting spiffs

Audi has slowly but steadily improved its U.S. market share since 2006, and Chairman Rupert Stadler sees an opportunity to continue to grow -- but not by piling on lease deals. "We are taking the necessary time to grow organically," he said. Read More »

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Subaru plans seven-seat replacement for Tribeca

Subaru is developing a new seven-seat vehicle to replace the outgoing Tribeca, but U.S. dealers will have to wait for a while after the Tribeca is killed off next year. Read More »

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Chrysler brand chief Chehab leaves to head Maserati marketing

Saad Chehab, head of the Chrysler and Lancia brands, will give up those positions to become the chief marketing officer of Fiat's Maserati luxury brand, Chrysler said today. Read More »

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Hyundai preps fuel cell vehicle for '14 U.S. debut

Hyundai is readying a fuel cell electric crossover for a U.S. debut next year, joining a cadre of automakers that see renewed promise in the economic viability of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Read More »

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Chrysler brand chief Chehab will head Maserati marketing

Saad Chehab, head of the Chrysler and Lancia brands, is Maserati's new chief marketing officer. The new Chrysler brand boss is Al Gardner, head of Chrysler's southeast business center in Florida. Read More »

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First Shift: BMW tops supplier survey

German automaker ranked No. 1, again; Caddy marketing chief's design strategy; a Mercedes rwd minivan for U.S.? Read More »

Volkswagen roller coaster is in a down cycle

For three straight years, Volkswagen turned skeptics into believers. Now some of those believers are skeptics again. Read More »

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Volkswagen's U.S. sales slide casts doubt on No. 1 goal

Volkswagen brand vehicle sales are sliding in the United States, casting doubt on the brand's goal of selling 800,000 vehicles a year in the market by 2018. The target is key to VW Group's aim to overtake Toyota as the world's largest automaker. Read More »

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Hyundai r&d president, 2 other execs resign over quality problems

Hyundai's research and development president, Kwon Moon-sik, and two other executives resigned over a string of quality problems. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Inside VW's sales slump

Automaker's aging lineup hurts U.S. sales; new Chrysler brand boss; Infiniti's Japan plan; Honda's high-tech concept Read More »

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VW hires Nissan's Shahani to oversee U.S. marketing

Volkswagen Group of America has hired Vinay Shahani as vice president of marketing, bolstering the brand's executive team as it prepares for its most important American debut since the launch of the redesigned Passat in 2011. Read More »

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FINANCE FACE-OFF IN D.C.:

CFPB, critics go to the mat this week

The ongoing confrontation between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and automotive retailers and lenders is heating up, with two events in Washington this week and a disclosure from Ally Financial Inc. last week that illustrates the growing tension. Read More »

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2013 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW:

Infiniti comes home to Japan -- sort of

Nissan is finally bringing the Infiniti marque to Japan, a quarter century after its global debut in the United States. Well, sort of. Building Infiniti into a truly global brand -- with name recognition in its home market -- could benefit its image in North America and elsewhere. Read More »

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Pioneering importer was 'eternal optimist'

Kjell Qvale, the auto-retailing visionary who along with Max Hoffman was a pioneer of importing European auto brands to the United States in the post-World War II era, died Nov. 2. He was 94. Read More »

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Q&A:

Audi CEO Stadler sticks to 2 million sales goal

Audi is sticking to its goal of selling 2 million vehicles annually by 2020, CEO Rupert Stadler says. The automaker plans to invest 11 billion euros between 2013 and 2015 in a bid to become the global No. 1 premium brand. Read More »

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Mercedes gains ground on BMW as CLA coupe propels October sales

Mercedes gained ground against rivals BMW and Audi last month as brand sales rose 15 percent in October, beating 5 percent growth at BMW and a 7 percent gain at Audi. Read More »

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AKIO TOYODA, PRESIDENT, TOYOTA MOTOR CORP.:

Toyota's new offensive's goal: Improvement, not sheer volume

President Akio Toyoda says Toyota Motor Corp. is finally ready to go on the offensive again, after being hobbled in recent years by such crises as the global financial meltdown following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, unintended acceleration recalls and Japan's killer earthquake. Read More »

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Hyundai r&d president, 2 other execs resign over quality problems

Hyundai Motor Group said on Monday its research and development president, Kwon Moon-sik, and two other executives resigned over a string of quality problems as the automaker tries to shore up reputation ahead of key model launches. Read More »

Ford, GM benefit as China sales soar 24 percent in October

The Ford Focus was the best-selling sedan last month, while General Motors reported a 12 percent gain in October sales, led by demand for its Wuling and Buick vehicles. Read More »

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Mercedes gains ground on BMW as CLA coupe propels October sales

Mercedes gained further ground against rivals BMW and Audi last month as brand sales rose 15 percent in October, beating 5 percent growth at BMW and a 7 percent gain at Audi. Read More »

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Leases, marketing vital to Volvo survival plan

Until new vehicles start arriving late next year, Volvo's plan for survival in the United States involves an aggressive return to leasing. Read More »

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Schaeffler backs 2013 outlook on 'robust' third-quarter business

German supplier Schaeffler reaffirmed its full-year forecast of growing group revenue between 1 and 2 percent after the supplier said third-quarter sales rose 2 percent. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Suzuki foresees rebound in Europe

Suzuki will launch a new model every year for the next three years as it aims to increase annual sales in its European markets by about 100,000 units to 300,000 by 2016. Read More »

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2014 Rising Star nominations sought

Automotive News Europe needs your help to find the Rising Stars in the European automotive industry. We define a Rising Star as an automotive executive with a pan-European profile who has driven change, fostered innovation and made courageous decisions. Read More »

Manheim economist sees softer used-vehicle prices

Increases in off-lease, retired-rental and repossessed vehicles entering the market are dampening used-vehicles prices, auction company Manheim's chief economist said, and the trend will continue into 2014. Read More »

Obituaries

Retired Houston auto dealer Sterling McCall died Oct. 7. He was 78. Read More »

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Nissan tightens its focus on North America

In a bid to turbocharge its growth in the vital U.S. market, Nissan is freeing up its Nashville-based executive team to focus exclusively on the United States, Mexico and Canada. Read More »

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Toyoda touts Tokyo show as high-tech hub

The Tokyo Motor Show has fallen on hard times as global automakers channel their marketing efforts into bigger shows in China. Read More »

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ADESA: Off-lease overflow to benefit in-lane auctions

An increasing number of vehicles will come off lease next year, experts agree. Read More »

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Want suppliers' respect? Bring them in early

BMW has cemented its status among North American suppliers as the top-ranked automaker purchasing operation, but Ford and Chrysler are moving up. Read More »

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BMW marketing boss to speak at congress

Trudy Hardy, BMW of North America’s newly named head of marketing, will take part in a roundtable discussion at the Automotive News World Congress in January in Detroit. Read More »

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Reuss closes the book on Facebook

Mark Reuss shut down his Facebook account last week after a tart reply to a Web site that wrote dismissively about General Motors' shrinking U.S. market share. But GM's top executive for North America hasn't sworn off social media altogether. Read More »

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Perks make EVs hot sellers in Norway

For one month at least, Tesla's Model S was the top-selling car in Norway -- a brief moment of glory that received global attention. But the electric vehicle was knocked off its pedestal in October -- only to be replaced by another EV, the Nissan Leaf. Read More »

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Volvo's CEO doesn't want 'concrete temples'

Volvo's CEO, a relative newcomer to the car business, thinks the pendulum has swung too far toward glitzy U.S. car dealerships that soon will be outdated relics in the digital age. Read More »

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Survey: A self-driver? Sure, if insurance rates are slashed

Self-driving cars are getting a lot of buzz, and a new survey suggests nine of 10 drivers would consider buying one -- if it meant paying a lot less for auto insurance. A survey by CarInsurance. Read More »

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