Headlines for Friday, December 20, 2013

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Ally, U.S. reach $98M settlement over lending bias

10:05 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Auto lender Ally Financial has agreed to pay $98 million to resolve claims that its manner of paying dealers for arranging contracts led minority car buyers into car loans with higher interest rates.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: How self-driving cars 'see'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Why Ford sees a place for advanced LIDAR sensing; Ally to pay $98 million bias penalty in settlement with consumer agency.

Nissan names VW exec Willcox as new Europe head

Dec. 20, 2013 09:15 CET
Nissan has appointed new regional bosses for Europe and the Africa-Middle East-India regions, tapping Paul Willcox for Europe and bringing in Takashi Hata from transmission maker Jatco to run the emerging market portfolio.

GM, Ford extend holiday shutdowns at several N.A. plants

1:44 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
GM and Ford are extending holiday downtime at several North American assembly plants to keep car inventories in check. Chrysler Group is adding production shifts over the holidays at plants in Ohio and Michigan that build Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups.

Post-holiday push to drive December U.S. sales higher

1:42 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
U.S. auto sales are projected to increase as much as 5 percent in December, according to several analysts’ forecasts, with most of the purchases taking place in the week after Christmas. The forecasts call for light-vehicle sales of about 1.

U.S. still concerned about Russian car levy

11:05 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
The United States said on Friday it still has concerns about a recycling fee Russia imposes on cars even though the country recently extended the levy to cover domestic as well as imported vehicles.

Lamborghini's next raging bull arrives in spring

3:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
After a 10-year run and more than 14,000 sales, the Lamborghini Gallardo is being put out to pasture, and a faster, more nimble replacement, the Huracan, will arrive in the spring.

CarMax's third-quarter profits rise on higher used-car volume, financing

12:00 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
CarMax's third-quarter net profits rose on increased used-car sales and higher income at its captive finance company. The nation's largest used-car retailer today reported net income rose 12 percent to $106.5 million in the quarter ending Nov. 30 from $94.7 million a year earlier.

VW to feature finicky German engineers in Super Bowl spot

3:22 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Volkswagen plans to use a Super Bowl spot to show just how quality-obsessed its German engineers can be.

LINDSAY CHAPPELL

One wish -- just make it simpler

3:04 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
My wish for the holidays is that the auto industry will get its act together next year on electronics and cabin controls.

SPECIAL REPORT

GM reshuffle will test Opel CEO's turnaround skills

11:00 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
A management rejig at GM and the scaling back of its alliance with PSA have created fresh uncertainty over the company's strategy for Opel, just as the European business seemed to have secured a settled future.

SPECIAL REPORT

GM reshuffle will test Opel CEO's turnaround skills

Dec. 20, 2013 14:33 CET
A management rejig at GM and the scaling back of its alliance with PSA have created fresh uncertainty over the U.S. carmaker's strategy for Opel, just as the European business seemed to have secured a settled future.

Mitsubishi lifts profit outlook on weakening yen

7:03 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Mitsubishi Motors lifted its operating profit forecast for the current financial year by 20 percent, helped by a weakening yen, cost cuts and strong sales of the Outlander SUV plug-in hybrid.

Fiat resumes talks to buy Chrysler stake from UAW trust, report says

11:49 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne restarted negotiations with a UAW trust to buy the remaining shares of Chrysler Group, people familiar with the matter said. A meeting between the two sides this week followed the trust's rejection of a higher offer for its 41.

Fiat says Italian plants strategy is showing 'positive' results

Dec. 20, 2013 16:42 CET
The first results of Fiat's move to use its plants in Italy to focus on higher-margin brands and build vehicles for export are encouraging, Fiat Chairman John Elkann and CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

Suppliers to the 2014 Nissan Sentra

9:39 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Suppliers to the 2014 Nissan Sentra include Rehau, Valeo, Coastal Automotive, Webasto, Eagle Ottawa, Sika, GHSP, INA, Maclean-Fogg, JTEKT, Mahle, Plastomer, Kautex Textron and Fraenkische. T2014 model is the seventh generation Sentra and is built in Smyrna, Tenn., and Canton, Miss.

Suppliers to the 2014 Toyota Corolla

9:37 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Suppliers to the 2014 Toyota Corolla include Guelph Tool, Gentex, Huf Huelsbeck, Fuerst, AGC Automotive, Bowles Fluidics, Delfingen, Sunstone Components, Midway Products, TI Automotive, Leggett & Platt and North American Lighting.

Suppliers to the 2013 Toyota Avalon

9:34 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Suppliers to the 2013 Toyota Avalon include Bowles Fluidics, Angell-Demmel, Aisin, UGN, Corvac Composites, Guardian, Pilkington, Sunstone Components, Midway Products, Nasco, AGC Automotive and EFC International. The 2013 model of the Toyota Avalon was all new and is built in Georgetown, Ky.

Japanese car exports to U.S. get boost from weak yen

7:27 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Japan's exports rose for a ninth consecutive month in November, with light-vehicle shipments to the United States rising 13 percent, a sign the weak yen and a recovery in global demand are energizing a major growth driver in the world's third-biggest economy.

VIDEO: First Shift: Next-gen Chrysler minivan?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 20, 2013
Union chief: Announcement could be days away; skeptical about Fisker U.S. plans; Tesla tussles in Ohio; Snyder: Loyalty pays.

Toyota Europe CEO plans profit growth as hybrid-car sales expand

Dec. 20, 2013 08:19 CET
Toyota targets sales and profitability gains in Europe and Russia next year on the strength of its hybrid models, said Didier Leroy, Toyota Europe head.

Better Nov. car sales herald European growth in 2014, forecaster says

Dec. 20, 2013 11:04 CET
Western European car sales may improve by nearly 3 percent next year after November showed modest growth, LMC Automotive forecasts.

Automotive News
Special Video Report
Nissan's Munoz: 'You grow or you go'

Nissan's Munoz: 'You grow or you go'

Nissan N.A. boss Jose Munoz continues to push U.S. dealers for a big jump in market share while deflecting complaints that his stair-step sales targets are too hard to achieve.
» Watch the Video
     
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