Headlines for Monday, March 10, 2014

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The early warnings that GM missed

For years, as drivers complained that their Cobalts and Ions were stalling repeatedly, GM treated it as a matter of customer satisfaction, not safety. Documents show that the company either didn't grasp the significance of the problem or didn't consider it worthy of resources. Read More »

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American Honda splits marketing and sales operation by brand

American Honda has reassigned marketing boss Mike Accavitti to lead the Acura brand amid a restructuring of the automaker's North American operation that will group marketing and sales functions under separate divisions for the Honda and Acura brands. Read More »

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Suppliers to the 2014 Toyota Tundra

Suppliers to the 2014 Toyota Tundra include Guelph Tool, Magna, Takata, Gentex, Bowles Fluidics, Huf Huelsbeck & Fuerst, UGN, Corvac Composites, SRG Global, DYNA-MIG, CTS Automotive, Automatic Spring Products, New Mather Metals, MacLean-Fogg and Haartz and Brose. Read More »

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BMW, M-B reduce number of architectures

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are reducing their number of vehicle architectures to speed development and cut costs. Read More »

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Many dealers warn: Accept a gift and get fired

Dealerships' prohibitions against incentives, and the enforcement of those prohibitions, are likely to be ratcheted higher due to concerns that federal regulators are looking more closely at F&I products and how they are priced. Read More »

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BMW i8 demand outstrips initial production run

BMW said there is strong demand for its i8 plug-in hybrid supercar which will begin rolling out to customers in June. Read More »

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Opel maps comeback as Chevrolet's shadow lifts

Opel is embarking on its largest ever marketing campaign in Germany as the General Motors unit seeks to revitalize itself following GM's decision to pull sister brand Chevrolet from Europe. Read More »

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What's an F&I pro worth?

On average, F&I managers earn fatter paychecks than people in any other key dealership position except the general manager, according to the 2013 NADA Dealership Workforce Study Industry Report. Some dealers are beginning to rethink that. Read More »

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U.S. House committee to probe GM recall

The congressional House Energy and Commerce Committee said late Monday it launched an investigation into GM's recall of ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The committee said it plans hearings that are expected to include officials from GM and NHTSA. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: GM's missed warnings

Documents show GM didn't grasp scope of ignition glitch, blamed drivers; saluting William Clay Ford Sr.; Honda, Acura exec shift. Read More »

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First Shift: Nissan Rogue sales 'on fire'

With sales up 73% in February, a push to keep crossover's momentum; Cars.com for sale?; remembering William Clay Ford Sr. Read More »

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Ford to end Champions League sponsorship

Ford Motor is ending its sponsorship of the Champions League soccer tournament after more than two decades. Read More »

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William Clay Ford Sr. remembered for 57-year legacy at Ford Motor

William Clay Ford Sr., who took driving lessons at age 10 from his grandfather Henry Ford and once flew with legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, is being remembered for helping steer Ford Motor Co. for more than 57 years. He died Sunday at age 88. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Extended service contract? Skip it, Consumer Reports tells readers

Consumer Reports slams extended service contracts in its latest annual auto issue, one of the magazine's most widely read editions. Read More »

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Audi, starting with A3, aims to update in-car software faster

In an era when smartphones are replaced every year or two, and seem downright prehistoric within five or six, Audi AG has decided that the auto industry’s standard product cycle is too long to bear for in-car software. Read More »

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Chevy distances itself from viral dying-dog spot

Chevrolet is being lauded -- and ripped -- for an emotional new TV spot for the Equinox showing a woman saying goodbye to her pooch "Maddie" before the dying dog is euthanized. But the spot wasn't created by an ad agency. Read More »

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U.S. car and light-truck inventories, on Mar. 1

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Canada light-vehicle sales by nameplate, Feb. & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Canada light-vehicle sales by make, Feb. & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Reactions to the death of William Clay Ford Sr.

Here is a compilation of reactions to the death of William Clay Ford Sr.: Read More »

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Automotive News' Keith Crain gets Hall of Fame honors

Keith Crain, who in 43 years at the helm of Automotive News has grilled hundreds of top executives, broken some of the industry's biggest stories and served as one of its toughest critics and strongest supporters, has been elected to the Automotive Hall of Fame. Read More »

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Japanese automakers march into Mexico, set up export base

When three-tiered car haulers packed with Mazda3s pulled out of the dusty rail yard in Mexico last month, they represented the latest volley in a south-of-the-border blitz by Japanese automakers. Read More »

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GABE NELSON:

Attention all hipsters: Audi wants to sell you a car

I get the feeling that Audi really, really wants me at their party. Read More »

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Like EVs, self-guided cars need infrastructure

Autonomous driving features have become an industry obsession, judging by the buzz about them at Geneva's auto show. Read More »

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VW says power loss cut German plant output more than expected

VW is still seeking the cause of a power outage at its Wolfsburg plant in Germany on Saturday that cut output by several hundred vehicles, more than initially estimated. Read More »

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PHOTO ESSAY:

Inside Mazda's Salamanca factory

Staff Reporter Hans Greimel was on the ground at the opening of Mazda's Salamanca plant and captured images of the technology and workers at the plant. Read More »

Tesla, Apple supplier Amtek bets auto industry will fuel its growth

Amtek Engineering, the Singapore maker of auto parts for Tesla Motors and chargers for Apple iPhones, plans to double sales to $2 billion in five to seven years through acquisitions. Read More »

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Chrysler recalls 25,250 SUVs for braking issue

Chrysler said the recall is being done to improve pedal feel during certain aggressive braking maneuvers. Read More »

Rise of the Mexican auto industry

An animated map showing the rise of the Mexican auto industry. Read More »

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CEO: Chase's top job is 'serve the dealers'

Thasunda Duckett can light up a room, even one filled with buttoned-down bankers and auto lenders. Read More »

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DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:

Audi TT scores double Web win at Geneva show

The new Audi TT scored a double victory at the Geneva auto show, finishing No. 1 in both online news coverage and social media buzz. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Toyota Chairman says hybrids will soon have 20% global share

Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada sees deliveries of hybrid vehicles reaching 20 percent of global sales in the near future, up from about 13 percent to 14 percent now. Read More »

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Ford of Europe works its way back

After Ford of Europe completes its current round of plant closings, it will bring manufacturing to 80 percent of capacity. Read More »

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BEST PRACTICES:

Loyalty builder: Dealer calls buyers after a sale

Jewel Lee Kenley, who runs Ed Kenley Ford near Salt Lake City, calls at least 50 to 60 customers most months; in a good year, she has called as many as 1,000. Read More »

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Daimler to sell 50% stake in engines JV to partner Rolls-Royce holdings

Daimler will sell its 50 percent stake in an engines joint venture to partner Rolls-Royce Holdings to invest in its automotive and truck businesses. Read More »

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Cars.com's owners considering sale of Web site business, report says

Classified Ventures LLC, the media company backed by five newspaper publishers including Gannett and McClatchy, is working with Moelis to seek a sale of its Cars.com Web site, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Toyota chairman says hybrids will soon have 20% global share

Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada has high expectations for hybrid vehicles and sees deliveries reaching 20 percent of global sales in the near future, from about 13 percent to 14 percent at present. Read More »

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Car refrigerant rejected by Daimler is safe, EU scientists say

EU scientists say a new car refrigerant at the center of a dispute between European regulators and Daimler does not pose any serious safety risks. Read More »

Lexus, Subaru rank high for responding to internet leads

An annual study found that 21 of 33 auto brands improved their responsiveness to internet leads last year. But only two brands, Lexus and Subaru, have remained in the top one-third of the Pied Piper study rankings for every survey year from 2011 to 2014. Read More »

Sell out of the service drive

Mike Shaw Toyota-Scion in Corpus Christi, Texas, employs a full-time salesperson who sits in the service department and offers a free, no-strings market appraisal when customers pull in for an oil change or repair. Read More »

Feds' focus: Safety notice or sales pitch?

Federal regulators, law-enforcement agencies and consumer advocates are cracking down on some dealership service mailings, which they say are deceptive and often illegal. Read More »

Mazda's challenges in crucial Mexico plant ramp-up

Some of the biggest challenges for Mazda Motor Corp.'s first factory in Mexico came from the smallest details. Consider the tiny metal brackets used to secure wire harnesses. Read More »

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Audi A3 gatherings target young, hip bacon lovers

Audi is planning blowout parties April 3 in New York and Los Angeles to mark the launch of the Audi A3, and it wants all of its dealers to throw their own get-togethers that night. 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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