Headlines for Monday, March 17, 2014

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2013 Top 125 Dealership Groups

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


Off F&I menus, LoJack sales perk up

A couple of years ago, LoJack Corp. was starting to look like an afterthought. Then company CEO Randy Ortiz had an insight: Get LoJack out of the F&I department -- where it often got lost on menus listing a dozen or so products -- and into the showroom. Read More »


Help wanted: Industry restocks for recovery

Showing increasing confidence in the pace and durability of the recovery, automakers are spending to restock depleted departments in core areas, such as sales, marketing, distribution, product planning and administration. Read More »


Dealer Ron Rossi's electrifying crusade

Honda retailer Ron Rossi has never forgotten what he learned in his family's grocery business in the 1970s: Save money by saving energy. With that in mind, in 2012 he spent more than a million dollars installing solar-paneled canopies on his sales lot in rural Vineland, N.J. Read More »


Hyundai cuts new Sonata's fuel-economy rating, apologizes for error

Hyundai said today the fuel economy of its revamped Sonata sedan was less than it had previously stated, an error that could further undermine its reliability after a slew of mileage-related lawsuits. Read More »


Dana: Tech, lightweight parts to drive growth

Rising demand for crossovers and SUVs will fuel double-digit sales growth of light-vehicle drivetrain components at U.S. auto supplier Dana Holding Corp., a top company executive said. Read More »


Self-driving cars await smarter, safer roads

A lack of infrastructure may slow the rise of autonomous cars as it has the growth of electric vehicles. Read More »


AutoNews Now: Barra: 'We will be better'

After internal review, GM calls back more than 1.5 million vehicles, vows changes in recall handling; Group 1 rises on buys. Read More »


First Shift: Hyundai admits MPG goof

Automaker apologizes, restates Sonata rating; Honda Odyssey recall; GM sued; Toyota lockout in India; CR's used-car picks. Read More »


And then there were four (maybe) on Jimmy Fallon's truck-shopping list

Jimmy Fallon, new host of “The Tonight Show” on NBC, has let the world know that he wants to buy a new truck and on Friday he narrowed his choices to four vehicles -- maybe. Read More »


GM recall is bad, but not yet Toyota-bad

As bad as the General Motors ignition switch recall is, the storm still doesn't match the hysteria whipped up four years ago by Toyota's unintended-acceleration crisis. The Toyota recall was, and still is, the benchmark mammoth recall of our time. Read More »


How I accidentally bought a Jeep, and liked it

I accidentally bought a mint condition 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo a few weeks ago on the Internet. The Grand Cherokee didn't sell on eBay. But I made a low-ball offer for it offline, not expecting it to be accepted. But it was. And that's how I “accidentally” ended up with the Jeep. Read More »


GM to recall 1.5M U.S. vehicles after Barra orders stepped up review

General Motors, under intense public pressure over its slow response to an ignition switch defect in its small cars, said today that it will recall more than 1. Read More »


More suppliers join turbo fray in race for mpg

The push to improve fuel economy has shaken up the auto industry's once-cozy world of turbocharger suppliers. Read More »


Toyota dominates CR list of best used cars with 11 models

Consumer Reports has named its best used vehicles for the 2004-13 model years, and the Toyota family is a favorite, with 11 vehicles named to the list. Read More »

Porsche wins dismissal of hedge funds' suit over failed VW bid

Porsche Automobil Holding won the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking $1.95 billion over the German carmaker's aborted takeover of Volkswagen. Read More »


Renault-Nissan names new alliance team to step up integration

Renault and alliance partner Nissan detailed plans to integrate key operations and pursue greater economies of scale. Read More »


Skoda sees sales growth returning after 2013 profit drop

Skoda expects to return to sales growth this year thanks to a build-up of orders and signs of recovery in many of its markets, the carmaker said after posting a 25.5 percent drop in 2013 profit. Read More »


GM recall doubled as Georgia lawyer pushed U.S. regulators

Six days after General Motors recalled almost 800,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s for a defect that could cause surprise engine shutdowns, lawyer Lance Cooper, a solo practitioner in Georgia, sent government regulators a letter: There are more faulty GM models out there. Read More »


Audi launches A3 campaign starring Ricky Gervais, more 'uncompromised' celebs

Audi of America launches a campaign today starring funnyman Ricky Gervais to tout its new car in the fast-growing entry-level luxury segment: the 2015 Audi A3 sedan, which goes on sale nationwide April 3 at a starting price of $29,900. Read More »


Chrysler recalls 18,092 Fiat 500L cars to fix potential shifter hazard

Chrysler Group is recalling 18,092 Fiat 500L cars in the United States because drivers may not be able to shift out of park, according to documents filed with U.S. safety regulators. Read More »


VW will expand Tiguan production to Hanover factory, report says

Volkswagen will expand its production of the Tiguan compact SUV to its Hanover factory in northern Germany to boost capacity utilization at the site, sources said. Read More »


BMW plans China recall on engine-part complaints

BMW will recall an unspecified number of vehicles proactively in China following consumer complaints over a potentially defective engine part. Read More »


Nissan moves Qashqai upmarket

Nissan is so confident about the new Qashqai that its production capacity is three times that of the first-generation crossover. Read More »

Mazda3 a casualty of Civic-Corolla war

The Mazda3 has racked up accolades as the driving enthusiast's choice in the compact segment since the redesigned 2014 model went on sale last fall. But its sales numbers tell a different story. Read More »


Lexus boss: Time for a clean-sheet approach to cars

You might assume that Tokuo Fukuichi, who takes over as head of Lexus on April 1, will walk in the door with firm ideas about the brand's look. Read More »


Why Sally can't buy a new car

America's outstanding student-loan debt is now greater than all auto loans, more than credit card debt. Read More »


For GM dealers: Simple fix, complex sales job

Amid a barrage of investigations and bad press, General Motors' battle to reassure customers over its handling of the ignition-switch recall soon will expand to a new front: its dealerships. Read More »


Apple invades cars' center stack

Apple's new CarPlay system lets drivers use their vehicle touch screens to access the company's apps for music, phone numbers, route guidance, e-mails -- you name it. Read More »


Recall storm engulfs GM

A company that started the year on a wave of positive press surrounding its new CEO and its emergence from government ownership is suddenly facing an investigation by federal safety regulators, upcoming congressional hearings and a potential criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department. Read More »


Deadline for best-dealerships contest entry is days away

Automotive News is searching for the best dealerships to work for in the United States and Canada. Read More »


Former NADA instructor John Clancey dead at 82

John Clancey, a former instructor at the National Automobile Dealers Association's Dealer Candidate Academy, died Feb. 22. Read More »


Tesla: N.J. can't pull plug on us

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the electric-vehicle maker will explore "judicial remedies" to restore its ability to sell directly from two factory-owned stores in New Jersey. Read More »


AutoNation CEO honored for success

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson's success story is being used as an example to inspire young people. Read More »

Barra is first GMI graduate to be auto CEO

Here's another bit of Mary Barra trivia: She's the first graduate of General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) to become CEO of GM or any automaker. Read More »


Marketing boss spits in Cadillac's alphabet soup

Cadillac's alphabetic naming structure -- CTS, SRX, ELR and so on -- has its share of critics. Count new marketing boss Uwe Ellinghaus among them. Read More »


Truck veteran Diaz tinkered with Titan styling

Fred Diaz, Nissan's top sales exec in North America, figured he knew a thing or two about full-sized pickups when he joined the company last April. Read More »

Top groups add stores and sales

The nation's largest dealership groups, both public and private, are bulking up -- adding stores and grabbing a larger share of U.S. new-car and light-truck sales. Read More »


William Clay Ford: A low profile but some big moments

William Clay Ford Sr., who died last week at 88, kept a low profile at Ford Motor Co. during most of his life. But the grandson of founder Henry Ford was a central figure in three milestone moments in Ford's post-World War II history. Read More »

What if overseas sales were excluded?

Group 1 Automotive Inc., No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups based in the United States, would drop to No. 5 if the rankings reflected only U.S. sales. Group 1 is one of five dealership groups on the list that reported sales outside the United States. Read More »

Wish you had joined our list

Several large, privately held groups that probably would make the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups based in the United States did not respond to our latest survey. That means we can't accurately list them. Read More »


Mini Paceman, Coupe and Roadster may not be replaced

Mini may not replace its Coupe, Roadster and Paceman models. Read More »

Bigger crossover for BMW?

BMW Group plans "a significant economic and product announcement" at its Spartanburg, S.C., plant on March 28, raising speculation that it will build a long-rumored seven-seat crossover. Read More »

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