Headlines for Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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Former Fla. Dodge store loses arbitration bid in suit over sloppy paperwork

In 2004 Roberto Basulto and Raquel Gonzalez went to a dealership in Hialeah, Fla., to buy a new 2005 Dodge Caravan. Although they spoke only Spanish, all the documents they signed were in English and some were incomplete when they were signed. Read More »

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DIANA T. KURYLKO:

Land Rover's vision of an expanded Discovery family

Land Rover is taking its largest vehicle, the LR4 in the United States and the Discovery elsewhere, and making a family of it. The story is unfolding in New York this week with the introduction of the Discovery Vision Concept SUV. Read More »

Dealerships, lenders bolster compliance staffs in face of CFPB crackdown

Auto lenders and dealerships are strengthening their compliance staffs as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cracks down on lending practices. Lenders are beefing up to monitor dealerships more closely and dealerships are gearing up to face the added scrutiny. Read More »

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Chrysler recalls 867,795 SUVs worldwide to repair brake system

Chrysler Group is recalling 867,795 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs to install a shield to protect brake boosters from water corrosion. Vehicles from the model years 2011 through 2014 will be inspected and the boosters replaced where necessary, the automaker said in a statement today. Read More »

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GABE NELSON:

Lawmakers want heads to roll, and won't excuse Barra

Judging from the rough reception GM CEO Mary Barra encountered on Wednesday from the Senate Commerce Committee's consumer protection panel, it was clear that this is just the start of GM's reckoning on Capitol Hill. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Senators hint at 'cover-up'

Lawmakers likely to call ex-GM officials to testify on recall; Ford takes currency hit; 6th Corvette pulled from sinkhole. Read More »

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First Shift: March winners, losers

Sales end freeze; Chrysler recalls Grand Cherokee, Durango; round 2 for Barra; Report: $300M aid offer tied to UAW loss. Read More »

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Energy Dept. dangles low-interest financing for suppliers

The department of energy wants auto suppliers to know that it still has $16 billion in low-interest financing available to support efficient-vehicle programs, and it wants them to step forward for a share of those funds. Read More »

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THE GM RECALL:

Senators probing GM raise prospect of criminal wrongdoing

A Senate panel today raised the prospect of criminal prosecution and promised more hearings over General Motors' failure to fix a defective ignition switch, as GM CEO Mary Barra withstood a scolding from lawmakers flummoxed by a lack of answers. Read More »

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European car sales recovery gains pace as German deliveries rise 5%

Germany joined France, Italy and Spain in posting higher new-car sales in March, adding to signs that a recovery in the European market is gaining strength. Read More »

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Ally Financial CEO Carpenter won't get pay hike, U.S. Treasury says

The Obama administration is holding the total compensation unchanged this year for the head of bailed-out auto lender Ally Financial, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday. Read More »

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Tesla appeals N.J. ruling on direct-sales ban

Tesla filed an appeal Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court to overturn last month's ruling that banned the electric-vehicle maker from selling its cars directly to consumers through factory-owned stores there. Read More »

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JAMES B. TREECE:

If you like paying MSRP, then Tesla/Apple is for you

The next time you’re in an Apple store, try this. When one of the product geniuses who work there approaches you, ask him or her, “So, how much below list price are you offering this iPhone 5 for this month?” Read More »

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AutoNation reports 6% March volume increase, best-selling Q1 since 2007

AutoNation said today its new-vehicle retail sales in the United States rose 6 percent in March from a year earlier to 28,796 units. Read More »

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GM Financial, Ally swap corporate profiles

A new and much bigger GM Financial is emerging this year -- a global, mostly prime-risk auto lender that looks a lot like the old GMAC captive finance company. Read More »

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Auto finance outlook is good for 2014, report says

The outlook for auto finance this year is “mildly less positive” relative to extraordinarily favorable conditions, according to analysts for NADA Used Car Guide. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Off-lease surge should spark even more leasing

Scheduled lease terminations are expected to grow again in 2014, providing a strong tailwind for additional leases this year and higher customer loyalty. Read More »

F&I TIP:

Why informing customers trumps overcoming their objections

F&I managers need to get away from the decades-old approach of an overt sales pitch followed by an “argument” with the customer. Read More »

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British car industry overwhelmingly backs EU membership, SMMT survey says

More than 90 percent of companies operating in the British car industry want the UK to stay in the European Union, a survey commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed. Read More »

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Ford will cut output, jobs in Russia as ruble and car demand weaken

Ford's Russian joint venture is cutting production and about 950 jobs at two factories in response to the falling ruble and deteriorating demand in the country. Read More »

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BRUCE GAIN:

With Tavares no longer involved, Renault divorces Alpine partner

Renault appears to be scaling back its ambitions for the sporty Alpine subbrand after ending plans with Caterham, its racing partner, to revive the marque. But a source says the project will still go ahead. Read More »

GM ignition recall-suit consolidation sought before Toyota judge in Calif.

GM's growing number of lawsuits over the recalls of now 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches should be consolidated before the same judge overseeing Toyota's acceleration cases, a lawyer for vehicle owners said. Read More »

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BMW to recall 232,098 vehicles in China on engine bolt defect

BMW will recall 232,098 vehicles in China for a defective bolt design that may damage the engine or cause it to fail to start. Read More »

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Jesse Jackson leads minority trade mission to Japan's automakers

Jesse Jackson is leading a Rainbow PUSH Coalition trade mission to meet with the heads of Japan's leading automakers later this week, in order to increase the representation of minority interests in management, suppliers and dealerships. Read More »

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VW seeks to open car plant in Thailand, sources say

VW Group has applied to set up its first car plant in Thailand to help narrow the gap with Toyota in Southeast Asia, people familiar with the matter said. VW sees a "strong market opportunity" in the region CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch said last week. Read More »

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Over-the-hill used cars, $14.95 oil changes fuel Honda store

Over-the-hill used cars, $14.95 oil changes fuel Honda store

Aging, high-mileage trade-ins are welcomed at RiverTown Honda in Grandville, Mich. The store sells up to 30 'Budget Row' cars monthly at an average gross profit of $700. Mon., September 8
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