Headlines for Friday, April 11, 2014

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The pony car's first dream team

8:54 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A look at the men who came together to envision, design, build and market one of the most successful cars in automotive history.

50 nifty things you may not know about the Mustang

9:07 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A look back at a few factoids about the 50-year-old Mustang

Sperlich: Mustang 'was all about youth'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Among the Ford Mustang's fathers, Hal Sperlich is one of the most fascinating. Sperlich gets credit for being the product-planning genius behind the Ford Mustang and Chrysler's original minivan, the vehicles that made Lee Iacocca famous.

The pony car was all about personalization -- 'do your own thing'

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Try to think about the Ford Mustang from a rational perspective, and its phenomenal early success just doesn't compute. The Mustang was a two-door, sporty car, the very definition of a niche product with limited appeal. It also was developed on a shoestring budget. But it roared out of the gates.


Bentley to highlight hybrid technology on a Mulsanne concept

April 11, 2014 09:55 CET
Bentley is using the Beijing auto show to reveal a hybrid concept based on its flagship Mulsanne sedan. The brand's first plug-in powertrain is expected in a Bentley SUV debuting in 2017.


GM engineer OK'd leaving part number unchanged, document shows

5:15 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A document created by supplier Delphi Automotive in May 2006 and released Friday by a congressional committee confirms that a General Motors engineer, Ray DeGiorgio, agreed to a redesign of the now-recalled ignition switch without changing the part number.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: GM urges staff to speak up

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Avoid 'silos,' share safety information, Barra tells workers; U.S. drops F-150 probe; Rechtin tries '15 Honda Fit.

U.S. House panel chairman cites 'failures' related to GM recalls

3:59 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A congressional committee said today there were "failures within the system" over the handling of flawed ignition switches in General Motors vehicles, which have been linked to 13 deaths.

Dealers see parts trickle in for recall repairs

4:14 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Most General Motors dealers continue to wait as parts that were expected to arrive this week to repair faulty ignitions on millions of recalled small cars only trickle in. The wait is disruptive to business, some dealers said today.


Lexus aims NX crossover at German premium brands in China

April 11, 2014 14:45 CET
Lexus will debut the NX crossover at the Beijing auto show as it tries to compete with German premium rivals in China. The NX will be the brand's first compact crossover and will be sold in global markets including Europe and the United States.

BMW widens recall for engine-bolt defect to 489,000 vehicles

April 11, 2014 16:42 CET
BMW is recalling 489,000 vehicles worldwide due to a possible engine-bolt defect, widening a repair program that was initiated in China.

How Ford's pony car survived a brush with death

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A 1987 issue of AutoWeek magazine featured a shocking cover story that revealed Ford's plans to build the 1989 Mustang on a Mazda front-wheel-drive platform. Howls of protest eventually prompted Ford to reverse course.

Ford F-150 probe closed by U.S. regulators without request for recall

10:28 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Federal safety regulators said today they have closed an investigation into complaints of reduced power in Ford F-150 pickup trucks, stopping short of requesting a recall. The probe covered about 360,000 trucks.


Chevy drops top on Corvette Z06 for 2015

3:50 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Chevrolet is dropping the top on the Corvette Z06 for 2015 and the convertible is being billed as the Stingray for owners who want it all.


Deadly GM ignition switches started with 2003 Saturn Ion

3:13 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
The 2003 Saturn Ion was supposed to be a pivotal car for GM. Instead, it came to represent the compromises and corner cutting that almost destroyed GM and now find the company in a global recall of some of its most popular models.

Chrysler to take $130 million charge in first quarter due to Venezuela

4:25 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A change in the way it measures currency in Venezuela will cause Fiat Chrysler Automobile's Chrysler Group LLC unit to take a $130 million charge in its first quarter, Chrysler said today in a filing with federal regulators.

Co-owner of Calif. luxury dealership pleads guilty in campaign finance case

3:34 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
The co-owner of a California luxury-car dealership pleaded guilty in federal court to making illegal political campaign donations in the name of a foreign national, according to court documents.

Most drivers believe connected-car tech will improve safety, survey says

3:07 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
More than 80 percent of consumers in the United States, Australia and Britain believe connected-vehicle technology will make driving safer, a new survey by the University of Michigan finds.

Carroll Shelby helped Ford build performance cred

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Carroll Shelby roared through the world's automotive scene like a tornado, leaving marks as a racer, automaker, marketer and businessman. He is the only man to win Le Mans as a driver, team owner and manufacturer.


Compact SUVs to shine at Beijing show

5:58 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Ten years ago, many Chinese could not afford a car, but today not only can they afford one, they are getting picky about which vehicle to buy -- and they're increasingly opting for compact SUVs.

Ontario plans to unload remaining stake in GM

1:29 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
The Canadian province of Ontario plans to sell its remaining shares of General Motors Co. in the next year as part of a review of its state-owned assets.

Ford debuts the Skyliner Transit concept vehicle

1:08 pm U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Melvin Betancourt, design manager for Ford Motor, speaks before the 2015 Transit Skyliner concept van is unveiled at Galpin Auto Sports in California on Thursday.

Whereabouts of the first Mustang remain a mystery

8:32 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Because precise production records were not kept at the time and the early cars were not built in sequential order, no one knows the serial number of the first Mustang built.

Mustang made Galpin Motors a power player

8:32 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
In early 1964, Galpin Motors was a small dealership with a two-car showroom in San Fernando, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles. Then the Mustang thundered into the Ford lineup and nothing would be the same.

Ford Mustang timeline

8:32 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A look at the Mustang, from debut to the newest model

Mustang's classic cues

8:32 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Ford's Mustang has changed shapes many times in its 50-year gallop. For 2005, when the Mustang was rebuilt from the wheels up, nearly all of the car's signature styling cues from the 1960s and early '70s were updated. Through the years, every Mustang has had a long hood and a short decklid.

U.S. senators ask Justice Department to intervene in GM litigation

11:24 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
A group of senators today urged the Department of Justice to oppose any efforts by General Motors to skirt financial responsibility related to the company's failure to promptly recall vehicles with ignition switch problems linked to 13 deaths.


Rivals tried, but none matched the Mustang's sales in the '60s

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
The Mustang's runaway success after its April 1964 debut left most of Ford Motor Co.'s rivals scrambling to develop their own pony cars. Three years later, the Mustang had plenty of competition but no other sporty compact came close to matching the Mustang's sales in the 1960s.

China sales rise 7.9% in March; GM tops VW in Q1

9:27 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Sales of passenger vehicles in China gained 7.9 percent last month as consumers purchased cars on concerns that more cities may start limiting new license plates. Wholesale deliveries climbed to 1.7 million units in March, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said today.

Renault unions seek clarification on Flins plant cuts

April 11, 2014 08:14 CET
Renault unions demanded clarification over production and job cuts being considered at the carmaker's Flins plant near Paris. The plant builds the Clio subcompact and Zoe elecrtic car.


Lexus NX compact crossover will have 3 powertrains

7:22 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Lexus plans to unveil the production version of its NX compact crossover at this month's Beijing motor show with three powertrains, including a turbo and hybrid for America.

VIDEO: First Shift: Lincoln shifts design chiefs

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Ex-Cadillac design director Max Wolff replaced; Lexus, Audi crossovers; a theatrical Ford Transit van; GM black-belt mandate.

Aisin Seiki is among suppliers involved in Toyota's recalls, report says

7:34 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Aisin Seiki is among suppliers involved in Toyota's recall of more than 6 million vehicles, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

VW Group sales rise 8% in March as Europe recovers

April 11, 2014 11:20 CET
VW Group increased vehicle sales 8 percent in March, with gains in Europe and China offsetting declines in the United States and Brazil. First-quarter sales rose 6 percent to a record 2.4 million.


Compact SUVs to shine at Beijing show

5:58 am U.S. ET | April 11, 2014
Ten years ago, many Chinese families could not afford a car. Today, not only can they afford one, but they are getting picky about which vehicle to buy and they're increasingly opting for compact SUVs.

Ghosn spurs Renault-Nissan to greater U.S. clout

April 11, 2014 06:01 CET
Fifteen years after its launch, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is targeting the United States in earnest as CEO Carlos Ghosn pushes his companies into common product architectures, manufacturing and r&d.

European car market rebound on track, but discounting persists

April 11, 2014 06:01 CET
Western Europe's 7 percent first-quarter rise in new-car sales has some market watchers adjusting their full-year forecasts upward, but economic risks remain and profit-robbing car discounting continues.


Lamborghini CEO predicts record results for newest supercar

April 11, 2014 06:15 CET
Lamborghini's newest supercar, the Huracan, will have the best sales year of any model in the automaker's 51-year history in 2015, CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Automotive News Europe.

Ford moves Europe exec Cortesi to global corporate communications role

April 11, 2014 06:01 CET
Ford of Europe executive Elena Cortesi has been given a global role as the automaker's corporate communications manager.

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