Headlines for Monday, April 21, 2014

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Iacocca links Mustang's lines to Mark I

With the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, discussion and debate rages anew about the design of the original pony car. Read More »


NHTSA closes 4-year probe into Saturn Ion power steering problems

Safety regulators closed a four-year probe into power steering problems in almost 335,000 older Saturn Ions after General Motors Co recalled the cars, which are also part of an unrelated recall of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. Read More »


Ford will soon name Fields next CEO, replacing Mulally, Bloomberg reports

Ford plans to name Mark Fields its next chief executive and disclose when CEO Alan Mulally will retire from the company, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the pending announcement. Read More »


Lots of buzz in New York

As always, we all caught our breath after the Detroit auto show. Read More »


Manufacturers brace for the used-car flood

A projected increase in the supply of used vehicles will be good news for U.S. dealers who have been battling a lingering effect of the recession. But it will be a double-whammy for new-car buyers: lower value on their trade-ins and less-attractive lease terms. Read More »


AutoNews Now: Report: Fields next Ford CEO

News may come next week, sources say; UAW drops vote challenge, turns to D.C.; buy a Scion, rent a Tacoma; flash vs. crash. Read More »


Mulally overcame skepticism that a plane guy could revive Ford

When Alan Mulally was named Ford CEO n 2006 after 37 years at Boeing, plenty of industry veterans had the same question: What does a plane guy know about the car business? Read More »


NADA board member Don Chalmers dies

Don Chalmers, an auto dealer who represented New Mexico on the board of the National Automobile Dealers Association and was chairman of NADA's government relations committee, died Sunday. Read More »

Hale works on makeover of Jag, Land Rover image

Hundreds of employees at Jaguar Land Rover North America sport a green button saying “All In. Read More »

109,000 Mazda Tributes recalled for rust-related steering issue

Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute compact SUVs in the United States to address potential rusting frame parts in cold-weather states where road salt is heavily used in the winter. Read More »


First Shift: GM's $12 billion China bet

Plan involves more SUVs, crossovers, luxury cars; Ford Escort comeback?; Beijing show highlights; a hint at future BMWs. Read More »

New system, but no quick fix for GM

When General Motors last week unveiled a new way for dealers to order parts for the ignition-system recall, it reminded dealers of a hard truth: They'll be waiting for parts -- and placating impatient customers -- at least well into the autumn. Read More »


Daimler says new Beijing plant has potential capacity to build 350,000 Mercedes cars

Daimler can expand production at its Beijing plant to 350,000 vehicles a year if demand calls for it, said Rene Reif, the head of manufacturing at Beijing Benz Automotive. By the end of 2014, output in Beijing will be about 140,000 cars. Read More »


Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe set to challenge Mercedes CLA

The Volkswagen NMC (New Midsize Coupe) concept makes official the carmaker's plans for a style-led sedan to challenge the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Read More »


Ford will soon name Fields next CEO, replacing Mulally, Bloomberg reports

Ford plans to name Mark Fields its next CEO, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the pending announcement. Read More »

North America car and truck production by plant, March

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

North America car and truck production by model, March

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


UAW withdraws objection to lost election at VW Chattanooga plant

The UAW said today it is withdrawing its objection claiming undue outside political interference in a February vote it lost among workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. Read More »

Plug Power, Hyundai steel supplier teaming up to make fuel cells

Fuel cell maker Plug Power said today it had agreed to form a joint venture with South Korea's Hyundai Hysco, a steel supplier to Hyundai Motor, to develop and sell hydrogen fuel cells in Asia. Read More »


Jackson: We'll get our own leads

CEO Mike Jackson put the big Internet shopping sites on notice last week: AutoNation is building Web products that will slash the number of leads the group's 229 stores get from AutoTrader, Cars.com, TrueCar and others. Read More »


NHTSA opens probe of Bosch EV chargers

U.S. safety regulators have opened an investigation of electric-vehicle chargers made by German supplier Robert Bosch LLC after a driver of a 2013 Nissan Leaf reported one emitted smoke while charging. Read More »


Blue sky high, acquisition action is, too

Auto dealers are scrambling to buy new stores despite record high dealership values. They figure the earlier they can buy before the next downturn, the sooner they’ll earn profits and pay down acquisition costs. Read More »


Tesla will build cars in China within 4 years, says Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who's preparing to begin deliveries of the Model S electric vehicle in China, said he expects to be making cars in the country in the next three to four years. Read More »

Plaintiffs call GM bid to freeze ignition suit a 'red herring'

GM's bid to freeze a lawsuit over faulty ignition switches may compromise public safety, plaintiffs told a judge in California, calling the automaker's claim that its 2009 bankruptcy shielded it from the old GM's liabilities “irrelevant” and a “red herring.” Read More »


Payout czar set to dive into GM legal mess

Kenneth Feinberg soon may begin trying to put a dollar figure on the damage inflicted by the faulty ignition switches in General Motors cars. Read More »


Gridlock and chaos on the Beijing auto show floor

The Beijing auto show is renowned for being a full-contact sport of sorts. Walking the aisles, nay, even trying to enter the venue, can be a survival-of-the-fittest tussle. Read More »


BMW luxury concept gives a preview of 9-series sedan

BMW was set to preview a range-topping 9-series sedan at the Beijing auto show last weekend in the guise of its Vision Future Luxury concept car. Read More »


As Sonata turns cautious, Camry flees good-but-frumpy image

Sales of mid-sized sedans may be off 8 percent so far this year, but redesigns from Toyota and Hyundai unveiled at the New York auto show indicate the segment has plenty of fight left in it. Read More »


Land Rover Discovery Sport debuts line of 'versatile' SUVs

Land Rover said the first vehicle in its new family of SUVs will be called the Discovery Sport. Read More »


Lincoln's China startup plans 20 stores by 2015

China is giving the 97-year-old Lincoln luxury brand a new lease on life. In a series of events last week, Lincoln launched a sleek new concept vehicle and a new retail vision. Read More »

Spring sales thaw spawns optimism for full year

Sales thawed out in March and early April after the frigid winter, and auto executives at the auto show in New York City were optimistic about the rest of the year. They see growing consumer confidence and strong demand for pickups and crossovers. Read More »


Crossovers will be vital in Hyundai's 3-year product blitz

Hyundai will soon return to the strategy that won it major sales and market share gains earlier this decade: a blitz of new products. Read More »


When Scion's too tiny, Toyota pilot program allows a larger loaner

Scion is rolling out a pilot program that will allow vehicle owners to use other Toyota models as short-term loaners. Read More »


Subaru sees wider appeal for Outback

The redesigned Subaru Outback is more agile, has better driving dynamics, more contemporary styling and better fuel economy. Read More »


Voice of the fans brings back Audi A3 sportback

In its past life as a five-door, the Audi A3 never sold that well in the United States. Read More »


Snow-covered sensors are no help

I was fascinated and dismayed to read "Camera Ready?" in the April 7 issue. Read More »


Kill the Mustang? We 'went ballistic'

I enjoyed the stories about the Ford Mustang in the April 14 issue. Read More »



Dealers featured this week include Mohinder Singh of Carlsbad Volvo in Carlsbad, Calif.; Bruce, Todd and Amie Bennett of Bruce Bennett Nissan in Wilton, Conn., Tommy Smith, left, and Dustin Tyson of Riverside Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in New Bern, N.C. Read More »


Russian fallout

Fallout from Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine already is affecting the auto industry in Europe. Read More »


Warren Henry hires help to hire the help

Warren Henry Auto Group hired an outside staffing agency to handle the 55 to 65 hourly employees who work in its detail shop and as porters. Read More »


Sounds like a plan: Nissan, dealers sidestep stair-steps

Nissan has made a commendable effort to work with its dealers in setting up an enlightened alternative to stair-step factory incentives. Read More »

Take the time to teach

Dealer Terry D'Arcy has created the unique position of delivery specialist at his three Illinois stores. The specialists teach customers how to sync their phones and use the navigation and infotainment systems. Eventually, the specialists are promoted to sales. Read More »


Nissan, burned on taxi deal, teases N.Y. with a prototype

First New York reneged on its contract to make the Nissan NV200 the city's official taxi last year. Now the cops want to write it a ticket. Read More »

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Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Seattle VW dealer mixes metrics and fun

Matthew Welch may own Auburn Volkswagen, but the title he cherishes is “chief relationship officer.' Mon., April 13
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