Headlines for Monday, July 14, 2014

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Toyota's massive engine overhaul

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Toyota, after long neglecting the internal combustion engine in favor of hybrids, is preparing a sweeping powertrain makeover.

Jay Leno, Jeb Bush to keynote 2015 NADA convention

2:03 pm U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno will be among the keynote speakers at the 2015 National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo in San Francisco.

Sonic bets new plan will transform automotive retailing

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
After more than five years of internal work and external carping, Sonic Automotive Inc. will roll out a bet-the-farm change in how it sells cars late this month at a Toyota store in Charlotte, N.C.

Sales staff gets more responsibility, higher pay

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Sonic Automotive began preparing its staff for the transition to its One Sonic-One Experience initiative years ago when it launched its playbooks, or guides for how to sell used cars, new cars, finance and insurance products and so on.

Shoppers wary of dealer loans

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Although most car buyers finance their vehicles through dealerships, the vast majority don't plan to do so while in the online-research phase of shopping.

Dealer: Customers judge a service contract by its cover

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
For auto retailers, having factory-backed finance and insurance products to sell sometimes makes all the difference.

EPA seeks real-world tests of mpg claims

4:00 pm U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The EPA plans to require automakers to road test vehicles to verify fuel-economy figures before they are published on window stickers and other sources.

Hyundai, Kia tune into tuning

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
A wave of deregulation has opened the door for Hyundai and Kia to finally bring out some bling.

Slow growth masks big swings in ad budgets

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The placid flow of automakers' advertising dollars toward digital platforms last year masked some rather powerful currents below the surface.

Mercedes' 911 fighter

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Most of the form-altering camouflage is removed in this spy shot of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT that will debut in September.

VIDEO: First Shift: VW to make SUV in Tenn.

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Company to add 2,000 jobs, works council chair joins U.S. board; Report: U.S. probing GM 'fraud'; Toyota engine overhaul.

Toyota ponders awd for next-gen Prius

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The next generation of the Toyota Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid, will offer a lithium ion battery and possibly an all-wheel-drive option.

Escalade may add sporty model, engines

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Cadillac may bring out a sporty derivative of its new Escalade and also is considering V-6 turbodiesel and twin-turbo gasoline V-6-powered versions, said David Schiavone, the model line's brand manager.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Volkswagen's 'big next step'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
U.S.-made crossover to fill gap in lineup; Ally, minority dealers aim to boost financial savvy; Jeb Bush to address NADA.

Linde first company to open hydrogen fueling station production line

12:59 pm U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
German industrial gases maker Linde AG opened what it said was the world's first production line for hydrogen fueling stations today, in a bid to boost support networks for eco-friendly cars.

THE GM RECALL

Prosecutors' case against GM to focus on misleading statements, report says

7:31 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Federal prosecutors are developing a criminal fraud case hinged on whether GM made misleading statements about a deadly ignition switch flaw, and are examining activity dating back a decade, before GM's 2009 bankruptcy, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation, Reuters reported.

VIDEO: Cruising with classic Dodges

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
As part of Dodge's 100th anniversary celebration, the brand recently pulled 26 classic vehicles out of storage and allowed journalists to drive them on the grounds at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, Mich. Automotive News reporter Larry Vellequette captured the sights and sounds of the event.

BMW expects to meet global sales target of over 2 million vehicles

4:44 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
BMW expects to meet its target of selling more than 2 million vehicles globally this year, sales chief Ian Robertson said.

Honeywell merging turbocharger business into aerospace unit

12:35 pm U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Honeywell is merging its transportation systems unit into its aerospace division to take advantage of similarities between the businesses.

BEST PRACTICES

Courting consumers, moving 'smelly tires'

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
For customers and employees alike, the change in culture over the past few years at Bozard Ford-Lincoln in St. Augustine, Fla., has been like a breath of fresh air.

A VULNERABLE GIANT

Volkswagen's soaring growth under Piech masks troubles

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
During his two-decade reign, Volkswagen Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech has created an automotive giant with broad geographic reach. But industry analysts say the No. 3 global automaker may be too vast and fractured to stay cohesive after Piech's departure.

Fine-tuning the pitch to women

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
A 2013 spot for the Cadillac SRX reflects a slow shift in advertising geared to females. It shows a woman clearly depicted as a professional, in the driver's seat of a luxury vehicle.

New Caddy boss knows luxury

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Having spent nearly two decades in various roles at Audi and the past two years as global president of Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen, 54, comes to Cadillac as it's new boss with intimate knowledge of the luxury market and some of the key competitors he'll be up against.

VW to build new crossover in U.S., add 2,000 jobs

8:15 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Volkswagen will assemble a new family-hauling crossover at its plant in Chattanooga and invest $900 million to expand the factory in a push to double U.S. sales of VW-brand vehicles by 2018.

Toyota, Ford halt output in South Africa as strike spreads

7:49 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Toyota and Ford are suspending production at South African plants as a two-week strike in the manufacturing industry disrupts the supply of components.

China's sales outlook cut by trade group on slow economy, truck slump

2:04 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
China's state-backed auto association forecast that vehicle sales will slow more than it previously projected, as the economy showed little signs of improvement and more cities consider purchase restrictions.

VW outsells GM in China to remain on track for repeat sales win

July 14, 2014 10:01 CET
VW outsold GM in China in the first half, keeping it on track to extend its reign as the best-selling foreign car company in the world's biggest vehicle market.

BMW expects to meet global sales target of over 2 million vehicles

July 14, 2014 10:44 CET
BMW expects to meet its target of selling more than 2 million vehicles globally this year, sales chief Ian Robertson said.

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

BMW X4 fills tall order

July 14, 2014 06:01 CET
BMW has taken steps to ensure that tall people will still feel comfortable inside the new X4 by lowering the height of the seats. The X4 is lower to the ground than the X3, on which it is based, because of its coupe styling.

ZF bucks trend in bid for TRW

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
In an era in which many suppliers are shedding noncore business lines, Germany's ZF Friedrichshafen AG is looking to bulk up by bidding for TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

40 UNDER 40

VIDEO: Larry Pickett Sr. brings broadcast skills to car sales

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree Larry Pickett Sr. talks about how personalized video is the future of salesmanship.

40 UNDER 40

VIDEO: Erin Ramsey improves dealer logistics with technology

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree Erin Ramsey tells of how she turned around a troubled business development center despite having no sales or service experience.

40 UNDER 40

VIDEO: Jason Graciano rethinks the online sales team

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree speaks about Paragon Direct, his new approach to online sales leads.

40 UNDER 40

VIDEO: Casey Jenkins empowers women through informational site

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree Casey Jenkins tells the origin story of womenatthewheel.net.

More buzz about plants in Mexico

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Recently, we toted up all of the announced and speculated Mexican production capacity due in the next few years and got to 1.5 million units — a nifty 50 percent increase over the roughly 3 million units built in Mexico in 2013.

Jeep promotion peeves participants

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Jeep's Australian affiliate lit an online firestorm with its “Jeep Remote Dealership” promotion.

Volkswagen's consumer brands

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
With the purchase of Porsche in August 2012, Volkswagen AG added a 12th brand to its broad portfolio, which stretches from Ducati motorcycles to 40-ton trucks.

Minority dealers are adding import brands

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
After taking a disproportionately big hit when General Motors and Chrysler closed more than 1,600 dealerships in 2009, minority dealers have been adding import franchises. Still, the total number of minority stores remains inadequate, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers says.

Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid to get 400 hp

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Volvo has released powertrain figures on the redesigned XC90 mid-sized crossover due to be unveiled in Sweden in August and expected to go on sale in the United States in the first quarter.

Bentley Mulsanne could gain performance variant

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
A more powerful version of the Bentley Mulsanne will debut in October at the Paris auto show, according to British car magazine Auto Express.

New Passat for Europe teases next American design

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
The redesigned 2015 Volkswagen Passat for Europe features restyled sheet metal that is expected to preview design touches on U.S.-bound models.

Supply steady at 60 days

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Automakers started July with a 60-day supply of unsold vehicles, the level traditionally considered an ideal balance — enough to meet demand but not high enough to require discounting.

BRADFORD WERNLE

Now Mark FIelds knows how Gene Bartow felt

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
What do Gene Bartow, David Moyes, Tim Cook and Harry Truman have in common with new Ford CEO Mark Fields?

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