Headlines for Monday, July 14, 2014

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Toyota's massive engine overhaul

Toyota, after long neglecting the internal combustion engine in favor of hybrids, is preparing a sweeping powertrain makeover. Read More »

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Jay Leno, Jeb Bush to keynote 2015 NADA convention

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. Read More »

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Sonic bets new plan will transform automotive retailing

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. Read More »

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Sales staff gets more responsibility, higher pay

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. Read More »

Shoppers wary of dealer loans

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. Read More »

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Dealer: Customers judge a service contract by its cover

For auto retailers, having factory-backed finance and insurance products to sell sometimes makes all the difference. Read More »

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EPA seeks real-world tests of mpg claims

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. Read More »

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Hyundai, Kia tune into tuning

A wave of deregulation has opened the door for Hyundai and Kia to finally bring out some bling. Read More »

Slow growth masks big swings in ad budgets

The placid flow of automakers' advertising dollars toward digital platforms last year masked some rather powerful currents below the surface. Read More »

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Mercedes' 911 fighter

Most of the form-altering camouflage is removed in this spy shot of the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT that will debut in September. Read More »

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First Shift: VW to make SUV in Tenn.

Company to add 2,000 jobs, works council chair joins U.S. board; Report: U.S. probing GM 'fraud'; Toyota engine overhaul. Read More »

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Toyota ponders awd for next-gen Prius

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. Read More »

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Escalade may add sporty model, engines

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. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Volkswagen's 'big next step'

U.S.-made crossover to fill gap in lineup; Ally, minority dealers aim to boost financial savvy; Jeb Bush to address NADA. Read More »

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Linde first company to open hydrogen fueling station production line

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. Read More »

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THE GM RECALL:

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

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. Read More »

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Cruising with classic Dodges

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. Read More »

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

BMW expects to meet its target of selling more than 2 million vehicles globally this year, sales chief Ian Robertson said. Read More »

Honeywell merging turbocharger business into aerospace unit

Honeywell is merging its transportation systems unit into its aerospace division to take advantage of similarities between the businesses. Read More »

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BEST PRACTICES:

Courting consumers, moving 'smelly tires'

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. Read More »

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A VULNERABLE GIANT:

Volkswagen's soaring growth under Piech masks troubles

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. Read More »

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Fine-tuning the pitch to women

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. Read More »

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New Caddy boss knows luxury

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

Toyota, Ford halt output in South Africa as strike spreads

Toyota and Ford are suspending production at South African plants as a two-week strike in the manufacturing industry disrupts the supply of components. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

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. Read More »

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

BMW expects to meet its target of selling more than 2 million vehicles globally this year, sales chief Ian Robertson said. Read More »

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

BMW X4 fills tall order

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. Read More »

ZF bucks trend in bid for TRW

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. Read More »

40 UNDER 40:

Larry Pickett Sr. brings broadcast skills to car sales

Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree Larry Pickett Sr. talks about how personalized video is the future of salesmanship. Read More »

40 UNDER 40:

Erin Ramsey improves dealer logistics with technology

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. Read More »

40 UNDER 40:

Jason Graciano rethinks the online sales team

Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree speaks about Paragon Direct, his new approach to online sales leads. Read More »

40 UNDER 40:

Casey Jenkins empowers women through informational site

Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree Casey Jenkins tells the origin story of womenatthewheel.net. Read More »

More buzz about plants in Mexico

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. Read More »

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Jeep promotion peeves participants

Jeep's Australian affiliate lit an online firestorm with its “Jeep Remote Dealership” promotion. Read More »

Volkswagen's consumer brands

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. Read More »

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Minority dealers are adding import brands

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. Read More »

Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid to get 400 hp

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. Read More »

Bentley Mulsanne could gain performance variant

A more powerful version of the Bentley Mulsanne will debut in October at the Paris auto show, according to British car magazine Auto Express. Read More »

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New Passat for Europe teases next American design

The redesigned 2015 Volkswagen Passat for Europe features restyled sheet metal that is expected to preview design touches on U.S.-bound models. Read More »

Supply steady at 60 days

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. Read More »

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BRADFORD WERNLE:

Now Mark FIelds knows how Gene Bartow felt

What do Gene Bartow, David Moyes, Tim Cook and Harry Truman have in common with new Ford CEO Mark Fields? Read More »

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Calif. dealer champions chaplain services

Calif. dealer champions chaplain services

Calif. dealer Bill Hoehn has something few retailers have: A full-time chaplain. The chaplain provides care and support for employees, is available 24/7 for crisis needs and even presides over weddings. Mon., September 22
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