Headlines for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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NHTSA launches VIN tool to search for recalls

Car buyers and owners can use a vehicle's identification number to identify open or unrepaired safety recalls with a new search tool released by NHTSA starting today. Consumers enter a VIN to find out whether the vehicle has any open, unrepaired recalls and whether the automaker has a fix available. Read More »

CFPB fines subprime lender First Investors Financial Services Group for sending credit bureaus inaccurate info

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined subprime auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group nearly $3 million for knowingly providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies for at least three years. Read More »

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First Shift: Car that will 'define' Cadillac

Big car must be symbol of excellence, Reuss says; ADP Dealer Services changing name; Lear in leather?; L.A. show plans. Read More »

Police arrest 3 plant officials tied to deadly blast at China parts factory

Chinese police have arrested three people in connection with an explosion at an auto parts plant that killed 75 people in China's worst industrial accident in a year, state media reported. Read More »

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LG Chem says it has battery order from Audi for plug-in hybrid cars

LG Chem says it will supply batteries for Audi's growing lineup of plug-in hybrids. Audi began European sales of its first plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron, in June and plans to add at least three more plug-in hybrids. Read More »

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EU regulators seek to close car emissions testing loopholes

EU regulators are pushing for legislation that will require vehicles to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories in a bid to close loopholes that allow carmakers to exaggerate fuel-saving and emissions credentials. Read More »

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Ford plans new hybrid series to compete with Toyota Prius, report says

Ford plans to introduce a new hybrid gasoline-electric car in late 2018 to compete against the best-selling Toyota Prius, Reuters reported, citing two sources with knowledge of the company's plans. Read More »

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Hertz investor presses board to replace CEO Frissora

Hertz investor Fir Tree Partners, which holds more than 3 percent of the stock, is urging the company's board to replace CEO Mark Frissora because the firm disapproves of how he's running the car-rental provider. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Gearing up to save fuel

8-speed transmission helps Corvette hit 29 mpg; CFPB fines subprime lender $2.75 million; LG Chem lands Audi battery deal. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Did dealers hurt themselves with the carve out?

There’s no mistaking that federal regulators are serious about policing auto lenders. By extension, auto dealers feel they’ve got a big target on their backs, too. Read More »

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2015 Corvette will get 29 mpg highway, GM says

An 8-speed automatic transmission debuting in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette boosts fuel economy by 3.5 percent over the six-speed it replaces and gives the General Motors long-running sports car an EPA highway rating of 29 mpg, its highest rating ever. Read More »

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Uber hires former Obama adviser Plouffe to counter opponents

Uber Technologies, the popular mobile car-booking app, hired David Plouffe, a former top political adviser to President Obama, to help it cope with regulatory hurdles and mounting opposition from cabbies around the globe. Read More »

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Auto loans could get boost from revamped FICO scores

A planned update in the way FICO scores are calculated should help some borrowers qualify more easily for auto loans by putting less weight on overdue medical debt when calculating credit scores, according to Fair Isaac Corp. Read More »

Canadians stretch out auto loans as debt warnings go ignored

The average term of a light-vehicle loan in Canada is 69 months, close to a peak of 72 months set in the third quarter of 2013, according to J.D. Power. Longer-term car loans are leaving Canadians in debt for a longer time, analysts say. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Skipping wheel-and-tire was big mistake

Wheel-and-tire insurance is a valuable product. There, I admit it. It's not the “snake oil” that a cynical friend once espoused it and other F&I products to be. Read More »

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Supplier Dayco names John Bohenick CEO

Automotive belt and pulley supplier Dayco Products today named John Bohenick as its new CEO. Bohenick will replace James Orchard in the position. Read More »

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Asbury targets underperformers, training as F&I gains stall

Asbury Automotive Group's improvement in average F&I revenues per vehicle retailed has stalled this year. Like other publicly traded auto retailers, Asbury plans to concentrate on squeezing improvements out of its bottom performers in F&I revenue per vehicle retailed. Read More »

Greens, industry square off over putting cars in EU carbon market

Environmental campaigners are bracing to take on big business over whether Europe should include road transport in the EU carbon market, a move that could bring down the costs faced by the auto industry to reduce emissions from new cars. Read More »

Subprime auto loan growth is 'less pronounced' in context, Fed analysts say

While auto lending is rising in all credit categories, subprime auto loans are growing the fastest because that segment dropped the most during the downturn, according to a study by four analysts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Read More »

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Volvo swings to first-half profit on China, Europe gains

Volvo said it swung to a profit for the first half on the back of sharply rising sales in China and growth in Europe, which more than offset lingering weakness in the U.S. Read More »

F&I TIP:

Understanding female customers’ F&I acumen is key

Finance managers shouldn’t try to guess how much an unaccompanied woman knows or doesn’t know about buying and financing a car, says Anne Fleming, president of women-drivers.com. Read More »

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JAMES B. TREECE:

Searching far and wide for service techs

How far is your dealership willing to go to get well-qualified service technicians? GM dealers in the Mideast went all the way to the Philippines. Read More »

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Russia will consider support for car market, reports say

Russia will consider taking measures aimed at supporting the auto market, news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying. Car sales in Russia fell 23 percent in July as consumers worry about the impact of the Ukraine crisis. Read More »

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China levies record $200 million fine on Japan suppliers

China has fined 12 Japanese suppliers a record 1.24 billion yuan ($200 million) for alleged price fixing amid one of the broadest investigations since the nation's antitrust law came into effect six years ago. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

Why Korea could be next to crack down on foreign brand pricing

Could China's crackdown on perceived price gouging by foreign automakers trigger a domino effect next door in South Korea, where sale of overseas brands are heating up? Read More »

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE:

Bosch, Faurecia, ZF grow in 2013; combined Europe sales for top 30 rise 7%

Europe's biggest suppliers rebounded last year as the region showed signs of recovery in the final months of 2013. Overall 2013 European sales by suppliers in the top 30 increased by 7 percent to $183.5 billion compared with the year before. Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
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