Automotive News Feed News, blogs and commentary from the leader in North American automotive news en-us Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:00:00 EST Toyota takes early Super Bowl lead Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Toyota delivers an emotional punch to the gut with its spot for the 2015 Super Bowl. Toyota to move to merit-based pay for Japan factory workers, report says Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:40:20 EST Toyota will change the way it pays factory workers, focusing on their performance rather than their seniority, the Nikkei reported on Monday. Soros is ready to move on auto dealerships Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:40:53 EST Wall Street powerhouse Soros Fund Management is ready to move on a deal to acquire auto dealerships, a representative of the fund said at a private dinner Saturday in San Francisco, according to two sources who attended the event. Average wholesale used-vehicle prices, December Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:02:50 EST Mercedes debuts Super Bowl ad on 'Ellen' show Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:49:12 EST Mercedes-Benz premiered its Super Bowl ad for the AMG GT sports car -- an edgy take on the fabled tortoise vs. hare race -- on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' Dana sells Venezuelan unit amid exchange rate trouble Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:05:30 EST As Venezuela's automotive industry continues to falter amid exchange rate problems, powertrain supplier Dana Holding today said that it has sold its Venezuelan unit, CA Danaven. AutoNews Now: Audi's 'massive opportunity' Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Audi sees big chance in U.S. taste for SUVs, Tesla expands range in China; Honda's new airbag supplier; early Super Bowl ads. GM's confirmed ignition deaths hit 50 as claims deadline nears Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:14:55 EST Confirmed deaths tied to General Motors' defective ignition switches stand at 50, four times GM's estimate through much of 2014, as a deadline nears Saturday for sending in claims. BMW Super Bowl ad compares i3 with early Internet Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:20:45 EST In BMW's Super Bowl spot, the brand is casting its electric i3 hatchback as an ahead-of-its-time concoction that needs some explaining -- just like the Internet back in 1994. Suppliers dream up future innovations. Will automakers bite? Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Suppliers try to look over the horizon and craft new features and equipment for autos. Porsche works to deliver more Macans to U.S. dealerships Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Porsche is working to increase supplies of the new Macan midsize crossover to US dealers in 2015. Wait times for Macan buyers have been six months or more since it went on sale last May. Go global; think local Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:39:54 EST China is the world's largest and fastest growing auto market, and so for product planners at many companies it has become the main focus. Renegade comes through, on-road and off Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST When Jeep introduced the Compass -- and later, its platform mate, the Patriot -- with front-wheel drive and continuously variable transmissions, it was derided by the faithful as an affront to the brand's off-road heritage. Be bold, spend big -- and don't go overboard Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Dealers, automakers and suppliers enter the new year on an investment kick. First Shift: Import dealers' D.C. agenda Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:45:00 EST CFPB, trade issues on new leader's priority list; the Gen-Y workplace; Toyota sales projection; big hopes for Buick, GMC. Audi readies Q1 SUV after Fiat rebuff over name Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Audi is reluctantly using the Q1 badge for its new compact SUV after failing to gain permission from Fiat Chrysler to call it the Q2, a name held by Alfa Romeo. Audi to recall 80,000 vehicles; China hit hardest Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:23:53 EST Audi says it will recall 80,000 vehicles globally due to fuel-injection issues, adding that about 35,000 are from China. VW reaches pact with China dealers Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:24:22 EST VW says it has reached an agreement with its dealers in China and pledged to continue setting reasonable sales targets to ensure a financially sound distribution network as demand in the world's biggest auto market slows. How VW veered off target Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Competition has heated up, the Jetta and Passat have cooled off, and with back-to-back yearly declines, VW has missed out on a key boom period in US auto sales -- a sore spot with dealers who made big bets on sustained sales growth. Visteon zeros in on 1 segment: The connected car Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST With Visteon Corp.'s announcement last month that it would sell its division that produces heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the supplier is concentrating on one product segment: cockpit information systems. Volvo's revival plan 'starts now' Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST After its U.S. market share fell to the lowest level since 1978, Volvo has put its global product strategy chief in charge of North America and significantly boosted its marketing budget in preparation for an upcoming blitz of new vehicles. Retailers set the pace in shareholder return for 2014 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Publicly traded U.S.-based auto retailers continued to build shareholder value in 2014, while global automakers and suppliers returned to earth. Viewing the 2015 Detroit show through a designer's eyes Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST To get a read on the visual appeal of this year's Detroit auto show, we sought a designer's perspective on the Ford GT, Chevy Bolt and Infiniti Q60. Family feud disrupts DARCARS Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Tamara Darvish, a well-known face of the DARCARS dealership group, filed a lawsuit against her father, John Darvish Sr., and the company he founded. The suit will have a ripple effect on the chain's 22 dealerships, experts say. Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Game on with steel, says aluminum supplier Novelis Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Phil Martens, CEO of aluminum giant Novelis, knows both sides of the auto metals business. With TRW, ZF can offer advanced driverless tech Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST ZF Friedrichshafen AG's acquisition of TRW Automotive will make it a key player in collision avoidance and driverless cars. For Infiniti Q50, 'we need to give it some love' in ads Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Infiniti's new global ad agency will help "re-stimulate" the brand's volume leader, the Q50 sedan, this spring, nearly two years after its U.S. launch. Super Bowl advertisers hype their messages early and often Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Building an elaborate pregame hype machine reflects a growing trend among Super Bowl advertisers: To get the most bang for the buck from the biggest advertising event of the year, use social media early and often -- emphasis on "early." 2014 N.A. output up 6% Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST North American car and truck production rose 6 percent to 17,568,729 vehicles in 2014, according to preliminary estimates. It is the third-largest year ever, surpassed only by 17,598,866 in 2000 and 17,582,611 in 1999. Exec: Enterprise holds steady on program cars Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Unlike its two closest competitors, Hertz Corp. and Avis Budget Group Inc. Beyond SUVs, VW weighs van, Golf pocket rocket for U.S. Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST VW development chief Hans-Jakob Neusser said VW is close to deciding whether to produce the Golf R400 concept shown at the Beijing auto show in April. The pocket rocket is capable of 395 hp and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds. Opel's next-gen Adam could also be a Buick Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Buick's top U.S. executive wants to bolster the brand's U.S. lineup with a rebadged Opel Adam, a sporty three-door minicar that competes with the Fiat 500 and BMW's Mini brand in Europe. But the prospect is likely several years off. Land Rover has high conquest goals for new Discovery Sport Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST With a more mainstream design, optional seven-seat configuration and improved technology, the new Discovery Sport compact SUV is expected to draw mostly new buyers to Land Rover, executives say. Stadler: Audi to build range-topping Q8 SUV Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Audi will launch a flagship SUV called the Q8 before the end of the decade, CEO Rupert Stadler said. The SUV will be aimed at markets such as the U.S., China and the Middle East. Nissan steps back from cutting-edge offerings Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Nissan and its luxury Infiniti sibling have mellowed in their message of cutting-edge future products as 2015 begins. Missing from talking points this month at the Detroit auto show was any discussion of recent racy concepts. With Titan, Nissan aims for 'white space' below biggest pickups Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Nissan has a new strategy for scratching out a piece of Detroit's full-size pickup market: It will stop chasing cowboys. And it will instead think about Roman gladiators, Spartacus, NFL football players, and maybe even flesh-eating zombies. As the new year begins, Sonic goes shopping Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Sonic Automotive Inc. plans to buy more dealerships in 2015 than the four it bought last year. Ford again wins customer-loyalty title Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Ford Motor Co. retained the crown in the 2014 model year for most-loyal customers, while Maserati won top honors for conquests, according to the IHS Automotive Loyalty Awards. China dealers fight back as stock piles up Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST The China Automobile Dealers Association has been a weak and loose organization. Its main job was to produce an annual list of China's top 100 dealerships and to hold a few national conferences for dealers. GM's got no beef with suppliers' dough Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST If Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is looking for an ally to wring price concessions from suppliers, he won't find one in Steve Kiefer, General Motors' new head of purchasing. Tom Kowaleski, attention-grabber Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Tom Kowaleski, the former Chrysler, General Motors, BMW and Lincoln public relations executive who died suddenly last week at age 63, always knew how to tease a product story. Auto writers go ga-ga for the Ford GT Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Hardly ever (let's back up, never) can we recall a car getting such a warm auto show welcome as the Ford GT, the surprise stunner at the 2015 Detroit extravaganza. Auto writers were left gasping for air. Acura boss: What would Taco Bell do? Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Acura boss Mike Accavitti let a case of the Mexican munchies get the better of him when he conceded Taco Bell was a source of marketing inspiration for his luxury auto marque. Time to rethink auto safety Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Keith Crain is looking forward to seeing how new Administrator Mark Rosekind reshapes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dealers see another good year in 2015 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Dealers expect 2015 to be another good year, though perhaps not quite as good as 2014. Just think of the money you save Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST From $4-$5 a gallon to $2-$3 is good news for every driver and the auto industry. Forcing EVs on us is a good idea? Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Electric vehicles and hybrids should not be socially engineered into our lives whether people want them or not. Used-vehicle prices finish 2014 strong Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Greater volumes of off-lease, retired rental and other used vehicles returned to the market last year, but overall values of used vehicles closed 2014 with prices in December registering year-over-year increases. Jaguar expects record rewards from huge investments in products and plants Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:00 EST Jaguar appears poised to have a record 2015 and to keep increasing global sales to well more than 200,000 this decade as a massive investment in products, plants and underpinnings starts to pay dividends, executives and analysts say. %]