Automotive News Table of Contents

December 15, 2014



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Ford seeks infotainment middle ground

In replacing its widely derided MyFord Touch infotainment system, Ford gathered more outside input than it had ever considered in developing an entire vehicle. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 14, 2014

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Hyundai moves money to regain mojo

Determined not to let hard-won market share gains slip away, Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski is redirecting marketing dollars and asking for a bigger budget from his bosses in Korea. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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DO-OVER

Last-minute Prius styling rebuff shows Toyota's new focus on design

Toyota President Akio Toyoda's push for more arresting design played a key role in an uncharacteristic move last year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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BIG TO-DO LIST

BMW's Krueger must strengthen core products and improve in some niches

Harald Krueger, the 49-year-old tapped last week to become BMW's next CEO, has some work ahead to maintain the German automaker's competitive edge. Among the challenges: strengthening core products to combat much-improved rivals. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Daimler's new CEO contender

Mercedes-Benz sales and marketing chief Ola Kaellenius is emerging as a formidable candidate to replace Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

2015 WORLD CONGRESS

Panelists to focus on retail trends

Three experts with rich backgrounds in auto retailing will discuss the convergence of trends and what they mean for the future during next month's Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Toledo's 500,000th Jeep due this week

Workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Toledo Assembly Complex are expected to stop their lines for a few minutes late this week to acknowledge something they've never done before: build over 500,000 Jeeps in one year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 14, 2014

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YELLOW TAXI BLUES

How a billion-dollar deal is frustrating Nissan in New York

In 2011, New York City awarded Nissan the exclusive contract to supply all of the taxis sold there for 10 years. So far, the contract has given Nissan little to celebrate. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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BEST PRACTICES

Urban-living trend a chance to branch out and up

Few dealers would get far offering a $2,500-a-month lease. Not on a car, anyway. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Where are the GM program vehicles?

The flow of retired rental vehicles that General Motors normally sells at auction to its dealers has slowed to a trickle since mid-November, dealers say. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Audi Q7 will be VW Group's 1st diesel plug-in hybrid

The Audi Q7 will be the first Volkswagen Group model offered with a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Chevy's next-gen cars will get Corvette styling cues

Subtle design elements of the Corvette will be recognizable in many of Chevrolet's upcoming cars. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Mercedes shows X6-fighter

Mercedes-Benz's all-new GLE Coupe is aimed at buyers looking for a nimble, sporty crossover. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Mini to pare lineup to 5 models

By 2020 at the earliest, Mini's lineup will have only five models, down from seven today. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Sneak peek at the new BMW 7-series

Early look at the BMW 7-series doesn't show a major shift in design. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Ford deploys kiosks to push F-150

But even before the new Ford F-150s arrive in showrooms in large numbers, some dealerships can give shoppers a good look at the redesigned pickup truck with video kiosks. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Retired rentals ding prices

The talk in remarketing circles has been about how the rising tide of off-lease vehicles will push used-car prices down. But more retired rental units are destined to hit the market next year, too. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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GM dealers take on more loaners

Dealers are seeing a huge expansion of General Motors' Courtesy Transportation Program, a bid to create better loyalty via the service lane and by getting more people to try vehicles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 13, 2014

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KEITH CRAIN

Big recalls are a dilemma for us all

The auto industry, including the National Automobile Dealers Association, SAE International and everyone else, must come up with a comprehensive solution before this happens again. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

EDITORIAL

Diversity builds a better pickup

Female engineers and product developers becoming more common these days is a positive development for auto companies and their customers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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JESSE SNYDER

How auto dealers gained our esteem

Several trends in business and technology favor local merchants, including auto dealers, over national conglomerates in terms of treating customers right. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

EDITORIAL

Revolving doors

The challenges facing sales consultants are familiar: long and irregular hours, uncertain and variable pay and relatively low income. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Fleet and retail even out as year end nears

Fleet sales grew at a faster pace than retail volume in November, bringing both channels into balance as the year nears a close. For the seven automakers that control 86 percent of the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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NACTOY finalists announced

The Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis and Volkswagen Golf were named finalists for North American Car of the Year, while the Lincoln MKC, Ford F-150 and Chevy Colorado were named truck/utility finalists. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Tax deal sets up Chrysler to churn out more 8-speeds

Chrysler Group plans to expand production of its eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmissions by investing $266 million in its massive Kokomo, Ind., transmission complex. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Five crucial connected-car questions for 2015

Many automakers plan to unveil their latest and greatest connected car technology in January at the International CES in Las Vegas and at the Detroit auto show. Here are five questions that could get some added clarity in 2015. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Whose dashboard is it anyway?

When car companies do business with Apple Inc. or Google Inc., they like to say they are dealing with a "partner" -- not a supplier. It's becoming clear that they won't always be silent partners. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 13, 2014

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ONE PART FOR ALL

Denso air conditioner designed to fit in any vehicle, save money

What if a supplier could design a one-size-fits-all component for all of its customers, a product that would allow major economies of scale? Denso Corp. is trying it with air conditioners. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Q&A

Eaton on the prowl for software engineers

Eaton Corp. is well known for transmissions, clutches, differentials and other robust industrial products. So it's surprising that software development is a significant bottleneck for the supplier. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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DAVID SEDGWICK

In D.C., Takata finds no friends, just cross hairs

Years from now, automotive historians will agree that Takata Corp.'s fate in the U.S. was sealed during a congressional hearing on Dec. 3, 2014. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

For Murphy, building up charity is the next move

Mike Murphy's plan to embed his Volkswagen of Oakland dealership into a mixed-use development that includes housing may be one of his final acts in the car business. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Dealers

Dealers featured this week include Willie Rickel and Dara Nielsen of Lee's Summit Mazda in Lee's Summit, Mo. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Obituaries

Longtime auto dealer Bob Moore died Dec. 1. He was 81. Sam Swope, who developed one of the nation's first regional auto malls, died Tuesday, Dec. 9. He was 88. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Smaller supply for big month

Most automakers have enough stock for big December promotions in what has become one of the best sales months of the year. But they certainly aren't overstocked after torrid November U.S. light-vehicle sales cut into inventory. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Nissan: Gas prices not a sales drain

Nissan brand's sales dipped in November after 13 straight months of year-over-year increases. But no one is blaming the 2 percent setback on one of the most notable changing market factors of the moment: cheaper fuel. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

N.A. output eases 1% in Nov.

North American car and truck production in November fell 1 percent from November 2013, to an estimated 1,394,923 units, on one less production day than the year-earlier month. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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End of the road for midsize sedans?

Talk about an epoch-making event: The midsize sedan's long, long (as in forever) run as the largest vehicle segment in the U.S. may be coming to an end. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Exciting stuff, those 'That's not a Buick!' ads

Buick executives believe the ubiquitous TV commercials they've been running since spring -- "That's not a Buick!" -- are connecting with consumers. Now they've got scientific proof, of sorts. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Mazda executives zoom, zoom past dealers

Some car companies say thank you to their dealers with a trip to Hawaii. Racing-mad Mazda executives do it by challenging retailers on the track. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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Next Pennsylvania gov not quitting on blue Wrangler now

Jeep has a history ferrying around heads of state. Some of the most iconic shots of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower were taken while they were sitting in Jeeps. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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CHRISTIAAN HETZNER

Poached from BMW, Diess in position for VW CEO job

Volkswagen's decision to poach BMW product development chief Herbert Diess to run its flagship VW brand puts the 56-year-old manager in the pole position to succeed Martin Winterkorn as head of what could soon be the world's largest automaker. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

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UAW makes strides in South, but it's not done

Persistence has paid off for the UAW in Chattanooga, less than a year after the union lost an organizing election at Volkswagen's plant there. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014


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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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