Automotive News Table of Contents

March 23, 2015



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POP GOES THE BIMMER

BMW tries to win shoppers' time back from third parties

BMW’s quiet opening of a neon-lit pop-up store in a California mall would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But today, BMW faces new competition. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Giant Miller group reshuffles for the buy-sell bonanza

A drastic restructuring at the nation's fourth largest private dealership group is the latest sign of changing times in the auto retail business. Eager to expand, the giant Larry H. Miller Group of Cos. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Is high-paying Tier 1 at risk in UAW talks?

The slogan "No More Tiers" will be on the lips of thousands of UAW delegates trekking to the union's bargaining convention this week. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

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How Faurecia made over a Visteon relic

Faurecia knew it had a big job converting a castoff Visteon plant it bought in 2012 in Michigan into a profitable operation. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

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Is a focused, all-in Visteon now stable?

When Tim Leuliette steps down as CEO of Visteon Corp. late this year, he will leave behind a company working in just one major product sector: cockpit electronics. That's a radical change for Ford Motor Co.' 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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JLR chief Speth to keynote U.K. congress

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, will be keynote speaker at the Automotive News Europe Congress on June 10 in Birmingham, U.K. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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PUT ON A BOLD FACE

VW turns up design so crossovers will hit right note in U.S.

The next crop of Volkswagens coming to the United States will convey a more aggressive design message. The strategy stems from a rethinking that is forcing VW to venture beyond the conservative styling that has worked so well in Europe and China. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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After a career with dealers, FCA's Grady will relax

Peter Grady has a list of things to do when he retires at the end of the month as Fiat Chrysler head of network development. But not on the list: working for another automaker. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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An Audi obstacle, and a lesson in creating self-driving cars

The tale of an Audi prototype and a piece of desert tumbleweed illustrates one of the most daunting challenges in designing self-driving cars: teaching them to deal with the unexpected. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Cadillac looks to exploit mismatches vs. Germans with CT6

Cadillac is taking a decidedly different approach to the full-size luxury sedan category with the upcoming CT6. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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BMW brainstorms its next i model

BMW is weighing what type of model will join its "i" family of low-emission vehicles, said a top executive who added that the model will arrive after 2020. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Mini boss 'still pushing' for Superleggera roadster

Mini's Superleggera sports car concept would be a "great addition to the Mini range," says BMW's board member in charge of the brand, Peter Schwarzenbauer. But he disputed a report that the roadster has been approved for production. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Porsche nears a decision on 7th model line

Porsche is close to announcing plans to expand its model lineup. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Ready for Moab's red rocks

The surf-themed Jeep Chief, an homage to the mid-'70s Cherokee Chief, will participate in the Easter Jeep Safari gathering of off-road enthusiasts in Moab, Utah, this month. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Scion plans revival with iM hatchback, iA compact sedan

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to unveil two new nameplates for its struggling Scion brand next month at the New York auto show -- a five-door iM hatchback and a sporty compact sedan designated the iA. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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NEWS ANALYSIS

In Russia: Ford holds; GM folds

Ford may be suffering just as badly from the meltdown in Russian car sales, but don't expect it to follow General Motors' lead and abandon dealers, suppliers and employees in Russia by exiting the market. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Optima's prime

Kia Motors flashed these renderings of the fourth-generation Optima midsize sedan that it will unveil next week at the New York auto show. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Remote updates speed Tesla's Autopilot push

Tesla doesn't have the r&d budget of rivals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the Palo Alto, Calif. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Insurance rates on aluminum F-150 hold for now

For now, motorists' yearly insurance premiums for the 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150 are about the same as for the 2014 steel model -- good news for Ford. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015 | UPDATED: 3/23/15 11:53 am ET - adds correction

EDITORIAL

Automakers must learn to be better supplier customers

It's no secret that automakers are striving to obtain advanced features from suppliers before their rivals get them. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Dealer profits riding on Wrangler decision

FCA's ultimate decision on Wrangler is likely to have an outsized impact on every dealership in the nation that sells Jeeps. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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KEITH CRAIN

Is cheap fuel permanent or a blip?

Lots of smart folks in the automobile industry are betting huge amounts of money that alternative-fuel vehicles will capture an important part of the market. But it is going to be difficult to displace gasoline for mainstream vehicles in the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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BEST PRACTICES

Each generation learns to go its own way

If the Gates family has learned anything in 87 years of operating dealerships, it's that each generation must forge its own business plan. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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WHAT A DRAG

Designers use new tricks, and the wind tunnel

Automakers facing stiffer global fuel economy and emissions standards are increasing efforts to improve fuel efficiency. After powertrain improvements and weight reductions, slippery aerodynamics is the hottest area of research to boost efficiency. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Technology makes vehicles slipperier

Drag coefficient measures the resistance of an object as it moves through air or fluid. The lower the number, the slipperier the vehicle, and the less fuel it burns. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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IT'S ABOUT TIME

Automakers see Apple Watch as chance to widen acceptance of connected-car features

Smartwatches are in their early days, but automakers see the rollout of the Apple Watch as a seminal moment. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Cars hear you, but when will they get you?

Almost all vehicles sold in America today are programmed to respond to a driver's voice commands. But still on the frontiers of automotive research are vehicles that can determine what a driver really wants -- and respond intelligently. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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In era of streaming music, radio rocks on

Radio has proved incredibly resilient, and the auto industry has taken notice, investing in digital radio even as CD players disappear from the dash. This year in the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

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Calif. considers a plea for plug-in hybrids

Ford, Honda, GM and Toyota fear they’ll need to offer large incentives to meet California’s mandate for zero-emission vehicles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 28, 2015

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Honda recalls 104,000 vehicles for inflators

Honda Motor Co. last week added more than 100,000 vehicles in the U.S. to existing recalls for flawed airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Subaru's 7-seater poses big design question

A Grand Outback? Or a larger crossover that is more distinct than Subaru's popular midsize vehicle? That's the decision Subaru is grappling with as it develops an all-new crossover bigger than the strong-selling Outback for sale in about two years. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Why a Japanese supplier is upping its game

Aisin Seiki, the world's fifth biggest auto supplier, is doubling the size of its global design division as it expands into new products and targets new customers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

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Dealer awards

The dealer featured this week is Harold Lucas, dealer at Lucas Chevrolet-Cadillac in Columbia, Tenn. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Driving schools a chance to rev sales

BMW's Future Retail program includes two driving schools -- programs not only for customers but potential conquests. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Penske tests Texas store's staffing program

Penske Automotive Group has been so impressed with a program started at its Toyota store in Round Rock, Texas, aimed at converting Internet leads into appointments and, ultimately, sales, that it is taking the idea to other dealerships in Texas. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

N.A. output falls 1.7% in February

North American car and truck production in February slipped 1.7 percent from the year-earlier level to an estimated 1,397,838 vehicles. Following January's 1. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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A long drive: 100-year-old still selling Chevys

Derrell Alexander has lived a century, and for most of that time, he's been on the showroom floor. The Wyoming car salesman celebrated his 100th birthday on March 17. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

FCA may find perfect partner is from Asia

Sergio Marchionne wants a dance partner for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The financial media keep trying to fix him up with Volkswagen, but I think Marchionne has his eye on a mate in Asia. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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New book details Mary Barra's big break

In Road to Power: How GM's Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling, a new book by Bloomberg reporter Laura Colby, the author suggests that a key person in Barra's career rise was Ken Varisco, her boss in the mid-1990s. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Porsche dealers' profits keep piling up

The reason Porsche dealers are generally happy? They make a lot of money, and that only improved last year. Porsche Cars North America CEO Detlev von Platen said Porsche's U.S. dealerships posted an average net profit margin of 3. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

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Rising sums: A surge in share for the Japanese

After rising in 2014 by four-tenths of a point to 37.5 percent, Japanese automakers captured 38.2 percent in the first two months of 2015. U.S., European and Korean carmakers all have declined this year in combined share. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015


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