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Ford posts 7% drop in Q1 profit, still sees 'breakthrough year'

7:02 am U.S. ET | April 28, 2015 | UPDATED: 4/28/15 8:06 am ET -- adds CFO comments
Ford, which has forecast a "breakthrough year" for itself after remaking a large swath of its global lineup, today said its first-quarter net income fell 6.6 percent to $924 million as the launch of its aluminum-bodied pickup cut production.
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Best April sales in decade expected, driven by light trucks

1:09 pm U.S. ET | April 27, 2015
New-vehicle sales in the United States are projected to reach the highest April level in a decade, capping the best four-month start to a year since 2001. Four forecasts -- calling for a year-over-year increase of about 5 percent to 6 percent this month -- show the industry remains on track to finish 2015 right around 17 million units, a threshold last crossed in 2001. TrueCar.

Piech resigns as VW chairman after failing to oust CEO

12:38 pm U.S. ET | April 25, 2015
Ferdinand Piech, a towering figure at Volkswagen for more than two decades, resigned as chairman on Saturday after losing a showdown with CEO Martin Winterkorn. Piech, the 78-year-old grandson of the inventor of the VW Beetle, had previously ousted other executives who crossed him, including his hand-picked successor as Volkswagen CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder.

GM profit rises, aided by North America

7:45 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2015
General Motors posted stout first-quarter profits from truck sales in North America, but trouble in Russia and Brazil and lingering fallout from last year's recall binge kept a lid on earnings. GM's operating income excluding onetime items -- the figure that GM says best reflects its core performance -- was $2.08 billion.

BMW Group, inspired by Google Glass, tests experimental driving goggles

12:00 pm U.S. ET | April 19, 2015
BMW Group, which thinks computerized headsets such as Google Glass could be the next big thing, has unveiled a prototype of goggles that turn the world into a digital display, making it easier to follow navigation directions and park in a BMW or Mini.

Toyota investments in Mexico, China to usher in new cost-efficiency strategy

9:00 am U.S. ET | April 15, 2015
Opening its purse after a three-year expansion freeze, Toyota announced plans today to spend nearly $1.5 billion on a new factory in Mexico and a new line in China to support sales growth in key markets and underpin a global overhaul in the way it builds vehicles.

Ford to unveil $2.5 billion Mexico investment on Friday, report says

12:58 pm U.S. ET | April 14, 2015
Ford plans to announce on Friday an investment of about $2.5 billion in Mexico, industry sources told Reuters. Ford will invest $1.3 billion to expand its plant in northern Chihuahua state, where it will build two new diesel engines. Another $1.2 billion is destined for a transmission plant in central Guanajuato state, the sources said.

Honda to drop Crosstour, move Accord hybrid output to Japan

4:00 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2015
Honda will stop producing the Crosstour, a slow-selling derivative of the Accord, after the 2015 model year as part of a broader move aimed at boosting truck-production capacity.

Kia's top U.S. exec leaves posts in shake-up; Sprague promoted to COO

11:00 am U.S. ET | April 8, 2015
In a shake-up at Hyundai-Kia, Byung Mo Ahn, group vice chairman and CEO of Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, will leave those posts for an advisory role. Meanwhile, Michael Sprague, 49, was promoted to the newly created role of COO of Kia Motors America.

Mercedes, Nissan to develop midsize M-B pickup

11:06 am U.S. ET | April 7, 2015
Daimler will expand its cooperation with Nissan to develop a midsize pickup for Mercedes-Benz. The new pickup will target commercial and private clients and will share some of the underpinnings with an all-new Nissan NP300 truck.

Honda readies 'epic' Civic with American pedigree

2:15 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2015
Just three years after giving its Civic compact a major overhaul, Honda is doing it again. The company's latest compact is based on a new global platform with a distinctly American pedigree. The car's sporty turn is aimed at luring coveted Generation Y buyers now in their 20s and 30s.

Bosch will plead guilty to price-fixing, pay $57.8 million U.S. fine

1:22 pm U.S. ET | March 31, 2015
German auto parts giant Robert Bosch agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing and pay a $57.8 million fine for its role in conspiring to rig bids for spark plugs, oxygen sensors and starter motors sold to the Detroit 3 automakers, the U.S. Department of Justice said today.

Cadillac touts big CT6 as driver's car, answer to Germans

8:30 pm U.S. ET | March 31, 2015
Cadillac continued its comeback quest by introducing the CT6, a rear-wheel-drive sedan rivaling the Mercedes S class in size while being touted for the driving performance of a smaller car. Extensive use of aluminum allowed GM to field a model 200 pounds lighter than BMW's 5 series.

Volvo plans $500 million U.S. assembly plant

12:30 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015
Volvo will spend about $500 million to build its first assembly plant in the United States as part of an ambitious effort to jump-start lagging sales. The automaker is talking to three states on a possible location and plans to start production in 2018.

Lincoln to bring back Continental name

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 30, 2015
Lincoln is resurrecting the Continental name and phasing out the brand's signature split-wing grille. A full-size sedan named the Continental will go on sale in North America and China in 2016. Lincoln will then discontinue the MKS, which perennially has been one of the slowest-selling cars in its segment.

Mercedes plans to launch its first pickup by 2020

7:40 am U.S. ET | March 27, 2015
Mercedes plans to launch its first pickup truck by 2020, targeting sales at the European, Latin American, Australian and South African markets. The automaker hasn't decided yet whether to sell the pickup in the U.S, Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, told the Wall Street Journal.

Automotive News wins Grand Neal Award for GM recall coverage

3:40 pm U.S. ET | March 27, 2015
Automotive News today won the Grand Neal Award for its coverage of the GM ignition-switch recall crisis. The Grand Neal, given by the Association of Business Information and Media Companies, marks the pinnacle of achievement in business-to-business media. It was the first time a Crain Communications publication received the honor.

Feds broaden crackdown on dealership fraud

11:15 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission is broadening its enforcement of car dealerships to crack down on deception and fraud in operations that go beyond advertising. The latest actions, announced today, also target auto-loan application fraud and deceptive practices related to add-on products and services.

U.S. auto sales poised for rare monthly decline

3:45 pm U.S. ET | March 26, 2015
March could be just the sixth month since 2009 in which the U.S. auto industry posts a year-over-year sales decline, a sign the market is starting to flatten out after one of the longest stretches of growth ever.

GM's Opel to exit Russia, Chevy to reduce lineup to 'iconic' models

9:10 am U.S. ET | March 18, 2015
General Motors' Opel division will exit the plunging Russian market and abandon production at its plant in St. Petersburg by the end of the year. In addition, Chevrolet will scale back its presence in Russia, selling “iconic” U.S.-built models such as the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe.

Plaintiffs' lawyers say GM internal documents contradict Valukas report

2:25 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015
Plaintiffs suing GM over faulty ignition switches have gained access to previously confidential documents produced by the automaker, and their attorneys plan to depose current and former top executives this year. Two of the plaintiffs' lawyers contend the documents contradict conclusions reached by GM's internal investigation last year.

Dodge stops taking Hellcat orders to tackle big backlog

5:00 pm U.S. ET | March 13, 2015
Fiat Chrysler has stopped taking orders for the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats so it can work through a lengthy backlog.

GM settles second ignition-switch lawsuit with parents of Georgia victim

11:30 am U.S. ET | March 13, 2015
The Georgia parents who forced GM to acknowledge an ignition switch defect linked to the deaths of their daughter and at least 64 other people have settled a second case against the company, their lawyers said today. The terms of the new settlement are confidential. GM revealed the ignition switch defect in February 2014, when it announced a recall that was eventually expanded to cover 2.

GM to cut Chevy, GMC powertrain warranty to 60,000 miles from 100,000

9:16 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2015
General Motors plans to cut its powertrain warranty on Chevrolet and GMC vehicles for the 2016 model year, concluding that its standout offer of 100,000-mile coverage -- in place for nearly a decade -- wasn't a strong enough selling point.

TrueCar sued by dealers for 'false advertising'

5:45 pm U.S. ET | March 9, 2015
Dealers representing 117 new-car franchises are suing TrueCar for more than $250 million, claiming they are victims of false advertising and unfair competition. In the complaint, the dealers argue that TrueCar's advertisements falsely claim that consumers who use the vehicle-shopping site's services can buy a car without haggling or negotiations.

GM strikes a deal with Harry Wilson

7:30 am U.S. ET | March 9, 2015
GM will buy back $5 billion in shares by the end of 2016 and return "all available" free cash flow to shareholders, a move that sidesteps a proxy battle with activist investor Harry Wilson. A former member of the federal automotive task force that restructured the company in 2009, Wilson will withdraw his nomination to join GM's board at its June meeting.

Toyota promotes U.S., Europe execs in wide-reaching management shuffle

3:55 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Toyota will elevate U.S. executive Julie Hamp and add Europe boss Didier Leroy to its board in a wide shuffle at the automaker. The overhaul also consolidates power in North America under regional CEO Jim Lentz, who will also assume oversight of the region's sprawling manufacturing operations.

GMC doubles down with 10-year plan to boost U.S. share to 5%

12:30 pm U.S. ET | March 2, 2015
General Motors plans to roughly double its total spending on its GMC truck brand over the next decade with the goal of boosting its U.S. market share by two-thirds, the brand's top executive said today. Duncan Aldred, vice president of the GMC and Buick brands, said the doubling of investment in GMC will cut across vehicle development, marketing and other areas.

Lexus wins 4th straight J.D. Power dependability title; Buick rises to No. 2

10:00 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
Toyota's Lexus claimed its fourth consecutive title as most-dependable automotive brand after three years of ownership while corporate sibling Scion jumped to ninth place from 22nd a year earlier, J.D. Power and Associates said today. Buick came in at No. 2, rising three spots from last year.

U.S. auto sales roar toward strongest February since 2002

2:00 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
U.S. auto sales are on pace for the best February since 2002, forecasters say, even as relentless snow slowed demand in the Northeast. February is expected to mark the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year gains for the industry.

Blazing-fast McLaren 675LT to debut in Geneva

9:20 am U.S. ET | Feb. 25, 2015
British sports car manufacturer McLaren Automotive plans to introduce the 675LT at next week’s Geneva auto show. The sleek coupe can top 120 mph in a faster amount of time than many normal cars can get to 60 mph.

Buick cracks top 10 on Consumer Reports report card; Acura, Mercedes, Infiniti drop

12:45 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 24, 2015
Buick climbed into the Top 10 while Acura, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz fell hard in the latest report card on reliability and performance from Consumer Reports. Lexus finished No. 1 for the third straight year, ahead of a rising Mazda. Fiat Chrysler's Fiat brand came in last, just below corporate sibling Jeep.

Honda CEO Ito to step down after quality lapses

1:40 am U.S. ET | Feb. 23, 2015
Honda President Takanobu Ito said he will step down and named Takahiro Hachigo, an r&d executive with wide international experience, as his replacement following a string of quality lapses that spurred a round of internal reforms.

'Mr. K,' Datsun pioneer and father of the Z car, dies at 105

12:30 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 21, 2015
Yutaka Katayama, Nissan's first U.S. president, who grabbed American consumer awareness by introducing the affordable Datsun Z sports car in the early 1970s, has died at 105.

NHTSA to fine Takata $14K a day for failing to 'fully cooperate' in airbag probe

10:31 am U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today slapped Takata with a $14,000-per-day fine for failing to "fully cooperate" with the agency's investigation into exploding airbag inflators made by the supplier that have been linked to at least six deaths. NHTSA also warned Takata that it will refer the situation to the Department of Justice if it fails to remedy the situation.

GM names new top lawyer as embattled Millikin retires

9:43 am U.S. ET | Feb. 19, 2015
General Motors has named Craig Glidden, the top attorney at a global plastics and chemicals refiner, to succeed departing chief counsel Michael Millikin. Glidden, 57, oversaw legal, communications, government-affairs and compliance functions at LyondellBasell Industries, a Dutch company with US headquarters in Houston. Before that, he was general counsel at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

Infiniti's Bartsch is out as Americas chief

11:55 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015
Michael Bartsch, a former Porsche executive hired in 2013 to lead Infiniti in the Americas, has left the company in the latest executive shakeup at Nissan's luxury brand. Bartsch has been replaced by Randy Parker, who has been vice president of Nissan's Western Region, Infiniti said in a statement today.

Apple hiring auto experts for secret research project, reports say

4:58 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 13, 2015
Apple is hiring automotive technology and design experts to staff up a top-secret research lab, with the possible intention of building a car, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported the project, code-named “Titan,” has an initial design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan.

Ford's new 1,550 workers for F-150 output pushes 300-500 to top-tier wages

12:01 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2015
Ford is adding 1,550 hourly employees in the first quarter to increase output of its aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup. The hires will cause between 300 and 500 UAW members earning Tier 2 hourly wages of $19.28 today to rise to top-tier status with hourly wages of $28.50.

GM Q4 pretax profit surges to $2.4 billion on strong pricing, truck sales

7:45 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2015
General Motors said its fourth-quarter pretax profit rose 27 percent to $2.41 billion, its best fourth-quarter result since the 2009 bankruptcy, thanks to stronger pricing across its major markets and stout pickup and SUV sales in North America.

Toyota's quarterly operating profit rises 27% on U.S. sales gains

3:30 am U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2015
Booming North America powered Toyota to a 27 percent operating profit increase in the October-December quarter even as sales shrank in every other major market. The region was Toyota's only bright spot as the company cut its sales outlooks for Japan, Europe and Asia.

Ford on verge of promoting newer UAW hires to top-tier pay for first time

6:15 am U.S. ET | Jan. 30, 2015
Ford has exceeded its cap on employees earning second-tier wages and will promote 55 workers hired in 2010 to its top wage scale, the UAW said late Friday. It would be the first time since the UAW agreed to two-tier wages in 2007 that any of the union's members have been moved up to the higher pay scale.

Ford's 2014 profit fell 56 percent amid new-product blitz

7:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 29, 2015
Ford posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit and said earnings fell 56 percent in 2014 as it introduced 24 vehicles worldwide while US market share declined. CFO Bob Shanks predicted "a lot of strong growth numbers from Ford in 2015."

Soros is ready to move on auto dealerships

3:40 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 26, 2015
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. Soros is prepared to invest as much as $1 billion on dealerships, one of the sources said.

Cadillac boss to introduce 'boutique' store concept to 700 dealers

9:37 am U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015
Cadillac plans to ask about 700 of its dealerships to invest in small "boutique" stores that would offer "high technology showrooms" and a higher level of service than they offer today.

Toyota keeps top spot despite strong VW challenge

2:16 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2015
Toyota defended its crown as the world's biggest automaker in 2014, keeping a slim lead over Volkswagen. But Toyota forecast sales to slump 1 percent in the current calendar year, on the back of slowing demand in Japan and emerging markets.

Volvo appoints another U.S. chief amid sales decline

12:15 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2015
Volvo is reshuffling its North American management, moving CEO Tony Nicolosi to head of its finance company for the Americas and bringing global corporate product strategy chief Lex Kerssemakers to replace him.

2015 AUTOMOTIVE NEWS WORLD CONGRESS

Musk urges automakers to move faster on EVs

3:45 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 13, 2015
Established car companies must accelerate the development and sale of electric vehicles, despite a drastic decline in oil prices, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said today during a speech to auto executives at the Automotive News World Congress.

Nissan, seeking wider audience, retools Titan top to bottom

8:15 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015
With three engines -- including a Cummins diesel V-8 -- two frame sizes and three bed lengths, the redesigned Titan coming this fall is Nissan's ambitious new push to become a true contender in the tough full-size pickup market. The revamped pickup, unveiled today at the Detroit auto show, is intended to make the Titan appealing to a wider audience from construction workers to suburbanites.

VW Golf and Ford F-150 win North American Car and Truck of the Year awards

7:15 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015
The Volkswagen Golf and Ford F-150 pickup were named 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year today by a panel of automotive journalists.

VW plans to add 100 U.S. dealerships by 2018

10:41 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015
Volkswagen of America plans to add about 100 new dealerships to its US retail network through 2018 as part of its plan to revive its growth in the market. Michael Horn, one year into his tenure as CEO of Volkswagen of America, told reporters at the Detroit auto show that VW wants to add the additional 100 rooftops in open points where the VW brand currently lacks a presence.

Chevy extends all-new Volt's EV range a third to 50 miles

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015
The second-generation Chevrolet Volt will go about 50 miles on an electric charge, up from 38 on today's model, as General Motors looks to broaden the plug-in hybrid's appeal beyond environmentalists and tech geeks.

VW readies crossover blitz to help revive U.S. fortunes

8:30 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 11, 2015
Volkswagen is mobilizing an SUV and crossover offensive over the next few years to strengthen its presence in those fast-growing segments and revive the VW brand's sagging U.S. sales. A long-wheelbase Tiguan crossover assembled in North America will arrive in the market in 2017, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said in remarks prepared for delivery today.

Honda agrees to pay $70 million in U.S. fines for under-reporting death, injury claims

12:33 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 8, 2015
Honda agreed to pay a record $70 million in fines and submit to stricter oversight for failing to tell the US government about warranty claims and more than 1,700 injuries and deaths linked to potential defects in its cars.

Cadillac drops price on CTS sedan by up to $3,000

2:17 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Cadillac is cutting prices on its CTS sedan in the US by as much as $3,000, a partial walk back of a big price increase 15 months ago that dealers say has driven away some loyal buyers. Cadillac told dealers in a memo that it will reduce sticker prices on most 2015 CTS models by $1,000 to $3,000, effective today.

Ford names Mark LaNeve head of U.S. marketing, sales and service

10:18 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Ford today said Mark LaNeve, a former top sales executive at General Motors, will take over as its new head of US sales, marketing and service as of Feb. 1. LaNeve, 55, replaces John Felice, who was the company's US sales chief for only 15 months. Ford said Felice, 53, “has elected to retire” after a 30-year career at the automaker.

Toyota's Scion to add first sedan to struggling lineup

9:46 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015
Toyota's struggling Scion brand will add a sedan to its lineup for the first time as it battles slumping sales in the United States. The sedan will be introduced in April at the New York auto show along with the all-new Scion iM five-door hatchback, the brand said in a statement today.

Mercedes USA will move to Atlanta seeking sales growth, lower costs

7:29 am U.S. ET | Jan. 6, 2015
Mercedes-Benz USA will relocate its headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta to lower operating costs and to chase sales growth it foresees in the South. Beginning in June, Mercedes will move from New Jersey to temporary offices in Atlanta, where it will build a greenfield headquarters complex by the end of 2017.

U.S. sales forecast to rise 10% in Dec. on deals, falling gas prices

11:45 am U.S. ET | Dec. 31, 2014
Forecasters say U.S. new-vehicle sales likely jumped 10 percent in December, bringing the total for 2014 to 16.5 million, beating even the most optimistic projections from early in the year. The month was filled with good reasons for consumers to buy a new car or truck: big discounts, very little snow and gasoline prices falling like a rock.

Ford will tout F-150 capability in College Football Playoff

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 30, 2014
Ford will use the first-ever College Football Playoff to launch the advertising campaign for the redesigned F-150, but viewers won't hear a word about how the truck's lighter aluminum body helps improve fuel efficiency. The initial series of three commercials aims to show that the switch from steel to lighter-weight aluminum makes the F-150 more durable and stronger.

Shifting eyes back to the road ahead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 29, 2014
Interior designers are working to concentrate more of a vehicle’s critical information directly in front of the driver and away from center-stack display screens.

Takata president steps down from role, CEO to reclaim title

6:19 am U.S. ET | Dec. 24, 2014
Takata, the auto supplier embroiled in a global safety crisis, said today its president, Stefan Stocker, would step down and CEO Shigehisa Takada, 48, would once again assume the role to unify the company's response to the recall of millions of vehicles carrying defective airbags.

Hot-selling trucks mean holiday overtime for some N.A. plants

2:30 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 22, 2014
Several automakers, led by Chrysler, will be working overtime during the Christmas and New Year's holiday period at North American plants that build SUVs, crossovers and pickups, signaling confidence that the U.S. light-truck market will remain hot heading into 2015.

Hyundai Motor hires longtime BMW executive in performance-car push

9:26 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 21, 2014
Hyundai and affiliate Kia hired Albert Biermann, chief engineer for BMW's M performance cars and light trucks, to develop performance models and improve ride and handling. As executive vice president, Biermann will become the South Korean automakers' second-highest foreign executive after design chief Peter Schreyer, formerly of Audi.

In Russia, all are losing, but none are leaving

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 21, 2014
Despite suffering heavy losses in Russia's sinking economy, global automakers say they still expect a long-term payoff from their huge investments there.

FCA US recalls 3.3 million more vehicles with Takata airbag inflators

4:49 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 19, 2014
FCA US, the former Chrysler Group, said Friday it will replace driver-side airbag inflators in as many as 3.3 million more older-model vehicles, in a capitulation to a demand by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The road ahead for NHTSA's new chief

10:30 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 16, 2014
Mark Rosekind, confirmed to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, faces immediate pressure to take a tougher stance with automakers and suppliers on safety matters, reset the agency's culture and manage the coming wave of autonomous-vehicle and other advanced technologies.

Chrysler and Fiat names dropped from corporate titles

8:20 am U.S. ET | Dec. 16, 2014
Chrysler is Chrysler no more. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Netherlands-based parent company of what was Chrysler Group LLC, said today that it has changed the name of its United States affiliate from Chrysler Group to FCA US LLC.

GM offers fix on small-car ignitions to prevent stuck keys

6:15 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
General Motors is offering to repair customers' Chevrolet Cobalts and other older small cars to prevent keys from getting stuck in the ignition, but the company said it isn't issuing a recall because the problem doesn't pose a safety risk.

Ford dumps MyFord Touch name in revamp of infotainment system

11:15 am U.S. ET | Dec. 11, 2014
Ford is dropping the name “MyFord Touch” in an overhaul of the touch-screen infotainment system that sent its quality ratings plummeting in recent years.

Finalists named for North American Car and Truck of the Year

1:00 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2014
The Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis and the Volkswagen Golf were named finalists today for North American Car of the Year, while the Lincoln MKC, Ford F-150 and the Chevy Colorado were named truck/utility finalists.

Honda planning worldwide recall for Takata airbags, Ito says

5:53 am U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2014
Honda President Takanobu Ito said his company is planning to launch a worldwide investigative airbag recall, just days after extending a similar callback in the United States. Ito also expressed frustration with the response of Japanese airbag supplier Takata, but said Honda will offer support if Takata tips into financial difficulties.

BMW names Krueger as new CEO; Reithofer to be chairman

4:33 am U.S. ET | Dec. 9, 2014
BMW said CEO Norbert Reithofer would step down in May, one year early, and hand the reins of the luxury carmaker to production chief Harald Krueger. Reithofer, who has run BMW since 2006, is slated to succeed Joachim Milberg as chairman of the company's supervisory board, BMW said in a statement today.

Grady to retire as head of Chrysler dealer network, Maserati's N.A. unit

11:54 am U.S. ET | Dec. 5, 2014
Peter Grady will retire as head of Chrysler Group's dealer network on March 31, and will step down as head of Maserati North America at the first of the year. Grady, 54, will retain his current responsibilities until then, Chrysler said in a written statement today.

Bob Thomas, former U.S. boss of Nissan, dies at 69

7:09 am U.S. ET | Dec. 3, 2014
Bob Thomas, who led Nissan's United States sales operations in the 1990s before joining AutoNation and Edmunds, has died in Hawaii. Thomas died November 23 after a brief illness, according to friends and former colleagues. He was 69.

Robert Rewey, Ford marketing exec who moved the iron, dies at 76

1:15 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 1, 2014
Robert Rewey, a former Ford sales and marketing chief who helped the company become dominant in the SUV market, pioneered leasing as an alternative to traditional financing and pushed a controversial consolidation of Ford's dealership network in the late 1990s, died Saturday at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., after a brief illness.

Discounts, falling gas prices driving Nov. sales higher

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 25, 2014
The U.S. auto industry may post its highest November sales volume since 2001, and one forecaster says light-vehicle transaction prices are on pace to reach the highest level ever for a second consecutive month. Year-end clearance sales and the lowest gasoline prices since 2010 are two big factors behind the forecasts.

NHTSA closes probes into 600,000 Ford, GM vehicles

10:41 am U.S. ET | Nov. 25, 2014
Safety regulators have closed investigations into about 500,000 Ford Motor and about 100,000 General Motors vehicles without calling for recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today.

REUTERS SPECIAL REPORT

Takata airbag plant in Mexico with troubled past at center of probe

9:07 am U.S. ET | Nov. 20, 2014
Takata's plant in Ciudad Frontera, Mexico, has been confirmed as the source of defective airbags made in 2001 and 2002 and again around 2012, Reuters reported today, citing information from recall records, automakers and regulators. In 2006, the factory blew up -- driving home for workers and residents the volatility and risk of the explosive compound at the core of Takata's airbags.

BMW says its Takata inflator work moving from Mexico to Germany

7:21 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014
Takata plans to shift production of BMW airbag inflators from Mexico to Germany, BMW said on Wednesday in a filing with federal safety regulators who have been probing questions about the quality of manufacturing at the plant.

Obama nominates NTSB's Mark Rosekind to lead NHTSA

5:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014
President Barack Obama nominated transportation expert Mark Rosekind to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has come under heavy criticism this year for a perceived slow response to major recalls and safety concerns.

Hyundai's U.S. marketing boss Shannon steps down

10:20 am U.S. ET | Nov. 14, 2014
Hyundai Motor America marketing chief Steve Shannon, the General Motors veteran who joined Hyundai in 2011 to help the Korean brand continue its ascendance in the United States market, has parted ways with the company.

THE GM RECALL

Delphi turns over GM recall evidence in deal with plaintiffs

3:42 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 13, 2014
Delphi Automotive agreed to give thousands of documents to lawyers suing General Motors over faulty ignition switches and to let the lawyers speak with the supplier's employees in exchange for being dropped as a defendant.

Ford's Farley, Odell to swap jobs

4:15 am U.S. ET | Nov. 7, 2014
Ford global marketing chief Jim Farley will move to Germany to steer Ford of Europe starting January 1 in a job swap with European boss Stephen Odell, the company said. Odell, who has led European operations for Ford since 2010, will succeed Farley as executive vice president in charge of global marketing, sales and service, Ford said in a statement today.

Chrysler Group Q3 profits rise 32% to $611 million on Jeep, Ram gains

10:38 am U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2014
Chrysler Group today reported net income rose 32 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier to $611 million as strong sales of its Jeep and Ram lines bolstered profits. Chrysler gained just over one point of market share in the United States over the same period a year ago to 12.3 percent on sales of 1,556,059 vehicles.

OCTOBER U.S. SALES

Chrysler, Nissan set pace as U.S. sales rise 6% on truck demand

6:00 am U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
U.S. light-vehicle sales, led by double-digit increases at Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor, rose 6 percent last month to 1.28 million, matching forecasts, with crossovers and light trucks fueling much of the industry's gains. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, a broad measure of the industry's health, hit 16.5 million, slightly above projections and up 7 percent from 15.

Betts leaves Chrysler after another poor quality showing

9:39 am U.S. ET | Oct. 28, 2014
Fiat Chrysler's quality chief has left the company, a day after the automaker ranked last in a closely watched scorecard on vehicle reliability in the United States. Doug Betts, 51, who joined Chrysler from Nissan in 2007, will “pursue other interests,” Chrysler said in a statement today.

OCTOBER U.S. AUTO SALES

U.S. auto sales projected to rise 6% in Oct. to highest total in a decade

1:35 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
New light-vehicle sales are expected to rise about 6 percent in the United States this month from last October to about 1.27 million vehicles, according to three forecasts. It would be the highest October sales volume since 2004.

Ford's Fields takes his lumps in Q3, looks to next year

7:06 am U.S. ET | Oct. 24, 2014
Ford CEO Mark Fields today delivered the first report card on his performance since taking over for Alan Mulally. He gave every sign that he'll have more to show off next year. While earnings and revenue fell, Fields said new vehicles on tap will deliver "strong, profitable growth."

GM operating profits fall 14% in Q3 on flat revenue

7:45 am U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
GM's record transaction prices in North America and booming sales in China weren't enough to offset weakness in just about every other region, as the company's third-quarter operating profit fell 14 percent.

Mich. blocks Tesla's sales model by plugging loophole

2:19 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill today that effectively bars Tesla Motors' direct-sales model in the state. While Tesla's model was already prohibited in Michigan, the wording of its franchise law left an opening that the automaker could potentially exploit as it has in Massachusetts, where dealers unsuccessfully tried to stop it from operating a store there.

Top GM lawyer Michael Millikin, blasted during Congress' recall hearings, to retire

12:20 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 17, 2014
GM's top lawyer, Michael Millikin, 66, is retiring three months after he withstood withering criticism by lawmakers for his department's handling of GM's deadly ignition switch defect. The company said it will begin an immediate external search for his replacement.

Technology propels fuel economy average to record 24.1 mpg, EPA says

1:15 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 8, 2014
The average fuel economy of cars and light trucks, driven by wider use of technology, rose to a record 24.1 mpg in the 2013 model year, though the pace of improvement slowed. Fuel economy will average 24.2 mpg across the industry for 2014 models, the EPA estimated, but cautioned the final figure will likely be revised higher.

Cadillac preps plug-in hybrid CT6 rated at 70 mpg or more

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 7, 2014
Cadillac will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the CT6 large sedan scheduled to debut late next year. GM global product chief Mark Reuss said the plug-in hybrid would get at least 70 mpg. The CT6 will also be powered by a six-cylinder, turbocharged engine that makes around 400 hp.

GM halts 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon deliveries to fix airbag flaw

10:19 am U.S. ET | Oct. 3, 2014
GM instructed dealers to halt deliveries of the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups because of a pending safety recall to fix an airbag defect, just two weeks after shipments began for the high-profile launch.

Jeep ponders switch to aluminum for next Wrangler body, Marchionne says

11:21 am U.S. ET | Oct. 2, 2014
The next-generation Jeep Wrangler may be built off a unibody platform, feature smaller and turbocharged engines, and switch to an aluminum body, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said today. Such significant changes to the hot-selling SUV would likely mean leaving its longtime, historic production site in Toledo, Ohio, Marchionne added.

Chrysler to hike output of Ram diesels

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 30, 2014
Chrysler Group, struggling to keep pace with demand for one of its newest products, plans to boost output of light-duty Ram pickups equipped with diesel engines. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will account for 20 percent of the light-duty Ram pickup's annual production volume, up from 10 percent now, Chrysler said today, without giving details.

Ford sets goal of 9.4M global sales by 2020, cuts profit outlook for '14

3:28 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014
Ford aims to raise global sales 52 percent annually by 2020 by tapping fast-growing Asian markets, investing heavily in Lincoln, and expanding its global offerings of small cars and utility vehicles. But company officials today warned 2014 profits will be sharply lower than previous estimates because of higher warranty outlays and wider losses in South America.

Ford recalls 850,000 vehicles for glitch affecting airbags, seat belts

10:56 am U.S. ET | Sept. 26, 2014
Ford is recalling 850,050 2013 and 2014 vehicles for an electrical flaw that could cause airbags and seat belt pretensioners to malfunction in the event of a crash. The affected vehicles include the 2013-14 Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ. Ford said the restraints-control module in the vehicles could short circuit, causing the airbag warning indicator to illuminate.

SEPTEMBER U.S. AUTO SALES

Post-holiday sales volume remains strong, analysts say

3:30 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 25, 2014
September U.S. auto sales are expected to come in about 10 percent higher than a year ago, according to four analysts' estimates, with no sign of a typical post-Labor Day slowdown. With three months to go, analysts are increasingly confident that total industry sales for the year will reach at least 16.4 million.

Cadillac names European exec Jim Bunnell as U.S. sales chief

2:31 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Cadillac named Jim Bunnell as its new sales chief in the United States today as the brand looks to improve sluggish volume and implement a fresh approach under new global boss Johan de Nysschen.

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