First Shift: German auto CEOs rally

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Heads of VW, Daimler, other carmakers lobby for free-trade deal; Toyota test-drive flak; dealer's billboard prompts 911 calls.... Read More »

 

Renault expects to make 3,000 Alpine cars a year

Jan. 28, 2015 12:36 CET
A Renault executive has revealed the output expectations for the automaker's Alpine-badged sports car. "In terms of scale, on average [annual production] volume will be about 3,000 cars, with a peak of 5,000 initially due to the novelty factor," Alpine head Bernard Ollivier told Reuters in an interview.... Read More »

 

Auto bosses say billions in savings at stake if EU-U.S. trade deal fails

Jan. 28, 2015 19:41 CET
The CEOs of Germany's top auto companies said Wednesday that they could save roughly 5 billion euros in annual costs if the European and U.S. governments can agree on a landmark free trade deal.... Read More »

 

GM denies request by U.S. senators to extend ignition-switch claims deadline

4:05 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
General Motors today denied a request from two US senators to extend the Saturday deadline for victims of the company's defective ignition switch to apply for compensation. “Our goal is to be just and timely in compensating the families who lost loved ones and those who suffered physical injury," GM said in a statement. "We previously extended the deadline until January 31, and we do not plan another extension.”... Read More »

 

Bentley names industry veteran Winkler to head Americas unit

4:01 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Bentley said it appointed Michael Winkler as president and CEO of Bentley Motors in the Americas, replacing Christophe Georges, who will become director of product and marketing for Bentley’s global organization.... Read More »

 

Gentex Q4 sales gains lag forecasts; stock drops

11:53 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Gentex, a mirror, camera and electronic component supplier, said its fourth quarter net income rose a disappointing 2 percent while overall revenue jumped 7 percent from a year earlier. Gentex shares fell 6 percent.... Read More »

 

Over-the-air auto software updates opens market to acquisitions

2:47 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Over-the-air software updates -- a no-fuss, no-muss infotainment feature popularized by Tesla Motors -- is rapidly spreading to the entire auto industry, fueling high-price acquisitions in the segment.... Read More »

 

Nissan teases Super Bowl ad; full reveal will wait until big game

11:23 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Nissan is using a dreary Harry Chapin song as the backdrop for its Super Bowl ad, but the overall message won't be seen until the game on Sunday. The automaker unveiled a 10-second teaser today featuring Chapin's song “Cat's in the Cradle.”... Read More »

 

Don't get mad, get a lawyer, panelists say

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Dealers who get warning letters from lenders accusing them of loan discrimination should resist the temptation to stick the letters in a drawer or, worse, fire off angry replies on their own, said panelists last week at a legal compliance workshop for dealers here.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Ally Premier Protection enables 'one product, one system and one brand'

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Ally Financial is phasing in Ally Premier Protection brand for service contracts and other F&I products, plus an updated technology platform to help market and administer them. At the same time, it's phasing out its use of the GM Protection Plan brand.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Auto lenders cite discipline with U.S. sales booming

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
“Discipline” was the watchword for auto lenders in panel discussions and interviews in and around the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.... Read More »

 

Leasing keeps growing; lenders debate possible peak

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Leasing, aided by low interest rates and factory incentives, is expected to keep increasing in 2015, but experts are divided on how high lease penetration will go.... Read More »

 

Fiat Chrysler's $4.1 billion operating profit in 2014 fueled by N.A.

8:51 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles met its full-year guidance as strong results from North America and improving operations in Europe managed to offset persistent weakness in Latin America.... Read More »

 

Japanese supplier Sanden agrees to $3.2 million fine in U.S. price-fixing case

6:33 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Japanese supplier Sanden has agreed to pay a US fine of more than $3 million and becomes the latest company tied to a wide-ranging auto supplier price-fixing prosecution for its brief role in setting the prices of air conditioning compressors for Nissan.... Read More »

 

Ford recalls 221,000 vehicles for door handle, seat belt problems

9:57 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Ford said it is recalling about 221,000 cars and vans for door handle and seat belt problems. Ford said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to the two recalls.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Keep videos short -- no feature presentations

10:03 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Dealerships that use videos to pitch F&I products or explain product features on an iPad need to keep them short, no more than a couple minutes. “People start out with these 12-minute videos. No way is anybody going to watch all that,” said David Putz, head of direct markets for Zurich North America Commercial, of Overland Park, Kan.... Read More »

 

Nissan recalls 768,000 crossovers and SUVs for separate problems

9:40 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Nissan is recalling about 768,000 vehicles, including its popular Rogue crossover and Pathfinder SUV, for separate problems, the company and federal regulators said today.... Read More »

 

Oil-price drop may threaten to undercut Obama's clean-energy legacy

7:27 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Last year's 33 percent drop in gasoline prices already has automakers laying the groundwork to challenge more stringent fuel economy targets for new cars.... Read More »

 

Cost-cutting VW baffles experts with Phaeton plans

Jan. 28, 2015 10:05 CET
With VW having embarked on a big cost-cutting drive, industry experts are baffled why the "people's car" maker plans to spend millions of euros upgrading the money-losing Phaeton premium sedan. Analysts say the costly car should be axed.... Read More »

 

Auto industry drives comeback in aluminum prices

6:44 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
At a time when other commodities are slumping, aluminum is making a comeback as automakers under pressure to build more fuel-efficient cars increase their use of the lightweight metal.... Read More »

 

Automakers' push for fuel-efficiency boosts aluminum

Jan. 28, 2015 11:02 CET
Automakers, under pressure to build more fuel-efficient cars, are driving demand for aluminum, even at a time when other commodities are slumping. Automakers including Jaguar and Ford are using the lightweight metal in a bid to shed weight and meet emissions goals.... Read More »

 

CHRISTIAAN HETZNER

Zetsche done taking beating for Daimler double duty

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 28, 2015
Dieter Zetsche has been the whipping boy of the German premium auto industry for years, but that should soon change.... Read More »

 

RICHARD TRUETT

Can Dodge rebuild Pontiac excitement?

11:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2015
General Motors has no plans to revive Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, CEO Mary Barra says. So where do longtime Pontiac and Hummer buyers go if they are in the market?... Read More »

 

Zetsche, other top auto chiefs to lobby for EU-U.S. trade deal

Jan. 27, 2015 21:06 CET
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn and other captains of Germany's automotive industry have gathered in Berlin today to try to rally support for a transatlantic free trade deal that faces potential collapse.... Read More »

 

First Shift: Toyota plans pay overhaul

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 27, 2015
Performance over seniority in Japan plants; Soros preps $1B for dealerships; Benz's hare-y bowl ad; showrooms for moms.... Read More »

 

 
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