Fiat brand will never again be a mass-market player in Europe, Marchionne says

March 4, 2015 19:42 CET
The Fiat brand will never again be a mass-market marque in Europe, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said. The change reflects Fiat's increasing strategic emphasis on profit and brand discipline.... Read More »

 

Loan amounts, payments reach new highs

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The average amount financed for a new vehicle reached a record $28,381 in the fourth quarter of 2014, Experian Automotive said today. That was an increase of $950, or 3.5 percent, from the year-earlier quarter and a rise of $582, or 2.1 percent, from the previous high of $27,799, set in the third quarter last year.... Read More »

 

U.S. light-vehicle fuel economy slips 0.2 mpg in February, report says

3:47 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. decreased 0.2 mpg last month from January, likely because of severe weather in much of the country, according to a monthly report by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.... Read More »

 

NHTSA expands Ford Fiesta door-latch probe to 2013 Fusion, Lincoln MKZ

3:37 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding a September investigation of door-latch failure in the 2011-13 Ford Fiesta to include the 2013 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ.... Read More »

 

AutoNation's 8% sales gain beats market for Feb.

11:14 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
AutoNation said its new-vehicle retail sales jumped 8 percent in February compared to a year earlier, reaching 23,780 new units.... Read More »

 

Ram will expand lineup of CNG-powered trucks

1:11 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Fiat Chrysler is expanding the availability of compressed natural gas on its heavy duty Ram pickup. The CNG-fueled truck, originally engineered for fleet operators, is available now only in a four-door crew cab, four-wheel-drive and long-bed model. This fall, the truck will be offered in a regular cab two-door body style with two-wheel drive and a long bed.... Read More »

 

Jeep ramps up dealers in China as production commences

2:14 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Jeep will increase its dealerships in China by about a third this year and will start local production of its Cherokee SUV in November followed by the smaller Renegade model in 2016, CEO Mike Manley said.... Read More »

 

ZF-TRW deal to be approved by EU regulators, report says

1:48 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
EU antitrust regulators are expected to clear German car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen's $13.5 billion bid for US peer TRW Automotive Holdings with conditions, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters today.... Read More »

 

Chevy Bolt EV variant may be sold as an Opel in Europe, sources say

March 4, 2015 19:08 CET
General Motors may sell a version of the Chevrolet Bolt electric car in Europe as an Opel/Vauxhall model, company sources said.... Read More »

 

HANS GREIMEL

BYD heralds its vehicle sales in Japan

1:04 pm U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Can the Chinese succeed where the Koreans and Americans largely have failed: penetrating Japan's auto market?... Read More »

 

DAVE GUILFORD

America, land of big spaces, spurs Hyundai Tucson redesign

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
How do you design a crossover with a name evoking the old West -- that cowboy, cactus, rugged desert terrain ethos?... Read More »

 

Online retail tools are changing F&I jobs, work force analyst says

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
The neat organization of dealership F&I departments isn't so neat anymore. And industry researchers believe online retail is the reason why.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

The auto fallout from tax refund delays

11:45 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Tax refund season is typically the high point of the year for subprime auto lenders, but so far the early tax refund statistics are down slightly from a year ago.... Read More »

 

Millennials coming on stream in auto loans, leases

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Millennials get a bum rap as being less interested in driving and cars -- and in auto finance -- than previous generations, TransUnion says in a new study. In fact, millennials are the fastest-growing group of car buyers in auto lending, the TransUnion study found. Millennials represented 27 percent of total auto loans and lease originations combined in 2014, up from 16 percent in 2009.... Read More »

 

Toyota Financial explores how to improve e-commerce

11:00 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
As more shoppers turn to e-commerce as part of buying a car, Toyota Financial Services is turning to its U.S. dealers to find ways to improve its digital offerings. A major push: e-contracting, which Toyota Financial Services launched about two years ago.... Read More »

 

Santander Consumer USA to pay $9.35 million settlement over military repos

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Santander Consumer USA will pay at least $9.35 million to resolve charges that it improperly repossessed the cars of members of the military, the U.S. Department of Justice said.... Read More »

 

F&I TIP

Allow customers time to ponder

11:08 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Customers sometimes need to go home and think, and that’s OK, says Brandon Wood, finance manager at Van Bortel Ford in East Rochester, N.Y. “I work for a dealer principal who never wants any customer feeling pressured, period,” he says. Wood sometimes emails customers a menu of F&I products to look over. He’s created different templates for new-car purchases, used, certified pre-owned and leases. “This saves so much time!”... Read More »

 

Toyota promotes Europe CEO Leroy to new global role

March 4, 2015 09:55 CET
Toyota will add Europe boss Didier Leroy to its board and promote him to global head of business in developed countries in a wider management shuffle. Johan van Zyl, currently CEO of Toyota's Africa region, will become Europe chief.... Read More »

 

Audi spreads wireless connectivity to nearly all 2016 models

10:53 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Audi said it plans to equip nearly all of its 2016 model-year vehicles with 4G LTE or 3G high-speed data connectivity to give drivers Wi-Fi access from the road.... Read More »

 

AvtoVAZ raises Lada prices again on weak ruble

March 4, 2015 15:21 CET
Russian automaker AvtoVAZ has raised the prices of its Lada cars for the second time this year because of the weaker ruble. The automaker said prices rose by 4.8 percent on average after an increase of around 9 percent in January this year.... Read More »

 

LUCA CIFERRI

Leroy's Toyota Europe success brings reward

6:34 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
When Didier Leroy was promoted to head Toyota's European operations in April 2011, his goal was to return the region to sustainable profitability. After a three-year plan that has brought success step-by-step, he now gets a new role with even more responsibility.... Read More »

 

Apple explores resolution of A123 Systems’ poaching suit

6:59 am U.S. ET | March 4, 2015
Apple said it’s exploring a potential resolution of a lawsuit in which it’s accused of poaching employees from a lithium ion battery maker amid reports that it’s trying to develop an electric car.... Read More »

 

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Lamborghini CEO takes aim at another sales record

March 4, 2015 06:30 CET
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann is bullish about the supercar maker's future after setting a new sales record last year and entering 2015 with a "solid order book." Winkelmann discussed this as well as Lamborghini's response to tougher CO2 emissions rules with Automotive News Europe.... Read More »

 

PSA may expand sales of Citroen C4 Cactus to China

March 4, 2015 06:01 CET
PSA may expand sales of its Citroen C4 Cactus to China in a sign that a repositioning of the brand is bearing fruit. Sales of the hatchback have topped 50,000, beating expectations.... Read More »

 

FEBRUARY U.S. AUTO SALES

U.S. sales rise 5.3% as wintry weather takes toll

8:00 am U.S. ET | March 3, 2015
Toyota and Subaru joined a handful of smaller automakers in posting double-digit U.S. sales increases for February as severe winter weather crimped demand more than analysts had forecast. Most companies posted modest gains as the overall industry rose 5.3 percent. While last month's pace trailed January's hot start, the industry has taken solid early strides towards its sixth year of sales advances since the recession.... Read More »

 

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