Daily Email Wednesday

Cadillac, Buick top service satisfaction rankings for 1st time

1:00 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Cadillac overtook Lexus to top a survey of customer satisfaction with luxury dealership service departments, giving General Motors twin victories in a study by JD Power and Associates. Buick led the mainstream category, ahead of GMC and Chevrolet in the top five.... Read More »

 

GM planning lower-priced version of 2016 Chevy Volt, report says

12:42 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Hoping to boost demand for its slow-selling Volt hybrid, Chevrolet is planning to sell two versions of the redesigned 2016 Volt, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range, supplier sources told Reuters on Tuesday. GM's Opel also is planning a smaller version of the next generation Volt, according to another report.... Read More »

 

Eberspaecher to launch $122 million expansion, create 545 jobs in Michigan

4:12 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Automotive exhaust and HVAC supplier Eberspaecher North America is investing $122 million to expand operations in Michigan. The five-year expansion plan, beginning in late 2014, is expected to create 545 new jobs to accommodate its growth, the German auto supplier said in an announcement today.... Read More »

 

Ford F-150 engineer says some ideas were too much to execute

3:56 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
In Ford's five-year effort to strip weight from the 2015 F-150 pickup, some ideas were considered just too big of a stretch, chief engineer Pete Reyes said today. For example, engineers had considered using a front-frame crossmember -- which provides rigidity and lateral strength -- made of magnesium, an expensive metal that is lighter and stronger than either aluminum or steel.... Read More »

 

PHILIP NUSSEL

Why the UAW appeal at VW is a slippery slope

3:23 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
The UAW better be careful what it wishes for. If the union convinces President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board that it's an unfair labor practice for political leaders to be publicly involved in an organizing effort, then organized labor risks diluting the power of its best weapon: public pressure.... Read More »

 

Safety mandates forecast to drive autonomous car sales

3:09 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Self-driving cars may take another decade to hit roads in the United States, but their sales then will expand quickly due to new safety mandates, predicts IHS Automotive. After the first autonomous cars appear in North America in 2025, IHS forecasts they could account for 5 percent of the vehicles on North American roads by as early as 2035.... Read More »

 

Weather-related rail congestion keeps vehicles parked near factories

2:48 pm U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Across the Rust Belt, thousands of freshly built cars, pickups and SUVs are parked, waiting for a ride that’s late. A brutal winter and the highest automotive production in a decade have strained railroads and moved automakers to use more expensive over-the-road trucks to get their vehicles to dealerships.... Read More »

 

Rainbow PUSH targets new imbalance with Japan

11:36 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Mention trade deficits with Japan, and the phrase usually conjures the 1980s trade wars with Tokyo over the flood of made-in-Japan imports to the United States. But for civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, there is a new trade gap with Japan.... Read More »

 

Honda Fit raises the ante, and cargo space, in subcompact segment

5:00 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
In the subcompact segment, small can no longer mean cheap. It's not only price but a product's execution that makes the difference between a sale and a walkaway. With the 2015 Fit, Honda looks to be leading the pack -- at least on the execution side.... Read More »

 

VW orders U.S. dealers to stop selling cars with new engine

9:55 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Citing the risk of a leak in the transmission oil cooler, Volkswagen of America has ordered dealers in the United States to stop selling newer cars equipped with an automatic transmission and VW’s most common engine, the 1.8-liter EA888. The stop-sale order, sent to dealers Tuesday, applies to cars produced after Feb. 1. VW spokesman Scott Vazin said the problem arose when a supplier changed the specifications of an O-ring linking the transmission oil cooler to the transmission.... Read More »

 

Re-engineered Ram Power Wagon gets new frame, bigger tires

9:00 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
The re-engineered 2014 Ram Power Wagon will use a new frame, bigger tires and a five-link coil suspension to improve on-road performance and off-road ability.... Read More »

 

Ally Financial IPO means freedom to make more auto loans, more risk

6:40 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
The Treasury Department has had Ally Financial in a regulatory headlock since its 2008 bailout. As the government sells shares in an initial public offering, Ally will soon breathe again -- and take on more risk.... Read More »

 

Ford to show freshened Focus at New York show

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
Ford will show the freshened Focus sedan and the Focus Electric during the New York auto show press days next week.... Read More »

 

U.S. fines GM for 'troubling' responses on recall questions

5:11 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
General Motors was hit with federal fines today over its ignition switch crisis after U.S. auto safety regulators concluded the company had not been forthcoming in responding to questions. In a letter today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hit GM with a fine of $7,000 per day over its responses to a 107-question query the agency filed with the company last month after the recall widened to 2.2 million U.S. vehicles.... Read More »

 

Washington governor signs Tesla compromise bill

6:09 pm U.S. ET | April 8, 2014
Washington state officially approved Tesla's direct-sales model last Thursday, when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill allowing the electric-vehicle maker to continue selling its cars through its own, factory-owned showrooms instead of franchised dealerships in the state.... Read More »

 

Chrysler recalls 867,795 SUVs worldwide to repair brake system

6:30 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
Chrysler Group is recalling 867,795 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs to install a shield to protect brake boosters from water corrosion. Vehicles from the model years 2011 through 2014 will be inspected and the boosters replaced where necessary, the automaker said in a statement today.... Read More »

 

Energy Dept. dangles low-interest financing for suppliers

3:15 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
The department of energy wants auto suppliers to know that it still has $16 billion in low-interest financing available to support efficient-vehicle programs, and it wants them to step forward for a share of those funds.... Read More »

 

THE GM RECALL

Senators probing GM raise prospect of criminal wrongdoing

11:27 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
A Senate panel today raised the prospect of criminal prosecution and promised more hearings over General Motors' failure to fix a defective ignition switch, as GM CEO Mary Barra withstood a scolding from lawmakers flummoxed by a lack of answers.... Read More »

 

Tesla appeals N.J. ruling on direct-sales ban

3:05 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
Tesla filed an appeal Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court to overturn last month's ruling that banned the electric-vehicle maker from selling its cars directly to consumers through factory-owned stores there.... Read More »

 

JAMES B. TREECE

If you like paying MSRP, then Tesla/Apple is for you

4:44 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
The next time you’re in an Apple store, try this. When one of the product geniuses who work there approaches you, ask him or her, “So, how much below list price are you offering this iPhone 5 for this month?”... Read More »

 

AutoNation reports 6% March volume increase, best-selling Q1 since 2007

12:02 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
AutoNation said today its new-vehicle retail sales in the United States rose 6 percent in March from a year earlier to 28,796 units.... Read More »

 

GM ignition recall-suit consolidation sought before Toyota judge in Calif.

7:26 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
GM's growing number of lawsuits over the recalls of now 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches should be consolidated before the same judge overseeing Toyota's acceleration cases, a lawyer for vehicle owners said.... Read More »

 

Jesse Jackson leads minority trade mission to Japan's automakers

7:02 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
Jesse Jackson is leading a Rainbow PUSH Coalition trade mission to meet with the heads of Japan's leading automakers later this week, in order to increase the representation of minority interests in management, suppliers and dealerships.... Read More »

 

Budd Co. files for bankruptcy protection to modify retiree benefits

11:04 am U.S. ET | April 1, 2014
Budd Co., a former maker of auto parts and stainless steel passenger rail cars, filed for bankruptcy protection to modify benefits that it can't fully pay.... Read More »

 

GABE NELSON

3 things the GM hearing exposed: Leaks, blurred lines and a media circus

9:13 pm U.S. ET | April 1, 2014
If you boil it down, few new facts emerged from Tuesday's frenzied four-hour U.S. House hearing on GM's recall crisis, prompted by a faulty ignition switch the company has linked to dozens of crashes and at least 13 deaths.... Read More »

 

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How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

How a Texas Toyota store solved used-car-supply challenge

Mike Shaw Toyota in Corpus Christi, Texas, needed more used cars. But driving 150 miles to the nearest auction was time-consuming and costly. Mon., April 14
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