Automotive News Table of Contents

March 2, 2015



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Nissan’s bullish U.S. forecast calls for overtaking Honda

Nearly two years ago, Carlos Ghosn bemoaned Nissan Motor Corp.'s lackluster performance in North America as his biggest "disappointment." Now, the CEO's fix-it man, Jose Munoz says the U.S. is a "powerhouse" again and the comeback is gaining speed. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Tata's retired patriarch still stirring things up

Two years into his official retirement from the auto business, Ratan Tata continues to steal the show. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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GENEVA AUTO SHOW

Wow, Geneva gives the industry a jolt

This year's Geneva auto show was a display case of wild contradictions -- an industry barreling headlong into a future of extreme performance capabilities, pressing environmental concerns, serious international tensions and heavyweight outsiders... 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 7, 2015

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CLA’s minor dings put a big dent in Mercedes’ rating

It wasn't cranky engines, shiftless transmissions or funky infotainment systems that sunk Mercedes-Benz last week in the Consumer Reports Car Brand Report Cards. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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BEST PRACTICES

Eat at the food court, buy a car

Aloha Auto Group sells about 3,500 new and used vehicles a year from its seven Kia dealerships, across the islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. His mall location sells about 200, mostly new, vehicles a year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Ford Flex scores well, but not on sales charts

The Ford Flex has a distinctive look, good reliability ratings and loyal owners. It's one of only two 2015 Ford nameplates recommended by Consumer Reports, and half of Flex buyers are new to Ford. But it was also the brand's slowest-selling U. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 1, 2015

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A peek into Audi's future

Audi has released pictures of the Prologue Avant station wagon concept that will debut this week at the Geneva auto show. The four-door wagon follows the unveiling of the Prologue coupe at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Brawny Bentley

Spy photos of Bentley's first SUV, the Bentayga, reveal a front fascia inspired by the U.K. superluxury brand's Continental sedan, with a prominent grille flanked by circular headlights. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Caddy works on twin-turbo, V-8-powered CT6

The Cadillac CT6 sedan eventually will get a performance model with a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Honda relies on turbo Civic to lift fuel economy

The next-generation Honda Civic's base powerplant will be a downsized turbocharged engine as the automaker tries to boost fuel economy. The turbo engine will help Honda Motor Co. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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IIHS outruns NHTSA as pacesetter in safety

IIHS crash tests go beyond what's required by the government, and automakers have responded to the results by making substantial engineering changes quickly. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Kia to roll out 1.0-liter turbo engine in Cee'd GT

This week at the Geneva auto show, Kia plans to unveil the Cee'd GT, the first Kia model to use Hyundai Motor Group's new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Lightning-fast McLaren

McLaren Automotive plans to unveil the 675LT, which zooms to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph, next week at the Geneva auto show. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Airbag-safety vet leads hunt for Takata clues

David Kelly, the former federal auto safety regulator chosen to coordinate automakers' investigation into Takata airbag explosions, is no stranger to the issue of airbags endangering lives they're designed to save. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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CLS fighter from VW?

Volkswagen plans to unveil a coupe-style sedan concept this week at the Geneva auto show. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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FCA to fix coupling on Ram diesels

Fiat Chrysler is replacing a potentially faulty exhaust coupling in the hot-selling Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup that can send diesel fumes into the cabin through the air conditioner. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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NHTSA dilemma: Speed Takata recalls?

As U.S. auto safety regulators mull an order to speed the Takata airbag recalls, they face a vexing problem: capacity. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 7, 2015

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Pickup rollout pinches supply of GM vans

General Motors' full-size vans have been in short supply for months as GM scrambles to boost production at a St. Louis-area assembly plant, frustrating some fleet customers and dealers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

Report: Prices of used cars to tumble as supply rises

Prices of used cars and light trucks up to 5 years old will drop 3 to 4.5 percent this year, fueled by a rising supply of the vehicles and an increase in off-lease volume. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dealer considered 'Mr. K' a true leader

As a second-generation automobile dealer, I have seen firsthand the unfortunate transition from cars designed for people to enjoy driving, having a unique experience, to cars built by the finance side. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

EDITORIAL

Industry recruiters think tech-savvy, flexible, visionary

Recruiters must expand beyond the familiar disciplines as emerging technologies reshape not only the vehicles themselves but how they are built and sold. Flexibility is more precious than ever. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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KEITH CRAIN

Katayama was quite a rebel

Yutaka Katayama, the long-retired head of Datsun and Nissan in the U.S., became a legend. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Old vs. new diesel technology

Whether we're talking diesel or gasoline, the issue in Europe is more about old technology and higher emissions. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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'Mazda was his baby': Dick Brown helped lead U.S. launch

Retired auto executive Dick Brown played key roles in the U.S. launches of three automakers: Mazda, DeLorean Motor Co. and Daihatsu. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Mr. K a force for the Z and Nissan

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, died last month at 105. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Behind Ford's big performance push

Increased speed and performance is the new mantra at Ford Motor Co. as the company scrambles to differentiate itself from rivals. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Q&A

Nissan charts own course to raise racing profile

Darren Cox, global director of motorsports for Nissan and head of sales and marketing for the Nismo performance brand, is tasked with raising Nissan's profile in world racing. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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High-rise parts bins ease space crunch

Electronic parts storage machines that allow small parts to be stacked vertically and retrieved automatically at the touch of a button or scan of a bar code are gaining acceptance at some dealerships, where square footage is at a premium. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Service outsources small stuff

As dealers everywhere press their service departments to improve customer-satisfaction results, some Florida stores are outsourcing their more troublesome tasks, such as detailing, porter work and lot maintenance. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Dealers

Dealers featured this week include Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Rocky Franich, dealer at Marty Franich Ford-Lincoln in Watsonville, Calif. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Ghosn guns for global top 3

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn remains confident that by 2018 his alliance will rank as one of the world's three largest automakers. He sees the alliance rising from its current No. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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A shakeup in Germany’s top auto ranks

Germany's automotive ranks are undergoing a generational shift. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Futuristic, handmade Mirai represents Toyota's rebirth

Toyota Motor Corp.'s most advanced vehicle has had a decidedly low-tech birth and has an equally ironic birthday. Feb. 24, the start of production of the Mirai fuel cell sedan, was exactly five years after President Akio Toyoda was hauled before a U. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Golden Age for ultraluxury brands

Strong demand for ultraluxury brands -- driven by new models, improved U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 1, 2015

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Q&A

Bentley CEO expects boost from brand's first SUV

Bentley delivered a record 11,020 cars last year around the world and it is on course to top that mark as it beats ultraluxury rivals such as Maserati, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce to market with an SUV, the Bentayga. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Q&A

Rolls chief confident of another record sales year

Rolls-Royce set a record by delivering 4,063 cars worldwide in 2014, and CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, 54, expects to top that total this year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Year to year, IIHS moves the goal posts

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added its more demanding Top Safety Pick+ rating in 2012. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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STEPHANIE ERDMAN AND RICK SCHOSTEK

Raise recall repair rates to prevent deaths, injuries

In 2013, Stephanie Erdman, a resident of Florida, was seriously injured by a Takata airbag inflator in a 2002 Honda Civic. Rick Schostek is executive vice president of Honda North America. They have a shared mission. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Volvo to unleash self-driving cars on Swedish roads

Volvo Cars' Drive Me pilot program announced last week will push autonomous driving a step closer to reality by putting 100 self-driving XC90 crossovers on Swedish streets by 2017. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 1, 2015

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RICHARD TRUETT

De Nysschen, 'Dare' I say, needs a better plan to reconstruct Cadillac's image

It seems nothing gets people chattering these days like Cadillac, a brand in transition. So when reporter Richard Truett took to autonews.com last week with an "open letter" to Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, reactions poured in. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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DeLorean took Brown on a wild ride

Dick Brown, who died in January at age 81, and for whom a memorial service was held last week in California, was a key figure in Mazda's emergence in the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Diess a shoo-in for VW CEO? Not so fast

When Volkswagen poached Herbert Diess from BMW in December, the 56-year-old product development ace became the front-runner to succeed Martin Winterkorn as CEO. But it ain't over till it's over. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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COMMENTARY: 

Elegance and honors

Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, right, received the 2015 Automotive Lifetime Achievement Award at the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance in Florida on Feb. 21. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson, left, was the event's honorary chairman. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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Mr. K, hero of the Datsun dealer

Yutaka Katayama, the fabled Nissan executive who built the Datsun brand in the western United States in the 1960s and 1970s, returned to a largely ungrateful Nissan in Japan in 1977 to finish out his career. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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RICHARD JOHNSON

Still a car guy -- with a Tata friendship

Bona fide car guy Wolfgang Reitzle, the former BMW rising star and Ford luxury chief who's been running an industrial gas company for the last few years, hasn't left the car business after all. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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VW and Bjork collaborate on a 'Sound Journey'

Volkswagen has sponsored New York's Museum of Modern Art since 2011. This year, VW is helping to make some art for MoMA: an interactive soundscape for an exhibit on Icelandic musician Bjork's three-decade career. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 2, 2015

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JLR chief: U.S. plant decision is 3 years off

A U.S. factory is a must if Jaguar Land Rover is to continue to grow and stay competitive, says CEO Ralf Speth. But the automaker has to find one product with annual sales of 30,000 to 40,000 to make an American plant worthwhile, he said. 12:01 am U.S. ET | March 7, 2015


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