Automotive News Table of Contents

August 31, 2015



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JASON STEIN

Marchionne waits at the gate, but who is there to answer?

The really bad news for GM: A dragon stands again at the gates. And he's wearing a black sweater.

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Acura's new boss wants sedans 'that people get excited about'

Jon Ikeda is barely a few weeks into his new role as general manager of Acura, but the designer-turned-executive already knows what's atop his agenda at American Honda's luxury marque.

China faces an added threat down the road: Capacity glut

The news coming out of China right now is bad, and chances are, it’s going to get worse.

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Ford feels push to return to midsize trucks

Ford and its dealers have become restless on the sidelines as General Motors sells every midsize pickup it can build and Jeep makes bank month after month.

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Chevrolet's next-gen Equinox gets sportier front end and lower profile

The redesigned Chevrolet Equinox expected for the 2017 model year will sport a streamlined face and a lower, sleeker profile.

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Kia's sleeker Sportage

Kia has released pictures of its fourth-generation Sportage before the compact crossover's debut next month at the Frankfurt auto show.

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Mazda CX-9 to borrow from Mazda6

The next-generation Mazda CX-9 will adopt the elongated hood, sweptback stance and narrow headlights of the Mazda6 sedan, recent spy photos show.

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No S660 convertible for U.S., but Honda has some sporty ideas

Honda's tiny S660 roadster from Japan likely has no future in the U.S. market, according to John Mendel. But that doesn't mean Honda doesn't have some fun things planned.

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Mazda rolls out store redesign

A suburban Seattle store is the first store to adopt Mazda's first new dealership design in 12 years, a black-and-white motif called Retail Evolution.

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Smart ForTwo redesigned to better fit U.S. buyers

Smart's all-new 2016 ForTwo may have a European flavor to it, but significant portions of the car were specifically designed for the U.S. market.

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Updated Smart ForTwo convertible is due next summer

The convertible version of the redesigned Smart ForTwo will debut next month at the Frankfurt auto show and go on sale in the U.S. early next summer.

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Porsche dealers looking to leverage posh new Atlanta experience center

Porsche dealerships are hosting events at and sending customers to the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. That's exactly the kind of dealer buy-in Porsche's U.S. chief Detlev von Platen was seeking when he proposed the $100 million project.

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Dealers

Dealers featured this week include Michael Kennedy at Kennedy Ford in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.; Brian Kelly at Kelly Infiniti in Danvers, Mass.; and James Petty at Giant Chevrolet-Cadillac in Visalia, Calif.

EDITORIAL

FCA's pursuit, GM's protest are built into DNAs

Neither Marchionne's aggressiveness nor GM's reticence should be surprising.

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BEST PRACTICES

Dealer: Color-coding cars makes shopping easier

Orlando luxury dealer Peter Wilson has simplified used-vehicle retailing by grouping his inventory into clearly defined categories.

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Average used-vehicle price slips below $10,000

The average wholesale used-vehicle price dips below $10,000 in July but demand for used vehicles, especially CPO, buoy prices compared to last year, according to ADESA.

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Instant online auctions save time, costs

Need to price and sell a trade-in fast? Recently developed apps enables franchise dealers to get appraisals and purchase offers on their mobile devices or desktop computers for their used vehicles in an hour or less. .

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Fuel economy, Jeep are FCA's drivers

FCA's future product plan centers on offering eight-speed rear-wheel-drive and nine-speed front-wheel-drive automatic gearboxes, as well as expanding the Jeep brand.

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Grand Wagoneer will boost lineup

Jeep is working on a Wrangler-based pickup, but it's not a done deal. In 2019, the three-row Grand Wagoneer luxury SUV is due. Both the Wrangler and Compass are being redesigned, while the Grand Cherokee's redesign has been delayed a year.

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Dodge to roll out 'Cuda droptop

Dodge will directly benefit from Fiat Chrysler's massive effort to revive Alfa Romeo. The American brand will use an Alfa rear-wheel-drive platform for the next-generation Charger and Challenger.

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Foot-operated rear doors coming on upgraded Town & Country

The redesigned Chrysler Town & Country minivan, arriving next year, will feature foot-operated rear doors, USB ports in each of its three rows and improved fuel economy.

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Minivan variant starts Chrysler expansion

The Chrysler brand will add a compact sedan and two crossovers, along with hybrid versions of its largest vehicles. The expansion will help the brand fulfill its mission to go head to head with Ford and Chevrolet.

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Big Alfa investment begins launching models

No brand in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles portfolio is getting more attention - or investment - in the next four years than Alfa Romeo.

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Fiat convertible will fill lineup

Fiat will have four vehicles in its U.S. lineup: a minicar, four-door hatchback, crossover and convertible.

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Ram mulls Ford Transit fighter

Ram is studying whether to add a heavy-duty commercial van to its lineup. The brand may bring a version of the Iveco Daily to North America to fill out the upper end of its commercial van lineup. The Daily features optional all-wheel drive.

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Toyota's top suppliers prepare a tech blitz

Toyota's top suppliers are readying a host of advanced technologies for their No. 1 customer, including steer-by-wire systems, grille shutters, more efficient regenerative braking and new automatic transmissions.

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Denso goes green with center to grow algae-based biofuel

Toyota-affiliated supplier Denso, better known for its fuel injectors, air-conditioners and electronics, will open a large testing center in Japan to develop biofuel from algae.

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REMEMBERING KATRINA

New Orleans dealers recall aftermath of the storm

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, killed at least 1,000 people in Louisiana and turned New Orleans into a vast flood zone. A pair of New Orleans-area dealers recall the aftermath of the storm and how it changed their business.

Racketeering case against M-B store fails

A Texas Mercedes-Benz store that stopped selling factory parts to a repair shop whose owner testified against it in a lawsuit has beaten an allegation of civil racketeering by the shop and its owner.

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Will automakers go for Gorilla Glass?

Gorilla Glass, the tough, lightweight, scratch-resistant glass made by Corning and used on the screens of billions of smartphones and tablets, is getting closer to being used in windshields and other glass apertures of light vehicles.

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Can BMW's tech-loaded, plush 7 series take on Mercedes S class?

BMW's redesigned 2016 7-series sedan illustrates that even the brand that touts itself as a driver's car has succumbed to the gadget and semi-autonomous driving trend. In fact, BMW has outdone the Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan with gizmos.

Chinese automaker BAIC Motor in talks to buy Daimler shares

Chinese automaker BAIC Motor is in talks with Daimler AG about taking a stake in the German luxury carmaker, two sources with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters.

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Automakers' high tech collects dust

According to J.D. Power's first Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report, at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners never have used 16 of the 33 technology features measured.

Classic Broncos reach ICON status

Jonathan Ward, CEO of California-based ICON, sells refurbished and modernized classic 1960s-era Ford Broncos for between $175,000 and $230,000 - and says he can't keep up with demand.

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Doesn't a Miata price frenzy come standard?

There's general agreement among the automotive cognoscenti that the redesigned, lightweight 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best model in the iconic roadster's 26-year history. But that isn't translating into a price-ballooning frenzy.

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Enzo Ferrari's Hollywood horsepower

There's something irresistible about the life of Enzo Ferrari that continues to fascinate filmmakers.

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Post-Piech, VW's Phaeton gets delayed

Tinkering with the $100,000 Volkswagen Phaeton has ended careers at VW.

PHOTO ESSAY

Getting the luxury treatment at Porsche's Experience Center

Porsche employees moved into the company's new $100 million U.S. headquarters in Atlanta in January. The integrated Porsche Experience Center, a test track and other attractions, were unveiled in early May. Now U.S.


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