Automotive News Table of Contents

May 4, 2015



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A colossal month for crossovers

Crossovers pulled into the fast lane and sped ahead in April, driving a 4.6 percent rise in the month's U.S. sales to 1,455,242 light vehicles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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JOE HINRICHS INTERVIEW

Ford rides truck wave as small cars fizzle

After preparing for a future built on small cars, Ford is now straining to keep up with demand for SUVs and crossovers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Striving to get recalls done the right way

The nation's new highway safety chief last week assembled a motley group of players with a vested interest in auto safety to fix the recall system. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Aston to court females, add crossover

Aston Martin's new target buyer is an affluent California woman in her late 30s who wants a people- and cargo-hauling crossover. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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M-B faces need to grow service capacity

Mercedes-Benz USA is on track to sell 400,000 vehicles in the next few years and needs 25 percent more service capacity at its dealerships, said CEO Steve Cannon. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Nissan tweaks dealer sales incentives

Nissan has revised the Sales Growth Plan it introduced in 2014 as an alternative to controversial stair-step programs. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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STEVE CANNON | CEO, MERCEDES-BENZ USA

At Mercedes, signs point to a strong year

Two years from now, Mercedes-Benz USA will be a different company with "a new level of energy," CEO Steve Cannon said. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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FAMILY LITIGATION

DARCARS keeps focus amid lawsuit, CEO says

DARCARS Automotive Group faced a human- and public relations nightmare after the founder's daughter, Tamara, sued her father and the company while media coverage of the rift prompted calls for a boycott. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 3, 2015

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JOSE MUNOZ | CHAIRMAN, NISSAN NORTH AMERICA

Munoz says Nissan's 10% U.S. share in reach

Nissan Chairman Jose Munoz faces a difficult assignment: He must take Nissan and Infiniti to a combined 10 percent US market share by March 2017, up from 8.4 percent at the end of 2014. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Audi to focus on plug-in hybrids even as it plans EV to take on Tesla

Although Audi plans an electric crossover to challenge Tesla's Model X, CEO Rupert Stadler says he remains cautious about the future of electric vehicles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Caddy wants unique team, unique powertrains

Dave Leone, Cadillac's chief engineer, says he wants to differentiate Cadillac powertrains in terms of power, refinement and sound. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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2 industry titans in turmoil

Two of Europe's automotive titans, long used to getting their way in boardroom intrigues, suffered rare defeats in late April that threaten to alter permanently the empires they built. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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He's sold Floyd Mayweather 39 cars and counting

Los Angeles exotic-car dealer Obi Okeke was sound asleep when his phone rang one morning at 3 a.m. last year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Sleek Malibu may be just the start for GM

Much of General Motors' sedan lineup in coming years will go on the same diet that shaved a whopping 300 pounds from the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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HANS GREIMEL

Detroit has little to gain from free trade with Japan

Detroit's automakers have little to gain by having Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact, even if the U.S. wins auto import concessions from Tokyo. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

EDITORIAL

Industry learns how to manage in good times

The U.S. auto industry is in the midst of an unprecedented stretch of growth and prosperity. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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KEITH CRAIN

Piech's out at VW -- for the moment

Late last month, Ferdinand Piech resigned from his position as chairman of Volkswagen's supervisory board. Reportedly he was given the choice of resigning or being dismissed. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

EDITORIAL

Post-recession ripples

In December, General Motors delayed auctioning some retired rental-fleet vehicles because of depressed prices. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Recall bill cruises in Calif., but will it help?

California lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill to patch a loophole in federal auto safety law. Dealers see it as a compromise, but they are struggling to find allies. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 2, 2015

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VOLKSWAGEN'S RETAIL CHALLENGE

VW refuses to cut brand's U.S. prices

Even while benefiting from a weak euro, Volkswagen Group won't try to boost the VW brand's market share in the United States by cutting prices. VW's brand sales in the US have fallen 7.5 percent so far this year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 2, 2015

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WHERE'S THE ACTION?

California dealers attract buyers despite business climate

Dealers are eager to buy dealerships in California again. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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WHERE'S THE ACTION?

Florida, Texas trending hot in buy-sell market, but few sellers

Florida and Texas are experiencing explosive demand from buyers looking for dealerships, even while sellers remain few. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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California court case reworks technician pay plans

Dealers often bemoan California's legal climate. Two of their biggest legal headaches there are labor-law challenges and class-action lawsuits. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Dealer awards

Dealers featured this week include the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association, John Isaacson, dealer principal at Lee Honda in Auburn, Maine; and David Alfano, general manager of Torrington Hyundai in Torrington, Conn. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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BEST PRACTICES

A Kentucky dealer's cup overfloweth

Don Moore turned an old drive-thru pharmacy window into an in-house coffee shop, which serves as a visible symbol of his main philanthropic pursuit: helping the homeless 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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AUTOMECHANIKA CHICAGO TRADE SHOW

Repair shops strive to stay head of the pace

Insurance companies are increasingly savvy at reducing payments for repair work. Repair shops say insurers are steering them to aftermarket parts from China and other low-cost countries, which some say are inferior to factory-approved parts. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015 | UPDATED: 5/4/15 10:36 am ET - corrected

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The ART of car diagnosis reaches new level at Audi

Audi's ART robot connects service staff at dealerships with Audi technical experts at the brand's corporate offices to diagnose cars that come in for service with unusual problems. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Hyundai Mobis moves fast on autonomous tech

Hyundai Mobis, South Korea's biggest supplier, is moving fast to bulk up its autonomous drive technology program, to boost the competiveness of the safety systems of its most important customer: The Hyundai-Kia group. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Full speed ahead on 2016 Maxima launch

Nissan says its factory launch of the newly redesigned 2016 Maxima will be its most flawless. Tighter project deadlines eliminated the last-minute design changes. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Marchionne: Automakers must consolidate

The world's automakers spend billions of dollars each to develop their own four-cylinder engines. That's a sure sign that the industry's business model is broken, said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Bentley concept coupe aims for Aston's turf

Bentley wants a piece of Aston Martin's sports car business. It's testing the waters with a two-seat concept coupe that has received acclaim on the auto show circuit. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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'NEVER ON SUNDAY'

The battle over Sunday sales

In Illinois, Texas and New Jersey, lawmakers who want to allow Sunday sales face vehement opposition from dealers. Sunday sales, dealers argue, are too hard to conduct with banks closed, and make hiring and keeping quality workers difficult. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 3, 2015

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Honda troubles take toll on N.A. profits

North America is no longer Honda Motor Co.'s go-to cash cow. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Honda's HR-V hope: Better late than never

Honda's all-new HR-V is showing up to the party later than expected, but that hasn't dimmed the automaker's high hopes for the subcompact crossover. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Dodge Dart lease subsidies eliminated

Fiat Chrysler is telling dealers in one region to consider cutting back orders of the Dodge Dart after the company said it is reducing lease support for the compact car. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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FCA transmission fix focuses on snap ring

The software in over half of the troubled 9-speed automatic transmissions has been reflashed in Jeep Cherokees and Chrysler 200s, though complaints continue to grow. Some Cherokees have already been bought back by the automaker. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 2, 2015

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Champion of mpg pact says it will hold up

One of the chief architects of U.S. mandates for huge gains in fuel economy by 2025 says automakers have made so many technical advances they'll pass on their chance to push for less-stringent rules. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Heat, tension and mistrust. But 'the dominoes fall our way'

As director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Margo Oge helped lead the charge to implement federal regulations designed to slash vehicle emissions and double fuel economy to a 54.5 mpg average by the 2025 model year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Beat goes on for Subaru, Audi, FCA

Audi, Subaru and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles kept their U.S. sales streaks alive in April. Audi marked the brand's 52nd straight monthly sales record. Subaru reported its 41st consecutive month of growth. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

M-B nabs the top spot from BMW in luxury race

With a strong April, Mercedes-Benz took over the top spot from BMW through four months in the tight U.S. luxury sales race. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Civil settlements for price fixing rise

Civil settlements have exceeded $270 million in federal litigation stemming from the ongoing U.S. criminal antitrust investigation into automotive supplier price fixing. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Demand? Yes, but don't go capacity crazy

After six years of rising U.S. auto sales, we wondered: Is there any demand out there still pent up? 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Isn't it lovely? Tesla ride thrills Wonder

Appearing on "Conan" last week, comedian Cedric the Entertainer told a story about giving Stevie Wonder a ride in C.T.E.'s Tesla. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Marchionne: Here's what I'm not talking about

Addressing analysts on a conference call last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made a presentation he called "Confessions of a Capital Junkie: An Insider Perspective on the Cure for the Industry's Value-destroying Addiction to... 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Mercedes G class the next clone victim

At the Shanghai auto show last month, Land Rover was coming to terms with selling the Range Rover Evoque alongside its half-priced Chinese clone, the Land Wind X7. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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RICHARD JOHNSON

Piech's fall is a familiar tale in this industry

Let's see, patriarch of giant auto group and acclaimed automotive genius late in life squabbles with members of his own family and is forced to give up power. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

Why so many more VW workers?

Check out the numbers in the accompanying table: Volkswagen Group, Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors each sell about 10 million vehicles annually around the world, yet VW has more global employees than Toyota and GM combined. 12:01 am U.S. ET | May 4, 2015

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Freshened GM full-size pickups

Recent spy photos signal that General Motors is freshening its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size, light-duty pickups, which have been panned for bland exterior styling. 9:24 am U.S. ET | May 5, 2015


Automotive News
Special Video Report
Smart use of phones, sales teams lift Wash. stores

Smart use of phones, sales teams lift Wash. stores

Sales employees at Ford and Hyundai of Kirkland have tapped smartphones to show how customers are “buying a relationship” with the group. Mon., May 4
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