Automotive News Table of Contents

February 1, 2016



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GM lines up urban mobility deals, while Ford experiments 'everywhere'

GM and its competitors are determined to get on board with changes in technology and demographics that are bringing people back to cities and thrusting car-sharing and ride-sharing into the mainstream. The question is how.

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How GM saved itself from Flint water crisis

Thanks to its fortuitous location and some heads-up planning, GM was able to sidestep a crisis that has befallen everyone else in the city where it was born more than a century ago.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: SERGIO'S BIG BET

What FCA stands to gain from outsourcing small and midsize sedans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' risky strategy -- basically to get out of the commodity car business and focus on its most profitable products -- may be the best chance for FCA to overcome a perilous lack of resources and find the merger partner it...

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WHAT COMES AFTER M?

BMW's top tuner relishes his new role at Hyundai

Hyundai, which began building its own engines only in 1991, has laid out a full-fledged product plan for its new Genesis luxury brand, with help from a cadre of executives poached from Bentley, BMW and Lamborghini.

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Lawyers' clash roils ignition lawsuit

A bizarre end to the first trial over faulty ignition switches in millions of General Motors cars has sparked an unusual battle between several of the lawyers who have been leading the fight to hold GM accountable.

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Penske will keynote at retail forum

Roger Penske, chairman of an automotive empire that spans three continents, will be a keynote speaker at the Automotive News Retail Forum on March 31, ahead of the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas.

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Toyota's fuel-thrifty Prius family may decrease as the automaker ponders strategy

In early 2011, Toyota issued a bold prediction: The Prius family of vehicles would be Toyota's best-selling nameplate in the U.S. by the end of the decade. Five years later, things have changed.

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Can Nissan breach Fortress Detroit?

Nissan wants to be king of the imports in Detroit, where it barely has a presence and imports barely matter.

JCI's spinoff must refocus to remain on top

Just two years ago, Johnson Controls Inc.

Lear's goal: Seats with style, smarts

Automotive parts supplier Lear Corp. is developing a seat of the future to appeal to automakers as they look increasingly to interiors to set their vehicles apart.

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1st generation will be the last for Cadillac ELR

The flashy - and pricey - Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid coupe won't stick around for a second generation, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen confirms.

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Ford tests diesel-powered F-150

Ford may launch a diesel version of the F-150 pickup as early as next year. Diesel-powered test trucks have been spotted near the company's product development center in Dearborn, Mich.

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Jeep Wagoneer? Where did that come from?

So what's a Jeep Wagoneer? Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne referred to a Wagoneer last week during a conference call about FCA's plans to "realign" its North American production plan. But a lack of details leaves us to wonder.

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New Discovery

The redesigned 2017 Land Rover Discovery will feature a rounder, more fluid design than its predecessor, the LR4, spy images of the luxury SUV show.

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V-series variant unlikely for Caddy's top-end CT6

Cadillac has no plans for a V-series high-performance model of its new CT6 large sedan, brand boss Johan de Nysschen said.

AutoNation cuts inventory, jobs

AutoNation will trim marketing costs and vehicle inventory by about 10 percent from year-end levels.

International operations help Ford's bottom line

In addition to the billions of dollars earned from surging pickups and SUVs in North America, Ford posted its first European profit in five years and record results in Asia.

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NEWS ANALYSIS

No path to profits: Why Ford exited 2 key Asian markets

Frustrated by paltry sales, Ford pulled the plug on its businesses in Japan and Indonesia. In both cases, it couldn't crack a Japan Inc. stranglehold: Japanese brands hold more than 90 percent market share in both nations.

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Acura boss: 'I'm getting schooled' in marketing

Acura General Manager Jon Ikeda is on a learning curve.

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EDITORIAL

Cheap fuel forces industry to make tough choices

Fiat Chrysler's product shift to more trucks and fewer cars rests on the conclusion that low oil prices are permanent. Set aside considerations of why FCA made such a strong commitment.

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JAMES B. TREECE

Industry breaks trust, makes its bed

Widespread safety recalls, information withholding and deceitful practices are damaging the auto industry's public credibility and sparking a regulatory reaction.

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RICHARD JOHNSON

Woo suppliers with longer deals

As auto sales and production have climbed steadily over the past six years, so has capacity utilization among parts makers.

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BEST PRACTICES

Dealership picks up on VW enthusiast vibe

Smith Volkswagen launched a performance and tuning center in 2014. The staff turns stock showroom inventory into high-performance, one-of-a-kind vehicles using parts and accessories from both VW and leading aftermarket manufacturers.

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Balise grows with car washes

Balise Auto Group has its own car washes to handle dealership needs, serve as a marketing tool to help wow car buyers and operate as a stand-alone profit center.

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Service dept. tunes up satisfaction scores

Texoma Hyundai is tops in Hyundai service satisfaction scores for three years running. The dealership is a converted lumber store and has no dedicated service drive, but its staffers' rapport with customers makes all the difference.

After record 2015, Porsche will keep growing, von Platen says

Porsche will review its global strategy in the middle of this year after easily surpassing its goal of 200,000 sales around the world in 2015.

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Dealer aniversary awards

Dealers featured this week include Dan Keller, president of Keller Bros. Ford in Lititz, Pa.

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Army marches forward with self-driving trucks

The U.S. Army is developing driverless trucks and could end up operating the largest fleet of autonomous vehicles. A key test comes this summer when the Army conducts road tests in Michigan.

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Got gadgets?

Some of the most revolutionary innovations originate not with carmakers but with the suppliers who provide the building blocks and concepts that reshape the industry. Here is a sampling of some of the most cutting-edge technologies.

Amid profit fall, Honda bets on new products

Takata airbag recalls and exchange losses undercut profits at Honda in the latest quarter, but the company sees a brighter 2016 thanks to an influx of new product for North America, the Japanese carmaker's biggest market.

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FCA delays ambitious Alfa plans

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has tapped the brakes on its plan to resurrect Alfa Romeo.

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FCA's 2018 lineup? Here's a guess

What will Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' U.S. product lineup look like when CEO Sergio Marchionne's new business plan is fully executed?

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TWO BY TWO

Volume sellers they are not, but two-door cars keep coming

A wave of coupes is appearing in showrooms and at auto shows this year, even though the segment is declining in popularity.

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The Super Bowl auto ad lineup

The 2016 Super Bowl auto ad lineup is nearly set. Here's a look at who's in and who's staying on the sidelines.

Obituary

Marc Lockhart, a second-generation auto dealer, died Jan. 16. He was 63.

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Au revoir: Paris just doesn't do it for Ford this year

Ford will skip this autumn's Paris auto show, claiming the timing doesn't fit with its launch schedule.

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Historian's trove gets personal with GM founder

Lawrence Gustin, automotive historian and retired General Motors public relations manager, has donated historical documents regarding the early days of GM to the Sloan Museum in Flint, Mich.

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Sales reporting transparency? Yeah, right

After a nearly six-year run, AutoNation will stop reporting monthly sales. Why? “I've given up,” says CEO Mike Jackson.

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Say goodbye to the golden days, analyst says

Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein whose colorful client notes get lots of attention, authored one in January called “The End of an Era,” in which he paints a bleak portrait of the coming years.

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Zetsche: Apple, Google 'can do more' than we thought

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and other a handful of his senior execs met recently with around 70 companies in Silicon Valley, according to the German weekly Welt am Sonntag.


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