California

BEST PRACTICES

Urban-living trend a chance to branch out and up

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014
Few dealers would get far offering a $2,500-a-month lease. Not on a car, anyway. But outside San Francisco, where the booming technology sector has sent real-estate prices into the stratosphere, one Volkswagen dealer is betting that apartments are a different story....
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VW buys stake in startup U.S. battery company, report says

1:54 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 5, 2014
Volkswagen AG bought a stake in battery startup QuantumScape with the aim of developing technology that can more than triple the range of its electric cars, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg....
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GABE NELSON

Honda opens Calif. garage to get Android rolling

1:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2014
To help Google's new Android Auto system gain favor, Honda is doing something rare in the auto industry: subsidizing its rivals....
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FUEL ME ONCE ...

Hydrogen cars are here. Is the world ready for them?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
Auto companies have looked to hydrogen fuel cells as a groundbreaking technology: a nonpolluting power source that isn't constrained by battery capacity and doesn't require long stretches of downtime for charging. But one key breakthrough -- making a hydrogen-fueled vehicle as easy to drive and refuel as a gasoline-powered one -- remains elusive....
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Tensions at Toyota ahead of big move

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 17, 2014
As Toyota prepares to consolidate its far-flung engineering, sales, marketing, finance and corporate operations into a new North American headquarters near Dallas, it's wrestling with a knotty set of challenges: retaining enough employees to ensure a smooth transition, realigning job functions and keeping up morale as anxious workers await word on their new job descriptions and pay scales....
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Ford asks U.S. court to dismiss suit over electric steering

2:45 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 3, 2014
Ford is asking a federal court in California to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the automaker of marketing defective electric power-assisted steering systems on some Fusions and Focuses....
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Freshened 2016 Ford Explorer to debut in L.A.

4:32 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 29, 2014
Ford will reveal the 2016 Ford Explorer at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19. The latest version of the Explorer will go on sale next year in North America, Ford said in a statement today....
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2014 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

Mazda to unveil CX-3 for small crossover market

8:30 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 27, 2014
Mazda wants a piece of the market for miniaturized crossovers. Next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Japanese automaker plans to unveil its rival for models such as the Nissan Juke, Buick Encore and Subaru XV Crosstrek: a high-riding subcompact called the CX-3....
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GABE NELSON

Why Honda is venturing into Oculus' virtual world

11:56 am U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
From the back seat of an Acura MDX, I peered out at a stone house on a cliff, fields of wind-swept grass and blue butterflies close enough to touch. All of it was a mirage. In reality, I was in the parking lot of the Honda Silicon Valley Lab in Mountain View, Calif....
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NEW PROVING GROUNDS

Where will autonomous cars prepare for urban challenges?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2014
The advent of autonomous cars is forcing automakers to rethink the traditional proving ground and strike a balance between existing test tracks and the realities of today's bustling cities. The big hurdle for self-driving cars remains urban America, where the environment is more complex and the range of risks -- cyclists, stray dogs, children running into the street -- is greater....
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Audi tests driverless car technology at 190 mph

11:44 am U.S. ET | Oct. 15, 2014
In its effort to bring autonomous-driving technology to the streets, Audi is testing unmanned vehicles at speeds as fast as 305 kilometers (190 miles) per hour. In these experiments, the car decides for itself the best way to take the corners in its race against human drivers....
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BEST PRACTICES

L.A. retailer knows the value of a good name

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 29, 2014
The adage that success is about "location, location, location" certainly applies to Honda of Los Angeles. But that was difficult to see three years ago. The store, which is booming now, was boarded up and in bankruptcy court in 2011....
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California targets zero emission vehicles as Brown signs new laws

1:05 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 23, 2014
California Governor Jerry Brown has a moonshot goal for the world's eighth-largest economy as he seeks to lead the global fight against climate change: 1.5 million zero-emission cars on state roads in the next decade....
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NO LAND, NO STORE?

High-volume dealer sues after Mitsubishi sells SoCal site

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 22, 2014
Abbas Ahmadi's passion for cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has made him a star in the automaker's retail network. His four Mitsubishi stores accounted for 3 percent of the automaker's total U.S. sales last year. Yet Ahmadi's relationship with Mitsubishi has been rocky, generating multiple lawsuits, and now he's in a battle to save his Huntington Beach, Calif., dealership....
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BRADFORD WERNLE

2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets

11:50 am U.S. ET | Sept. 19, 2014
No sooner had we left our hotel and hit the streets in West Hollywood when we began to notice people noticing us. Granted, it was hard to miss our 2015 Ford Mustang painted in Competition Orange -- seemingly bright enough to be picked up by a satellite orbiting above....
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Calif. grants 29 permits to test self-driving Lexus, Mercedes, Audi cars

1:44 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 18, 2014
California issued its first 29 permits this week to three companies to test self-driving cars on public roads, state officials said today....
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Audi claims first California autonomous driving permit

11:35 am U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
Volkswagen's Audi unit is the first automaker to receive an autonomous driving permit in California, as new laws in the state governing the process went into effect on Tuesday....
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Ford seeks younger Mustang buyers with tech features

12:44 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 17, 2014
The 2015 Ford Mustang arrives in dealerships next month as Ford's most technology-laden pony car yet. The fastback model will arrive first, followed by the convertible later in the fall. Ford hopes to appeal to a new generation of Mustang buyers -- and overseas markets -- by offering technologies never seen before in Ford's pony car....
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Toyota FT-1 gets the souped-up 'Gran Turismo' treatment for video game

3:02 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 16, 2014
Toyota has joined the “Gran Turismo” parade of video game racers with a beefier version of its FT-1 concept. “The design brief of this car was very simple: Take the FT-1 concept car and turn it into the most kickass, badass, super racecar you can imagine,” said Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota's Calty Design Research, during the car's video unveiling....
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U.S. charges former dealership salesman, other man in California with odometer fraud

3:55 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 12, 2014
Two California men, one a former salesman at a Los Angeles Ford dealership, were charged with rolling back odometers, the Justice Department said today....
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California generates 40% of U.S. plug-in car sales, report says

10:55 am U.S. ET | Sept. 9, 2014
California drivers are fueling the sale of rechargeable cars in the United States with more than 100,000 sold in the state in the last four years, representing about 40 percent of the domestic plug-in market....
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AutoNation sales rise 7 percent in August

2:51 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 4, 2014
AutoNation said today that its new-vehicle sales in the United States during August were the dealership group's best since 2002....
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Tesla to announce plans for 'gigafactory' in Nevada

4:13 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
Tesla Motors is expected to announce Thursday that it has selected Nevada to be the site of its "gigafactory," the large-scale lithium ion battery manufacturing plant estimated to cost up to $5 billion to build....
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California lawmakers adjourn without passing Tesla aid

6:34 am U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014
California lawmakers adjourned for the year without coming up with incentives to entice Tesla Motors to build a $5 billion battery plant in the state....
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BMW joins Cadillac wooing Silicon Valley to combat Tesla

2:24 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
BMW scored a coup this month when former Apple executive Tony Fadell became one of the first owners of the new $136,000 i8 plug-in sports car in the United States. Car companies covet Californians, who are seen as trendsetters for the rest of the country. All the better if they can win adherents among executives at companies striving to stay at the cutting edge of technology....
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Special Report
Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

At Bay King Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram in Hamilton, Ontario, dealer Jamie Richter has put luxury-hotel touches in his new showroom. They include concierges who see to the needs of service customers. Mon., December 15
» Watch the Video