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Why Group 1 finds F&I a tougher sell overseas

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 23
blogs Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News.
 
Think F&I managers have it tough making a sale in the United States? It’s a lot tougher in the United Kingdom and in Brazil, Group 1 Automotive says. Group 1’s average F&I revenue per vehicle retailed in the United States last year was $1,371. In the United Kingdom, it was $615, and in Brazil, $416. “Americans want their car, they want it today, ...
     Continue reading "Why Group 1 finds F&I a tougher sell overseas" » Apr 23, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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New Russian outlook: 'Slower, lower, weaker'

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 23
Days after Russia annexed a province of Ukraine and U.S. and European forces mobilized, hoping to prevent more regions from hoisting the Russian flag, you would expect a conference on the future of the Russian auto industry to be pessimistic. And the speakers last week at a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute session in Ann Arbor certainly were. One ...
     Continue reading "New Russian outlook: 'Slower, lower, weaker' " » Apr 23, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why French automakers are poised to grab market share in China

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 22
Peugeot, Citroen and Renault last year combined to sell fewer than 600,000 vehicles in China -- a tiny total in a market where Volkswagen Group and General Motors each sold more than 3 million units. But PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is racing to introduce new products while Renault prepares to start local production. Soon, the French automakers will become forces to be reckoned wi ...
     Continue reading "Why French automakers are poised to grab market share in China" » Apr 22, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Gridlock and chaos on the Beijing auto show floor

Posted 7:30 am U.S. ET, April 21
BEIJING -- The Beijing auto show is renowned for being a full-contact sport of sorts. Walking the aisles, nay, even trying to enter the venue, can be a survival-of-the-fittest tussle. The noise is deafening, the crowds downright oppressive and the logistics of getting to the site a Sisyphean nightmare. So it was with near disbelief that I had to walk only 20 minutes past ...
     Continue reading "Gridlock and chaos on the Beijing auto show floor" » Apr 21, 2014 7:30 am U.S. ET
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China is key to Winterkorn's new strategy for VW

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 20
China looms large in Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn's thoughts as he prepares a new strategy for the automaker. "China will be an integral part of Future Tracks," Winterkorn said at a VW media event on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show. Future Tracks is VW's name for its next business plan to cover the period from 2018-2025. VW's current strategy, called Strategy ...
     Continue reading "China is key to Winterkorn's new strategy for VW" » Apr 20, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 19
As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford. He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified. After Ward died in 2007, the objects of his affection -- a collection of nearly two dozen 1936 Fords of every shape and stripe -- remained locked away in a barn in Sandusky, Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie. Until now ...
     Continue reading "Ohio man's collection of '36 Fords going to auction" » Apr 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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PSA needs the Citroen DS 6WR in Europe

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 19
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's decision not to sell the DS 6WR compact crossover in Europe is strange. The car debuts at the Beijing auto show and is the production version of the widely admired Wild Rubis SUV concept unveiled at the Shanghai show last year. The stylish vehicle will seek to capitalize on how Chinese consumers equate French cars and French goods with fashion and s ...
     Continue reading "PSA needs the Citroen DS 6WR in Europe" » Apr 19, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous

Posted 9:22 am U.S. ET, April 18
Journalists chasing a meaty story can act like a pack of wild dogs sometimes. They tear into the living flesh of their subject and rip it away, scurrying off to some more private place to process their information meal in peace. For the most part, this process is figurative. No one’s flesh is ripped away. But this week in New York -- and earlier this year at the D ...
     Continue reading "CEO media scrums are as ineffective as they are dangerous" » Apr 18, 2014 9:22 am U.S. ET
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French automakers are poised to grab market share in China

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 18
Peugeot, Citroen and Renault last year combined to sell fewer than 600,000 vehicles in China -- a tiny total in a market where Volkswagen Group and General Motors each sold more than 3 million units. But PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is racing to introduce new products while Renault prepares to start local production. Soon, the French automakers will become forces to be reckoned wi ...
     Continue reading "French automakers are poised to grab market share in China" » Apr 18, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Renault uses Formula One to win Chinese buyers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 18
Renault is using Formula One to promote its brand in China ahead of the French automaker opening its first car factory in the world's biggest auto market. Motor race fans watching the F1 race in Shanghai on Sunday will see the Renault logo prominently displayed in Mandarin on Lotus cars. Renault supplies engines to the Lotus team. The advertising will give Renault a much ...
     Continue reading "Renault uses Formula One to win Chinese buyers" » Apr 18, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why GM should put wireless connections in its trucks

Posted 10:17 pm U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- At an exhibit on the auto show floor here, I sat inside a Cadillac XTS sedan equipped with General Motors' new 4G LTE wireless connection. But I couldn't help but think: GM should have put the 4G demo unit in a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra pickup. Because it’s in those trucks that the technology could very well give GM the biggest advantage over the com ...
     Continue reading "Why GM should put wireless connections in its trucks" » Apr 17, 2014 10:17 pm U.S. ET
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A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?

Posted 10:39 am U.S. ET, April 17
TOKYO -- Subaru, one of the hottest brands in the United States, may have chalked up a rare misfire with its newest nameplate -- a small wagon dubbed the Levorg. And I’m not just talking about the car’s tortured nomenclature. The direct-injection turbocharged sports tourer goes on sale in Japan in May. But advance orders of the Levorg have missed the company ...
     Continue reading "A rare misfire for Subaru with new Levorg wagon?" » Apr 17, 2014 10:39 am U.S. ET
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Some New Yorkers really want that Nissan cab

Posted 9:48 am U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- First a New York judge blocked a deal to make the Nissan NV200 the city’s official taxi last year. Now the cops want to write one of the van’s drivers a ticket. A stiff-upper-lipped Nissan is rolling out a couple of mock NV200 yellow New York taxis this week to carry visitors and VIPs around the city during the New York auto show. But the pretend ...
     Continue reading "Some New Yorkers really want that Nissan cab" » Apr 17, 2014 9:48 am U.S. ET
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At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers

Posted 7:15 am U.S. ET, April 17
NEW YORK -- From the moment that Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne pulled off the audacious deal to gain control of a deeply damaged Chrysler Group in 2009, the new ownership has confounded expectations. The company’s very survival has surprised many observers, of course. So has its continuing streak of sales increases, now at 48 months of year-over-year gains. And the ...
     Continue reading "At Chrysler Group, 2 brands seek new frontiers" » Apr 17, 2014 7:15 am U.S. ET
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PSA will survive for now, but long-term challenges remain

Posted 6:42 am U.S. ET, April 17
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Carlos Tavares' Back in the Race business plan and a cash injection from Chinese partner Dongfeng are almost certainly enough to ensure his company's short-term survival, but PSA's long-term prospects remain uncertain. To compete effectively against global players such as General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen, PSA must achieve significantly higher ...
     Continue reading "PSA will survive for now, but long-term challenges remain" » Apr 17, 2014 6:42 am U.S. ET
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Inquiry into alleged CFPB bias picks up steam

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 16
The issue of whether, ironically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allegedly discriminates against its own employees has got legs. A subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee heard really scorching -- but totally one-sided -- testimony in a hearing earlier this month from Angela Martin, an attorney who works at the CFPB, accusing the CFPB of a “ ...
     Continue reading "Inquiry into alleged CFPB bias picks up steam" » Apr 16, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Mazda throws a big birthday party for Miata

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 16
Editor's note: An earlier version of this blog had the wrong given name for former Mazda executive George McCabe. On paper, the MX-5 Miata probably shouldn’t be that important to Mazda. Last year, the roadster accounted for just 2 percent of Mazda’s U.S. sales, with fewer than 6,000 units sold. Toyota sells more Camrys in a week. The market for sporty, two-s ...
     Continue reading "Mazda throws a big birthday party for Miata " » Apr 16, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Brace yourself for 'velocity'

Posted 1:06 pm U.S. ET, April 16
NEW YORK -- There’s a new buzzword trending through the car business right now: velocity. It has been popping up in conversations and presentations for a while, and is on the lips of visitors here at the New York auto show. And it might be a good thing. In its new use, velocity simply means the speed with which auto dealers can process a customer from tire-kicker i ...
     Continue reading "Brace yourself for 'velocity'" » Apr 16, 2014 1:06 pm U.S. ET
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Why the Mustang II should get its due

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 16
One member of the Mustang family won’t have a very high-profile role at this week’s 50th anniversary celebrations: the 1974-78 Mustang II. But if you reconsider the case of the Mustang II, you may find it is time to give the car the respect it is due. Had the Mustang II not been a massive sales success -- more than a million were sold in five model years -- t ...
     Continue reading "Why the Mustang II should get its due" » Apr 16, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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A mixed message about GM's PR -- but why?

Posted 3:44 pm U.S. ET, April 15
If a company changes its head of public relations in the midst of a public relations crisis that stems from a recall crisis, does that not send a certain message? Yes, unless the company is General Motors. On Monday, GM parted ways with Selim Bingol, its head of public relations -- but, for whatever reason, said it was not related to the company’s festering public ...
     Continue reading "A mixed message about GM's PR -- but why?" » Apr 15, 2014 3:44 pm U.S. ET
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Waiting for Alfa. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Posted 10:46 am U.S. ET, April 15
If you show up decades late for your own surprise party, are guests still expected to cheer your arrival? Maybe not for most. But it might be a different story if your name is Alfa Romeo. This week, the Alfa Romeo 4C will appear at the New York auto show, marking the sporty two-seater’s North American debut. There won’t be a formal news conference -- the 4C ...
     Continue reading "Waiting for Alfa. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting." » Apr 15, 2014 10:46 am U.S. ET
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Autos' enthusiasm for emerging markets hits brakes

Posted 2:11 pm U.S. ET, April 15
NEW YORK -- It’s been common for years to hear that emerging markets will power global growth in auto sales. Global automakers have jostled to position themselves for that growth, particularly in the much-touted BRIC markets -- Brazil, Russia, India and China. But that growth formula has been looking a little less solid lately. Tension with Russia over the annexati ...
     Continue reading "Autos' enthusiasm for emerging markets hits brakes" » Apr 15, 2014 2:11 pm U.S. ET
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VW SportWagen concept hints at awd in North America

Posted 11:39 am U.S. ET, April 14
WASHINGTON -- A certain type of person went gaga when Volkswagen AG released details on the Golf SportWagen that it will show at the New York auto show this week. A station wagon? Oh, yes. With a diesel engine? Bingo. And a manual transmission? You bet your hatch. For those enthusiasts who take pride in going against the grain of the U.S. car market, it doesn’t get ...
     Continue reading "VW SportWagen concept hints at awd in North America" » Apr 14, 2014 11:39 am U.S. ET
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PSA's recovery will be boosted by the 'Tavares factor'

Posted 9:52 am U.S. ET, April 14
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Carlos Tavares is the first to admit that his turnaround strategy for the struggling automaker isn't a wonder cure. "I cannot make miracles," he said at Monday's presentation of his Back in the Race recovery strategy for the company. That blunt answer shows the essence of PSA's new CEO: a tough, no-nonsense executive who always tells the truth even ...
     Continue reading "PSA's recovery will be boosted by the 'Tavares factor'" » Apr 14, 2014 9:52 am U.S. ET
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Mustang changed lives, inspired careers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, April 13
Kevin Laughlin lived across the street from me when I was growing up in Orlando, Fla. He made a living rebuilding air-cooled Volkswagens, Beetles, buses and Karmann Ghias. After school and on weekends, I was drawn to Laughlin’s backyard like a moth to a light to see what he was working on and, on some occasions, help in minor ways, handing him tools and assisting wi ...
     Continue reading "Mustang changed lives, inspired careers" » Apr 13, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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