Headlines for Friday, January 11, 2013

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BRUCE GAIN:

Daimler's Smart factory: A very German and French operation

A visit to Smart's car production plant in Hambach, France, offers a first-hand look at how the Daimler subsidiary gets two different cultures to work together. Read More »

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VW brand sets 2012 sales record; set for 'difficult' 2013

Volkswagen brand sales surged in December to push its full-year worldwide volume up 13 percent to a record 5.74 million vehicles, the company said on Friday. VW brand sales jumped 31 percent during the final month of 2012 to 517,900 vehicles. Read More »

Daimler eyes stake in unit of China's BAIC

Daimler may invest in the passenger-car unit of its Chinese partner, BAIC Group, in a bid to overcome its weakness the world's largest car market, three people close to the plans said. Read More »

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Skoda sets new high for vehicle sales in 2012

Skoda raised unit sales by 7 percent last year to a record 939,200 cars, Volkswagen's Czech unit said on Friday. Read More »

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Honda will cut 800 UK jobs on falling European demand

Honda plans to cut about 800 jobs at its plant in Swindon, southwest England, due to falling demand for its vehicles across Europe. It is the first time Honda has cut jobs in the UK since it began car production there in 1992. Read More »

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Audi names former Lancia boss to head Italy operations

Audi has named former Lancia boss Fabrizio Longo to run its Italian operations. Longo was a mentor to current Audi sales boss Luca De Meo when they both worked at Lancia parent Fiat. Read More »

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PSA near $7 billion loan deal for car-lending arm, sources say

PSA will sign about 5.3 billion euros ($7 billion) in loans for its struggling bank unit in the next week after lenders offered more than originally sought, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Read More »

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China auto sales may top 20 million in 2013

Vehicle sales in China, including those of cars and buses, may accelerate this year and surpass 20 million units for the first time, the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement in Beijing today. Read More »

Korea's Halla to buy Visteon's auto climate businesses in China, India

South Korea's Halla Climate Control has decided to buy Visteon's automotive climate units, almost four months after the American auto-parts supplier announced the plan for combining the businesses to make them more competitive. Read More »

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YANG JIAN:

Wary Chinese motorists ignore EVs

With a generous array of incentives, China's government expected to turn the country into the world's biggest market for electrified vehicles. Read More »

Fiat, PSA forecast to be biggest losers as Europe crisis worsens in 2013

With Europe's new car sales set to fall this year to levels not seen since the 1990s, pressure will increase on automakers' revenues and operating margins. Fiat and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen may be the biggest losers in 2013, according to industry observers. Read More »

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