Headlines for Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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Renault touts low running costs for Zoe EV

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
Renault says the new Zoe is the first mass-market EV available at an affordable price with low running costs and a long driving range. The automaker expects the battery-driven hatchback to be the biggest seller among its range of electric vehicles that also includes the Fluence Z.E. sedan, Kangoo Z.

WPP India unit sacks employees after sexist Ford ads

March 26, 2013 19:31 CET
An Indian unit of advertising group WPP has sacked employees over a series of ads, including one showing women tied up in the trunk of a Ford driven by ex-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

RESTRUCTURING

GM's Girsky slashes at Opel's culture

March 26, 2013 08:34 CET
General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky took inspiration from a historical figure to try and stem chronic losses at Opel. GM is the leader in China and the United States but turning around its Europe operations remains spectacularly challenging.

NEW PRODUCT

Audi aims A3 sedan at young luxury buyers

March 27, 2013 01:00 CET
Audi released the first images of its A3 sedan, a new variant of its A3 compact line that will compete for young luxury buyers with the Mercedes-Benz CLA. The sedan will mainly be aimed at customers in the United States and China where sedans are more popular than in Audi's home European market.

SUPPLIERS

Faurecia to build new N.A. headquarters, tech center

March 26, 2013 21:48 CET
Faurecia North America is planning to build a new North American headquarters and technical center north of Detroit in Auburn Hills, Mich.

NEW PRODUCT

Mitsubishi replaces Colt with smaller Space Star

March 26, 2013 12:48 CET
Mitsubishi seeks to gain sales in the minicar segment in Europe with the launch of the Space Star, which replaces the Colt subcompact. The Space Star's retail price of 9,690 euros will help it gain share against rivals such as the Nissan Micra and the Fiat Panda, a Mitsubishi spokesman said.

GREEN CARS

France's EV push presents power grid challenge

March 26, 2013 15:59 CET
The rising popularity of electric vehicles in France could present a problem to the country's fragile power grid, power sector executives say, particularly if owners all recharge their batteries at the same time of day.

SUPPLIERS

Saint-Gobain to close Belgian windscreen factory that supplies Ford's Genk plant

March 26, 2013 15:38 CET
French supplier Saint-Gobain plans to close a factory in Belgium that supplies glass windscreens to Ford's doomed plant in Genk. Ford announced late last year that it would be closing the Genk plant as well as two others in Britain, to stem losses in Europe.

SUPPLIERS

Continental says 2014 sales growth may quicken if economy holds

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
German supplier Continental says it expects 'high single-digit growth' in 2014 if economic conditions don't worsen. The company added that it is sticking to its forecast of a 5 percent increase in sales this year.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

De Nysschen picks new Infiniti team

March 26, 2013 06:01 CET
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti, has overhauled his top management with hand-picked executives tasked with taking the brand global. The changes inject the top ranks with non-Japanese executives, many poached from rivals.

PRODUCTION

Fiat, Serbia said to agree deal to build cheaper 500L for domestic market

March 26, 2013 11:15 CET
Fiat and Serbia have agreed on a subsidy deal to produce a cheaper version of the 500L minicar for domestic sales, a local newspaper reported. Under the agreement, Fiat's Serbian unit would produce the model for 10,900 euros ($14,200), which is around 3,000 euros less than its regular sticker price.

 
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German car sales rose 13% in June, helped by extra sales days
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French car sales rise 15% in June on extra working days
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Western European sales rebound slowed in May
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