Headlines for Friday, April 5, 2013

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2013 SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW

BMW, amid crossover surge, preps X4 for 2014 debut

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
BMW, capitalizing on rising demand for crossovers in Europe and the United States, is expanding its new 4-series lineup with the X4 crossover that will go on sale next year.

BRUCE GAIN

Automakers rethink cockpits to help save lives

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 5, 2013
Automakers are rethinking the way they design car cockpits to reduce cognitive overload as more sophisticated infotainment systems risk increasing driver distraction, a problem that has been linked to an increasing number of fatal accidents.

NEW PRODUCT

Lexus will launch hybrid SUV to rival Q3

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
Lexus plans to show a production-ready hybrid SUV to rival Audi's Q3 and BMW's X1 at next year's Geneva auto show, a company source said.

SALES

Mercedes sales up 5.7% in March on strong U.S. demand

April 5, 2013 14:48 CET
Daimler said vehicle sales at its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit rose 5.7 percent to a record 150,430 units in March compared with the same month a year earlier because of strong U.S. demand and small gains in Europe and China.

SALES

UK car sales continue to buck Europe's downturn with 5.9% rise in March

April 5, 2013 13:24 CET
New-car sales in the UK rose 5.9 percent to 394,806 in March, the 13th successive month of growth, as consumer demand continued to defy the downward trend in other major European markets.

Kia eyes BMW, Audi; aims to add technology

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
Not only is Kia benchmarking BMW and Audi; it is crawling out of the shadow of its bigger corporate sibling, Hyundai. Its new goal: model its own brand identity after Volkswagen's as it seeks to be mass-market yet one notch above the pack in terms of quality and flair.

GM, Opel CEOs to meet Germany's Merkel

April 5, 2013 12:46 CET
BERLIN (Reuters) -- General Motors CEO Dan Akerson and the new head of GM's Opel unit, Karl-Thomas Neumann, will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel next Thursday, along with members of the GM board, a government spokesman said on Friday.

GM to invest $332 million in 4 U.S. sites

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
GM said it will invest about $332 million in four U.S. manufacturing sites to produce more fuel-efficient engines and transmission systems.

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Porsche switches gears on powertrains

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
It wasn't long ago that gasoline was the only fuel a Porsche could use. Today, the powertrain options at the Volkswagen Group subsidiary include diesel, gasoline-electric hybrid and, soon, plug-in hybrid. Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche's r&d boss, is spearheading the changes.

SALES

Fiat turns to Germany as Italy sales seen as worst since 1966

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
Fiat, faced with Italy sales that could fall to their lowest level for 47 years, is seeking to boost sales in Germany by offering steeper discounts than any other automaker there.

GM reviews South Korea operations as tensions rise with North

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
GM CEO Dan Akerson said the automaker is making backup plans for its operations in South Korea as tensions with North Korea heighten. Chevrolet Europe gets most of its cars from South Korea.

NUTS & BOLTS

1 million VW sales in the U.S. by 2018? Well ...

April 5, 2013 06:01 CET
Does Volkswagen still expect to hit its much talked-about target of 1 million sales in the United States by 2018? At the New York auto show last week, Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW Group of America, offered a roundabout answer that smelled, at best, like a maybe.

 
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European H1 sales growth tops predictions, but Greece causes concern
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Western Europe car sales rise 9%, boosted by Germany, Italy, Spain
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European car sales rebound continues in July
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French car sales rise 2% percent in July
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UK new-car sales rise 13% in June boosted by low finance deals
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German car sales rose 13% in June, helped by extra sales days
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Spanish new-car sales jump 24% as scrappage program boosts demand
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Opel names engineer to oversee quality
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Bugatti names former Bentley, Ferrari exec as marketing boss
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