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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Western European car sales rise 6% on Spain, Italy rebound
Western European car sales rose nearly 6 percent in January as the southern markets of Spain and Ita ...
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Jeep, Smart, Jaguar benefit most from Europe's forecast-beating 2015 sales
Jeep, Smart and Jaguar were the biggest sales winners last year in Europe, where overall vehicle sal ...
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Growth in car sales in key European markets 'encouraging' in January
New-car sales increased in key European markets in January including 3 percent growth in Germany and ...
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French automakers lose ground to rebounding VW
French new-car registrations increased 3. ...
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European car-sales growth forecast to slow to 2% in 2016
European car sales likely will rise 2 percent in 2016, down from 9 percent last year, as northern ma ...
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European sales growth will slow this year, say Daimler, Ford, Volvo CEOs
European automotive executives expect the region's car sales to grow for a third straight year in 20 ...
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VW trails rivals as Europe sales rise 16% in December
New-car sales in Europe rose 16 percent in December in the 28th consecutive month of growth with For ...
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Western automakers hit hard as Russia car sales fell 36% in 2015
Russia's car sales plunged by 36 percent in 2015 in a disastrous year for Western automakers with op ...
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VW brand sales fall 8% in Dec., dragging down group result
Global sales of VW brand cars fell by 7.9 percent in December as the automaker's emissions crisis an ...
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Europe must look south for car sales growth this year
Western European car sales rose nearly 9 percent last year but the region will likely need a continu ...
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Former Opel CEO Demant retires after VW role
Volkswagen Group's international projects chief, Hans Demant, has retired, ending a long career that ...
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PSA appoints former Yahoo exec as chief digital officer
PSA named former Yahoo executive Brigitte Cantaloube as the automaker's first chief digital officer ...
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Mercedes promotes UK sales boss to U.S. role
Mercedes-Benz named its UK sales boss, Adam Chamberlain, as head of sales in the U.S. ...
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VW picks ex-BMW manager to head core brand in North America
Volkswagen has picked ex-BMW manager Hinrich Woebcken to run the North American business of its core ...
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VW motorsport director Capito moves to McLaren
Volkswagen motorsport director Jost Capito has been appointed CEO of McLaren Racing. ...
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Nissan names new Europe marketing chief
Nissan has promoted company veteran Jean-Pierre Diernaz to its new Europe marketing head. ...
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Hyundai hires former Lamborghini exec to shape strategy at luxury Genesis brand
Hyundai has hired former Lamborghini executive Manfred Fitzgerald to shape strategy at its new Genes ...
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Porsche names new production chief
Porsche has named VW Group veteran Albrecht Reimold as new production boss to replace Oliver Blume w ...
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Porsche names new production chief
Porsche has named VW Group veteran Albrecht Reimold as new production boss to replace Oliver Blume w ...
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Renault names former EV boss as sales and marketing chief
Renault named its former EV program boss, Thierry Koskas, as the company's sales and marketing chief ...
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Hyundai Tucson gets big boost from Europe's SUV boom
Hyundai expects the Tucson to change perceptions of the brand in Europe, thanks to its bolder design ...
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Product launches follow a faster cadence
New model launches are getting faster, more frequent and less certain. They also might be a lot fart ...
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Opel boosts connectivity offer in new Karl
Opel's new entry-level model, the Karl, is the brand's cheapest car but it now offers advanced conne ...
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Infiniti's 'big bang' starts with Q30
Infiniti expects the Q30 hatchback and its sibling model, the QX30 crossover, to give the brand a hu ...
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Renault packs Megane with high-tech upgrades
Renault has added upscale features to its new Megane to make the hatchback a better challenger in Eu ...
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Mini tweaks Clubman, moves it up a class
Mini hopes the latest Clubman's four-door body style instead of a three-and-a-half door configuratio ...
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Renault thinks big, green with Talisman flagship
Renault hopes that its new Talisman midsize car will win customers because of its size, efficient po ...
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Opel wants leaner Astra to leap over rivals
Opel hopes to win sales from the Volkswagen Golf as well as compact luxury models such as the BMW 1 ...
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Audi sees A4 causing segment shake-up
Audi executives are optimistic the arrival of the new A4 will give the Volkswagen Group subsidiary t ...
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Toyota rolls out fuel cell cars, but Europe is not ready yet
Toyota's European rollout of the fuel cell Mirai this month will be limited to the few countries in ...
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Suppliers to the new Jaguar XF
Assembly of the second-generation Jaguar XF began in June 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover's factory in Cas ...
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Suppliers to the new Audi Q7
Assembly of the second-generation Audi Q7 began in February 2015 at the German automaker's factory i ...
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Suppliers to the new VW Touran
Assembly of the third-generation Volkswagen Touran began in June 2015 at the German automaker's fact ...
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Suppliers to the new BMW 7 series
Assembly of the sixth-generation BMW 7 series began in July 2015 at the automaker's factory in Dingo ...
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Magna makes new VW Passat lighter
Magna shaved weight off of the body stampings it provides to the eighth-generation VW Passat, which ...
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GKN helps slash CO2 in new Volvo XC90
GKN Automotive formed a partnership with Volvo to develop a so-called eAxle for the plug-in hybrid v ...
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