Headlines for Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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VW will preview Beetle convertible at Beijing show

VW will use the Beijing auto show to preview the Beetle convertible ahead of its launch later this year. VW will show the E-Bugster concept in Beijing. Read More »

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F&I Week to feature George Angus on managing F&I careers

F&I trainer George Angus will be among the featured speakers during Automotive News F&I Week, a three-day online conference to be held in June. Read More »

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PHILIP NUSSEL:

How GM's industrial accident became an election year story

Almost as soon as reports surfaced today about an explosion at GM's battery-testing lab, there was breathless discussion in the media of this being another alleged problem for the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. Read More »

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Battery test explosion injures five at GM lab

A battery explosion this morning in a General Motors research lab injured five people and caused a small fire along with other damage. Fire crews were called to the battery systems lab at GM's Warren Technical Center at about 8:45 a.m. after a report of an explosion in the plant. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Selling Chrysler in Iraq

Ex-Chrysler sales chief Gary Dilts becomes a dealer in the danger zone, an accident hits GM technical center, automakers' gift to Uncle Sam. Read More »

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First Shift: Can Toyota find flair?

Toyota seeks more pizazz in design, Ford to market Focus EV through online reality show, record new-car MPG, small used-car values on rise. Read More »

Study: U.S. auto industry generated $135B in tax revenue in 2010

The auto industry in the United States generated more than $135 billion in federal and state revenue in 2010, a new report says. In a study released today by the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit research organization in Ann Arbor, Mich. Read More »

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Chrysler wins court challenge by dismissed Calif. dealer

Chrysler prevailed in its defense against a dismissed dealer suing for reinstatement after the company terminated 789 franchises during its 2009 restructuring. Read More »

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U.S. Fleet Sales, March & YTD

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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U.S. car and light-truck inventories, on April 1

This is data compiled by the Automotive News Data Center and requires a Data Center subscription to access. Read More »

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Ally hiking underwriter staff to service dealers

As auto lending comes back along with U.S. auto sales, Ally Financial, whose biggest automotive customers are General Motors and Chrysler, is hiring. Its U.S. customers also include the Fiat, Suzuki and Maserati brands. Read More »

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Fidelis co-owner pleads guilty to stealing, fraud

One of the two brothers who owned and operated U.S. Read More »

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JAMIE LaREAU:

Paper still trumps tablets for F&I menus … for now

I still buy books, not Nooks. So it didn’t surprise me when most folks on the Ethical F&I Managers Facebook page declared they prefer paper to iPads and tablets for their finance and insurance menus. Read More »

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Leasing buoys Hyundai's chart-topping loyalty

The Hyundai brand is taking advantage of higher residual values to step on the gas in leasing. In turn, leasing is helping Hyundai build loyalty that ranks among the best in the industry. Read More »

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Q&A:

Why NADA chief offers his own leases

Most dealers offer customers lease deals from captive finance companies. But NADA Chairman Bill Underriner goes a step further. Along with captives' deals, he offers customers competing deals through his own auto leasing company. Read More »

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Saab administrators evaluate bids for carmaker

Saab's bankruptcy administrators have said they are evaluating bids for the Swedish brand and aim to make a decision before the summer. Read More »

BMW's March car sales break all monthly records

BMW said first-quarter new-car sales were the highest ever on the back of March sales that broke all previous records as its three largest markets posted double-digit growth. Read More »

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VW brand posts March sales record

Volkswagen said vehicle sales of its namesake brand rose 14.6 percent in March to a record 536,600 units, extending the gain in first-quarter deliveries to 1.36 million. Read More »

Fiat, VW, Opel car production in Poland hit by eurozone worries

Poland's car production slowed sharply in March in anticipation of weaker demand from markets in the eurozone, industry monitor Samar said. Fiat, VW and Opel all produce vehicles in the country. Read More »

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VW seeks successor to 'people's car' with Up family

Volkswagen has failed to find one true successor to the original Beetle, so with its family of Up-derived minicars it's trying out several to tackle the market for affordable, basic transport. Read More »

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JIM HENRY:

Loan extensions: Handle with care

There's a loan-extension scam going around that the Federal Trade Commission says you should know about.
Read More »

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JOHN K. TEAHEN JR.:

BMW wears the 2011 true-luxury crown

Comes now the time to separate the men from the boys in the luxury segment of the market. The men are the true-luxury vehicles, those with sticker prices of $45,000 or more. The boys are the near-luxury cars and light trucks. Read More »



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