Headlines for Monday, April 23, 2012

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Innovators win 2012 Automotive News PACE Awards

Engineers say the internal combustion engine still has many improvements in store -- and Automotive News PACE Awards judges agree. Four of the nine 2012 product awards, announced tonight at a black-tie event here, are for new ways to squeeze performance out of the industry's mainstay powerplant. Read More »

Panel topic: Getting green and profitable

The Automotive News Green Car Conference has been cancelled for 2012. Read More »

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Average wholesale used-vehicle prices, March

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

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Sonic hits used-vehicle sales records in March

Sonic Automotive Inc. aims to have its stores average at least 100 used-vehicle sales a month by year end. Meanwhile, Sonic reported a 24 percent gain in earnings for the first quarter, but the company's shares plunged 5 percent during a down day on Wall Street. Read More »

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2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

MG Icon concept previews a potential SUV for British brand

MG Motor UK's Icon concept unveiled at the Beijing auto show combines the British marque's sports car heritage with a more modern design direction pursued by the brand's Chinese owners, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Beijing sights and sounds

General Motors adding 600 dealerships in China, Lamborghini's 600-horsepower SUV, BMW's electric 'i,' Nissan's Sentra tease, Germain growing. Read More »

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'14 Mazda6 will drop V-6 engine

The Mazda6 sedan will shed its V-6 engine in the redesign scheduled for the 2014 model year. The third-generation Mazda6 will be sold with four-cylinder engines only. Read More »

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Chrysler, USA Basketball to launch marketing partnership

Chrysler Group said Monday it had agreed to a marketing tie-up with USA Basketball that makes the Jeep Wrangler the official vehicle of the men’s and women’s U.S. basketball programs, including the 2012 U.S. Olympic teams. Read More »

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First Shift: 300C with Chinese flair

Chrysler 300C concept, Cadillac XTS, Ford SUVs take stage at Beijing show; summit to examine battery safety; honoring Honda's greenest dealers. Read More »

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Ghosn calls Nissan's earnings 'indispensible' to struggling Renault

Renault rode to the rescue of Nissan when the Japanese company was on the brink of collapse in 1999. Now Carlos Ghosn – who heads of both automakers as CEO of their 13-year alliance – says it is Nissan's turn to return the favor. Read More »

Obituary

Information about Richard Bowlin, the longtime owner of Allen County Motors in Fort Wayne, Ind. Read More »

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RICHARD JOHNSON:

In China, Mercedes styling aims to go deep and intellectual with technology

Olivier Boulay has been Mercedes' design guru in Asia for 15 years. First it was in Japan and now he is among the first wave of western designers carving out a modern look for Chinese vehicles. Read More »

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2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

Fiat counts on Viaggio for a boost in China

Fiat expects the new Viaggio to be a strong competitor in the world's largest market, where the Italian automaker has failed twice to gain a foothold. Read More »

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JASON STEIN:

For Volvo, Knicks star is priceless Lin-vestment across China

If you think 6-foot-3 New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is popular in the United States, you can't believe his star appeal in China. For Volvo, he's simply a ringing Lin-dorsement here. Read More »

Automakers, suppliers propose strategy to replace key resin

The auto industry may soon have a strategy to avoid vehicle production interruptions that could be caused by the critical shortage of a key resin used in a variety of components. Read More »

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Senators question U.S. loan to Fisker Automotive

Two Republican senators have asked the Obama administration to explain why it approved a $529 million loan to startup Fisker Automotive, which has suspended production of a heavily touted plug-in electric car as it revamps its business plan. Read More »

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2012 PACE Award Winners

The 18th annual Automotive News PACE Award winners, announced April 23, 2012. Read More »

Fifth supplier agrees to plead guilty in U.S. price-fixing probe

Japanese wire harness supplier Fujikura has agreed to enter a guilty plea in federal court in Detroit to a single count of price fixing. Read More »

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2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

GM to bulk up engineering resources in Pan-Asia region, Akerson says

GM will add resources in its Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center over the next four years as it develops more vehicles globally, GM CEO Dan Akerson said today. Read More »

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2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

Nissan unveils sedan previewing the 2013 Sentra compact

Nissan unveiled a sedan at the Beijing auto show today that will be the basis for the 2013 Sentra compact that's coming to the United States. Read More »

Ohio's Germain Motor acquires Michigan's Howard Cooper

Ohio-based dealership group Germain Motor has acquired Howard Cooper Import Center in Michigan. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read More »

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RICHARD JOHNSON:

The big and little dilemmas facing Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz sells extended-length versions of its S-class and E-class sedans in China to give back seat passengers space to stretch out and maybe do some work while riding in one of Beijing's miserable traffic jams. Read More »

2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

Geely, BAIC, Tata sign $500M in contracts with Harman

Harman International said it signed more than $500 million worth agreements to provide in-car entertainment systems to three carmakers in China and India. Read More »

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DAVID SEDGWICK:

Audi reinvents itself in China's luxury market

GM may be China's biggest foreign automaker, but Volkswagen AG dominates the Beijing auto show. At the convention center, the German automaker filled an entire building with various models of its own brands. Read More »

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BEST PRACTICES:

Dealer finally finds room; used cars soar

Florida Hyundai dealer Scott Fink, hemmed in on a 4-acre lot, barely bothered with used cars during his first nine years in business. He wanted to maximize new-vehicle sales on his limited space. Read More »

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MG reveals the Icon SUV

MG, the famed British brand now owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., revealed sketches of the Icon concept vehicle. The compact SUV, scheduled to be unveiled at this week's Beijing auto show, is said to preview a production model to be introduced in China in 2014. Read More »

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CARS & CONCEPTS:

M-B to preview new small sedan in Beijing

A coupe-style, four-door concept Mercedes-Benz will unveil this week at the Beijing auto show previews the entry-level sedan the company plans to sell here starting late next year. Read More »

Akerson says GM to add 600 China dealers in 2012

GM CEO Dan Akerson said today that the company would expand its dealership network in China this year by about 600. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

How I beat Sergio Marchionne to the Beijing auto show

I thought that I had a rough trip from my hotel to the opening of the Beijing auto show. Then I learned I got to the show with fewer delays than Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's police-escorted motorcade. Read More »

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RICHARD JOHNSON:

Hyundai hits pause as China market cools

Notwithstanding those big announcements by Volkswagen and Ford about building new plants, the sense of urgency in China may have subsided just a tad since the Shanghai auto show a year ago. Read More »

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HANS GREIMEL:

Honda wants Chinese tastes to flavor global designs

Honda wants Chinese tastes in cars to add more flavor to its global lineup. At the Beijing auto show, CEO Takanobu Ito unveiled two new concept cars, one of which will be manufactured and sold first in China before being introduced worldwide. Read More »

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LUCA CIFERRI:

Fiat, Marchionne aim for fresh start in China with Viaggio

Fiat is late to China, but it is ready for a new start with a new partner, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show on Monday. Read More »

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Renault, Dongfeng sign outline deal on China JV, exec says

Renault and China's Dongfeng Motor have signed a framework agreement on a joint venture, a senior Renault executive confirmed on Monday. In March, the two signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly produce vehicles in China. Read More »

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2012 BEIJING AUTO SHOW:

Chrysler brand will relaunch in China with 300C sedan

Chrysler plans to relaunch brand sales in China this June with the 300C large sedan, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show on Monday. The automaker, which sells the Jeep brand in China, last sold Chrysler-badged cars in China three years ago. Read More »

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Ford makes big changes to its popular Escape

For more than a decade, the Ford Escape has chugged along with a conservative, boxy design firmly rooted in SUV tradition. For 2013, the Escape has undergone a radical transformation, trading its squarish look for a sleek, curvy, carlike design. Read More »

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Lamborghini ultra-SUV concept stomps into fray

Lamborghini is considering building the exotic Urus SUV concept it is unveiling this week at the Beijing auto show. Read More »

Resin plant blast put global auto output at risk; industry dodges a bullet -- this time

Although fears of a nylon resin shortage appeared to ease last week, the flurry over nylon 12 exposed a lingering auto industry problem: In the lower tiers of the supply chain, a fire, flood or natural disaster that chokes off supply of an obscure but vital component can instantly create the threat... Read More »

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QUICKER, BETTER, FASTER:

Speedy computers and graphics are rushing new technology into cars. But can humans manage the deluge?

Massive computing power and advanced graphics have revolutionized video games. Now they're doing the same to the auto industry. Engineers and designers are using computers to create and test new parts and vehicle technology at astonishing speeds. Read More »

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FINAL ASSEMBLY:

Ford's old West Coast Model A plant is now a great place to plug the new stuff

When introducing new vehicles to the media, carmakers fall all over themselves trying to choose a location that will wow journalists. But Ford outdid itself last week in launching the 2013 Escape. Read More »

Used prices 'pretty close' to record

Prices of late-model used vehicles will peak for the year in the next few weeks, then gradually fall, ending the year close to January levels, analysts say. Read More »

Wanted: Dealership stars

Automotive News is looking for 40 achievers who are rising stars at auto dealerships. Are you part of that mix? Or do you know someone who is? Automotive News will spotlight those stars in "40 Under 40," a special section July 16. Read More »

Sales up for EVs, hybrids

The market for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles is perking up, just when many were ready to write it off. In the first three months of 2012, U.S. sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs shot up 44 percent from the year-ago quarter, to 113,457. Read More »

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THE DIGITAL DISCIPLE:

Dean Evans' dot.com mind-set at Subaru

Dean Evans admits to taking a few potshots over the years at automakers' chief marketing officers. Now Evans is a chief marketer himself; he took over at Subaru of America in September. But he still thinks most of his peers are out of touch when it comes to Internet sales and marketing Read More »

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Canadian dealer buries a Jeep, hires an ambassador and puts on the Ritz

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