Headlines for Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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VIDEO: AutoNews Now: A powerful voice for EVs

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt says electric cars more than a novelty, Fitch elevates Ford from 'junk' status, ex-Chrysler exec on selling cars in China.

VIDEO: First Shift: A watchdog for Fisker?

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
U.S. asks firm to evaluate Fisker finances; automakers want to fast-track effort to find nylon 12 alternative; and a Mini versus Ferrari gender gap.

U.S. extends comment period on proposed distracted driving regs

2:04 pm U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Federal regulators have decided to extend the comment period on distracted driving guidelines another 24 days, after an auto industry trade association asked for more time to review the feds' proposal, according to a notice to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register.

Coda, Great Wall to co-develop EV for sale in 2014

1:36 pm U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Coda Automotive, a Los Angeles startup electric vehicle maker, plans to co-develop an EV with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co. that will go on sale in the second quarter of 2014.

Delphi says investment grade rating may come within 12 months

9:48 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Delphi Automotive, following a first quarter that included a 17.5 percent gain in net income, said it may earn an investment-grade rating in about 12 months.

GE CEO Immelt says electric car disappointment will fade

12:21 pm U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said people "may be disappointed in the adoption of the electric vehicle," but his company will continue investing in battery technology to reflect its confidence in an eventual uptick.

Ford will suspend production at Fiesta plant in Germany

April 24, 2012 12:22 CET
Ford will suspend production at its plant in Cologne, Germany, for as many as eight days before the summer break starts in July because of falling sales in southern Europe.


Jim Press: U.S. dealers to tap China retail market

11:24 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Jim Press, the former Toyota and Chrysler executive turned China dealership guru, says it's only a matter of time before foreign dealers tap the world's biggest auto market. Since September, Press has run dealerships in China for McLarty Automotive Partners as president of its international unit.


Next GM CEO should come from within, Akerson says

7:29 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
GM CEO Dan Akerson says he's not talking succession with the board, but that he prefers it tap an internal candidate when it is time for him to move on.


Honda debuts two production-intent concepts

10:30 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Honda was among the foreign manufacturers flexing their design potential at the Beijing motor show with a pair of concepts styled for the Chinese market. Named the Concept C and the Concept S, they preview vehicles set to arrive in China in the coming years.

Faurecia first-quarter sales rise on N. America, Asia demand

April 24, 2012 08:01 CET
French supplier Faurecia, the world's biggest maker of car interiors and exhaust systems, confirmed its full-year targets after posting an 8.4 percent gain in quarterly sales, helped by strong demand in North America and Asia.

VW says it will add seventh factory in China

April 24, 2012 06:01 CET
Volkswagen will invest about 170 million euros ($225 million) to build a new plant in Urumqi, western China, capable of making 50,000 vehicles annually starting in 2015, the company said.

Nissan's Ghosn sees yen as '1,000-pound gorilla' hampering sales

April 24, 2012 11:49 CET
Nissan said its sales may reach 10 trillion yen ($123 billion) this year depending on the strength of a currency that CEO Carlos Ghosn compared to an over-sized ape.

China's luxury market will remain a bright spot despite slower growth

April 24, 2012 10:12 CET
General Motors, Daimler, BMW, Audi and PSA are counting on China to maintain growth for their premium offerings, although they expect luxury car sales to rise at a slower pace amid higher fuel costs and a decelerating economy.

Automakers to speed parts-validation process on resin shortage

April 24, 2012 13:04 CET
Automakers led by General Motors and Volkswagen drafted a plan to expedite their parts validation processes as the industry tries to counter a shortage of resin used for making fuel and braking components.


Nissan cruises in China as Japan rivals play catch-up

8:26 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
Nissan is proving that being late to the party in China doesn't have to be a handicap, and is poised to widen its lead among Japanese automakers in the world's biggest car market with speedy and aggressive expansion plans.


Akerson: Opel will take time to turn profit

April 24, 2012 12:15 CET
GM CEO Dan Akerson said it will be “a while” before Opel turns a profit, and he wouldn't rule out closing factories as he restructures the automaker's money-losing German unit. He described the carmaker's European operations as a “four-alarm fire.”


Akerson: Opel will take time to turn profit, end '4-alarm fire'

6:42 am U.S. ET | April 24, 2012
GM CEO Dan Akerson won't rule out closing factories as he restructures the automaker's loss-making Opel unit and said it will be “a while” before Opel turns a profit.


Maserati Kubang concept makes final show stop

April 24, 2012 09:57 CET
Maserati says that the Beijing auto show will be the fourth and final auto-show appearance for its Kubang SUV concept. "After Beijing, we will retire the Kubang concept. Our SUV will reappear in its production form and with its final name in due time," Maserati CEO Harald Wester said.

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