Headlines for Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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What will define F&I in 2013

10:46 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
As 2013 gets under way, here are five F&I trends that experts say merit watching in the months ahead. The last two, greater volume and sharper competition, began in 2012 but are expected to accelerate as the year progresses.

Tailoring F&I to growing Hispanic market

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Auto dealers in markets with large Hispanic populations learned long ago that they often need to communicate with customers in Spanish. But the growing economic influence of Hispanic consumers in other markets means more dealerships must develop that capability.

Credit unions gained ground in 2012

9:05 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Credit unions are regaining share in auto lending. During the recession and credit freeze, credit unions gained share when banks and even some captive finance companies pulled back on auto lending. Credit unions lost share when the captives and banks came back.


BMW captive: Dealers want more than best price

9:00 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
It's no accident that BMW Group Financial Services is an early mover in e-contracting and the use of iPads in the F&I office, and also No. 1 in dealer satisfaction,. So says Shaun Bugbee, vice president of sales and marketing at the captive finance company, based in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Top stories from 2012

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
From politics to pump prices, and from tiles to tribulations, a countdown of 2012; plus, dealers, 'death tax' and the fiscal cliff.

Honda launches Civic campaign -- again

3:03 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Trying to build momentum behind the midcycle freshening of its core compact car, Honda is launching the Civic with a new advertising campaign for the third time in 20 months. This time, the campaign's focus is on Honda's quest for continuous improvement.

VIDEO: First Shift: 2013's people to watch

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
On the radar: Mulally's lieutenant, Infiniti's global chief and GM's purchasing leader; car demand rising; Volt tools too pricy?

Video: Engineering dean raps route to better cars

1:57 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
David Munson, engineering dean at the University of Michigan, lets his hair down in this rap holiday greeting. He also touts his students' quests to tackle some of the most pressing problems of the day, including designing better vehicles and developing fuels of the future.

Avis Budget acquires car-sharing service Zipcar for $491 million

7:34 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Avis Budget Group agreed to buy U.S. car-sharing company Zipcar for $491 million, targeting consumers looking for an alternative to owning their own auto.

How Renault's low-cost Dacia has become a 'cash cow'

Jan. 2, 2013 06:01 CET
Once considered a risky bet, Romanian automaker Dacia has become Renault's global profit machine. Europeans think of Renault's Dacia lineup as cheap, entry-level models that compete with used cars for sales.

Subaru to hike U.S. production capacity by 30 percent, report says

1:43 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru brand will increase production capacity at a U.S. plant by about 30 percent by fiscal 2016, the Nikkei business daily said.

NHTSA's backup-camera rules delayed

1:26 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has missed its deadline to release rules spurring automakers to outfit more cars and trucks with backup cameras.

U.S. new-auto registrations to grow 6.6% in 2013, Polk estimates

12:34 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Sales of new autos, a bright spot for the U.S. in 2012, will grow further this year as an improving economy and demand for pickups and for mid-sized cars boosts registrations 6.6 percent, according to R.L. Polk & Co. About 15.


Time to take a risk

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Suggesting a New Year’s resolution for someone else is risky business, but to me 2013 is the year dealerships should resolve to sell extended-service contracts in the service lane.

Hyundai, Kia forecast smallest growth in global sales in 7 years

12:34 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Hyundai Motor and smaller affiliate Kia Motors forecast their slowest sales growth in seven years as a slowing global economy and strengthening won saps demand. The two companies plan combined sales to rise 4.1 percent to 7.


Getting to know Dacia

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 2, 2013
Until last year, I had not driven a modern Dacia model nor felt any compelling reason to do so. However, the huge sales success of the Duster SUV encouraged me to try one of the models made by Renault's low-cost subsidiary.

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