Headlines for Monday, January 7, 2013

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Mass. dealers lose fight to block Tesla stores

Winning a court appeal or intervention by the attorney general may be the last hopes for Massachusetts dealers trying to block Tesla Motors Inc.'s retail stores. Read More »

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BEST PRACTICES:

DCH Auto blends tradition with new twists

Dah Chong Hong Ltd., a Chinese food and textile distributorship, survived World War II by relocating to avoid military occupation. Read More »

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ZEV 'straitjacket'?

They rarely say so in public, but automakers are worried about California's law requiring that zero-emission vehicles account for 15 percent of sales in the state by the 2025 model year. Read More »

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GE backs off plan to buy 25,000 EVs, plug-in hybrids

General Electric's commitment to buy 25,000 electric autos, promoted as the largest ever when it was announced more than two years ago, is taking a detour. The obstacle: Customers of GE's corporate fleet-services unit wanted more options. Read More »

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AutoNews Now: Early look at Detroit show

A hint from Acura, a cloaked Corvette, and an eye on Infiniti; GE adds non-EV options to green plan; unplugged at LAX. Read More »

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Toyota's carbon-fiber foray

The soaring Japanese yen has killed any hope of launching a variant of the money-losing, carbon-fiber Lexus LFA sports car, at least for now. When the last $375,000 LFA was built Dec. 14, Toyota was left with a very costly and sophisticated -- yet nearly idle -- carbon-fiber factory. Read More »

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How Honda hustled to redo Civic

Jay Guzowski was getting more nervous by the day. As senior product planner for the redesign of the 2012 Honda Civic, Guzowski was shepherding the compact car from design freeze to market. Read More »

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2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW:

Nissan whips up fragrance, new display to lure Detroit show visitors

After keeping a low profile at several recent North American auto shows, Nissan is mounting a full-blown return to the spotlight at next week's Detroit auto show -- complete with the release of a new show fragrance the brand hopes will become its trademark smell. Read More »

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Volvo sees challenging year ahead after 2012 sales drop

Volvo said its global sales fell 6 percent last year, including double-digit drops in China and Sweden and a small rise in the United States, and warned of a tough 2013. Read More »

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First Shift: Japan's China woes easing

Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Mazda still down, but spiffs are slowing the bleeding; Volvo: Rough 2013; best sales forecasters. Read More »

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DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:

Win on Sunday, maybe, maybe not sell on Monday

Is the theory of Win on Sunday, sell on Monday a myth? Alain Visser says yes. Volvo's sales chief is a diehard race fan, but he's also a realist when it comes to the true return on investment provided by a motor sports sponsorship. Read More »

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UK races to revive supplier industry

The revival of car production in the UK has prompted the government to take action to rebuild the country's supplier industry. Read More »

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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:

Hanger-on Avenger mars the Dart's start

It's not yet quite fair to compare monthly Dodge Dart sales with sales of such segment stalwarts as the Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze and Honda Civic. Read More »

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2013 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW:

Toyota pursues 'co-pilot' car over self-driving vehicle system

Toyota said autonomous safety technologies it’s developing are intended to create a virtual “co-pilot” in vehicles to help drivers avoid accidents rather than self-driving cars and trucks. Read More »

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2013 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW:

More connected car innovations take stage at CES

At the world's largest technology conference that kicked off today, the most intriguing innovations showcased may be gadgets and technology that turn vehicles into connected, smarter machines. Read More »

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2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW:

Hyundai hints at fastback-style roofline for next Genesis

Hyundai seems poised to adopt a fastback-style roofline similar to those of the Audi A7 and other sedans with coupelike styling for its next-generation rear-wheel-drive premium sedans. Read More »

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NHTSA proposes rules for automakers to add sound to hybrids, EVs

Automakers would need to make hybrids and electric vehicles emit sound under rules that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed today. Read More »

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JAMES B. TREECE:

Remember, trucks make the bucks

Car sales rose 18 percent in 2012, twice the gain of light trucks. But trucks are where the money is. Read More »

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U.S. Fleet Sales, Dec. & 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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Daimler stake eyed by China investment fund

China's sovereign wealth fund may buy a stake in Daimler, a China media outlet reported Monday. Read More »

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2012 tally: The big stars and stumblers

Lots of vehicles overachieved like crazy in what was a big, booming sales year for the industry, but many failed to live up to expectations in 2012. Winners benefited from fresh designs with fuel efficiency and appealing technology. Read More »

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2013 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW:

Ford to offer Rhapsody online music service in 1 million vehicles

Ford will offer Rhapsody International's Internet music service in more than 1 million Ford and Lincoln vehicles, the online company's first tie-in with an automaker. Read More »

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Daimler stake may be acquired by China investment fund

China's sovereign wealth fund may buy a stake in Daimler AG, a China media outlet reported today. Read More »

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NUTS & BOLTS:

Ex-Audi designer Schreyer is a Kia president without the pressure

It has yet to be shown that star designers can be transformed into heads of big car company divisions. So when designer Peter Schreyer was named president of Kia Motors over the holidays, we wondered about the wisdom of the move. Read More »

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Audi plans 2016 start in Mexico

Audi is firming up plans for its plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico. In the employee newspaper Audimobil, Mattias Rust, project manager for staff in Mexico, said construction will begin in 2014 and production will start in May 2016 with about 3,800 employees. Read More »

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PSA may sell Faurecia stake to reduce debt, analyst says

PSA may be forced to dispose of its stake in partsmaker Faurecia to further reduce its debt, a Paris-based analyst said on Monday. Read More »

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Rising Star nominations sought

Automotive News Europe needs your help to find the Rising Stars in the European automotive industry. We define a Rising Star as an automotive executive with a pan-European profile who has driven change, fostered innovation and made courageous decisions. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1. Read More »

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DETROIT AUTO SHOW PREVIEW:

Destination Detroit

Next week's Detroit auto show will demonstrate that automakers are gunning for good looks and speed, even as cars and light trucks are shrinking to save fuel. Audi is showing the RS7, a high-performance version of the A7. And Chevrolet will unveil a redesigned Corvette. Read More »

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Mercedes' December sales rise on U.S. demand

Daimler said global sales at its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit rose 0.4 percent to 132,589 in December as strong U.S. demand offset weaker deliveries in China and western Europe. Through December, sales rose 4.5 percent to a record 1.42 million. Read More »

UK car sales rise to 4-year high in 2012

British new-car registrations rose 5.3 percent to 2.04 million cars in 2012, the highest level since 2008, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said today. The rise was in stark contrast to other major European markets, which all suffered major declines last year. Read More »

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Volvo sees challenging year ahead after 2012 sales drop

Volvo said its global sales fell 6.1 percent last year, including double digit drops in China and Sweden and a small rise in the United States, and warned of a tough 2013. Read More »

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JLR's UK sales rise 19.7% in 2012

Jaguar Land Rover said UK vehicle sales rose 19.7 percent to 68,586 in 2012. Deliveries of Land Rover SUVs rose almost 25 percent to 54,480, boosted by demand for the Range Rover Evoque, while registrations of the Jaguar brand increased 2.4 percent to 14,105 vehicles, the company added. Read More »

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Slower growth, but still on the right track

U.S. auto sales may not surpass 16 million units for at least two years, but with most automakers already posting healthy profits and struggling to find production capacity to meet demand, few are in a hurry to get there. And as sales grow more slowly, competition will intensify. Read More »

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Avis Budget, Zipcar to share cars

Avis Budget Group Inc.'s proposed purchase of Zipcar Inc., a car-sharing company, will enable the combined company to meet swings in customer demand with fewer vehicles, the top executive at Avis Budget said. The result could be annual savings of $50 million to $70 million. Read More »

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Former Automotive News staffer honored

Veteran journalist and former Automotive News staff member Kathy Jackson, 62, will receive the 2013 Urban Wheel Lifetime Achievement Award. Peter Brown, publisher of Automotive News, will present the award to Jackson at the 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards on Sunday, Jan. 13, in Detroit. Read More »

Watch your e-mail for our streamlined newsletters

Beginning today, Jan. 7, readers of Automotive News' e-mail newsletters will receive more streamlined versions aimed at delivering the most important industry news and insight more efficiently. Read More »

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NEWS ANALYSIS:

After a weak '12, Ford looks ahead

Ford Motor Co. finished 2012 with a 5 percent sales increase. But industrywide sales grew 13 percent, so Ford lagged behind many major rivals and lost market share for the second year in a row. Read More »

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2012 SALES:

Reuss: Judge us in mid-2014

If you want a true read on the strength of General Motors in the U.S. market, wait until mid-2014. That was the message last week from GM North America President Mark Reuss as he fended off questions about GM's 17.9 percent U.S. market share for 2012. Read More »

2012 SALES:

New 3 helps BMW keep luxury crown

A redesigned 3 series that debuted in February made the difference as BMW won its second straight U.S. luxury sales crown in 2012 by 7,376 units over Mercedes-Benz. Read More »

NEWS ANALYSIS:

Remember, trucks make the bucks

Car sales rose 18 percent in 2012, twice the gain of light trucks. But trucks are where the money is. Read More »

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KEITH CRAIN:

Let's not kill the golden goose

Last year was a very good year. Nearly everybody ended the year smiling. Dealers saw the best profits in quite a while, and suppliers also did well. Manufacturers had financials that showed healthy profits after a long period of drought. Read More »

EDITORIAL:

Settlement offers proof of the need for tort reform

Toyota Motor Corp. has bungled many aspects of the unintended-acceleration mess. But the proposed settlement of lawsuits involving a presumed loss of value in some used Toyota and Lexus models is outrageous and amounts to legalized extortion, which could total as much as $1.4 billion. Read More »

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Marketing destroys buyers' trust

The majority of customers shop more than one dealer, which leads to the dickering. And why do most shoppers not trust the first price they get? Because the manufacturers are constantly changing the marketing programs and consequently the prices of vehicles. Read More »



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