Headlines for Monday, January 21, 2013

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BEST PRACTICES

Go to class, win a Dart

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Lots of dealers have given away cars to boost their business and help local charities. But a Chrysler Group dealership's annual $75,000 car raffle has pumped more than $1 million into struggling local schools and earned the dealership dozens of extra sales.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Feds to lift 5-star bar?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
NHTSA ponders 'small overlap' crash test; Jag on the prowl for compact; Rechtin on Vette's 'borrowed' styling

Auto marketers flocking to Super Bowl

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Hyundai and Kia each will have two spots during the Super Bowl, the companies said here last week during the auto show. They join a pack of auto brands eager to reach the game's huge audience.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Enough mandates, already!

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Texas Chevrolet dealer Greg May says he could do without the latest mandate from General Motors to hire a firm to handle his online reputation management. May said GM's intentions are good but the execution is ham-handed.

Past winners talk about being a Rising Star

Jan. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
Past winners of the Automotive News Europe Rising Star award say that since being named they’ve enjoyed increased recognition from inside and outside their companies.

VIDEO: First Shift: Detroit's pickup 'dust-up'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Snyder on a big segment where Ford, GM and Chrysler continue to shine; Zetsche era extended?; Alfa's return; Batman's $4.6M ride

Zetsche expects to stay on as Daimler CEO

Jan. 21, 2013 08:51 CET
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he expects to have his contract renewed by the company's supervisory board in February after his current term as head of the car and truck maker expires at the end of this year.

Cars.com to open 'Why Drama' campaign with Super Bowl spot

3:56 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Cars.com will return to the Super Bowl next month with a commercial touting how the vehicle shopping Web site takes the drama out of car buying. In a statement, Cars.

Seattle startup tied to Wagoner delivers cars for test drives

4:23 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
A new online service enables car shoppers to test drive vehicles without going to a dealership. Tred, a Seattle startup with ties to former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, cuts dealership trips by delivering new vehicles for consumers to test drive and possibly purchase.

GM offers maintenance plan to fleet buyers

3:40 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
GM is offering a two-year, 30,000-mile maintenance plan through its Business Choice program for business fleet buyers.

VW names new sales strategy boss

Jan. 21, 2013 12:29 CET
Volkswagen Group has appointed Gert Schardey to run sales strategy and business development at its core VW brand.

Bentley ultraluxury SUV nears final approval

Jan. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
Bentley Motors is close to a decision to build an ultraluxury SUV, according to CEO Wolfgang Schreiber. The vehicle would share a platform with Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche.

2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

BMW EV's range extended by motorcycle engine

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
BMW AG will offer a two-cylinder motorcycle engine and a generator to extend the range of its i3 electric. Herbert Diess, BMW's head of r&d, said the package will be offered as an option on the i3.

Q&A: DAVID STRICKLAND

NHTSA may add 'small overlap,' angled crash tests

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration soon may revise its five-star crash safety program with new tests for cars and trucks, Administrator David Strickland tells Automotive News.

GM looks for early contract talks at CAMI plant, CAW says

1:31 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
The CAW is recommending workers at a General Motors plant accept what it says is the automaker's request to open labor talks months ahead of a September contract expiry, believing it could help secure jobs at the southern Ontario site.

Toyota set to pick Prius developer as next chairman, report says

11:23 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Toyota will probably pick Takeshi Uchiyamada, who led the development of the Prius hybrid car in 1990s, to replace Fujio Cho as the company's next chairman, Nikkei reported today, without citing anyone.

2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

$30,000 is the new luxury-car hot spot

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
There's a new price battleground -- $30,000 -- for luxury-car makers as they chase younger buyers with small front-wheel-drive vehicles that are sliding down into mass-market territory.

2013 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Prime time for big pickups

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Low incentives, new products and construction sites filled with aging pickups have set the stage for an especially competitive -- and lucrative -- battle in the one segment the Detroit 3 still dominate: big pickups.

Alfa Romeo brand to re-enter U.S. market in late 2013

Jan. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has reiterated his intention to reintroduce the Alfa Romeo brand to the U.S. market later this year with the 4C coupe sports car.

KEITH CRAIN

The car is alive and well

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
There have been a few years recently that have been pretty bleak for those of us in the automobile business. Thankfully, 2012 was a great year in North America for suppliers, manufacturers and automobile dealers Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News.

Honda concept sets off small-crossover buzz

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
With plans for a crossover based on the Fit subcompact in mid-2014, Honda is primed to have the first entry in a segment with intriguing prospects. And if the small-crossover category takes off, Honda could dominate it for years, judging by the wait-and-see attitude adopted by other automakers.

Chrysler near a deal for preferred lender

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Chrysler Group is close to signing a new preferred auto lender that promises to boost leasing for dealers. Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker is "in the final stretch" of negotiations with the financial services provider, which he did not name.

Denso plans $1 billion in N.A. projects

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Denso International America Inc. plans to invest about $1 billion in North America over the next four years, including about $750 million in the United States that will create more than 1,200 jobs, the supplier said at the Detroit auto show last week.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Sizing up Detroit

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
West Coast Editor Mark Rechtin -- our tireless chronicler of such things as "micro-cheese-grater" interiors and front ends that evoke "a dachshund snorting a gopher hole" -- walked the floor of the Detroit auto show gathering first impressions of new cars and concepts.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Nissan Leaf price cut puts heat on rivals

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn opened his press conference last week at the Detroit auto show with a bombshell: Nissan will cut the base price of the Leaf electric vehicle by $6,400.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Compact is 'top priority' for Jaguar

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Jaguar wants to re-enter the compact segment and is considering multiple body styles, the brand's top executive said.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Side Swipe

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Ask a world-famous designer at the Detroit show why his new vehicle has a sharp crease down its side, and chances are he'll talk about emotion.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Mercedes to add 2 models to S-class range

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Mercedes-Benz's redesigned S-class range, which begins to arrive this fall, will grow from three vehicles to five with the addition of a convertible and an ultraluxury sedan.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

VW to make turbo engines standard

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
By year end, three of the key cars in Volkswagen's U.S. lineup will be offered with a smaller, turbocharged engine, VW executives said last week, as the brand downsizes in an effort to boost fuel economy.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Lutz, GM end consulting deal

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
General Motors has parted ways with former product boss Bob Lutz, 80, who had been a paid part-time consultant for GM since September 2011.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Tesla factory running full tilt

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Tesla Motors' Fremont, Calif., assembly plant is now at its full run-rate of 20,000 electric Model S sedans per year. The company also has begun producing 60 kWh vehicles -- the midgrade trim level -- in addition to the top-end 85 kWh cars.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

VW ponders U.S. pickup

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Ulrich Hackenberg, the Volkswagen AG board member in charge of product development, says VW might consider a pickup for its U.S. lineup -- but not until after 2018.

EDITORIAL

Keep recession's hard-learned lessons in mind

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
This is no time to get complacent. The U.S. auto industry is back on track. There is momentum, and it's all in the right direction.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Calif.'s leadership is bold, vital

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
California's zero-emission vehicle program is already showing signs of success. The policy has helped make California the leading U.S. market for hybrid and electric vehicles.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Detroit should have an auto showplace

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
It's time for Detroit to have an automotive showplace worthy of the Motor City. What better way to do that than with a site like the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany?

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Toyota Furia sheds some light on the next Corolla

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Toyota offered a vision of its next-generation Corolla sedan that arrives in late 2013 with the unveiling of the Furia concept at the Detroit auto show.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Nissan spices up Versa hatch

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Nissan will position its redesigned Versa hatchback to go after what it expects to be continued growth in the compact and subcompact segments. The company unveiled the hatchback at the Detroit auto show last week.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Mercedes' big CLA buildup begins with the Super Bowl

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
A 60-second TV spot in the fourth-quarter of next month's Super Bowl will kick off Mercedes-Benz's marketing for the CLA, a four-door compact with coupe styling that goes on sale in September.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Niche products still a priority at Nissan

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
The casual observer of Nissan product development for the past year or two could easily get the idea that the company has shifted its focus from interesting-but-marginal niche products to big-selling mainstream volume products. Not so, says the automaker's top global product planning executive.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Execs unfazed by Dart's slow start

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Top Chrysler Group executives took responsibility for the 2013 Dodge Dart's sluggish sales start but said they have "a lot of levers" available to boost sales.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Lincoln to explore 'mass customization'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Lincoln wants to let shoppers custom-order vehicles with an array of special touches.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

Cadillac's spin on the ELR: Get 'em before they're gone

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Cadillac will produce a limited number of the ELR plug-in hybrid, unveiled at the auto show here last week. That's a good thing, Caddy executives say.

NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

JCI gets deal to produce 48-volt batteries

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2013
Supplier Johnson Controls Inc. is developing a 48-volt lithium ion battery for European automakers.

Automotive News
Special Video Report
Nissan's Munoz: 'You Grow or You Go'

Nissan's Munoz: 'You Grow or You Go'

Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz has a tough goal to meet: Raise the combined U.S. market share of the Nissan and Infiniti brands from 8.4 percent last year to 10 percent by March of 2017.
» Watch the Video
     
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