Headlines for Thursday, January 31, 2013

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VW mulls new growth goal as it nears 2018 target

Jan. 31, 2013 18:10 CET
Volkswagen's top managers are drawing up new expansion goals stretching as far as nine years ahead as steady volume gains have already propelled the automaker within reach of its current sales target for 2018.

Opel names Neumann as new CEO

Jan. 31, 2013 14:30 CET
Opel named Karl-Thomas Neumann as its new CEO. Neumann, 51, a former head of Volkswagen China and the supplier Continental, will take up the post on March 1.

Porsche, hedge funds agree VW case can be heard in Germany

Jan. 31, 2013 20:46 CET
Porsche SE and several hedge funds seeking damages from the company agreed that New York was the wrong place to pursue compensation, and left the door open to bringing a case in German courts.

Automakers' Super Bowl spots rule YouTube

5:08 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Carmakers' Super Bowl commercials so far are dominating viewership among the big game's ads on YouTube, the social-media video site.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Opel chief's to-do list

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Ex-VW exec to tackle slow sales, losses at troubled GM unit; China's air woes may aid some automakers; bully for Hyundai.

VIDEO: First Shift: AutoNation renaming stores

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Nearly all will carry dealership group's moniker; Cadillac's new ad boss; Honda trims forecast; Snyder: Signs of strong 2013.

Daimler near deal to take stake in China partner, report says

Jan. 31, 2013 10:41 CET
Daimler will sign a deal in Germany on Friday to take a 10 percent to 20 percent stake in Beijing Automotive Group's car unit, China's National Business Daily newspaper said on Thursday.

PSA unions bicker over job cuts at crisis-hit automaker

Jan. 31, 2013 17:49 CET
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen labor leaders squared off against one another over a plan to eliminate 17 percent of the automaker's French workforce, with three of the five main unions urging immediate action to stem losses.

BMW will sell Husqvarna motorcycle brand to KTM owner

Jan. 31, 2013 18:19 CET
BMW agreed to sell its struggling Husqvarna off-road motorcycle unit to focus its two-wheeler efforts on its namesake brand.

AutoNation to put its own name on most dealerships

7:45 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
AutoNation says it will drop regional brand names on its dealerships and use the AutoNation moniker on most of its 221 stores coast to coast.

BorgWarner, Manganello donate $2 million to UM for endowed chair in mechanical engineering

4:07 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
BorgWarner Chairman Tim Manganello and the company's charitable foundation are donating $2 million to the University of Michigan College of Engineering for an endowment to fund research and teaching.

More electric car loans 'remains to be seen,' Chu says

3:52 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said it "remains to be seen in the future" whether about $16 billion in available federal government loans to develop alternative-technology vehicles will be disbursed.

Costco-GM promotion proves value of 90-day sales drives

3:33 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
A 90-day sales drive beats a 60-day one. By a lot. That's the lesson from a 90-day sales promotion between General Motors and Costco Auto Program that ended Jan. 2.

VIDEO: Infiniti's de Nysschen on global growth strategy

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Johan de Nysschen became head of Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand on July 1, 2012. Before that, he led Audi of America for seven years. In this video, he explains why Infiniti's headquarters are in Hong Kong and addresses the prospect for design and production investment in the U.S.

VW German workers want a pay hike of up to 6.5%

Jan. 31, 2013 13:51 CET
Workers at Volkswagen's German factories may seek as much as 6.5 percent more pay this year, demanding a share of the company's record sales, VW's top labor representative said.

Wanxiang interested in aiding Fisker after A123 purchase

8:04 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Chinese supplier Wanxiang Group, which just won approval to acquire battery maker A123 Systems, said it now wants to help support A123's main customer, Fisker Automotive, the financally troubled plug-in hybrid sports car maker.


New Opel CEO Neumann may have a mission impossible

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Opel's new CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann is an auto industry veteran, but he hasn't remained in a top job long enough to judge whether he can turn around GM's European operations.

Honda trims full-year profit forecast

Jan. 31, 2013 09:46 CET
Honda cut its full-year profit forecast as lower sales in China and Europe overshadowed the benefits from the weaker yen. Net income will likely be 370 billion yen ($4.1 billion) in the 12 months ending March 31, compared with its previous estimate for 375 billion yen.

Autoliv says weak European car market will dent first-quarter sales

Jan. 31, 2013 13:19 CET
Autoliv said its sales in the first quarter of 2013 were likely to fall 4 percent due to weak European car markets.


New Opel CEO Neumann may have a mission impossible

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 31, 2013
Opel's new CEO, Karl-Thomas Neumann, is an auto industry veteran but he hasn't remained in a top job long enough to judge whether he can turnaround around GM's European operations.

Goodyear will close French plant on Europe troubles

Jan. 31, 2013 11:49 CET
Goodyear will close its main French plant and cut its work force in the country by 39 percent amid labor disputes and plunging auto demand in Europe.

Fiat renames Maserati plant after company patriarch

Jan. 31, 2013 11:33 CET
Fiat has renamed its Maserati plant after company patriarch Giovanni “Gianni” Agnelli. The Italian industrialist and controlling Fiat shareholder served as the company's chairman from 1966 to 1996. He passed away a decade ago this month at age 81.

Tata denies it plans European production in Romania

Jan. 31, 2013 08:59 CET
Tata Motors has denied that it plans to open a vehicle assembly plant in Romania.