Headlines for Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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Design message from Geneva: Bye-bye classic sedan

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
The Geneva auto show signaled that the classic four-door, three-box sedan with a true trunk is out of fashion, particularly in Europe. Two examples of this trend come from automakers with long traditions of sedan making: BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: Lexus makes a global play

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Toyota luxury brand plans multi-market campaign; Audi near milestone; dealers brace for loan scrutiny; peanuts, pretzels or a car?

GM marketing shakeup may end joint venture that handles Chevy advertising

9:02 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
GM is considering another shakeup in Chevrolet marketing that would end a joint venture created last year between two large agencies to handle Chevy's creative advertising globally.

Outgoing Chevy Impala lives another year, as fleet-only model

10:10 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
GM will sell the current Chevrolet Impala for another year to fleet customers only, while the soon-to-be launched replacement will be geared for sale mainly to retail buyers.

PSA streamlines top management after two executives step down

March 12, 2013 18:02 CET
PSA/Peugeot Citroen has streamlined its management board after brands director Frederic Saint Geours and r&d chief Guillaume Faury left their posts. Saint Geours will stay on with PSA as an advisor to CEO Philippe Varin, but Faury is leaving the automaker to become CEO of Eurocopter.

Ex-Opel CEO Stracke will join Magna Steyr

March 12, 2013 17:06 CET
Former Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke will join Magna Steyr, a unit of Magna International, on April 1. Stracke will be responsible for contract manufacturing at Magna Steyr's plant in Graz, Austria, as well as the unit's head of global engineering, the company said.

VW takeover law ruling may lead to big EU fine on Germany

March 12, 2013 23:14 CET
Germany may be forced to pay millions of euros in penalties by the European Union's highest court for failing to change its so-called Volkswagen law to conform to EU rules.

VIDEO: First Shift: Faceoff: Civic vs. Civic

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Outgoing model, pumped up by spiffs, shared the floor with replacement; Caddy ad agency shift?; Chrysler slows minivan output.

Minnesota dealers drop Tesla fight for now

4:04 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association -- at least for now -- is ending its push for legislation to block Tesla Motors from operating dealerships in that state.

Three GM cars being probed by NHTSA for possible brake light problems

4:18 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Federal safety regulators are looking at three General Motors vehicles for potential brake light defects that could result in a recall of more than a million mid-sized vehicles.

Automakers ask EPA to pull back on Calif. ZEV mandate

4:22 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Three months after the Obama administration gave California permission to start mandating the sale of zero-emission vehicles, automakers are again seeking to block the state's ZEV program.


'Dynamic' Range Rover Sport to debut in New York

9:57 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
The new Range Rover Sport premium large SUV will be unveiled March 26 on the eve of the New York auto show ahead of sales later this year, Land Rover said. “It is Land Rover's most dynamic vehicle yet,” Land Rover boss John Edwards said.

Lexus to launch global brand campaign in May

3:23 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Lexus, aiming to reach consumers who have not considered the brand in the past, will launch its first global advertising campaign in May.

Ford recalls 7,150 newly built vehicles to repair child locks

2:53 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Ford plans to recall 7,150 vehicles built in November, including the 2013 Escape crossover, because some models are equipped with a defective child lock on the left rear door.

Audi grapples with stagnant profit due to Europe slump

March 12, 2013 11:47 CET
Audi aims for a "slight" increase in revenue this year after Europe's slumping market hit the brand's 2012 earnings. Audi forecasts higher deliveries this year on demand for the new A3 Sportback and the A3 sedan, which targets American and Chinese buyers.

Cordray nomination at stalemate as senators refuse to negotiate

10:05 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
A Senate hearing today on Richard Cordray's second nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was less about his leadership than Republican distaste for the bureau itself.

Chrysler bankruptcy lawyer is Detroit financial manager pick, reports say

1:23 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Kevyn Orr, a lawyer who earned $1 million in fees for helping manage the Chrysler bankruptcy in 2009, is Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's top pick to be Detroit's financial emergency manager, a source with direct knowledge of the choice told Reuters today.


Why sales of the new Impala must come the hard way

10:59 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
Here's a prediction for a headline you're likely to see this fall: "Impala sales slide." Not because the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, redesigned for the first time in eight years, is a bad car.

Audi to extend U.S. diesel offerings with A4 sedan

12:17 pm U.S. ET | March 12, 2013
American consumers will have the option of a TDI engine in Audi AG's next-generation A4 sedan, the automaker said today, expanding a campaign to sell more diesel engines in the United States. A new version of the A4, Audi's longtime U.S. best-seller, is set to arrive in 2014.

'Dynamic' Range Rover Sport to debut in New York

March 12, 2013 15:57 CET
The new Range Rover Sport premium large SUV will be unveiled March 26 on the eve of the New York auto show ahead of sales later this year, Land Rover said. “It is Land Rover's most dynamic vehicle yet,” Land Rover boss John Edwards said.

Ford UK Chairman Greenwell retires after 40 years

March 12, 2013 12:31 CET
Ford of Britain Managing Director Mark Ovenden will add the role of chairman to his job title when the division's chairman, Joe Greenwell, retires in April

China passes Sweden as Volvo's No. 2 market

March 12, 2013 09:46 CET
Volvo sold 8,719 vehicles in China in January and February to establish China as Volvo's second-biggest market after the United States. Sales in China were strong enough to outpace Sweden, where Volvo sold 6,847 units in the first two months.

PSA launches new brand strategy for Peugeot and Citroen

March 12, 2013 06:01 CET
PSA aims to shift the positioning of its two brands further apart, although analysts are skeptical of the move. Peugeot and Citroen cars chase a very similar customer base, which has been a problem for the French automaker for a long time.

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