Headlines for Thursday, June 5, 2014

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BMW, Mercedes and Porsche lead 2014 European Supplier Choice Survey

June 5, 2014 17:45 CET
BMW, Mercedes and Porsche were named the top three automakers in terms of openness to supplier innovation, according to the 2014 European Supplier Choice Survey conducted on behalf of Automotive News Europe.

Honda, Mercedes rank best for quality and value in new study

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Honda and Mercedes led the way in a tally of brands ranked by new-vehicle buyers for quality and value, a study conducted by ALG found.


EU rules up pressure on car design, Opel exec says

June 5, 2014 06:01 CET
Opel/Vauxhall design chief Mark Adams told the Automotive News Europe Congress that car designers are facing increasing pressure to meet the demands of tougher EU rules on CO2 and pedestrian protection.

Ford expects 'significant' Q2 loss in South America

3:24 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Ford expects to incur a "significant" loss in South America in the current quarter mainly due to low sales volumes and changes to Venezuela's foreign exchange rate.

GM's big blunder: missing the link between stalling, airbags

7:40 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM engineers knew the ignition switch in the Chevrolet Cobalt could be bumped out of position, cutting the engine, according to former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas' report released Thursday.

Former Takata executive indicted in seat belt price-fixing scheme

1:27 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
A federal grand jury has indicted a former top-tier global sales executive at Takata on a charge of participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices for seat belts, the Department of Justice said today.

Read GM's internal report from investigator Anton Valukas here

12:33 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
The full pdf of General Motors' internal report on the ignition switch recall.

VIDEO: First Shift: Exonerations, firings at GM

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Engineer said to be among many dismissed, as probe clears senior managers; UAW's new president; Lincoln MKC trickles in.

Arbitration court to rule in VW-Suzuki dispute this year, report says

June 5, 2014 17:07 CET
Volkswagen and Suzuki are a step closer to resolving a dispute over their failed partnership after a court of arbitration wrapped up witness hearings, paving the way for a verdict by the end of the year, sources said.

Audi's 11% May sales rise reinforces challenge to BMW

June 5, 2014 14:33 CET
Audi posted an 11 percent rise in sales last month, supporting its bid for the global luxury car-sales crown in a tightening race with rival BMW.


GM dismisses 15 employees as 'deeply troubling' recall probe is released

6:45 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
General Motors has dismissed 15 employees, including at least eight executives, after an internal investigation found “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” that led to 11 years of delays in recalling millions of cars for a fatal defect related to flawed ignition switches, CEO Mary...

UK car sales rise to 10-year monthly record in May

June 5, 2014 12:04 CET
UK car sales rose nearly 8 percent in May to hit a 10-year record for the month, but future demand is likely to slow, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

GM says death toll could rise; Feinberg will set compensation terms

12:35 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
General Motors acknowledged today that the number of deaths related to its faulty ignition switch could rise from 13, and said outside attorney Kenneth Feinberg will determine who is eligible for compensation and how much money GM ultimately will pay.

GM recall blitz isn't over

10:19 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
General Motors CEO Mary Barra said today that the proliferation of recalls at GM will be the “new norm” as the automaker sets out to fix problems that led to its safety crisis.

Angry Barra tells troops: Never forget what happened

12:17 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM CEO Mary Barra today gave the most forceful and forthright speech of her short tenure, telling thousands of employees that she was "saddened and disturbed" reading the internal report detailing the company's deadly ignition switch defect while vowing to never let the company forget the lessons...

Barra, Valukas summoned to Capitol Hill for hearings

11:19 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
The two congressional committees investigating General Motors' recall crisis said today that they will hold follow-up hearings, with GM CEO Mary Barra and independent investigator Anton Valukas invited to testify.

Overhaul ordered for GM's legal department

2:46 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
General Motors says its top attorney has survived today's wave of firings, but outside investigator Anton Valukas is calling for a sweeping overhaul of GM's legal department based on its handling of the ignition switch crisis.

What the report says about the role, knowledge of GM's top executives, board

8:21 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
The Valukas report goes into great detail about the roles played by senior GM executives, and the company's board, in the years leading up to the ignition switch recalls. A summary of the report:

REACTION: What analysts, lawmakers and others are saying about GM recall findings

8:23 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
A roundup of what analysts, lawmakers and government officials and others are saying about the findings in GM's internal report about delayed recalls.

3 safety execs among ousted employees

5:24 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
The list of 15 employees losing their jobs in the aftermath of General Motors' ignition switch crisis includes Mike Robinson, vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, Bloomberg reported.

'The GM nod,' 'The GM salute' and a clash of cultures

4:38 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Page 248 of Anton Valukas' report on what went wrong with General Motors' deadly ignition switch defect outlines how GM's safety efforts run smack into its cost-conscious culture.

New UAW chief vows to keep pressure on transplants

4:30 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
New UAW President Dennis Williams said today that the union will intensify efforts to organize transplants, with Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel stationed in Tennessee to coordinate the drives.

Senior lawyer Bill Kemp ousted by GM following Valukas review, report says

12:51 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM ousted Bill Kemp, a senior lawyer who was responsible for safety issues within its legal department, as the automaker reforms the operations that failed to address defective parts linked to 13 deaths, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

California lawmakers propose incentives for Tesla battery factory

6:27 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
California lawmakers proposed financial incentives for electric car maker Tesla Motors on Thursday in a bid to entice the company to build a large battery factory in the state.

Blame for ‘switch from hell’ falls heavily on one GM engineer

5:08 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM's investigation into the mishandling of faulty ignition switches spreads blame among dozens of employees at various levels of the automaker, but it says the problem began and then continued unresolved for years largely because of “a single engineer” who just lost his job.

Chrysler recalls 10,700 SUVs for cruise control defect

4:48 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Chrysler Group is recalling about 10,700 SUVs to fix a defect that leads to unintended acceleration in cruise-control mode.

GM says '14 profit may be ahead of plan, sees Europe in the black by mid-decade

4:02 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM said today its 2014 profit could be stronger than it expected and painted a more rosy picture in Europe, on the same day it said "incompetence and neglect" at the company failed to catch a defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: At GM 'a pattern of incompetence'

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
GM releases findings from internal probe of recall crisis; Barra demands workers speak up; a fund for victims' families.

Mercedes to double downtown outlets as customers move to cities

12:59 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
Mercedes-Benz plans to double its downtown sales outlets worldwide by 2020 to serve the boom in city living with retailing that offers more technological wizardry and tasty treats than car models in showrooms.

UAW primed for struggles ahead, Williams says

2:13 pm U.S. ET | June 5, 2014
New UAW President Dennis Williams signaled in his inaugural speech that the union's priorities will be the 2015 contract talks with the Detroit 3 and national elections this year and in and 2016.


Gov't interference clouding outlook for automakers, says UBS exec

June 5, 2014 08:56 CET
The outlook for the global auto industry is fairly bright, but government interference is clouding the picture in Europe and China, Philippe Houchois, UBS Head of European Automotive Research, told the Automotive News Europe Congress.


Qoros wants Europe to account for 10% of global sales, exec says

June 5, 2014 09:35 CET
Chinese carmaker Qoros expects to sell more than 10 percent of its cars in Europe after it extends sales across the region by 2016, Stefano Villanti, Qoros' head of sales told the Automotive News Europe Congress.


PSA will defend its position as Europe's No. 2 carmaker, Tavares says

June 5, 2014 11:01 CET
PSA aims to maintain its No. 2 position in Europe after VW Group, CEO Carlos Tavares said at the Automotive News Europe Congress. But to ensure that, the CEO must bring the automaker back to profit after years of losses.