Automotive News Table of Contents

August 25, 2014



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How a Silicon Valley startup and its $529,000 electric supercar shadow Tesla

After four years of secrecy, Renovo Motors unveiled a two-seater based on the Shelby Daytona, which it says can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Renovo co-founders saw an opportunity to do for supercars what Tesla aims to do for mass-market cars. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 24, 2014

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The incentives debate: Who's being 'stupid'?

Some big rivals dismiss American Honda sales boss John Mendel's grim warning that extended loan terms and other strategies being employed by competitors hurt resale values, customer loyalty and ultimately profits. So who's right? 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Johan's gone but his Infiniti plan stands

Infiniti is reassuring U.S. dealers that its product expansion plans are on track, despite the defection of their chief architect, Johan de Nysschen, this summer. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Certified Elite status lets GM dealers shine

Certified Elite dealers can make aggressive offers with the confidence that the factory won't nickel-and-dime the dealership for doing it. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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RENTALS ROCKED

Costs add up as companies forced to park recalled vehicles

Through July, the cost of the recalls to Avis Budget Group Inc. was at least an "eight-digit number," said CEO Ronald Nelson. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Magna ready to loosen purse strings

Magna International Inc., the largest auto supplier in North America, will consider major acquisitions. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Cadillac's big sedan plan

A large, range-topping sedan Cadillac that will launch in 2015 is a prerequisite to competing against BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus, said General Motors global product chief Mark Reuss. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Ford plans hybrid series to rival Prius, report says

Ford plans to introduce a Toyota Prius-fighter -- a gasoline-electric hybrid car debuting in late 2018 that will be marketed exclusively as a hybrid, rather than a variation of a gasoline model. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Ford preps right-hand-drive version of 2015 Mustang

That's a 2015 Ford Mustang with the steering wheel on the right. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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GM 8-speed likely to get wide use

The eight-speed automatic transmission that will soon debut in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette is expected to get broad use in General Motors trucks and luxury cars in coming years. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014

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Is a CLA-fighter also in the cards?

General Motors is mulling a smaller car to slot below the compact Cadillac ATS sedan, GM global product chief Mark Reuss confirmed last week. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Mercedes-Benz to bridge gap with midlevel AMGs

Daimler AG plans a line of vehicles with modified engines and sport-tuned suspensions to bridge the gap between standard Mercedes-Benz models and high-performance AMG derivatives. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 24, 2014

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Alfa dealers urged to offer luxury services

Chrysler Group expects Alfa Romeo dealers to provide luxury services -- such as home pickup and delivery for repairs -- despite having only a handful of cars to sell for the next two years. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 30, 2014

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WANTED: WEBMASTER

Funding-strapped feds search for someone to run the 'Internet of cars'

While federal officials and researchers today envision a so-called Internet of cars that would make driving safer by linking vehicles through a wireless network, they have all but ruled out funding, building or running it themselves. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Special-order '15 F-150s to arrive in February

Ford's 3,000 U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Matthew McConaughey will invite viewers to meet the Lincoln MKC

Matthew McConaughey is collaborating with Ford's luxury brand to promote a very different kind of Lincoln: The 2015 MKC compact crossover. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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FACE 2 FACE

Acura's design chief: 'Through cars, I've met everybody'

In the auto design world, there are the suave, black-turtleneck types and there are guys like Dave Marek, a chatty hot-rodder who'd rather skip a fancy dinner than get dressed up for it. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Search Optics purchases website rival DigiGo

Search Optics, a growing provider of dealer websites and digital marketing services, last week said it purchased KPA's DigiGo division, formerly known as TK Carsites. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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KEITH CRAIN

China's government flexes its muscles

Nearly every automaker is at risk these days of doing something wrong in the eyes of China's government. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dealers can enforce a code of ethics

A dealer thinks it would be a great thing to enforce the National Automobile Dealers Association code of ethics themselves. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Distrust of dealers benefits Tesla

Tesla is gaining traction in many state legislatures with its direct-to-consumer sales model not just because of tacit support from other manufacturers but because many people -- especially in urban and suburban areas -- don't trust auto dealers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

EDITORIAL

Lesson not learned

Didn't Cadillac learn anything from the botched launch of the Lincoln MKZ last year? 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

EDITORIAL

Vehicle-to-vehicle network needs the industry to step up

The Department of Transportation has said that, due to uncertain government budgets, it cannot take on the task of setting up and running a vehicle-to-vehicle communications network. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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1st brand with 30 mpg pickup wins, Hegbloom says

Engineers are not satisfied with the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel's 28 mpg EPA highway rating and are gunning for 30 -- and eventually higher. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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New Ram chief's big job: Deliver on vans

Robert Hegbloom, the new head of the Ram brand, will get a crash course in the van market next year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Hybrids, crossovers key vehicles from Japan

While Subaru and Mazda are investing heavily in higher-tech vehicles riding on new or updated platforms over the next several years, Mitsubishi will offer mostly cosmetic changes, with little new product destined for the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Mazda making big changes fast

Mazda continues to roll out product changes at a pace that's more associated with the world of apps than autos. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Mitsubishi to tweak design for a unified look

Mitsubishi will improve its U.S. lineup with some fresh design touches next year, but few all-new vehicles will be introduced stateside during the next three years. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Subaru moves to 1 platform, new generation of engine technology

Subaru is riding on the success of its strategy to redesign all of its vehicles primarily for the United States and equip them with competitive features. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Dealers

Gene Moon, dealer principal of Signature Toyota in Benton Harbor, Mich., receives a 25-year award from Scott Wracher, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s Cincinnati regional general manager. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Dealership Buy/Sell

BUYER: Garcia Automotive Group
SELLER: Lawton Davis
OLD NAME: Galles & Davis Cadillac-Subaru, Albuquerque, N.M. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

CFPB takes new tack in auto lender crackdown

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a fresh approach to cracking down on auto lenders, citing one group for failing to furnish accurate customer data to credit reporting agencies. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Hyundai owner wins attorney fees in ruling

A Hyundai Santa Fe owner who won a lemon law suit against Hyundai Motor America is entitled to attorney fees for the time his lawyer spent to cancel third-party contracts for finance and insurance products, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Saab seeks ally to fund its fresh start

Saab's owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, says it is in discussions with potential partners as it seeks to restart car production and develop future models. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Chicago charts a course in autonomous vehicles

Companies that draw on Chicago's historic strengths in electronics design and manufacturing, wireless communications and mapping, are well-positioned for a key role in the development of the connected car. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Continental's high-tech strategy shift

Continental's pick-up of Google executive underscores how the supplier sees specialized software and services as increasingly crucial to its future. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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BEST PRACTICES

Rick Case career talks move workers up

Rick Case dealer group interviews every single employee to find out what kind of job each employee ultimately wants. The idea is to retain employees who might otherwise leave looking for new challenges or a better fit. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Manheim enters high-tech lane

Manheim, the nation's largest auto-auction company, is spending $100 million over three years to give every aspect of its operations a high-tech makeover. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Severe weather spurs auction expansion

Insurance Auto Auctions Inc., which specializes in salvage vehicles and those donated to charity, has expanded its auction site outside Omaha, Neb., in response to growing volume. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Used pickup prices strong, but how long?

How long will prices of used full-size pickups stay strong? 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

NGK to plead guilty in price-fix probe

NGK Spark Plug Co. agreed to plead guilty and pay a $52.1 million criminal fine over its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for spark plugs and other automotive parts, the Department of Justice said last week. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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GM dealers win reprieve on audits to focus on recalls

GM told dealers in an Aug. 8 memo that, in recognition of the "unprecedented times" that dealerships are experiencing with the recall onslaught, the company has suspended audits on warranty claims and sales incentives. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

Infiniti readies dedicated design centers

Infiniti will open three design studios around the world in the coming weeks, all of them intended to separate its luxury-vehicle designers from the Nissan stylists next door. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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A loud roar of approval for the '15 Challenger SRT Hellcat

With its 707 hp and 650 pounds-feet of torque, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the most powerful production car ever to roll out of Detroit. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Acura's new TLX assembly line: Twitter

Acura has thrown down the social marketing gauntlet with a nifty new TLX launch campaign that lets the Twittersphere configure the premium sedan within a tweet. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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Buggy man Meyers celebrates 50 years of fun, fun, fun

Fifty years after creating the iconic swinging '60s dune buggy that put the Beach Boys and the Monkees on wheels, Bruce Meyers is still at it. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

He bested Clinton; now what about cabbies?

Amid regulatory battles and fierce opposition from cab companies, Uber CEO David Plouffe has turned to the 47-year-old, erstwhile boy genius to strategize for the car-booking service. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014

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With 30 mpg in sight, 2015 Vette won't bow to pressure

It's rare that an automaker revises a fuel economy rating down, but that's what General Motors did with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette. 12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014


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