Automotive News Table of Contents

April 27, 2015



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SHANGHAI AUTO SHOW: PRICED TO SELL

China's cheap car strategy for the U.S.

Wu Song, boss of China's Guangzhou Automobile, says his cars need to be 30 percent cheaper than rivals to make it in America. If everything goes his way, GAC will test his pricing strategy with the U.S. launch of its GS4 crossover in 2017. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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SAE WORLD CONGRESS

Driverless cars and the big conundrum

If autonomous driving is Megatrend No. 1 in the global industry, the matter of how to handle the human interface may be Conundrum No. 1. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 26, 2015

'RATIONAL EXUBERANCE'

Industry revels in good times but manages to avoid overdoing it

There are many signs suggesting the U.S. auto industry is on a positive, sustainable track, but perhaps the most reassuring sign is the kind of caution that dealers and manufacturers are showing amid the boom. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Google prods stores to ease mobile shopping

Google nudged dealerships last week to make their websites friendly to users of smartphones and other mobile gadgets. The giant search engine, a key cog in most dealerships' marketing strategies, changed its search formula or algorithm. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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How Hummer maker, Mercedes came together

Production of the Mercedes-Benz R class will begin on the line that once made Hummer H2s for General Motors, just a stone's throw from where AM General builds light tactical military vehicles for the U.S. and other governments. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Recalled program cars vex GM, hurt profits

Late last year, General Motors decided to hold off on auctioning many of its retired rental vehicles because of depressed prices. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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DIAL IT DOWN

Are automakers addicted to in-car features overload?

Automakers are confusing customers by overloading vehicles with an array of infotainment features, many of which are never used. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Ford's Sync 3 debut, vehicle launches are out of sync

The 2015 Ford Edge has been on sale for only a month, but it's already about to be out-of-date. Ford Motor Co. plans to start rolling out Sync 3, its replacement for the MyFord Touch infotainment system, starting this summer. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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BEST PRACTICES

Small VW store delivers top customer ratings

Attention to detail and personal contact by the owners of a small, 50-year-old Volkswagen dealership in rural Pennsylvania helped it earn the brand's top scores for customer satisfaction in 2014. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Lexus reworks ES with bolder looks

After surveying customers in China and the U.S., Lexus came up with a more aggressive look for the freshened ES sedan that goes into production in the U.S. this year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Next BMW i to be based on 5 series, report says

BMW will add a plug-in hybrid based on the 5 series to its i subbrand, according to a German auto magazine. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Q80 Inspiration concept's design flourishes arrive in Infiniti lineup

Futuristic design flourishes from Infiniti's Q80 Inspiration concept are already creeping into the lineup. Now Infiniti shows, via the long-wheelbase Q70 sedan unveiled in Shanghai, what it wants to do inside the car. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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VW coupe-style sedan concept previews a new look

Volkswagen's C Coupe GTE concept unveiled at the Shanghai auto show would be positioned between the Passat and the Phaeton if produced. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Public dealerships plan for growth

AutoNation, Sonic, Asbury and Lithia gave updates on their new projects as they reported generally robust first-quarter earnings. Here's what they said. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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RFJ buys Dave Smith Auto

Fast-growing dealership group RFJ Auto Partners is expanding in the Northwest by buying Dave Smith Auto Group, which operates two of the highest-volume stores in the U.S. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 25, 2015

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Dealers

Christopher Gleason, general manager of Price Hyundai in Charlottesville, Va., receives a 25-year award from Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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KEITH CRAIN

50 years since 'Unsafe at Any Speed'

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ralph Nader's bursting onto the automotive scene by publishing Unsafe at Any Speed, an indictment of the early Chevrolet Corvair with swing axles. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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GABE NELSON

Auto industry should cheer Tesla Motors' battery play

When it unveils its first batteries for homes and businesses this week, Tesla Motors will no longer be a car company. It will be an energy company, competing against electric utilities just as it has gone after the car market. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

EDITORIAL

Succession plans: Be flexible and get started now

Soaring values of automobile dealerships are a boon to hard-working entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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RAJ SUNDARAM

Loans are at a healthy, rational level

While it's worthwhile to remember key lessons from the 2008 financial crisis, today's conditions in automotive subprime bear virtually no resemblance to the mortgage issues that precipitated that fateful bubble, says Raj Sundaram, co-president of... 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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CHRIS KUKLA

Troubling practices need attention now

Recognizing the proliferation of troubling practices that mirror the precrash mortgage market is important because these practices deserve attention now. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Francois to speak at congress

Olivier Francois, FCA's chief marketing officer who has been the driving force behind several highly praised and high-impact advertising campaigns in Europe and the United States, will speak at the Automotive News Europe Congress on June 10 in... 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Toyota: Output of fuel cell cars will top out at 3,000 a year

Japanese customers have a three-year wait for Toyota's new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, because the automaker can't make more of the cars. Using existing manufacturing technology, Toyota predicts output will top out at 3,000 fuel cell cars a year. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

TRW details China plans, sale of unit

TRW, the safety components supplier being acquired by Germany's ZF, said it plans to open three plants in China this year and next. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Can automakers unplug connected cars?

In the era of over-the-air software updates, automakers will happily add new features. But what happens when they decide to take them away? 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Where the heck is Apple CarPlay?

Validation testing has delayed the rollout of Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, showing the challenge of updating cars at smartphone speed. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 26, 2015

Innovation inspires suppliers along with industry

The 21st annual Automotive News PACE awards were handed out April 20 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center here. The awards are sponsored by EY, the Transportation Research Center Inc. and Automotive News. Fourteen awards were won by 12 suppliers. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Manheim expands its mobile auctions

Manheim is expanding its mobile auction business, which the company says could grow to 20 percent of its revenues eventually from less than 5 percent today. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Whole lotta wholesalin' goin' on

Soaring new-vehicle sales for the last few years mean that used vehicles are more plentiful. Dealers have become more selective about the vehicles they stock, and more willing to wholesale the ones they cull. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Higher octane fuel could add mpg, SAE panel says

In a world of higher octane gasoline -- in which 95 would replace 87 and become the new regular -- automakers could more easily and affordably meet stringent fuel economy standards as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 25, 2015

Power study: Safety trumps infotainment

Automakers should invest in safety technology, over entertainment and convenience, to satisfy customers, according to a J.D. Power study released last week 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Futurist sees self-driving cars as a given

Self-driving cars aren't just possible. They're inevitable, says Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who's now director of engineering for Google. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Jaguar adds horsepower to the dashboard

Jaguar Land Rover is not known for cutting-edge dashboard computers, but a lightning-quick navigation system in the redesigned XF sedan may change that. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 26, 2015

SHAREHOLDER VALUE REPORT

Automakers, retailers post shareholder value gains for 1st quarter

Global automakers and U.S.-based auto retailers generally produced strong shareholder returns in the first quarter. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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NADA: Used-vehicle retail prices will rise more

Data from the National Automobile Dealers Association show the continued strength of used-vehicle prices in 2014. NADA's top economist says that strength could continue for another year or 18 months. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Booming Ford banks on China product blitz

Ford, on a rampage in China, aims improve on its 4. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 25, 2015

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To EV or not to EV: The China question

As automakers race to comply with China's increasingly stringent emissions rules, they are conflicted about the best electric-vehicle strategy and about whether the Beijing government is sufficiently supporting its avowed desire to see more EV sales. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Audi tests 2 car-sharing concepts in U.S.

Audi On Demand is a car sharing pilot in San Francisco where consumers book an Audi rental from a smart phone app, and a concierge delivers and picks up the car. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

AM General has big plans for MV-1 wheelchair vans

AM General earned a name for itself building vehicles for other people: the original Humvee for military customers and the Hummer H2 SUV for General Motors. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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AM General has big plans for MV-1 wheelchair vans

Now and OEM in its own right, AM General works to build its Mobility Ventures brand and grow sales of the MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicle. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Obituaries

Tom Anderson, who owned Carrera Motors in Bend, Ore., died April 8. He was 72. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Even MG is joining the crossover parade

Amazingly, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and Jaguar all plan to offer utility vehicles. But when even MG is building one, you know the crossover craze is really getting crazy. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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Jaguar Land Rover lets Land Wind flap blow over

Jaguar Land Rover vowed to take “appropriate action” in November when China's Jiangling Holding unveiled its Range Rover Evoque lookalike, the Landwind X7, at the Guangzhou auto show. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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One congressional foe of estate tax repeal is a dealer

Eliminating the estate tax has been a top priority of the National Automobile Dealers Association for years. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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JESSE SNYDER

States' varying auto insurance rates play with the car-buying equation

Want $7,700 more to spend on a new car? Move from Michigan to Maine before you insure it. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

Will Aston crossover call the U.S. home?

Not all new auto assembly plants are going to Mexico, or at least state economic development officials in the U.S. would like to think so. 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015

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2014 Top 100 Dealership Groups ranked by used-vehicle sales 04-27-2015

Automotive News Top 100 Dealership Groups ranked by used-vehicle sales in 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET | April 27, 2015


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