Retail

UK car production set for record in 2014 despite September dip

Oct. 24, 2014 10:47 CET
UK car production is still on track to reach its highest level in six years despite lower output in September. New Jaguar, Mini and Honda models will help boost production....
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Opel on track to achieve turnaround, GM says

Oct. 24, 2014 12:14 CET
General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall unit is on track to achieve a turnaround despite headwinds from Russia and a wider third-quarter loss, GM says. New models such as the Corsa will give the division a boost in the months ahead....
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Ford's Q3 pretax operating profit falls 54% to $1.18B

7:06 am U.S. ET | Oct. 24, 2014
Ford's third-quarter pretax operating profit tumbled 54 percent from a year earlier to $1.18 billion, hurt by lower sales volume and higher warranty costs. Net income was $835 million, down 34 percent, Ford said in a statement today....
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AutoNation signs on to sponsor college bowl game

5:16 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
AutoNation will become title sponsor of a new college football bowl game that will raise money for breast cancer research....
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Toyota's ad agency will join move to Texas

5:30 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
Toyota's Los Angeles-based U.S. advertising agency is following its longtime client to Dallas in a bid to prolong their nearly 40-year relationship....
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Edmunds.com pulls anti-haggling ads after dealer complaints

4:00 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
Edmunds.com has pulled a YouTube ad campaign that spoofed price haggling but that dealers found offensive. “Our digital videos illustrating the 'Absurdity of Haggling' missed the mark,” Edmunds President Seth Berkowitz said in a statement today....
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Group 1 slows acquisition pace

1:03 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014
Put off by high prices for dealerships and unacceptable returns, Group 1 Automotive will slow its acquisition pace in the near term, CEO Earl Hesterberg said today....
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Hyundai's third-quarter profit falls 29% on firmer currency, sluggish sales

Oct. 23, 2014 11:15 CET
Hyundai posted a 29 percent decline in third-quarter net profit, the steepest drop in at least six quarters. The automaker was hit by slowing sales growth and a stronger local currency but expects earnings to bounce back in the fourth quarter....
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Dealers fume over new Edmunds videos that spoof price haggling

4:18 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2014
New YouTube ads from Edmunds.com have provoked a backlash. Some dealers say the four videos perpetuate stereotypes of dealers as unscrupulous bargainers. Edmunds says the ads are simply spoofs intended to show that customers dislike haggling....
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Has the Hyundai Sonata lost its mojo after redesign?

7:50 am U.S. ET | Oct. 22, 2014
The revamped Sonata sedan was supposed to help Hyundai Motor Co. reverse sluggish sales, but the car described by some critics as a bland substitute for its popular predecessor is off to a slow start in the key U.S. market....
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Valeo's third-quarter sales rise 10% on fuel-saving technologies

Oct. 22, 2014 15:00 CET
French supplier Valeo said third-quarter sales rose 10 percent to 3.06 billion euros ($3.9 billion), boosted by demand for its fuel-saving technologies....
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Mich. blocks Tesla's sales model by plugging loophole

2:19 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill today that effectively bars Tesla Motors' direct-sales model in the state. While Tesla's model was already prohibited in Michigan, the wording of its franchise law left an opening that the automaker could potentially exploit as it has in Massachusetts, where dealers unsuccessfully tried to stop it from operating a store there. That potential loophole is now closed....
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Asbury raises its acquisition target

7:27 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Asbury Automotive Group Inc.'s acquisition ambitions keep getting bigger. Asbury, the nation's seventh-largest dealership group, said today that it now aims to buy stores that will add $500 million in annual revenue during the next 18 months....
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JAMIE LaREAU

Gen Y guru entertains, informs

4:23 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Who knew that demographics could be so funny?...
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Nissan's 2016 Maxima drives back to roots

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Nissan's redesigned Maxima sedan may be getting back to its “4DSC” roots. Recent spy photos show an early prototype of the 2016 Maxima. The 2016 Maxima's fastback styling mimics the four-door coupe body styles found on several German cars....
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Sonic pushes back rollout of customer-experience program

3:40 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Sonic Automotive will take at least six months longer than originally planned to roll its new customer experience program out to all of its dealerships....
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Ford cuts Focus Electric price by $6,000

3:23 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 21, 2014
Ford slashed the price of the Focus Electric by $6,000 to $29,995, including shipping. The price reduction will remain in effect for all 2014 models and will continue when 2015 models are introduced....
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Citroen withholds new crossover from booming segment in Europe

Oct. 21, 2014 12:17 CET
Citroen's new C3-XR subcompact crossover will remain a China-only vehicle after the brand ruled out European sales of the model. Citroen says the C4 Cactus is a better fit in Europe for customers seeking a small SUV-styled vehicle....
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Chinese auto market growth will slow to 5% this year, group says

Oct. 21, 2014 11:34 CET
China's vehicle sales will likely rise just 5 percent in 2014 to 23 million, according to the country's main auto association, which revised its growth forecast downward for the second time this year....
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'Aggressive' EV ambitions will boost aluminum demand in China

Oct. 21, 2014 12:02 CET
China's drive to build electric cars as a way to combat pollution and reduce energy dependence is likely to set up a greater-than-forecast surge in demand for aluminum, according to Novelis, the world's biggest supplier of the material to automakers....
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Pulling the plug: EV battery module exchange put to test

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
A team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego, plans to make a cross-country trip in an electric vehicle -- without plugging the car in once. Instead of going by the traditional plug-and-wait protocol for EVs, the engineers will swap out rechargeable, briefcase-size battery modules on the fly as they travel from San Diego to the coast of South Carolina in less than 60 hours....
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Tesla courted suppliers in bid to stop bill banning direct sales in Mich.

6:22 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Tesla Motors looked for support from its suppliers in Michigan in the company's unsuccessful bid to get Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill that bans Tesla from selling its EVs directly to customers in the state....
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BEST PRACTICES

A terrible wreck, but not a total loss

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
Most dealerships send totaled cars straight to the junkyard. White Bear Mitsubishi put one on display, and it has been reaping the rewards ever since....
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BILL LIA: Keep stores modern

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
"People keep asking us for our store designs," says Bill Lia, the 78-year-old CEO of Lia Auto Group in Albany, N.Y., which just finished building its 19th dealership. "We want to keep everything modern and up to date."...
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WHO WANTS HYBRIDS?

Falling gasoline prices make alternative-fuel vehicles a tougher sell

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
For a sign of the challenges in selling fuel efficiency as a virtue, Tanner Hulette need only look at the signs near his dealership advertising gasoline for $2.70 a gallon. Hulette, general manager of Mechanicsville Toyota near Richmond, Va., said he's seeing higher demand for pickups and SUVs, and less interest in the Prius hybrid....
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