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Mini's culture is as quirky as its cars
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. -- Mini is owned by BMW, but there's a broad gulf between the prestigious luxury marque and the funky small-car brand. Mini USA is housed in a corner of the three-story BMW of North America headquarters here. BMW has uncluttered cubicles occupied by employees in upscale ...
Italy's Sogefi said to sell $115 million bonds in U.S. private placement
MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Italian supplier Sogefi sold $115 million in bonds to U.S. investors in a private placement and is planning to sell another 25 million-euro ($32 million) note, a person familiar with the transaction said. Sogefi, which is controlled by the De Benedetti family's CIR holding ...
The road to a greener America is littered with roadkill
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- In October 2004, then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rolled up to a pioneering fueling station at Los Angeles International Airport in a hydrogen-powered metallic blue Hummer loaned to him by General Motors. The "California Hydrogen Highway," Schwarzenegger's vision
CFO says GM streamlining is 'on its way'
DETROIT -- As a banking adviser to General Motors when he was at Morgan Stanley, Dan Ammann got an upfront view of GM's spiral into bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent restructuring. Now, more than two years into his job as CFO, Ammann acknowledges that he had only a faint idea at the time of how ...
A tech triumph for the S class?
HAMBURG, Germany -- With a technology-rich S-class redesign arriving this fall and several derivatives to be added by 2015, Mercedes-Benz aims to boost stalled sales of its flagship. Still, Mercedes executives do not expect the new S class unveiled here last week to approach the peak volume of the
Infiniti to add new halo car, more crossovers
KAMINOKAWA, Japan -- Nissan Motor Co.'s Infiniti marque plans to add a halo nameplate above its Q70 flagship sedan and expand its crossover offerings, President Johan de Nysschen said. The moves are part of Infiniti's drive to cover 90 percent of all global premium segments by the end of the ...
Shaq: No grease needed to slide into his LaCrosse
Can Shaquille O'Neal really fit into a Buick LaCrosse? During a recent episode of the "Inside the NBA" postgame show on the TNT network, analyst Charles Barkley kidded the 7-foot-1-inch Shaq about his LaCrosse ads by saying O'Neal had to be rubbed down with Gold Bond Lotion to slide in. Gold Bond
Old-school Rizza roars into the digital age
In an age when auto dealers are plunging into digital tools for marketing, store management and customer retention, Chicago's Rizza Cars has become a star practitioner. The six-store retailer with Ford, Lincoln, Acura, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Kia and Porsche brands is a case study of a traditional ...
Kogai takes reins of Mazda's comeback
TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp.'s CEO designate, Masamichi Kogai, had a big hand in creating the more stable, profitable carmaker he inherits. But formidable challenges lie ahead. The manufacturing and purchasing specialist spent the last four years overhauling the export-reliant carmaker's ...
GM seeks clean launch, regular updates for pickups
Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, says GM is staying vigilant on the June launch of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-sized pickups, its most important rollout since the company's 2009 bankruptcy. He says GM is closely monitoring suppliers to avoid bottlenecks that ...
Veteran Texas dealer mines data to sell pickups
It takes something special to get Hayden Elder's attention now that he has run a Chrysler dealership in Texas for decades. But software installed at Elder Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in the past month has turned his head. The dealership sold 14 new vehicles in April to previous customers identified by
Toyota streamlines decision-making for North America
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda restructured the company's management this year to give more authority and autonomy to local regions. Nowhere was this more evident than in North America, where Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., was placed in charge of all Toyota sales and ...
Acura seeks image boost by reviving NSX in Ohio
MARYSVILLE, Ohio -- Honda officials hope the revived Acura NSX, an advanced hybrid sports car scheduled to arrive in 2015, will strengthen Acura's luxury footing. "We have a very clear understanding of the high customer expectations luxury buyers around the world have for a supercar, and our ...
Chafing against engine friction
Friction is enemy No. 1 for powertrain engineers striving to meet rising fuel-economy standards. "As engines get smaller, eliminating friction becomes even more important," says Dave Lancaster, a General Motors technical fellow who works at the automaker's powertrain engineering operations in ...
GM, Chrysler are still working on supplier relations
Are General Motors and Chrysler Group playing hardball with suppliers again? The latest automaker-supplier relations study by the consultant firm Planning Perspectives Inc. was troubling. The big jump in their scores in last year's study appeared to show that GM and Chrysler had learned a hard ...
Estimated Europe registrations by make, April and YTD
Estimated Europe registrations by make, April and YTD by make
Estimated Europe registrations by make, APRIL & YTD
April 4 mos.
April April percent 4 mos. 4 mos. percent
2013 2012 change 2013 2012 change
Volkswagen division * 145,997 * 137,438 6% * 523,491 * 569,527 -8%
Continental names veteran exec Cramer as China head
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- German supplier Continental has named veteran executive Ralf Cramer to head its operations in China, which it sees as the main driver of its growing business in Asia. Cramer will take up the position, based in Shanghai, on August 1, Continental said in a statement. Cramer, ...
Next up: New York
Automotive News will host its second annual New York marketing seminar Sept. 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis. Four influential automotive marketers will speak on the topic, "Marketing's New Mix: Mastering the Message." Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and a QandA session ...
Dealer swaps shoe leather for Facebook
When Chris Morrison started out as a car salesman 30 years ago in the placid southern Mississippi city of McComb, he spent every Tuesday at local employers handing out business cards and shaking hands. "In our little town, I knew if I sat in the showroom all day I wasn't going to make any money,"
NSX's electric motors will help handling
MARYSVILLE, Ohio -- Technical details on the Acura NSX coming in 2015 are scarce, but large-project leader Ted Klaus offered a few nuggets last week as Honda officials announced that the sports car will be built here. Two front-mounted electric motors will do more than boost acceleration, Klaus ...
Honda to return to F1 racing
Honda will return to Formula One as an engine supplier after exiting the racing series in 2008. The Japanese automaker will provide engines to its former F1 racing partner McLaren starting in 2015. Company officials said participation in the series will help it develop technology for the revamped
And the condo elevator goes from 0 to 60 in ...
Pininfarina , the Italian design house famous for styling Ferrari cars, also does condos. It handled the architecture and interior design of the 335-foot-high, 104-unit Ferra luxury condominium project that will be built in Singapore. The race red residential tower looks kind of like a Ferrari ...
Used-hybrid prices down from '12
A more crowded market of electrified and efficient gasoline-powered vehicles is pushing down prices of used hybrids. Moderating gasoline prices are hurting, too. Facts from Kelley Blue Book: The average price of used hybrids in early May was about 12 percent lower than it was a year ago. ...
How dealers can avoid thefts by employees
Dealer Danny McKenna is learning to trust his employees again. Last year McKenna says he discovered that two veteran employees were in collusion and had stolen some $600,000 from him over several years. "You've got to trust people," says McKenna, owner of McKenna Automotive Group in Norwalk, Calif.
U.S. tweaks boost Leaf's mpg score
NASHVILLE -- U.S. production of Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle has resulted in improved EPA fuel economy numbers for the car. According to the EPA, the U.S.-built 2013 Leaf -- which has no fuel tank -- gets a miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 115 in combined city and highway driving. Last year