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Audi gripes, but Tesla could be en route to niche-brand success
Audi wants to be clear: Just because the Tesla Model S is outselling Audi's flagship A8 in the U.S. luxury sedan market, it does not mean Tesla Motors is beating Audi. In a blog post today on Audi of America's official news channel, the company says it has a problem with recent news reports ...
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
Tesla Motors may repay U.S. loan by Wednesday, Musk says
DETROIT (Reuters) -- Tesla Motors Inc. may repay its U.S. Department of Energy loan as early as Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk said in a message on Twitter on Monday. Musk, a billionaire who owns 27.5 percent of Tesla, added that the company would move another announcement about its charging station ...
Experian names John Gray head of auto unit
Experian has named John Gray president of its automotive business unit, effective immediately, with responsibility for the strategic direction, leadership and overall growth of the business. Gray, 56, joined the company in 2006 as vice president of sales and client services. He was promoted to ...
AutoNation unit launches Shop-By-Payment service
AutoNation Inc.'s lead-referral subsidiary today unveiled an online service that lets consumers search dealership Web sites for new and used vehicles based on monthly payments. When a consumer chooses the desired payment a sales lead is sent to the dealership. The service, Shop-By-Payment, is ...
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 ...
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 ...
Ex-battery maker B456 wins court approval for bankruptcy plan
WILMINGTON, Delaware (Bloomberg) -- B456 Systems Inc., the bankrupt electric-car battery maker formerly called A123 Systems Inc., won court approval of a plan to exit bankruptcy that pays creditors from the proceeds of selling virtually all its assets. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey approved the
Chevy joins 'Mad Men' buzz on Twitter
Chevrolet brought some more attention to its role in "Mad Men" on Twitter after last night's episode. AMC's television drama "Mad Men" follows a fictional New York advertising agency in the late 1960s, which currently is working on a campaign for the Chevrolet Vega. Chevy sent two tweets last night
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.
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%
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
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, ...