Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

News watch November 2010: today's auto industry news

Tue, 30 Nov 2010

Welcome to CAR Magazine's news aggregator as we round up the daily stories in the auto industry. Top tip: news summaries are added from the top hour-by-hour

Tuesday 30 November 2010
• Fiat and Opel have signed an agreement whereby Fiat will supply vehicles comprising of several variants to Opel, commencing December 1 (Fiat)
• Electric cars will make up 20 per cent of UK car sales by 2016, according to National Grid CEO Steve Holiday (Automotive News Europe)
• Toyota has said it will repair 650,000 Prius models worldwide because of a fault with the coolant pump (BBC News)
• Porsche look likely to succeed in persuading preferred shareholders to support a €5 billion stock sale becuase the deal may offer the chance to buy into Volkswagen at a discount rate (Bloomburg)
• China will become Rolls Royce's biggest market, surpassing America as early as 2011 (Automotive News Europe) 

Monday 29 November 2010
• Bentley has appointd a new CEO to succeed Franz-Josef Paefgen, who's retiring. Porsche R&D director Wolfgang Dürheimer, 52, is now chairman and chief exec of Bentley Motors and Bugatti (Bentley)
• In return, Porsche has replaced Dürheimer with Wolfgang Hatz, an internal appointment. He will take over as Porsche's R&D chief from February 2011 (Porsche)
• Volkswagen group chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn is to get a five-year extension to his contract from January 2011, reports German newspaper Der Spiegel. They tip him to remain as VW CEO until 2016 (Automotive News Europe)
• A BMW worker and an employee at a car-parts supplier have been arrested on suspicion of stealing seats and fittings worth €3 million from production lines in Munich (Automotive News Europe)
• Tata  Motors will set up 10 dealerships for its Jaguar Land Rover luxury car brand in India in 2010 to tap rising disposable incomes in Asia’s second-fastest-growing major economy (Automotive News Europe)
• Ford has opened 40 dealerships in China and plans to add 26 more by the end of 2010 as it aims for record sales in the world's largest car market (Detroit News)

Friday 26 November 2010
• Fiat is readying a mid-sizwed SUV to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show, reports the Wall Street Journal. It'll be based on the Dodge Journey, according to Sergio Cravero, Fiat's head of product planning, and go on sale in late 2011 (

Thursday 25 November 2010
• Ford has reduced its debt pile by $1.9bn, by paying investors in 'convertible debt', swapping notes for shares (Automotive News)
• Ssangyong Motor Company has signed a definitive agreement with Mahindra & Mahindra to relaunch a global SUV company. It's the next step in the long, drawn-out takeover of previously bankrupted Ssangyong (Ssangyong)
• Cerberus is said to be seeking a buyer for Chrysler Financial, the money-lending arm of the car maker it used to own (Automotive News)
• Fiat will announce on Friday plans for its historic Mirafiori plant in Turin, according to ANE (Automotive News Europe)
• Mitsubishi has built its 5000th i-MiEV electric car, the firm has announced. It's one of the earliest full EVs on the market from a mainstream car maker (Mitsubishi)

Wednesday 24 November 2010
• Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-saud has invested $500m for a 1% stake in GM, according to the FT (Financial Times)
• The 2010 SMMT award for automotive innovation has been awarded to Gordon Murray's iStream technology. It’s the new streamlined manufacturing process that speeds up production of the new T25 and its ilk (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders)
• Porsche unit sales are up, reaching 21,218 in the past quarter. That’s 86% up on the same quarter in 2009, during the depths of the recession. Revenue in the same period in 2010 hit €2.06bn (Porsche)
• Fourteen cars have won five stars in the latest Euro NCAP crash test results, including the Audi A1, Mini Countryman and Seat Alhambra (see full list). However, Jaguar’s XF and VW Amarok pick-up scored just four stars (Euro NCAP) and the Landwind CV9 scoring just two.

Tuesday 23 November 2010
• Porsche is investing €150 million in its R&D facilities at Weissach. The money will pay for a new wind-tunnel, design centre, electronics lab and 100 new staff (Porsche)

Monday 22 November 2010
• GM Europe may return to motorsport for the first time in 20 years to bolster its battered reputation; a return to World Rally Championship is being considered said CEO Nick Reilly (Automotive News Europe)
• 'Sport is an important area, and to me, a car company ought to be able to compete,' said Reilly. 'It's very significant to us, the brand image, and in our view it's not as strong as the product. We're winning lots of awards but Opel and Vauxhall probably don't command the prices they deserve (Automotive News Europe)
• Saab is cutting 200 jobs in Sweden, mostly from temporary staff. Unions blamed it on the Christmas slowdown, although the company has also trimmed the sales forecast from 45,000 to between 30,000-35,000 (Automotive News Europe)
• VW design chief Klaus Bischoff is reportedly suggesting the 2011 Microbus retro-MPV could be back on the cards (Auto Express by Autoblog)
• Volkswagen is to spend a whopping €52 billion over the next five years in its bid to overtake Toyota. Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said: 'These investments underline Volkswagen's goal of becoming the leading automobile manufacturer for its customers, employees and shareholders. We are systematically pursuing the goals of our Strategy 2018 to further increase our profitability and to make Volkswagen the world's most future-proof automotive group (Automotive News)

Friday 19 November 2010
• Barack Obama has said GM's return to the stock market shows the US car industry is on the rise, and will result in taxpayers getting their money back from 2009's government bail-out (Automotive News)
• As previously reported by CAR, Porsche may launch a small SUV and 'sub Boxster' sports car as it aims to double worldwide sales over the next three years, says Bernhard Maier, head of sales and marketing at Porsche AG (Automotive News)
• VW will today announce its spending plans, to help it reach its objective of toppling Toyota from the number one spot by 2018 (Bloomberg)
• A lawyer for Toyota has given the company's most aggressive stance so far in its sudden-acceleration scandal, citing 'driver error as a likely cause of many fatalities that have been tied to the issue' (Wall Street Journal)
• Europe's car market is still wildly over supplied, according to Stephen Odell, the new chairman and chief executive of Ford of Europe. He states 'that the overcapacity makes for stiff price competition in the market. We have to have some element of transactional flexibility' (Daily Telegraph)

Thursday 18 November 2010
• AMG and Ducati announced a partnership at the LA show. The deal will see the two firms combine marketing activities and they say their focus on racing and driving passion will allow each to access new customers. The deal means that AMG will be a sponsor of the Ducati Moto GP team from 2011; in return, customers at AMG events will be able to sample Ducati bikes (Mercedes-Benz and Ducati)
• Nissan is predicting a sales boom in 2011, led by the Chinese market. They also announced that the UK-built Qashqai is currently their biggest earner (Reuters) 
• GM India has announced that it is to launch six new vehicles for the Asian market in 2011, and increase their dealer network from 211 sites to 240 (Reuters)
• According to the JD Power US sales satisfaction index released today, Jaguar customers rate their shopping experience higher than other US luxury brand, with Mini leading the mass market category (Autonews)  
• Again in the news, JD Power Associates have predicted that electric vehicles are 'overhyped' and 'won't make up more than a small slice of the global market even ten years down the road' (Wall Street Journal)
• VW America's CEO Jonathan Browning has announced targets to increase US sales from 250,000 in 2010 to 800,000 by 2018 (Autonews)
• According to the Center For Automotive Research in Michigan, the US government bailouts of GM, Chrysler and other car makers has saved more than 1.4 million jobs (Detroit News)

Wednesday 17 November 2010
• European new car registrations fell by 17% in October, according to the European auto makers' association Acea. UK new car sales fell by 22% against the same period in 2009 (Financial Times) 
• The Fiat 500, the first Fiat model to be re-launched into America, is to be marketed as the Cinquecento to emphasise its 'Italianness'. Sales start in 2012 (Detroit News)
• The Chevrolet Volt has been named Car of the Year by a second US car publication. Motor Trend magazine gave the range-extender hybrid the gong, which follows Automobile Magazine's award (Detroit News)
• The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is helping to promote the London mayor Boris Johnson’s electric vehicle charging network. Source London is to go live in spring 2011
• Volvo has announced a raft of new engines and safety enhancements to a large number of models in their range for 2011. Three new petrol engines have been announced, along with a new version of their D5 unit (Volvo)

Tuesday 16 November 2010
• Opel has announced pricing for its European version of the Ampera. When it goes on sale at the end of 2011 it will cost €42,900, which equates to £36,322 in UK money at today's rate. Vauxhall however is expected to announce its own UK pricing before the end of the year (Autoblog)
• Renault Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has announced that the two car companies plan to collectively build 500,000 electric vehicles annually by the end of 2013 (Detroit News)
• Three months after acquiring Volvo, Geely president Li Shufu has said he disagrees with Volvo's management about its product plans. He has stated that Volvo should develop large cars for China, yet Volvo's managers prefer small cars for their fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness (Automotive News)
• Saab and Spyker chairman Victor Muller has said that he aims for half of its new 9-4X crossover sales to be in the US. Saab targets annual global sales for the 9-4X of 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles in a full year (Automotive News)
• Bob Carter, sales chief for Toyota in the United States, has said the company expects 2011 sales to increase to between 12.5 million and 12.9 million, up from this year's expected 11.4 million to 11.5 million. That'll be a jump of 13% (Automotive News)
• GM aims to price its initial public offering as high as $33 a share, exceeding expectations and tempting the US Treasury to sell a bigger proportion of its stake in the car maker it rescued from bankruptcy (Financial Times)
• The BMW 3-series is the most reliable model in the UK according to the 2010 FN50 survey by our sister publication Fleet News. The FN50 reliability survey monitors faults on 900,000 company cars operated by the country’s biggest 50 leasing companies (Fleet News)

Monday 15 November 2010 
• Tata has announced that worldwide Jaguar/Land Rover sales for October 2010 are up 12% over the same period in 2009 (Tata)
• Land Rover has announced a pricing incentive to help UK customers beat the VAT increase in January 2011. Land Rover and participating dealerships will jointly fund the 2.5% VAT difference on all new car orders placed before the end of 2010, and delivered between 4 January and 31 March 2011 (Land Rover) 
• Range Rover tuning specialist Overfinch called in the receivers on Friday. The Surrey-based company blamed weak cash flow over the past 18 months (Overfinch)
• US power firm General Electric has said it will order 25,000 electric cars in a bid to boost development of a network of charging stations and other related products it produces. GE has initially ordered 12,000 Chevrolet Volts – and the first will start to roll off GM's production lines this month (BBC News)
• Indian vehicle manufacturer Tata is having to offer free safety upgrades to the Nano, after owners have reported a number of fires in India (BBC News)
• Volkswagen is on the verge of a wide-ranging reshuffle of its truck operations, in a move that would see it take full control of Sweden's Scania and Germany's MAN (Financial Times)
• A full-scale model of London's new Routemaster bus, due into service in 2012, has been unveiled. London mayor Boris Johnson said the buses were a combination of 'nostalgia' and the 'latest technology' (BBC News)
• Chrysler Group will unveil to the public this week new or significantly redesigned versions of 80% of its vehicle line-up (Detroit News)
• Aston Martin’s new luxury city car, the Cygnet which will go into production in 2011, is making its global debut at Harrods in Knightsbridge, the world's most prestigious department store (Aston Martin)

Friday 12 November 2010
• Owen Developments has been named as the sole supplier of turbochargers to the NGTC (Next Generation Touring Cars) that will compete in the British Touring Car Championship from 2011. The company supplied turbochargers to Arena Motorsport’s LPG-powered Ford Focus entries in 2010 (Owen Developments)
• Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has called for governments to offer financial incentives to encourage consumers to buy electric cars, helping to offset the increased cost of zero emissions vehicles (Bloomberg)
• A French judge has ruled that Renault can call its new electric supermini Zoe. A case had been brought against the French manufacturer by the parents of two girls called Zoe Renault (BBC)
• The Volkswagen Group delivered almost six million vehicles in the ten months to November 2010. 612,000 vehicles were delivered in October alone – a 9.8% rise over October 2009, and a record for the company (Volkswagen)

Thursday 11 November 2010
• Toyota has delivered its 20 millionth car in Europe. The Japanese manufacturer first entered the European market in 1963 and sold its 10 millionth car in 2000 (Toyota)
• The BMW 3-series has been named the UK’s most reliable car by the annual Fleet News FN50 survey. Honda was named the most reliable manufacturer (Fleet News)
• General Motors made a profit of $2bn (£1.2bn) in the three months to September 2010, passing Toyota ($1.1bn, £681mil) as the world's most profitable car manufacturer (USA Today)
• General Motors has increased its stake in a Chinese joint venture with SAIC and Wuling. The move needs approval from government regulators, but the sale of shares from Wuling Group to GM will increase the American manufacturer’s holding from 34% to 44% (Bloomberg)
• Russian supercar maker Marussia has bought a ‘significant stake’ in the Virgin F1 team. The team will be rebranded Marussia Virgin Racing for the 2011 season (BBC)
• The Austrian-based sales and distribution division of Porsche is to be sold to Volkswagen for €3.3bn (£2.81bn). Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS) will transfer to VW ownership before September 30 2011 (Volkswagen)

Wednesday 10 November 2010
• BP has been accused of complacency by the White House oil spill commission over the safety of the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig. The rig exploded in April 2010 leading to a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (BBC News)
• GM’s finance unit made a profit of $51.3m in the three months to September 2010, up from $25.8m in the same period in 2009 (Automotive News)
• Russia’s car market is recovering from the recession. Sales rose 62% in October 2010 compared to the previous month, and were 22% up on October 2009 (Financial Times, subscription required)
• Tata, parent company of Jaguar/Land Rover, has seen its profits soar by 10,159%(Nasdaq)
• The Honda CRZ has been named 2010 Japan Car of the Year, beating the likes of Jaguar’s XJ and the Mercedes E-class (Japan Car of the Year)

Tuesday 9 November 2010
• SAIC, the Chinese owner of MG, is set to buy shares in General Motors when the government-owned American manufacturer returns to public ownership via a shares sale on November 18 2010 (Trading Markets)
• The Toyota Prius has been named the most fuel-efficient car in the USA, averaging 48mpg in the city and 51mpg on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bugatti’s Veyron was the worst performer, managing only 15mpg on the highway and a thirsty 8mpg in the city (EPA)
• London mayor Boris Johnson has announced plans to make the city the 'electric car capital of Europe'. A network of 1300 electric charging points will be installed across the London by 2013. Owners will be able to charge their cars anywhere in the capital for a £100 annual fee (Greater London Authority)
•French police have arrested an armed BMW employee who took hostages at the German manufacturer’s offices in Paris (BBC News)
• Renault has announced it remains committed to staying in F1, despite an upcoming strategy review from the French manufacturer (Autosport)

Monday 8 November 2010
• Jaguar/Land Rover plans to open a new Chinese factory, once it has signed a deal with a domestic partner. The new factory would need $100m of investment, but sidestep hetfy import taxes which can double the retail price of new cars. JLR plans to build the Freelander, Evoque, and a Jaguar model in China (Financial Times, subscription required)
• Aston Martin has announced a new chief financial officer. Hanno Kirner, previously director for finance and IT at Rolls Royce, will form part of Aston’s executive board of management (Aston Martin)
• Chrysler has reported a third quarter loss of $84m. However, the figure is half the loss of the previous quarter, down from $172m (Financial Times, subscription required)
• BMW is investing €400m to expand its Leipzig factory. The plant will build the German car company's first electric car, the Megacity Vehicle (MCV), from 2013 (BMW)
• Mercedes sold over 100,000 cars in October 2010, a 13.6% rise over the same period in 2009, the 12th straight month of growth (Automotive News) 
• Worldwide Audi sales rose 5.8% in October 2010, fueled by increases in China (18.2%) and the USA (10.5%) (Automotive News)
• Toyota has reported a large rise in quarterly profits. The company made 98.7bn yen (£754m) between July and September 2010, up from 21.8bn yen (£166m) during the same period in 2009 (Detroit News)

Friday 5 November 2010
• Nissan has raised its profit and sales forecast after revenues grew fourfold in the last quarter. It expects 270bn yen profit ($3.3bn) in the year to March, nearly double what it predicted earlier (Automotive News)
• Lamborghini today marked the end of Murcielago production. It actually built the final V12 earlier this summer, but celebrated today with a procession around Sant'Agata. It has made 4099 Murcielagos, making it the most successful V12 it's ever produced (Lamborghini)

Thursday 4 November 2010
• Car sales dropped dramatically last month. New figures from the Society of Motor Manufactrurers and Traders reveal a 22% drop in October registrations to 131,495. However, October 2009 was artificially high, riding on the scrappage scheme (SMMT)
• Better news if you look at the year-to-date. Up to the end of October, UK car sales are up 4.8% on 2009. They're forecasting just over 2m sales this year, up 1.5% on last (SMMT)
• Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez claims the company remained profitable throughout the recession. He said Aston would not seek a partner and was working well as an independent concern (Automotive News Europe)
• US car sales reached their highest level this year in October. Industry leaders Ford and Toyota fell short of some smaller rivals, including South Korea's Hyundai (
• BMW third-quarter operating profit margin of 8.1% fell short of rivals Mercedes’ by 9.5% and 11.2% behind Volkswagen. BMW shares dipped 0.7% on their publication on Wednesday (
• Panasonic has invested $30m into electric car specialist Tesla to develop battery tech; it joins Daimler and Toyota, who have both invested in Tesla already (Automotive News)

Wednesday 3 November 2010
• Volvo has pulled a U-turn and the new owners say they won't plan an S-class rival as was mooted a few weeks ago. New CEO Stefan Jacoby told ANE that no such car existed in the short or medium term (Automotive News Europe)
• GM will not have to pay US federal taxes on up to $50 billion of profits for 20 years. With the standard federal corporate tax rate at 35%, the tax break could save GM $17.5bn, not factoring in tax deductions (Automotive news)
• The US government is tipped to sell at least 263.5 million GM shares, as it prepares its IPO this month (Detroit news)
• BMW is benefiting from sales in China as sales rise 36% for the third quarter of 2010 (BBC news)

Tuesday 2 November 2010
• Tata Motors’ total sales of cars and vans - including Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary - jumped 21% in October compared with the same month last year. The group sold 64,757 vehicles, up from 53,404 in October 2009 (Tata Motors)
• Oil giant BP has returned to profit in the last quarter after a record loss in the previous quarter in the wake of the oil spill in the US. BP posted a $1.85bn (£1.2bn) profit, up from the $17bn loss recorded from April to June (BBC News)

Monday 1 November 2010
• It's a big week for General Motors, as it prepares to announce third-quarter earnings, revise its IPO price and embark on a global marketing push (Detroit News)
• The Pontiac car brand is finally dead; it was killed off by the collapse of GM in the recession, one of the brands that had to be culled (BBC News)
• Mid-sized Japanese car makers are looking perilously placed, as larger car makers shy away from cross ownership. It points out that Ford is currently diluting its 11% stake in Mazda down to nearer 3% (Financial Times)
• Chrysler is in discussion with banks over loans ahead of a possible IPO flotation in 2011, according to trade title AN (Automotive News)

By Tim Pollard, Ben Pulman, Sarah-Jayne Harrison, RobTyler and Ben Miles