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Auto News 12/2009

Michigan Democrats pitch proposals to reduce auto insurance rates, while insurance industry makes own proposal (The Muskegon Chronicle)
The plan comes weeks after the state Board of Canvassers approved a ballot proposal that would allow voters to decide next fall if they want to reduce automobile, home and business insurance rates by 20 percent.

An up-close look at the Los Angeles auto show, in News Brake for Tuesday, Dec. 1:
In News Brake: We bring you an in-depth preview of the Los Angeles auto show. From GM and Ford, to Toyota and Honda--it's all here . . . But Wait, There's More!

Auto insurance industry opposes proposed reform bill (Detroit News)
Lansing -- Michigan's auto insurance industry swiftly rebuffed a 10-bill reform package unveiled by House Democrats on Monday that would turn authority for setting rates over to a state official.

‘New Suzuki Swift…Flip Design to the Uniqueness’ Coming up with new unique cubical design Officially launched at Motor ... (Thaipr.net)
Suzuki Automobile Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has officially launched New Suzuki Swift to Thai market at the 26th Thailand International Motor Expo 2009. Suzuki has broadened new vision of pass

The 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, an AW Drivers Log:
SENIOR EDITOR FOR NEWS BOB GRITZINGER: This Jeep is almost, dare we say, civilized.

Volkswagen Polo wins European Car of the Year award:
Volkswagen's new Polo--slated to enter the U.S. market within three years--narrowly beat the Toyota iQ to win the 2010 European Car of the Year award.

2012 Chevrolet Spark, an AW Flash Drive:
What is it?

Audi unveils new A8, hybrid planned:
Audi has added new technologies and fuel-efficient engines to its new A8 to help its flagship sedan fight against the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 Series.

Italian Minister Wants Fiat to Lift Domestic Car Production (Bloomberg)
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Fiat SpA will be asked by Italian Industry Minister Claudio Scajola to increase domestic car output even as Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne warns that he may close plants to cope with shrinking demand.

GM actively seeking new owner for Saab: Saab (Malaysian Mirror)
STOCKHOLM -US carmaker General Motors is seeking a new owner for its loss-making Swedish brand Saab after a previous takeover bid failed last week, Saab Automobile's chief executive said on Tuesday.

(AFX UK Focus) 2009-12-02 09:48 UPDATE 1-S.Africa new vehicle sales fall, but recovering (Interactive Investor)
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 2 (Reuters) - South Africa's total industry new vehicle sales contracted at a slower pace than previously in the year to November, data showed on Wednesday, pointing to a continued recovery in a sector hit by an economic downturn. Sales fell by 6.3 percent year-on-year to 34,295 units in November, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAMSA) said in a statement ...

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder, an AW Flash Drive:
What is it?

GM changes leaders--again, and the 2010 Dodge Viper uncoils at the Los Angeles auto show, in News Brake for Wednesday, Dec. 2:
In News Brake: Fritz Henderson is out at General Motors, U.S. sales show some signs of stability, and the 2010 Dodge Viper is better than ever . . . But Wait, There's More!

SAIL cuts prices by up to Rs 500 a tonne (Press Trust of India)
New Delhi, Dec 2 (PTI) State-run steel maker SAIL today cut prices of its flat steel products, used mainly by automobile and white goods industry, by up to Rs 500 a tonne on account of weakening global demand.

Los Angeles auto show: Volkswagen shows and#8216;Final Edition' New Beetles :
Volkswagen will mark the last of the current-generation New Beetles with special Final Edition models revealed at the L.A. auto show.

Los Angeles auto show: Volkswagen Up! Lite concept breaks cover:
Volkswagen revealed another member of the Up! City-car concept series at the Los Angeles auto show. The Up! Lite is a three-door, four-seater version of the future VW small car powered by a hybrid powertrain.

Los Angeles auto show: 2011 Toyota Sienna debuts:
While many carmakers turn their backs on minivans, Toyota is doubling down in the segment with the debut of the third-generation Sienna at the Los Angeles auto show.

Los Angeles auto show: Maximum Bob minimizes Fritz info:
Bob Lutz did a fine job on Wednesday of not answering questions about the biggest story of the last two days--the big shake-up at the top of his company, General Motors.

Los Angeles auto show: 2011 Mazda 2 debuts with pint-sized zoom:
Mazda used the Los Angeles auto show to show off the U.S.-spec Mazda 2, which arrives in dealerships late next summer.

Report: Germany facing car-sales slump as scrappage scheme ends (EARTHtimes.org)
Frankfurt - Germany's automobile sector is bracing for a sharp contraction in sales in the coming year, once a lucrative scrappage scheme ends, the industry said Wednesday. The German Automobile Industry Association (VDA) estimated that sales could d...

Auto dealers group spent $778K lobbying in 3Q (AP via Yahoo! News)
The National Automobile Dealers Association spent $778,000 in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on the Cash for Clunkers program and other industry-related matters, according to a recent disclosure report.

Los Angeles auto show: Honda cracks open the P-NUT:
Honda is showing its interpretation of compact city driving with the debut of the Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) at the Los Angeles auto show.

Los Angeles auto show: 2011 Hyundai Sonata represents new design language for brand:
To say the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is different from its predecessor is an understatement.

Auto dealers group spent $778K lobbying in 3Q (San Francisco Chronicle)
The National Automobile Dealers Association spent $778,000 in the third quarter to lobby the federal government on the Cash for Clunkers program and other industry-related matters, according to a recent disclosure report. The McLean, Va.-based trade group,... National Automobile Dealers Association - Federal government of the United States - Lobbying - Trade association - McLean Virginia

Rotarians get glimpse of automotive industry’s future (Jacksonville Daily Record)
He has more than 35 years experience in the automotive industry and has held executive positions in North America and Europe. Rayne said his experience tells him the global automotive industry is about to enter a period of change that will be more far-reaching than at any time in history.

Semiconductor Industry (Zacks.com via Yahoo! Finance)
The industry has come a long way since the last downturn, with most of the players streamlining operations and transferring more routine production to low-cost locations.

Los Angeles auto show: Dodge rolls out the black magic with Viper Vooodoo :
There were five Dodge Vipers on the expansive Chrysler stand at the Los Angeles auto show, including this one, Dodge boss Ralph Gillesand#8217; personal car.

Quotes on the To do list of GM's next CEO (AP via Yahoo! News)
• "The board has been second guessing (Henderson) on what's the next priority. Is it pay back the government? Is it to do an IPO? ... Just get those things out of the picture. Concentrate on vehicle attractiveness and quality, safety, fuel economy — the basic blocking and tackling of an automobile company." — Gerald Meyers, University of Michigan business professor and former chairman of ...

VWSA leads sharp rise in local motor industry's exports (Independent Online)
Vehicle export sales have rebounded dramatically from the deep slump earlier this year, with sales recorded last month the highest for a single month so far this year.

Fiesta will get EcoBoost--just not when it launches next summer:
When the 2011 Ford Fiesta launches, it will be missing one of Ford Motor Co.'s most promoted technologies. But an EcoBoost engine is on the horizon for the new subcompact.

Hello Chrysler, ciao Lancia?:
Starting as early as 2011, Fiat S.p.A. may extend the Chrysler brand name to models currently sold as Lancias in Europe.

The 2009 Honda Ridgeline RTL, an AW Drivers Log:
COPY EDITOR CYNTHIA L. OROSCO: I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed driving this truck, especially since I'm not a fan of big trucks--and because the look of this Ridgeline makes me think of a dog.

C-Class Move earns praise (The Tuscaloosa News)
By Patrick Rupinski Staff Writer TUSCALOOSA | Mercedes-Benz’ decision on Wednesday to move some of its C-Class automobile production to its Vance factory in 2014 will not only create 1,000 jobs, but it also helps secure the future of the automotive industry in West Alabama, experts say.

BMW unleashes ActiveHybrid X6:
Earlier this fall, Honda and its luxury division, Acura, both introduced contenders in the ever-growing field of fastback-utility crossovers. Now jumping into the fray is BMWand#8217;s ActiveHybrid X6.

Los Angeles auto show: 2010 Hyundai Tucson arrives:
The U.S.-spec 2010 Hyundai Tucson made its first public appearance at the Los Angeles auto show. The European-designed and engineered Tucson is 3.

Solera Holdings, Inc. To Enter the Greek Market, Will Repurchase Market Rights from Licensee (PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance)
Solera Holdings, Inc. , the leading global provider of software and services to the automobile insurance claims processing industry, today announced that it intends to enter the Greek market by repurchasing and terminating the rights to conduct business in that market from Audatex Hellas, an independent licensee.

Mitsubishi plans and#8216;Colt-successorand#8217; for U.S. around 2012:
Mitsubishi plans to bring a global small car to the United States sometime around 2012. It would be the successor to the Colt small car currently sold in Europe and Asia.

Study Simulates Car Crashes Involving Pregnant Women (redOrbit)
Image Caption: Women are often driving to work today much longer into their pregnancies, thus increasing chances of having an automobile accident. Researchers with the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Science and Ford Motor Company are investigating the development of improved safety devices to protect the fetus and the mother. Credit: Virginia Tech Photo

Research and Markets: A Comprehensive World-Wide Market Intelligence Report on the Coated Abrasives Market/Industry 2009 (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)
DUBLIN----Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Coated Abrasives Market Report 2009" report to their offering.

Another look at the Los Angeles auto show, in News Brake for Thursday, Dec. 3:
In News Brake: We review some of the stars from the Los Angeles auto show. The hits include the Honda P-NUT, small cars from Chevy and Ford and the new Toyota Sienna . . . But Wait,There's More!

GM, Chrysler agree to reconsider dealer closings (San Francisco Chronicle)
General Motors and Chrysler will reconsider decisions to close thousands of dealerships as part of a compromise meant to stave off federal legislation that would require them to keep showrooms open. The decision by the two automakers, announced Thursday,... General Motors - Auto - Recreation - Makes and Models - Automotive industry

Miami's Metro Ford Says Optimism is Essential (HispanicBusiness.com)
Amid a revolutionary change in the automobile industry, the father-and-son team of Lombardo Perez, Sr. and Jr. are behind the wheel of one of Miami's most successful dealerships.

Mood up at RV show :Optimism evident among industry experts. (South Bend Tribune)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- To say the RV industry has hit a "bump in the road" might be putting it mildly. Overall sales are down as much as 70 percent over the past two years, forcing 30 percent of dealers nationwide to close their doors.

GM, Chrysler agree to reconsider dealer closings (San Francisco Chronicle)
General Motors Co. and Chrysler will reconsider decisions to close thousands of dealerships as part of a compromise meant to stave off federal legislation that would require them to keep the showrooms open. The decision by the two automakers, announced... Chrysler - General Motors - Automotive industry - Auto - Recreation

Solera Holdings, Inc. To Enter the Greek Market, Will Repurchase Market Rights from Licensee (The Auto Channel)
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 3, 2009 -- Solera Holdings, Inc. , the leading global provider of software and services to the automobile insurance claims processing industry, today announced that it intends to enter the Greek market by repurchasing and terminating the rights to conduct business in that market from Audatex Hellas, an independent licensee.

As the GM world turns: Docherty, Reuss, Lutz get new assignments:
Mark Reuss and Susan Docherty just got handed the keys to the General Motors kingdom.

The 2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d, an AW Drivers Log:
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: I've always liked the facelift BMW gave the X5 a while back. I think it is one of the better-looking utes on the market.

General Motors buys Suzuki's stake in Canadian assembly plant:
General Motors and Suzuki Motor Corp. are ending their CAMI joint assembly operation in Canada, with Suzuki selling its 50 percent stake to GM in a move that severs another tie between the partners.

Emissions tax coming - but we don't have the fuel yet! (Independent Online)
A C02 emissions tax on cars will be introduced from 2010 despite non-availability of higher-quality fuel that will limit its effect on the industry and consumers.

Mood up at RV show :Optimism evident among industry experts (South Bend Tribune)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- To say the RV industry has hit a "bump in the road" might be putting it mildly. Overall sales are down as much as 70 percent over the past two years, forcing 30 percent of dealers nationwide to close their doors.


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