German automaker Volkswagen AG says sales were flat in March and that global car markets outside North America and China "are becoming even more difficult." The Wolfsburg-based company delivered 864,400 vehicles during the month, 0.2 percent more than the same month a year ago.
The public show is scheduled to take place Jan. 18 to 26 at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, nearly the same time period as this year's show. Press previews are Jan. 13 and 14; industry preview days are Jan. 15 and 16; and the charity preview is Jan. 17.
Nissan Motor Co. will raise pay for its employees in Mississippi and Tennessee. The company has told its employees it will increase their wages starting in October at its Canton, Miss., and Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plants, as well as its Decherd, Tenn., engine plant.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed General Motors' decision to invest another 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in European subsidiary Opel by 2016 as part of an attempt to turn the money-losing division around. Merkel met with GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson and other company officials Thursday in Berlin.
China's auto sales in March rose 13.3 percent over a year earlier but Japanese automakers suffered more declines, an industry group reported Thursday. Customers in the world's biggest vehicle market bought 1.6 million cars, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The Treasury Department said in its March report to Congress that it sold $621 million worth of GM common stock last month. The report dated Wednesday says the government has recovered about $30.4 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout it gave the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still $19.1 billion in the hole.
The recall for air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp. affects other automakers including non-Japanese manufacturers, and may be as many as 3 million vehicles, Takata spokeswoman Akiko Watanabe said Thursday. She declined to give details.
The Kansas City Area Development Council announced today that Adrian Steel is expanding into Kansas City to supply parts for Ford automobiles with a new 32,000 square-foot facility. The Adrian, Mich.-based company plants on leasing 11 acres of land within the Hunt Midwest Business Center with an investment of $4.7 million.
GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said at a news conference Wednesday that GM was "fully supportive of the Opel turnaround plan" and that the Detroit-based group "must have a strong presence in Europe and especially here in Germany." Akerson added that GM was committed to investing $5.22 billion in Europe by 2016.
General Motors is returning to Facebook. The automaker pulled its ads from the social media giant last May, just days before Facebook's initial public offering. GM said the ads weren't effective and didn't justify the $10 million per year it was spending.
Car sales in India fell by 6.7 percent in the past year, the first decline in a decade for the country's once-booming auto industry as it grapples with a wider economic malaise. About 1.9 million passenger cars were sold domestically in the 2012-13 fiscal year that ended last month, compared with 2 million the previous year.
The Oshkosh-based company says it will begin laying off 700 hourly employees in mid-June, with 200 salaried employees to be laid off by the end of July. Company leaders say production is declining as the military continues to wind down from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Chrysler says in documents filed with the government that a heat shield can drop and rub against the drive shaft, causing it to wear and break. If the shaft breaks, the SUVs will lose power and the side air bags may inflate. Chrysler says it doesn't know of any crashes or injuries from the problem.
Marchionne has jointly managed the two companies since buying a 20 percent stake in 2009. Fiat has since built up its holding in the U.S. company to 58.5 percent. However, his ambitions to fully merge the two companies have been stalled by a dispute between Chrysler's minority shareholder, the autoworkers union pension health trust.
German luxury automaker BMW AG says it had its best month ever in March, increasing global sales by 3 percent to 191,269 vehicles. For the first three months of the year, sales rose by 5.3 percent compared with a year earlier, to 448,200 units — even though sales slipped in the company's home market, Germany.
Ford Motor Co. says its Focus small car was the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, with just over 1 million sold. More than a quarter of all Focuses were sold in China, its largest market. The U.S. was the car's second-largest market.
Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne forecasts sales of between 4.3 million and 4.5 million cars in 2013, slightly higher than last year. Marchionne told shareholders Tuesday the company expects growth in the U.S., Latin America and Asia, while sales in Europe are forecast to decline for a sixth straight year.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on Friday announced the settlement of a lawsuit against the carmaker that claimed deceptive business practices and sought $2,500 per violation under the state's Unfair Business Practices Act.
Anaheim, California-based Fisker has struggled with financial and production problems, and its co-founder resigned last month. In March, Fisker furloughed its staff of about 220 for one week. At one time the company employed about 600 workers.
Daimler AG says its mainstay Mercedes-Benz luxury brand recorded the best monthly sales figures in its history in March despite weak car markets in western Europe. The company, based in Stuttgart, said Friday it delivered 139,920 Mercedes vehicles, up 6.5 percent from the same month a year earlier.
Google and other innovators say they may be just five years away from having all the tools and know-how to market what researchers call "a fully autonomous vehicle" — where steering, braking and turns can be safely performed without manning the controls.
Shares of Toyota, Honda and Nissan all rose more than 4 percent as some analysts predicted a drop in Japanese car prices. But they also say the effect of the weaker yen will be blunted because those companies have previously moved so much of their production to North America.
Honda Motor Co. told the transport ministry Thursday it is recalling 145,573 of its Vamos, Vamos Hobio and Z passenger cars due to an engine parts defect which could cause fire. Subject to the recall are vehicles of those three models produced between October 1998 and August 2010.
General Motors plans to invest $332 million into four factories in three Great Lakes states to build new, more efficient engines and transmissions. The spending at plants in Toledo, Ohio; Bedford, Ind.; and Flint and Bay City, Mich., will allow the company to build a new V-6 engine, a new small motor and new eight-speed automatic transmissions, GM said Thursday.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. fell after the electric car maker's announcement of a new financing option similar to a vehicle lease failed to impress investors. Tesla said that under the new program, US Bank and Wells Fargo will make loans for the 10 percent down payment required for its Model S sedan, which eventually would be covered by a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric car buyers.