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Italy slump continues as November car sales fall 5%

  New-car sales in Italy fell 5 percent in November from the same month a year ago to 102,201 vehicles, Italy's transport ministry said.  The figure follows a slide of 6 percent in October and drops of 3 percent and 7 percent in September and August, respectively.  The last time monthly sales rose year-on-year in Europe's fourth-largest car market was in August 2011, the ministry's data shows.  Sa


Fiat, partner agree on Chinese Jeep plant location, sources

  Fiat and its Chinese partner are near a deal to begin producing Jeeps in China for the first time since 2006 after they compromised on the plant's location, two people familiar with the talks said.  Fiat, which had sought to make Jeep SUVs near its own facilities, recently agreed to locate the factory near Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.'s home base in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, the people


Mercedes to test-drive online car sales at German dealership

  Mercedes-Benz will start selling cars online for the first time through its dealership in Hamburg, Germany, following BMW in experimenting with Web sales.  Starting today, customers can choose from more than 70 pre-configured vehicles in a pilot test of direct sales via the Internet. The models, including the A-class hatchback, CLA four-door coupe and CLS Shooting Brake wagon, are offered in a p


Renault prepares to resume Iran exports

  Renault is preparing to resume the export of car parts to Iran pending "clarifications" on the easing of trade sanctions against the country.  "We can start the preparatory work" with suppliers while "waiting for the go-ahead on the possibility to exports parts to Iran," said Gilles Normand, chairman of the automaker's Asia-Pacific region in an interview in Tehran.  Such a move would require an


GCA Vice Executive General Manager Jun YU: We Will Introduce

  As the first year of the “second taking off period”, GAC Honda is expected 400 thousand sales this year, which is 30% more than last year did. It is the prelude of GAC Honda coming back of front stage. Jun YU, GCA vice executive general manager, told reporter during interview that “GAC will introduce 4 more new cars into market next year. Our sales goal aims 500 thousand, and will remain 30% gro


French govt tells PSA to review Varins future pension benefi

  The French government told PSA/Peugeot-Citroen today to review an "inappropriate" pension award to outgoing CEO Philippe Varin for which it has set aside 21 million euros ($28.5 million) in provisions.  In last year's accounts, PSA set aside just under 21 million euros to cover its pension obligations to Varin as of Dec. 31, 2012.  The provision is designed to cover payouts of 310,000 annually o


Foreign auto makers change sales strategies as buyers wait

  Car shoppers in China are waiting up to 40 percent longer than a year ago to buy a vehicle, forcing foreign auto makers to revamp their sales strategies, according to a market research firm's study.  "The China of the past where hungry first-time buyers dominated the market is gone," TNS Global Development Director Andy Turton said in a statement released with the study on Wednesday. "The balanc


Chrysler wont go ahead with IPO in 2013: Fiat

  The planned stock market listing of Fiat's (FIA.MI) U.S. unit Chrysler will not take place this year, the Italian carmaker said on Monday, prolonging the uncertainty over its chances of buying out the rest of the company.  The initial public offering was expected to help settle a long-running spat over the U.S. automaker's value between Fiat and a retiree healthcare trust tied to the United Auto


Audis aim to top BMW at risk without new technology drive

  Audi has used Vorsprung durch Technik -- German for advancement through technology -- as its slogan since the 1970s. But signs are growing that the Volkswagen Group subsidiary is losing sight of its own advice.  Spending on r&d by the 81-year-old brand, VW Group's profit engine, last year was far below the amount spent by both BMW and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler.  While BMW trumpets its new


Cautious Dongfeng seeks smaller stake in PSA; talks hit snag

  PSA Peugeot Citroen's plan to raise funds through a share sale have hit a snag as Dongfeng Motor Corp. seeks a smaller stake than first discussed, people familiar with the matter said.  Dongfeng is considering a 10 percent share of PSA, half the size of the original proposal, sources said.  The Chinese company is more interested in expanding an existing joint venture than buying a stake, they sa


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