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Inside this issue
Mazda Posts $200 Millon Profit, Huge Turnaround
GM Unveils Cruze Diesel, its First Diesel Car Since 1986
Honda Plans Big Product Push at Geneva
Daimler to Invest at Cost of Profit
Chrysler Names Preferred Lender
Automakers' Shift to Aluminum Boosts Suppliers
Plastic Seen as Car Windows' Future
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Top Stories
Mazda Posts $200 Millon Profit, Huge Turnaround

In a huge turnaround, Japanese automaker Mazda says it made a profit of 19.8 billion yen in the quarter ended Dec. 31, equivalent to $228.5 million at the exchange rate on Dec. 31. A year earlier, the small car company reported a quarterly loss of 73 billion yen. Revenue for the quarter was 511.7 billion yen, up 11%. Mazda American depository receipts were trading at $31.86, up $2.01 or 6.7%, at midday. Mazda is a small player. In the U.S. Its 277,000 sales last year placed it 13th of 18 automakers in the U.S. market, ahead of only Mitsubishi and small-volume makers such as Jaguar-Land Rover, Porsche and Ferrari.
Source: USA Today

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GM Unveils Cruze Diesel, its First Diesel Car Since 1986

Chevrolet today will unveil a clean-diesel Cruze small car that will get an estimated 42 mpg on the highway. The 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel will feature a 2.0-liter turbo engine and a torque rating approaching that of a Camaro. It will be shown at the Chicago Auto Show and is slated to reach showrooms by June. The Cruze diesel will be General Motors' first diesel car sold in the United States since the 1980s and a bellwether for diesel demand in the country as more automakers consider the technology to help them comply with toughening U.S. fuel economy requirements.
Source: Automotive News

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Honda Plans Big Product Push at Geneva

Honda will be making a major product statement at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5, introducing three important models. The Acura NSX hybrid, advancing toward production, will be shown in Europe for the first time, the company announced in a press release. The sleek reincarnation of the NSX sports car sold in the 1990s under the Honda and Acura badges was shown at the recent Detroit auto show with a full interior treatment and some exterior refinements. Also on display will be an estate wagon concept based on the Civic sedan. The company suggests the concept will “strongly hint at the design direction of the final production version.”
Source: The New York Times

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Daimler to Invest at Cost of Profit

Daimler AG's push to regain its position as the world's leading premium auto maker will take its toll on profitability this year, as it plows money into new factories and products while demand remains weak. The German company gave more detail Thursday on its ambitious plans to overhaul its Mercedes-Benz unit by 2020, including the launch of 13 brand new models, but said it expects demand for its cars and trucks to remain sluggish at least until the second half of 2013.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Chrysler Names Preferred Lender

Deal with Spain's Santander forms unit to replace Ally

Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday announced an agreement with Spain's Banco Santander to form Chrysler Capital, which will replace Ally Financial Inc. as the automaker's preferred lender. The private-label agreement will allow Chrysler Capital to provide financing to customers and dealers.
Source: The Detroit News

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Automakers' Shift to Aluminum Boosts Suppliers

Carmakers from Ford Motor Co. to Audi AG and Jaguar Land Rover Plc are using record amounts of aluminum to replace heavier steel, providing relief to producers of the metal who are confronting excess supplies and depressed prices. Aluminum content in vehicles is rising about 5 percent a year and growth will accelerate in the next decade as carmakers seek improved fuel economy and lower emissions, according to Gayle Berry, a London-based analyst at Barclays.
Source: The Detroit News

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Plastic Seen as Car Windows' Future

Lightweight material to cut weight in half

High-strength plastic windows will soon replace the window glass in some vehicles. Polycarbonate glazing is already beginning to appear in cars like Fiat SpA's new 2014 500L. It can cut window weight in half because it is lighter than glass and, when combined with compression moldings, can reduce the overall number of parts needed to join windows to a car. Glass windows make up only about 100 pounds of a typical vehicle's weight. But the opportunity to shed up to 50 pounds is one that automakers won't pass up.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
"We expect the Cruze to compete head-to-head with the German diesels, particularly the Volkswagen Jetta TDI."  

   
-- Gary Altman, chief engineer for Chevy small cars, commenting on the new Cruze diesel, Automotive News, Feb. 7
 

  

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