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Inside this issue
Buffett Raises Stake in GM By 60%
GM Closes Egypt Operations Amid Strife
U.S. Puts Non-Performing $50 Million Green-Tech Loan Up For Auction
Ford Drops C-Max Hybrid MPG Rating, Will Compensate Owners
Lincoln Black Label Vehicles Debut at Pebble Beach
NTSB Chair Visits Rockville Fitzgerald Dealership
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Buffett Raises Stake in GM By 60%

Billionaire Warren Buffett's investment arm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. boosted its stake in General Motors Co. by 60 percent to 40 million shares, the conglomerate disclosed in a filing early Thursday. That brings Berkshire Hathaway's holdings to 2.9 percent of outstanding GM stock. The firm initially purchased 10 million shares in 2012, when the stock was trading in the low $20-per-share price. It closed Thursday at $34.55, down $1.02. At current prices, the stake is worth more than $1.38 billion. Buffett acquired the new shares in GM in the three months ending June 30. That's the same period during which the U.S. Treasury has been steadily selling off its holdings in GM it received as part of its $49.5 billion bailout. GM North America President Mark Reuss told reporters Thursday in Detroit that Berkshire's stock purchase is a positive boost for the company.
Source: The Detroit News
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GM Closes Egypt Operations Amid Strife

General Motors is closing its operations in Egypt until further notice in the wake of the army's crackdown against supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi that left more than 500 people dead. The company is expected to consider reopening the operations if the violence subsides. GM, which launched operations in Egypt in 1983, has more than 1,400 employees in the country. “We made the decision to close our Cairo office and halt production operations in our plant in 6th October City,” GM said in a statement. “The safety and security of our employees is of paramount importance to us. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Source: Detroit Free Press
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U.S. Puts Non-Performing $50 Million Green-Tech Loan Up For Auction

The U.S. Department of Energy will put up for auction this week a $50 million loan awarded to the now-closed Vehicle Production Group LLC, an unusual move by the DOE that may give U.S. taxpayers a chance to recoup a portion of their investment. The auction may also mark a path for the government to offload non-performing loans made to other troubled, taxpayer-backed companies, including hybrid sports car maker Fisker Automotive, which owes the DOE $192 million and has so far failed to secure a buyer. The auction will be held on Thursday, according to a auction notice posted on govsales.gov, which tracks government asset sales.
Source: Reuters
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Ford Drops C-Max Hybrid MPG Rating, Will Compensate Owners

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to drop the fuel economy rating on the 2013 C-Max hybrid crossover from a combined 47 mpg to 43 mpg — a nearly 10 percent reduction — and will compensate owners for the worse-than-promised fuel economy. Ford said it will pay 32,000 customers for the gas-mileage discrepancy. Those who purchased vehicles will receive $550; those who leased will get $325. Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development at Ford, said in an interview Thursday that the automaker didn't want to make customers go to a dealership to prove how many miles they had driven to get the payment. It means Ford will pay between $10 million and $17 million, depending on how many of the vehicles were leased. The decision came following Environmental Protection Agency testing completed last week.
Source: The Detroit News

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Lincoln Black Label Vehicles Debut at Pebble Beach

The latest step in the makeover of Lincoln is the addition of a more upscale trim level, called Black Label, showcasing higher quality materials. Lincoln models come in entry-level Premier, Select and Reserve trim levels. Black Label will be top of the line and debut in late 2014 as a fourth option for those choosing the 2015 MKZ midsize sedan. Shortly after that, there will be a Black Label version of the all-new 2015 MKC small crossover that will expand the Lincoln lineup. Lincoln used the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to reveal three Black Label themes for North America. Specialty-themed vehicles also will be developed for China as part of plans to sell the luxury brand in that country in the second half of 2014.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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NTSB Chair Visits Rockville Fitzgerald Dealership

As children are heading back to school this month, parents are faced with making a checklist of school supplies and new clothes. However, the most important items for parents to focus on should be a school transportation safety checklist – the proper installation of child safety seats, school bus safety, pedestrian safety, and teen driver safety. Under beautiful blue skies [Thursday] morning, Jack Fitzgerald, CEO and Founder of Fitzgerald Auto Malls, welcomed National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Deborah Hersman to a Back To School Transportation Safety event. Held at the monthly Child Safety Seat Check event at the Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Rockville, Fitzgerald spoke about the importance of the proper installation of child safety seats. The Fitzgerald Child Safety Seat Inspection Program started in 1999 after Fitzgerald became aware of the dangers of improperly installed child safety seats. As of this morning, Fitzgerald has installed and inspected 44,006 child safety seats. No other local volunteer program in the United States has ever achieved this many child safety seat inspections within a single program.
Source: Rockville Patch (Rockville, Md.)
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Quotable
"We work really hard every day to do the right things and make the right cars that people want to buy. When someone does something like that it makes us all feel we're on the right track…" 

   
-- GM North America President Mark Reuss, commenting on investment firm Berkshire Hathaway raising its stake in GM by 60 percent, The Detroit News, Aug. 15
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