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Inside this issue
VW Vows to Be EV Industry Leader By 2018
Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Reaches a High, Nearing Goal for 2016
Canada Sells Part of Its Stake in GM
European Carmakers Split on How to Survive Slump
Auto Makers Accelerate Efforts to Develop Self-Driving Cars
Cal Worthington, Car Dealer With Manic Ads, Dies at 92
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
VW Vows to Be EV Industry Leader By 2018

Volkswagen AG is betting big on electric vehicles and gas-electric hybrids. The automaker, which until now has emphasized diesels in its green strategy, came to the Frankfurt Motor Show with its e-Up electric vehicle and an electric version of its Golf hatchback called the e-Golf. VW pledged to bring as many as 40 EVs and hybrids to market around the world. The company, which wants to be the world's largest automaker and has a 10-year-plan to more than triple U.S. sales, bragged about its major EV effort, which it sees as an integral part of its global domination strategy.
Source: The Detroit News
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Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Reaches a High, Nearing Goal for 2016

Automakers are making slow but steady progress improving fuel efficiency, as the industry hit a high for the average miles per gallon of new vehicles sold in August in the United States. A study released by the University of Michigan on Tuesday said that the average fuel economy on the window stickers of cars and trucks sold last month was 24.9 miles per gallon. That was nearly five miles per gallon better than the 20.1 m.p.g. recorded in October 2007, when the university's Transportation Research Institute began tracking the data. The improvements reflect broad changes across the industry in the size, weight and engines in new models, as well as an increase in the number of hybrid and electric vehicles on the market.
Source: The New York Times

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Canada Sells Part of Its Stake in GM

Government begins exit strategy from U.S. auto maker

The Canadian government said Tuesday that it has sold part of its stake in General Motors Co., as it begins its exit from a company it bought into during the 2009 auto bailout. In a statement, Canada GEN Investment Corp., a federal agency that holds the shares on behalf of the government, said it had sold 30 million shares to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets. The banks re-offered the shares to investors late Tuesday. The sale represented roughly 20% of Canada GEN's holding. After the deal, it will hold roughly 110 million GM shares. The U.S. government has been winding down its GM stake since late last year and has said it plans to be out of the car maker in early 2014, if not sooner.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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European Carmakers Split on How to Survive Slump

The Fiat stand at the motor show [in Frankfurt] on Tuesday was particularly quiet, which could be seen as a sign of weakness, or perhaps part of a clever strategy. In the face of the slowest European car sales in two decades, competitors like Opel, Renault, Ford and Peugeot were introducing new models or at least flaunting design studies at the show. But Fiat had no big news. And that was by design, the company's executives said. “To launch a new model now, you lose a good opportunity, because when the market recovers, the model will be old,” Luca di Montezemolo, the chairman of the Ferrari unit of Fiat, said in an interview Tuesday. Other carmakers are taking the opposite tack. “There is no other way to compete in a tight market except with new products,” said Karl-Thomas Neumann, president of General Motors Europe and chief executive of the company's Opel unit. The fates of companies and thousands of jobs will depend on which strategy turns out to be right.
Source: The New York Times

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Auto Makers Accelerate Efforts to Develop Self-Driving Cars

Big auto makers are steering their efforts to develop cars that drive themselves out of the labs and into the fast lane for production, after years of low-profile experimentation. Auto industry executives on Tuesday used the podium offered by the biennial Frankfurt auto show to deliver that message in a variety of ways, responding in part to software giant Google Inc.'s well-publicized experiments with autonomous driving that over the past three years have stolen some of the thunder of the automotive establishment. The most dramatic statement came from Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand, which disclosed that in August a Mercedes S 500 "Intelligent Drive" research vehicle autonomously retraced the 103-kilometer route between the German cities of Mannheim and Pforzheim navigated by Bertha Benz in 1888. A navigation system, called Route Pilot, allowed the car to find its way safely to a destination on unrestricted, public roads.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Cal Worthington, Car Dealer With Manic Ads, Dies at 92

Cal Worthington, a car dealer whose off-the-wall commercials, first broadcast in the 1950s, bombarded California television viewers for more than half a century and made him a pop culture legend, died on Sunday at his ranch in Orland, Calif. He was 92. Mr. Worthington sold a lot of cars — more than a million of them, by his count — and at his peak in the 1960s ran an empire of 29 dealerships from San Diego to Anchorage. But it was the way he sold them that made him a byword for creative hard-sell salesmanship in the great American tradition. Stuck with a dud location when he bought his first dealership, Mr. Worthington decided that the only way to attract customers was to hit the airwaves hard with radio and television commercials that stood out from the pack. This turned out to be his ticket to fame and fortune.
Source: The New York Times
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"We're seeing the first lights at the end of the tunnel." 

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