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Inside this issue
December Is Hot, Hot, Hot for Auto Sales as Dealers Sweeten Their Deals
Exports of U.S.-built Vehicles Hit Record
Five Signs of New Life in Post-crash Detroit
Audi to Invest $30 Billion Through 2018
Will Aluminum Ford F-150 Be a Rolling Beer Can?
2013: The Year of the Autonomous Car
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Top Stories
December Is Hot, Hot, Hot for Auto Sales as Dealers Sweeten Their Deals

For both auto dealerships and car shoppers, December can be one of the best times of the year to get a good deal. Just about every automaker has a special year-end sales event, and most will use it as they try to boost December’s sales tally. Chrysler is touting its Big Finish event, Ford is telling customers to Dream Big, Toyota has its Toyotathon sales event, and Hyundai is pushing its Sonata midsize sedan with Hyundai Holidays. Even BMW has its Happier New Year Event, to counter Mercedes-Benz’s Winter Event.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Exports of U.S.-built Vehicles Hit Record

The U.S. is exporting more cars and trucks than ever before as markets across the world recover from the recent recession. The number of U.S.-built vehicles shipped to other countries could reach 2 million this year. More than half of those exports will come out of Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. or Chrysler Group LLC assembly plants. The rest come from U.S. plants owned by Japanese, Korean and German automakers. Automakers have allotted some of their U.S. manufacturing capacity to make cars and trucks for growing markets around the world.
Source: The Detroit News

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Five Signs of New Life in Post-crash Detroit

Tyyonna Clark and Napoleon Wright have many things in common. They both started working at Chrysler's Jefferson North factory in 2010. They share a history in hair care: Clark worked as a part-time beautician before Chrysler and Wright still works as a barber on the side. And they each started at $14 an hour -- half the $28 hourly wage veteran workers make -- and now earn $19 assembling Jeep Grand Cherokees 10 hours a day. It is on that last point that they differ. Clark and Wright are among about 2,200 workers at Jefferson North who earn what is known as the "second tier" wage. The UAW agreed to establish a two-tier wage system in 2007 in hopes of boosting employment at the Detroit Three. And it worked: Chrysler has hired more than 10,000 workers in the U.S. since coming out of bankruptcy.
Source: Automotive News

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Audi to Invest $30 Billion Through 2018

Germany's Audi on Friday said it plans to invest around €22 billion ($30 billion) over the next five years to enable further growth and to continue its battle for technical supremacy in the luxury car market. The Volkswagen AG subsidiary's planned investments in new models, innovations and a continuous expansion of the world-wide production network, will see €16 billion spent on fixed assets and €6 billion on capitalized development. In 2012, Audi's capitalized development costs were €923 million. Audi and its main rivals, BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz brand, have all vowed to become the world's leading luxury car maker and Audi's move, the largest technical development and investment program in the company's history, is set to heat up the battle.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Will Aluminum Ford F-150 Be a Rolling Beer Can?

Get ready for Ford's aluminum pickup truck, likely either to be hailed as a breakthrough product or one that draws scads of comparisons to a beer can. Ford is going to announce in a couple of weeks that the next F-150 will have a body made mostly of aluminum instead of steel in a bid to save weight, and thus gas, says Bloomberg News on the basis of what it says are confirmations by unnamed sources. And, it says Ford is going to lengths to invite comparisons to the aluminum used in military vehicles, not in flimsy beer cans.
Source: USA Today

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2013: The Year of the Autonomous Car

2013 will likely be remembered as the year of the autonomous car. While we've been hearing about the technology for several years – Google revealed in late 2010 that it had logged almost 150,000 miles testing its original self-driving Toyota Prius – and the conversation had already shifted from not if but when we'll have autonomous vehicles available, this was the year that automakers got into the game in a big way.
Source: PC Magazine

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