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Inside this issue
Ford CEO Alan Mulally to Stay With Automaker Through 2014, Won't Go to Microsoft
N. American Vehicle Output Tops 16 Million in 2013
Buick Sells Record 1.03 Million Vehicles Globally, Most Since '84
Acquiring Rest of Chrysler May Lower Fiat's Credit Rating
Electric Service from $199 a Month
GM Names Paul Edwards as Chevrolet's VP of Marketing
Fisker Heads Back to Bankruptcy Court
Study Reveals Incentives 'Consumers Really Want'
Google Teams with GM, Honda, and Audi to Bring Android to Cars
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Ford CEO Alan Mulally to Stay With Automaker Through 2014, Won't Go to Microsoft

Ford CEO Alan Mulally put an end to speculation about his future when he told the Associated Press he is staying at the automaker at least through 2014. “Alan made it perfectly clear that he wanted to end all speculation,” said Ford spokesman Jay Cooney. “He has no plans to do anything else other than continue serving Ford.” Mulally's comments, made during an interview in Dearborn, constitute the most definitive statement Mulally has made since reports surfaced last September that Microsoft was courting him to be the next CEO of the Washington state-based technology giant. The speculation was becoming a distraction for the automaker that is preparing for a record number of vehicle launches this year.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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N. American Vehicle Output Tops 16 Million in 2013

Final numbers aren't in yet, but North American car and truck production reached an estimated 16.6 million units in 2013, up 4 percent. That would mark the first time since 2005 that production surpassed 16 million units. Mexican plants are expected to have produced a record number of vehicles in 2013, an estimated 3,071,000 units, topping 2012's record of 3,020,404. Several manufacturers' North American totals are expected to surpass records set in 2012.
Source: Automotive News
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Buick Sells Record 1.03 Million Vehicles Globally, Most Since '84

General Motors said it sold a record 1.03 million Buick vehicles globally last year, the highest total since 1984, before the brand entered China, which is now its largest market. Buick sales in China rose 16 percent last year to 809,918 while in the United States, where 42 percent of buyers were new to GM, deliveries increased 14 percent to 205,509, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
Source: Bloomberg
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Acquiring Rest of Chrysler May Lower Fiat's Credit Rating

Moody's Investors Service warned Tuesday that it is reviewing Fiat SpA for a possible downgrade following the automaker's announcement that it had reached an agreement to acquire the rest of Chrysler Group LLC. That deal, which was announced on New Year's Day, would allow the Italian company to purchase the minority stake in Chrysler currently owned by a United Auto Workers-run retiree health care trust for $4.35 billion. Much of that money is being put up by Chrysler itself, but Moody's is still worried about the impact on Fiat's cash position.
Source: The Detroit News
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Electric Service from $199 a Month

Electric cars are getting cheaper. Although purchase prices vary, the Chevrolet Spark E.V. and Smart Electric Drive Cabriolet can be leased for three years at $199 a month, and the Fiat 500e at $239. That means consumers are likely to weigh factors other than the bottom line when deciding which — if any — of these small, stylish battery vehicles to put in their driveway. The good news is that none of them are terrible. But would a pure electric vehicle meet your needs?
Source: The New York Times
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GM Names Paul Edwards as Chevrolet's VP of Marketing

General Motors Co. said Tuesday that it has named Paul Edwards as U.S. vice president of marketing for its Chevrolet brand. Edwards, 44, replaces Chris Perry, who resigned last month. He will begin immediately reporting to Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet global chief marketing officer, GM said. Since 2010, Edwards has served as executive director of GM's global marketing and has overseen global media operations, management of agencies, marketing alliances, licensing, brand entertainment and global auto shows.
Source: The Detroit News
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Fisker Heads Back to Bankruptcy Court

The Fisker Automotive bankruptcy case is heading toward an important hearing on Friday, when a judge will decide whether to allow a company called Hybrid Technologies to purchase Fisker's assets, or whether those assets will be opened to an auction, at which a second interested company, Wanxiang, can make its own formal bid. For those whose memories are fading fast when it comes this automotive startup, Fisker was the California hybrid car maker founded by designer Henrik Fisker. It was controversial because it received a huge Energy Department loan. Fisker stopped production when it was unable to obtain more batteries.
Source: The News Journal
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Study Reveals Incentives 'Consumers Really Want'

Paragon, provider of incentives and consumer engagement tools, shared study results this week that show dealers might be bypassing some incentives “consumers really want.” According to the results, consumers may be more interested in leaving with cash in hand than a lower price tag. The study revealed that of the 1,300 shoppers — who were asked which incentives and rewards most motivated them to make car or tire purchases, take test drives and book car services — the majority report they are more incentivized by promotions that deliver actual cash back, even if the total cost of the car is higher. Specifically, shoppers said they would rather receive $750 on a prepaid card at the time of purchase than $1,000 off the price of the car.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Google Teams with GM, Honda, and Audi to Bring Android to Cars

That kid—the one in the back of the SUV with the iPad—is the automotive industry's worst enemy. He's also the reason some of the world's biggest automakers are working with Google to bring its Android software into vehicle infotainment systems. Early [Monday], Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance. It's a group of technology and automotive companies, including General Motors, Honda Motor, Audi, Hyundai, and chipmaker Nvidia, that want to customize Google's popular mobile operating system for vehicles. The technology companies get a chance to place their wares into hundreds of millions of cars. Meanwhile, the automakers have an opportunity to modernize the software inside their vehicles and try to keep pace with the mobile devices that are starting to make high-profit infotainment systems obsolete. The announcement comes [at] the International Consumer Electronics Show held this week in Las Vegas, where the theme of car-as-gadget (also called “the connected car”) is expected to dominate. Volkswagen's (VOW) Audi unit and GM are among the slate of auto companies at CES, which is promoting the growth of car-related exhibits.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
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