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Inside this issue
GM Sales Surge Amid Recalls as Barra Quality Sells
Ford Trims 732 Pounds Off the New Aluminum F-150
Ford Taps Top Engineer to Lead Lincoln
VW 'Urgently' Needs Higher Profit to Fund Future Growth, Winterkorn Tells Staff
Kia in Talks to Open $1.5 Billion Mexico Assembly Plant, Report Says
Where U.S. Shoppers Draw the Line on Buying Very Small Cars
Kid Rock, Chevy Team Up for National TV Spot
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Sales Surge Amid Recalls as Barra Quality Sells

General Motors Co.'s Mary Barra is projected to report her second straight quarter of rising sales, adding to evidence that the chief executive officer is weathering the biggest wave of recalls in U.S. automotive history. Second-quarter revenue may rise 2.7 percent, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Barra, who has been before congressional panels four times in six months as the first female CEO of a global automaker, is benefiting from booming demand for redesigned large sport-utility vehicles and heavy-duty pickups introduced on her watch even as she's grappled with the almost 29 million vehicles recalled in North America, including 2.59 million compact cars with potentially faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. GM shares have gained 6.2 percent since the small-car recalls began in February.
Source: Bloomberg

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Ford Trims 732 Pounds Off the New Aluminum F-150

Ford revealed the weight, power and towing capacity of the radical new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup [Tuesday]. The company exceeded its initial promise to reduce the truck's weight by 700 pounds compared to the current steel-bodied pickup. A well-equipped four-wheel-drive 2015 crew cab weighed 4,942 pounds, a whopping 732 pounds less than a comparable 2014. The lighter weight should reduce fuel consumption for the new version of America's best-selling vehicle. The 2015 F-150 goes on sale in the fourth quarter. Ford will announce its price and EPA fuel economy ratings later.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Ford Taps Top Engineer to Lead Lincoln

Galhotra replaces Farley and will report directly to CEO Mark Fields in new position

In his first round of major personnel moves as Ford CEO, Mark Fields has appointed Ford's top engineer to lead Lincoln. Fields [Tuesday] named Kumar Galhotra, Ford Motor Co.'s vice president of engineering since August 2013, as president of the Lincoln brand. Galhotra, 48, will report directly to Fields. This is the first time Lincoln has had its own president since the middle of the last decade when Lincoln was still part of the Lincoln-Mercury division and Al Giombetti was president from 2005 to 2007. The move, effective Sept. 1, removes executive responsibility for Lincoln from Jim Farley, executive vice president of global sales, service and marketing, who has been the lead Lincoln executive since 2012. Ford said Farley will remain involved in Lincoln marketing.
Source: Automotive News
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VW 'Urgently' Needs Higher Profit to Fund Future Growth, Winterkorn Tells Staff

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn said that the multi-brand automotive group "urgently" needs higher profit to help fund future expansion. "Over the short-term, we urgently need more efficiency and higher profit," Winterkorn told a staff gathering today at VW's main factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. Winterkorn plans to cut costs by 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) a year from 2017 as part of efforts to streamline work processes at all levels of VW's namesake brand, its biggest division by revenue and deliveries.
Source: Reuters
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Kia in Talks to Open $1.5 Billion Mexico Assembly Plant, Report Says

Kia Motors Corp. is in talks with Mexico to open a new auto assembly plant worth at least $1.5 billion, officials from Nuevo Leon's state government said on Tuesday. Rolando Zubiran, secretary of economic development in Nuevo Leon, said negotiations on the plant were under way and involved Nuevo Leon, the Mexican federal government and Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Corp. mThe plant, which sources say will have an annual capacity of some 300,000 cars, would be built on the northeastern fringe of the city of Monterrey, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Source: Reuters
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Where U.S. Shoppers Draw the Line on Buying Very Small Cars

Daimler says it's giving the Smart car another go in the United States by rebuilding it from wheels to roof, complete with new powertrains. It may not help. When it comes to small cars, American buyers have a limit to how low they will go. The Fiat 500 appears to be the smallest car Americans are willing to buy in decent volume. And because BMW's Mini Cooper has ballooned in size and now competes with cars as big as the Ford Focus and similar-sized hatchbacks, the Fiat 500 has inherited the small-car throne. Cars that are too small simply haven't clicked with American buyers -- despite persistently high gasoline prices.
Source: Automotive News
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Kid Rock, Chevy Team Up for National TV Spot

A familiar Detroit voice is driving the latest Chevrolet ad campaign. Kid Rock's 2010 anthem “Born Free” accompanies a new television spot for the Chevy Summer Drive series, which aims to show “how Chevrolet is woven into the fabric of Summer in America,” according to Detroit ad developer Agency 720. The commercial, which is running nationally in 30-second and 60-second formats, was rolled out in some markets earlier this month and went into wide rotation during last week's Fox broadcast of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The ad is scheduled to run through Labor Day.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Quotable

"She [Mary Barra] navigated a minefield in a way that was really, really good."

   --- Adam Jonas, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, commenting on how well the GM CEO has managed the biggest wave of recalls in U.S. automotive history, Bloomberg, July 23

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