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Inside this issue
Marchionne Says Fiat Chrysler ‘Far Removed’ From Offer for GM
GM Sees More Profit from New Versions of Chevrolet Small and Midsize Cars
Toyota, Nissan Expand Air Bag Recalls After Latest US Action
BMW Offers Customers a Stake in Carshare Venture
Lotus Expands North America Dealer Network for Evora 400 Launch
Virtual Reality Sweeps Auto Industry, From Designing Cars to Driving Them
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Top Stories
Marchionne Says Fiat Chrysler ‘Far Removed’ From Offer for GM

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV isn’t close to an offer for General Motors Co. and hasn’t spoken with activists or other GM shareholders, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said. Still, he said he’d support any investor push for such a deal. “We are very far removed from any of those scenarios,” Marchionne said when asked if he was considering a bid for GM. He spoke Wednesday at the presentation of the new Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan near Milan. Marchionne reiterated his call for consolidation among automakers. He said earlier this month that it needs to happen soon, as the industry pours 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) a week into developing new models. Potential partners, including Detroit-based GM and Ford Motor Co., have said they’re not interested.
Source: Bloomberg
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GM Sees More Profit from New Versions of Chevrolet Small and Midsize Cars

Auto maker’s product chief says the new cars will earn the company $1,500 to $2,000 more in ‘variable profit’

General Motors Co.’s product chief, Mark Reuss, said the new versions of the high-volume Chevrolet midsize and small cars will earn the auto maker $1,500 to $2,000 more “variable profit” per sale than the models they replace. Mr. Reuss, speaking to reporters at a product unveiling in Detroit, said the Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze have better margins due to better use of the company’s purchasing and engineering scale. Vehicles in the small and midsize car markets often sell at high volumes, but are generally far less profitable than the trucks and SUVs that are popular with U.S. buyers.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Toyota, Nissan Expand Air Bag Recalls After Latest US Action

Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor said on Thursday they would expand a recall previously issued in North America to the rest of the world to replace potentially deadly passenger-side air bag inflators made by Takata. Toyota said it would recall another 2.86 million vehicles across 24 models produced between April 2003 and December 2008, including 1.729 million in Europe, 360,000 in Japan and 190,000 in China. Toyota on June 16 recalled 1.37 million vehicles in the United States after Takata agreed to comply with an order by U.S. regulators to declare more inflators defective and expand the recalls. Nissan said it was calling back 198,000 vehicles including the Navara, Caravan, and Teana built between April 2007 and December 2008, after a corresponding recall in the United States and Canada previously.
Source: Reuters
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BMW Offers Customers a Stake in Carshare Venture

Buyers can put their car in the DriveNow fleet when not in use

BMW AG is taking steps to link its car customers to the sharing-economy, offering owners of its latest Mini a chance to place their vehicles in the auto maker’s global DriveNow car-sharing service. Customers who buy BMW’s new Mini Clubman, which the German auto giant launched on Wednesday in Berlin, can rent their vehicles via car-sharing service DriveNow. The option could help them earn money from car-sharing fees when their vehicle would otherwise sit idle. DriveNow, a joint venture between BMW and German car rental firm Sixt, provides car-sharing services in several European and North American cities. Like similar services, customers pay a registration fee, a basic usage fee and per-minute rates. Smartphone apps allow users to locate and reserve vehicles.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Lotus Expands North America Dealer Network for Evora 400 Launch

The British automaker is centralizing its operations in Michigan to support further growth on the continent, relocating its Lotus Cars USA operations from Georgia to the current Lotus Engineering campus in Ann Arbor. The company has also expanded its dealer network to include 47 outlets, adding two dealers in California (West Covina and Thermal), one in Arizona (Scottsdale) and another in Alberta (Calgary). “North America, as the largest sports car market in the world, is important for Lotus, both for model sales and for our engineering consultancy business," said Lotus chief Jean-Marc Gales.
Source: Left Lane News
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Virtual Reality Sweeps Auto Industry, From Designing Cars to Driving Them

“Real” reality is favoring automakers these days, but they think they can make it even better with virtual reality (VR). Ferrari is equipping its dealers with VR-powered tablets that can scan the cars on the showroom floor and then bring them up in any configuration. Shoppers can virtually swap paint colors, wheel and tire packages, brake kits and more, according to Road & Track, or take a digital glimpse behind the real-life sheetmetal to understand the car’s mechanics.
Source: brandchannel
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Quotable
“North America, as the largest sports car market in the world, is important for Lotus.”

    -- Lotus chief Jean-Marc Gales, on the automaker’s expanded dealer network, Left Lane News, June 24

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