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January 28, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
FCA Tilts N.A. Production Plans to Trucks, Scales Back Alfa Ambitions
Ford Earns $7.4B in 2015, Posts Record Profit
VW CEO Mueller Casts Doubt on Whistleblower's Account of Emissions Scandal
Takata Prepares CEO Exit Over Airbag Safety Crisis, Report Says
IIHS Study Underlines Benefits of Automatic Braking
The DeLorean From 'Back to the Future' is Back in Production
Top Stories
FCA Tilts N.A. Production Plans to Trucks, Scales Back Alfa Ambitions

Marchionne says Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart will 'run their course'

A revised business plan released today by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles moves its profit-heavy Jeep and Ram brands into the passing lane, while tapping the brakes on efforts to build a full line of Alfa Romeos from scratch by 2018. The automaker said it may also turn to other automakers to produce the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans. FCA said it will add only a midsize SUV and the Giulia to Alfa Romeo by the end of next year, and that the Giulia -- first revealed last June -- will finally go into production by the end of March. It will be joined in the lineup by a new mid-sized SUV by the end of 2017, but other vehicles -- a full-size sedan, two CUV or SUVs, two “specialty vehicles” and a hatchback -- won’t appear until between 2017 and 2020. The automaker also said it was planning to “realign” its North American production capacity to produce more pickups and SUVs and fewer cars.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Earns $7.4B in 2015, Posts Record Profit

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday said it earned $7.4 billion in 2015, including $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter. The Dearborn automaker reported a record $10.8 billion pre-tax profit, before special items. In North America, Ford earned a full-year pre-tax profit of $9.3 billion, up $1.9 billion from a year ago. That will lead to a record $9,300 in profit sharing for the automaker’s UAW members, although $1,500 of that amount has already been paid out. Ford posted a full-year revenue of $149.6 billion and a full-year automotive operating margin of 6.8 percent. Ford posted a fourth-quarter earnings per share of 58 cents, and a full-year earnings per share of $1.88 per, with both numbers beating the consensus. Ford’s earnings were driven by North America, where it earned a full-year operating margin of 10.2 percent, but the automaker was profitable in all of its business units except South America.
Source: The Detroit News
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VW CEO Mueller Casts Doubt on Whistleblower's Account of Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller cast doubt on a report that said many managers at the automaker knew of, or were involved in, developing emissions test-rigging devices. Volkswagen's development of software to cheat diesel-emissions tests was an open secret in its engine development department, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Jan. 22, citing results from VW's internal probe. The newspaper, which researched the matter with regional broadcasters NDR and WDR, cited a whistleblower whom they said was himself involved in the deception and had testified to investigators hired by VW.
Source: Reuters

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Takata Prepares CEO Exit Over Airbag Safety Crisis, Report Says

Takata Corp. is preparing the ground for the exit of its CEO, Shigehisa Takada, two people close to the Japanese airbag maker said, as pressure builds on a company reeling from the auto industry's biggest recall. Takata has been under fire for almost two years over defective airbag inflators that can explode with excessive force and shoot shrapnel inside the car - a problem that has ballooned into a damaging safety scandal affecting nearly 50 million vehicles. The company said on Tuesday that an 11th death could be linked to a faulty airbag.
Source: Reuters
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IIHS Study Underlines Benefits of Automatic Braking

Automatic braking systems were shown in a new study to reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent on average, handing added momentum to a push by safety groups, regulators and some automakers to equip all new cars with the technology. The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that vehicles with both automatic braking and forward collision warning systems had a 39 percent lower incidence of rear-end crashes. Forward collision warning systems alone reduced rear-end collisions by 23 percent, the study found. The combination of crash-prevention technologies cut the incidence of rear-end crashes involving injuries by 42 percent, but the study’s authors found that collision warning alone had little effect in reducing injury accidents.
Source: Automotive News
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The DeLorean From 'Back to the Future' is Back in Production

After more than 30 years, the DeLorean Motor Company will resume production of the iconic 1982 model DeLorean, made famous by the "Back to the Future" film trilogy. This marks the first time that the car will be manufactured in America, according to an NBC affiliate. The car company was previously prohibited from producing the famed model because the futuristic designs belonged to John DeLorean's estate and not the auto business, which went bankrupt in 1982.
Source: CNBC
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Quotable
"In 2016, we will continue to build on our strengths and accelerate our pace of progress even further, while transforming Ford into both an auto and a mobility company and creating value for all of our stakeholders."

   
-- Ford CEO Mark Fields, on the automaker's record profit in 2015, The Detroit News, Jan. 28

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