Correspondent, Detroit
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Mar 3, 2014

U.S. auto sales flat, incentives could hit profit

DETROIT, March 3 (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales in February
finished even with the year-earlier period as hefty incentives
to lure customers into dealerships late in the month could not
overcome cold and snowy weather.

February’s sales fell less than 300 vehicles from last
year’s 1,193,872 light cars and trucks. While General Motors Co
, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler Group all reported
stronger-than-expected sales, the higher incentives raised
concerns about industry profitability in the future.

Mar 3, 2014

Nissan U.S. sales up 16 percent, above expected industry showing

DETROIT (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday that its U.S. February sales rose 16 percent, which is expected to easily top the estimated gain of less than 1 percent for the auto industry.

Continued cold weather in the month probably kept many car shoppers away from dealers, analysts said. A poll of 34 analysts by Thomson Reuters showed expectations of a 0.3 percent increase over February sales last year.

Feb 27, 2014

US safety regulators probe GM recall linked to 13 deaths

DETROIT, Feb 27 (Reuters) – U.S. safety regulators have
opened an investigation into whether General Motors Co
reacted fast enough in its recall of more than 1.6 million cars
over an ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths in crashes.

The issue could prove costly to GM as the automaker faces a
potential fine from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, the cost of replacing the ignition switches in
question and the possibility of costly lawsuits.

Feb 13, 2014
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Feb 13, 2014

UAW following Volkswagen road map to organize at Mercedes U.S. plant

STUTTGART/DETROIT, Feb 13 (Reuters) – The United Auto
Workers union is following the same road map at the
Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama that it used to reach its
historic vote to represent Volkswagen employees in Tennessee.

The UAW has been working with German union IG Metall and the
Daimler works council, the labor group at Mercedes parent
Daimler AG, to build support for the UAW among
Mercedes workers in Vance, Alabama, according to the union and
Alabama workers opposed to the UAW.

Feb 12, 2014

U.S. auto industry quality slips for first time in 16 years: survey

DETROIT (Reuters) – Engine and transmission problems caused quality in the U.S. auto industry to slip for the first time in 16 years in a vehicle dependability study of owners of 3-year-old cars and trucks, falling from last year’s record-high levels.

The industry’s 2011-model cars, introduced in 2010, the year after sector sales hit a 28-year low during the recession, saw a nearly 6 percent decline in quality to 133 problems per 100 vehicles from 126 last year, according to the J.D. Power U.S. vehicle dependability survey released on Wednesday. It was the first increase in the average number of problems since 1998.

Feb 12, 2014
    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
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