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Chinese Antitrust Regulators Fine Mercedes-Benz $57 Million

Chinese Antitrust Regulators Fine Mercedes-Benz $57 Million

BUSINESS

  • Automaker accused of price fixing
  • Other foreign companies being fined
  • Company expects sale growth to slow

Chinese antitrust regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission, have fined German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz $57 million for violation of antitrust laws.

The automaker is accused of price fixing between January 2013 to July 2014. The company allegedly issued instructions to dealerships in Jiangsu Province to cap the minimum prices for its E- and S-Class sedans as well as some auto parts. Dealerships were told if they didn’t comply they would risk reduced-policy support.

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Honda, Cadillac and Ford Set to Debut New Vehicles

Honda, Cadillac and Ford Set to Debut New Vehicles

BUSINESS

  • Honda debuting HR-V, a subcompact SUV
  • Cadillac sets CTS-V at $84,990
  • Ford has yet to determine number of limited run GT350

Automakers are set to debut new vehicles in the new few months.

Honda Motor Corp. will debut its smallest SUV, the subcompact HR-V in May.

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FCA Sees Profit for Second Consecutive Quarter In Europe

FCA Sees Profit for Second Consecutive Quarter In Europe

BUSINESS

  • Profit comes after years of losses
  • North America also see sales increases
  • Increases help offset losses in South America

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the world's seventh-largest automaker, saw a rise in profits during the first quarter, aided by sales in Europe and North America.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax were $879 million, a 22% increase from 2014. A year ago, the company suffered a $190 million loss, mostly due to buying Chrysler shares from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.

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Honda Posts Weak Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year

Honda Posts Weak Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year

BUSINESS

  • Profits fall 43% compared to a year ago
  • Several factors to blame for losses
  • Honda forecasts fiscal year ending 2016

Honda Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest auto maker by global sales volume, released disappointing fourth-quarter and annual results.

During the fourth quarter, ending in March, net profit fell 43% to $822 million. Globally 4.36 million vehicles were sold.

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Website Releases Highest, Lowest Auto Insurance Rates in U.S.

Website Releases Highest, Lowest Auto Insurance Rates in U.S.

BUSINESS

Michigan has the highest auto insurance rates in the United States, according to InsuranceQuotes.com.

Michigan drivers pay an average 136% higher than the national average of $815 in annually premiums.

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Volvo Releases Four-Seat SUV for Chinese Market

Volvo Releases Four-Seat SUV for Chinese Market

BUSINESS

  • Vehicle aimed at owners with chauffeurs
  • Other features added to cater to this specific market
  • Volvo replaces CEO

Swedish automaker Volvo AB debuted a new version of its XC90 SUV Excellence, called the Lounge Console, at the Shanghai Auto Show in an attempt to rebrand itself and lure customers away from the German luxury brands.

The Excellence will only be available in China, where having a chauffeur is common and the luxury-car market is growing. It is aimed at what Volvo calls “high-profile lifestyle” customers.

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Drivers Trading in Electric Cars for SUVs

Drivers Trading in Electric Cars for SUVs

BUSINESS

In the first three months of 2015, 22% of electric- and hybrid-car owners traded in their vehicles for gas-powered SUVs, according to auto research group Edmunds.com.

Three years ago, only 12% of drivers did the same while 18.8% did in 2014.

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Mazda Announces Pricing for MX-5 Models

Mazda Announces Pricing for MX-5 Models

BUSINESS

  • Base price starting at $25,000
  • Preorders begin May 5
  • Other vehicle options available

Mazda North American Operations has announced the pricing for its upcoming 2016 Miata.

There are three versions available: the MX-5, the Launch Edition and the Grand Touring. The versions are the fourth generation of the two-seat roadsters.

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Elon Musk Nearly Sold Tesla in 2013

Elon Musk Nearly Sold Tesla in 2013

BUSINESS

Elon Musk allegedly was prepared to sell electric car manufacturer Tesla to tech giant Google Inc. in 2013 to save the company from bankruptcy, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s source is the upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.

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Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Technology Back in Forefront

Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car Technology Back in Forefront

BUSINESS

There may soon be two environmentally friendly alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles on the market.

California is leading the way in the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fossil fuel use. The California Air Resources Board has said the top six auto manufacturers must build more zero- emission cars. The goal is to have 80% of new vehicles be zero-emission models by 2050.

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