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Top Headlines - part 6

Warren Buffet Invests in Automotive Paint Company

Warren Buffet Invests in Automotive Paint Company

BUSINESS

  • Shares purchased from controlling shareholder
  • Company had formerly been part of DuPont
  • Buffet has expressed interest in other automotive investments

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying 20 million shares in automotive liquid-and-powder-coatings manufacturer Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. for $560 million from controlling shareholder Carlyle Group.

Berkshire’s investment is 10% of outstanding stock and gives Berkshire a 8.7% share of Axalta.

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Cadillac Aims to Recapture Luxury Market with CT6, SUVs

Cadillac Aims to Recapture Luxury Market with CT6, SUVs

BUSINESS

  • Cadillac's New CT6 on same level as Audi, Mercedes and other rivals
  • New models expected in coming months, years
  • Cadillac needs more SUVs to compete in growing market

General Motors’ Cadillac, the largest luxury brand in the U.S., hopes to recapture a larger share of the luxury market with a long-term plan.

The 2016 CT6 will be available later this year. It is considered to be Cadillac’s most advanced vehicle, mostly because of its aluminum construction and two engine choices.

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Honda Civic Type-R Debuts in North America at Auto Show

Honda Civic Type-R Debuts in North America at Auto Show

BUSINESS

Japanese auto manufacturer Honda Motor Co. debuted the 10th generation Honda Civic, concept car Type-R, in North America at the New York International Auto Show.

Honda hopes to increase company sales with the new Civic, especially among younger car buyers.

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March Auto Sales for U.S. Manufacturers Stagnate

March Auto Sales for U.S. Manufacturers Stagnate

BUSINESS

  • FCA saw slight increase while Ford, GM saw declines
  • Japanese automakers also had mixed month
  • Light-truck market still going strong

American automakers saw stagnant sales compared to March 2014.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV saw sales increase 1.7% to 197,261 vehicles, the company’s best month since 2007. The Jeep brand saw a 23% increase.

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Harmon International Purchasing Car-Audio Business for $156 Million

Harmon International Purchasing Car-Audio Business for $156 Million

BUSINESS

  • Purchase price includes licenses
  • Shares jump to highest level in 20 years
  • Sound systems available in luxury vehicles

American in-car multimedia systems manufacturer Harmon International Inc. has agreed to purchase the automotive side of Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen for $156 million.

The purchase price includes the licenses to use Bang & Olufsen’s brands as well as the business. Harmon will make an upfront payment and will pay $1.82 million annually for 20 years in licensing fees.

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New $500 Million U.S. Volvo Plant Intended to Increase Vehicle Sales

New $500 Million U.S. Volvo Plant Intended to Increase Vehicle Sales

BUSINESS

Swedish automaker Volvo Auto Group plans to invest $500 million to build a factory in the U.S. in an effort to increase sales in the world’s second-largest auto market.

Locations in three states are being considered, and the final decision should be announced in late April.

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Toyota Plans For Future After 2014 Recalls

Toyota Plans For Future After 2014 Recalls

BUSINESS

  • Plan to increase efficiency, cut costs
  • Automakers face challenges with growth
  • Toyota to discuss clean vehicles at Atlanta auto show

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, has a plan to put recalls behind the company and move forward.

The plan, called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), will focus on manufacturing and product development, with the aim of decreasing future recalls.

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There Were 803 Vehicle Recalls Last Year

There Were 803 Vehicle Recalls Last Year

BUSINESS

In 2014, there were 803 vehicle recalls in the U.S., including the two largest recalls in history, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recalls affected 63.9 million vehicles, more than double the number of vehicles sold in 2014. The NHTSA collected $126 million in civil penalties last year, more than what the agency had collected in its entire history.

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Tesla Autopilot Feature Coming Soon to Model S

Tesla Autopilot Feature Coming Soon to Model S

BUSINESS

Tesla Motors will release basic autopilot features on its Model S in three or four months.

The software update is intended for highway driving and would allow for auto steering. The Model SD also features technology that allows it to stay in its lane.

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Volkswagen to Cut Factory Jobs, Halt Production in Russia

Volkswagen to Cut Factory Jobs, Halt Production in Russia

BUSINESS

  • Russian economic downturn has made sales plunge
  • Other manufacturers making similar cuts
  • Volkswagen Taiwan plant also suspended

German auto manufacturer Volkswagen plans to alter its production plans and slash jobs at its Russian factory.

"In the first months of 2015 the Russian auto market continued to feel the impact of a weak economy, significant price increases and high interest rates. We don't expect that to change in coming months," Volkswagen said in a statement.

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