Top Headlines - part 7

Automakers Debut New Vehicles at Chicago and Canadian Auto Shows

Automakers Debut New Vehicles at Chicago and Canadian Auto Shows

BUSINESS

  • SUVs the big draw for automakers
  • Electric models also prominently featured
  • Canadian International Auto Show debuts luxury cars, redesigned models

Automakers debut sport utility vehicles and electronic cars at the Chicago Auto Show.

SUVs are increasing in popularity in the U.S., boosted by low gas prices, lower interest rates and easy access to credit.

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UK Approves Testing of Driverless Cars

UK Approves Testing of Driverless Cars

BUSINESS

  • Nation hopes to become technology leaders
  • Testing to be conducted in approved locations
  • New regulations will be in place in this spring

The UK government has approved the testing of driverless cars on British public roads.

Transport Minister Claire Perry said she wants Britain to be in the forefront of embracing and developing new technology while Business Secretary Vince Cable said driverless technology will create jobs and economic growth.

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Tech Experts Expose How Easy it is to Hack Vehicle Telematics Systems

Tech Experts Expose How Easy it is to Hack Vehicle Telematics Systems

BUSINESS

Vehicle telematics systems such as OnStar can be easily hacked, cybersecurity experts have been warning for years. Now a report confirms it.

The report on automotive cybersecurity concludes automakers’ security measures are inconsistent and haphazard, failing to protect drivers from cyberattacks.

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Sales in Russian Auto Market Fall 24% in January

Sales in Russian Auto Market Fall 24% in January

BUSINESS

Russian auto sales fell 24% in January to 115,390 vehicles compared to 2014, according to the Association of European Businesses, as a recession has caused Russians to have less disposable income.

In December, after a slow year, sales grew 2.4%. Russians rushed to purchase vehicles and durable goods at the end of 2014, anticipating a rise in the price of imported goods.

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Spotify Updates Features to Cater to Mobile Users

Spotify Updates Features to Cater to Mobile Users

BUSINESS

  • Updates make using the service on mobile devices easier
  • Intended to expose users to new music
  • People are increasing using touchscreen devices

Music streaming service Spotify has introduced updated features intended to make using the service on mobile devices easier.

The newest feature, called Touch Preview, along with additional swipe features, are the first Spotify updates made with smartphone users in mind.

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Toyota Forecasts $18 Million in Profit for Fiscal Year

Toyota Forecasts $18 Million in Profit for Fiscal Year

BUSINESS

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, has revised its full-year profit forecast to $18 billion as a variety of factors boosted company sales in 2014.

Through the fiscal year’s third quarter, which ends in March, the company will make an estimated $14.7 billion, a 13.2% increase from a year ago. During the second quarter, profit grew 14%.

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January Mercedes-Benz Sales Grow 9%

January Mercedes-Benz Sales Grow 9%

BUSINESS

  • Company plans to continue success throughout the year
  • New C-Class sedan to debut this month in Asia
  • Other luxury brands reported January growth

Mercedes-Benz USA reported 24,619 vehicles were sold in January, a record and a 8.9% increase from 2014. If sales of 492 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans are included, then the growth rate was 9%.

MBUSA sells 14 models. In January, the Mercedes C-Class grew 8.5%, the M-Class grew 11.3% while the S-Class increased 22.2%. The model with the largest jump was the GL class, increasing 38%.

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Automakers’ Super Bowl Ads Score Big with Viewers

Automakers’ Super Bowl Ads Score Big with Viewers

BUSINESS

  • AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds track ads’ success
  • Luxury brands see the largest jump in searches
  • Mainstream brands also seek increase

Nine automakers marketing 11 brands advertised during Feb. 1’s Super Bowl, and it’s the luxury brands which created the most customer buzz.

Auto industry websites AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds tracked the ads’ success rates. AutoTrader measured search results an hour before and after the game, and KBB measured results one hour before and after the ads aired. Edmunds compared search results to other Sundays.

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Fiat Chrysler Recalls 228,000 Jeep Cherokees

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 228,000 Jeep Cherokees

BUSINESS

Fiat Chrysler has recalled 228,181 Jeep Cherokees over a software issue that makes side airbags inflate without reason.

The recall affects model years 2014 and 2015. The majority of the recalls were in North America: 168,092 Jeeps in the U.S., 19,557 in Canada and 4,133 in Mexico. An additional, 36,399 worldwide were affected.

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Ford Struggles But 2014 Beats Expectations

Ford Struggles But 2014 Beats Expectations

BUSINESS

  • Company hurt by weak market in Europe, South America
  • Sales of latest F-150 pickup expected to increase sales in 2015
  • Ford forecasts profit up to $9.5 billion for 2015

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, posted global earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts, but were lower than 2013.

Operating profit for the fourth quarter was $1.1 billion. Revenue was $35.9 billion. Analysts had forecasted revenue of $34.5 billion.

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