automobile industry

US Auto Sales Rise in January, Led by Chrysler, VW

U.S. auto sales are off to a strong start this year, continuing the brisk pace from late 2011. Chrysler had its best January in four years while Ford got a boost from small cars and SUVs. Volkswagen, which wants to aggressively expand in the U.S., reported much higher sales. One sour note was GM, where sales fell.

Toyota Prius Sales Hit New Milestone in U.S.

Toyota's recent recall woes may have pushed its U.S. sales lower during the past year, but they haven't stopped one popular model from setting a new milestone: The fuel-efficient Toyota Prius hybrid recently surpassed 1 million sales in the U.S.

Earthquake's Effects Rattle Japan's Carmakers

Toyota, Nissan and Honda, among other companies, have shut down plants temporarily in Japan in the wake of Friday's earthquake and tsunami. While many of their factories were undamaged, crippled nuclear plants are causing power shortages, and there has been damage to parts makers and transportation infrastructure.

Resurgent Ford Awards Top Two Execs $99 Million in Stock

Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford, have been awarded $56.5 million and $42.4 million in stock, respectively, in recognition for the company's stunning turnaround, which resulted in the automaker raking in $6.6 billion last year -- its best performance in more than a decade.

Toyota Issues Recall Over Faulty Tire Pressure Monitors

Toyota is recalling another 22,000 trucks and sport-utility vehicles, this time so that it can repair faulty tire pressure monitoring systems. Vehicles affected by the recall include the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra from the 2008 through 2011 model years.

February's Sales Put Carmakers in the Fast Lane

It was a good month for auto sales despite inclement weather across much of the country and surging oil prices. Cars sold near an annual pace of 13 million vehicles. That would make February the best on record since the "cash for clunkers" rebate program in 2009.

Ford's Sales Climb 14% on Explorers, Fuel-Efficient Models

Ford reported Tuesday that its sales in February rose 14% compared to a year ago, in part due to strong sales of the revamped Ford Explorer sports-utility vehicle, the Fusion midsized sedan and the Ford Escape compact SUV. Total sales for the month hit 156,626.

GM's February Gain Outpaced Forecasts

Consumers snapped up new GM models despite the steadily rising price of gas. GM said Tuesday that it sold 207,028 vehicles during the month, exceeding analyst expectations. The increase was driven largely by a 70% jump in retail, or individual consumer, sales.

February Auto Sales Likely Kept Zipping Along

Major automakers are set to release February sales figures on Tuesday, and analysts expect the reports will show sales improved 20% compared to a year ago as consumers continued to warm to the slowly improving economy -- so far, despite surging oil prices.

Just What Detroit's Revival Doesn't Need Now

As it did in the summer of 2008, when prices at the pump soared above $4 a gallon, big price jumps at the gas pump may give car buyers reason to pause and cause vehicle sales to stall. At least the carmakers now have more fuel-efficient fleets, except for Chrysler, which is still catching up.

Ford Reluctantly Recalls 144,000 F-150 Pickup Trucks

Ford is recalling 144,000 F-150 pickup trucks to repair airbags that may deploy without warning, a defect that has led to dozens of injuries, safety officials say. The federal government had pressed Ford to recall the pickups, but this recall isn't as broad as regulators wanted.

House Votes to End 'Car Czar,' 'Pay Czar' Posts

Republicans in the House of Representatives voted Thursday to eliminate the Obama administration's "car czar," as well as the "pay czar" who oversees compensation at companies bailed out with TARP money, and seven other presidential advisers.

General Motors Sales Rose 22% in January

General Motors sales rose 21.8% in January compared to a year ago on strong sales across its lines of passenger cars, "crossover" vehicles and trucks, the automaker said Tuesday. Each of the automaker's four divisions recorded higher sales for the month.

January Auto Sales Should Build on 2010's Momentum

A slowly brightening economy combined with low financing rates and generally stable fuel prices have put consumers in a buying mood. New models, particularly from Ford and GM, are also helping to keep U.S. auto sales on a positive trajectory as 2011 starts.

GM Withdraws $14 Billion Federal Loan Application

Back in 2009, General Motors applied to the Department of Energy for $14.4 billion in loans to help it manufacture more fuel-efficient vehicles. Today, with the automaker making big strides in turning around its business, GM said it no longer needs or wants the money.

Ford May Post Its Best Yearly Profit in a Decade

Analysts forecast that Ford will announce a profit of 48 cents a share on revenue of about $30.6 billion when it releases earnings on Friday. That translates into an expected pretax profit of $8 billion in 2010, the best Ford has seen since 1999.

Chrysler Finds It Can Be Profitable Selling Fewer Cars

The smallest of the Detroit Three, Chrysler has made substantial strides in turning around its business, including lowering the number of vehicles it needs to sell to make a profit. The automaker had pegged 1.65 million as its operating break-even point, but has just lowered this to about 1.5 million vehicles.

Auto Dealers Are Upbeat on U.S. Sales for 2011

The nation's leading trade association for car dealers says it now sees industry sales of nearly 13 million vehicles this year, topping last years by 12%. The rise is attributed to pent-up demand, loosening credit and a rising stock market.

December Auto Sales: Set to End 2010 in High Gear

The economy may be less robust than most Americans would like, but that didn't stop many of them from hitting car dealer showrooms in December, likely propelling auto sales in the final month of 2010 to 1.13 million units, the year's highest levels.

Chrysler and Ford Recall 160,000 Vehicles for Safety Defects

Chrysler Group is recalling more than 144,000 Dodge and Ram vehicles in three separate actions, and Ford Motor is recalling about 15,000 trucks and sport-utility vehicles that may catch fire. These actions add to what's been a near-record for auto recalls.

2010 Likely Busiest Year for Auto Recalls in Seven Years

2010 may be the year of the car recall, with the U.S.'s six largest suppliers recalling more than 19 million vehicles over the last 12 months. Toyota, which recalled about 7 million cars this year, tops the list. General Motors, at about 4 million, came in second.

Bullish Analysts Give General Motors Shares a Boost

GM's stock price rose as much as 2.5% in trading Tuesday after several brokerage houses began coverage of the stock, with several issuing upbeat initial ratings and hefty price targets. GM still faces a hard road forward, but Wall Street generally sees success ahead.