automobiles

Lexus Tops as Survey Finds More Auto Dependability

Lexus is the top performer in a survey of vehicle dependability released Wednesday, but most other brands also showed improvement in an industry that has reached historically high dependability levels. Consulting firm J.D. Power and Associates polled 31,000 owners of 2009 model-year vehicles and rated brands by the number of problems owners have experienced in the last 12 months.

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.

Ford Posts 13% Sales Gain in January

Ford Motor said sales of its cars and trucks rose 13.3% in January on improved demand by consumers, bucking last year's trend, when sales to fleet customers largely drove the increase. For the month, the automaker sold 127,317 units, up 13.3% compared to a year ago.

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.

No Longer the 'Big Three,' but They've Stopped Shrinking

With U.S. automotive dominance waning, a new moniker has emerged: the "Detroit Three." But don't count out Ford, GM or Chrysler -- their post-recession future looks strong, thanks to some agonizing restructuring. Now, they can be profitable selling fewer cars.

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.

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.

Hyundai/Kia and VW Top Latest Safety Ratings

Who makes the safest cars? Hyundai Motor and its sister make, Kia Motors, along with Volkswagen and its luxury brand, Audi, garnered the most awards in the recent vehicle crash tests conducted by an insurance industry testing group.

Nissan, Mitsubishi Team Up to Build New Mini Vehicles

Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to work together to bring some new vehicles to market. The Japanese automakers will establish a joint venture to produce a minicar for the home market by 2012, while Nissan will produce a small van for Mitsubishi, which in turn will make an SUV for Nissan.

Ford to Add 1,800 Jobs in Kentucky for Escape SUV

Ford plans to invest $600 million in a Kentucky plant to build the next-generation Escape SUV, creating an 1,800 additional jobs, the automaker said Thursday. The new jobs will be added incrementally after the Louisville Assembly plant is rehabbed and reopened late next year.