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Dodge Charger, F-250 popular with car theives

Auto thefts decline because of technology, but statistics conflict

img-1The most theft-prone vehicle in America might be the Dodge Charger. Or it might be the Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Those are the contradictory conclusions of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the insurance industry-funded Highway Loss Data Institute.

Still, the government agency and private group agree that the theft of late-model vehicles is on a rapid decline in the United States. One reason: automakers‘ increasing use of ignition immobilizers, which stop thieves from hot-wiring cars. Nearly 90 percent of 2012 models are equipped with them.

In a report released on Monday, NHTSA said the car stolen most often during the 2011 calendar year was the Charger, with 4.8 thefts for every 1,000 cars produced in 2011. It was followed by the Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet HHR among vehicles with more than 5,000 units produced that year.

Pickup trucks took the top [...]

img-2Global sales of BMW Group’s core brand rose faster in June than at Audi and Mercedes-Benz as demand from China and the United States helped the premium carmaker to extend a lead over the two rivals in the first six months of the year.

Sales at the brand were up 9 percent last month to 153,075, the group said today, compared with growth of 5 percent to 140,300 and 8 percent to 131,609 at Audi and Mercedes respectively.

Six-month sales at BMW brand rose 8 percent to 804,000 cars, expanding the lead over runner-up Audi to 24,000 from 11,000 after five months. Half-year sales at Audi and Mercedes rose 6 percent each to 780,500 and 694,000 respectively.

„BMW has stronger momentum than Audi and Mercedes, that won’t change in the second half,“ said Hanover-based NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. „Design of their cars has improved and they’re ahead [...]

img-3Tesla Motors Inc., the world’s best-performing automotive stock this year, will join the Nasdaq-100 Index next week, filling the spot vacated by Oracle Corp., which is moving to the New York Stock Exchange.

The electric-car maker will be added to the gauge, which tracks the biggest companies on the Nasdaq, before the start of trading on July 15, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said in a statement Monday. Oracle, which last month said it will join the NYSE, is the biggest company to jump between the competing exchanges.

Shares of Tesla, the carmaker headed by billionaire Elon Musk, have more than tripled this year as the popularity of its new Model S sedan helped the company turn its first quarterly profit. Gaining entry to benchmarks tracked by investors is attractive to public companies because it provides a guaranteed shareholder base.

„It’s a coming of age, recognition that a [...]

img-4The Toyota Camry and the Honda Civic, the top-selling mid-size and compact cars in the U.S., face risks of reduced production as inventories of the models rise, an RBC Capital Markets report said.

Toyota’s Camry exceeded its seasonal historical average inventory by more than 15 days supply in June and Honda carried about 25 days more Civics than usual, Joseph Spak, a New York-based analyst for RBC, said in today’s report. Camry and Civic were the only models identified as at risk for reduced output among 16 of the top-selling vehicles in the U.S. market. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all added U.S. market share in the first six months of 2013, the first time that all three gained first-half share in 20 years. Models such as GM’s Chevrolet Cruze compact and Ford’s Fusion mid-size sedan, leading Detroit’s most competitive set of [...]

Fiat exercises option to buy additional 3.3% of Chrysler shares

Purchase brings closer a merger of the two automakers

img-5Fiat today exercised an option to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent.

The move is part of CEO Sergio Marchionne’s step-by-step purchases intended to lead to full control of Chrysler and the creation of a merged company that would be able to compete better with industry leaders Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen.

Fiat has been exercising options since mid-2012 to buy holdings of about 3.3 percent from the VEBA, a medical-benefits trust for the U.S. carmaker’s retirees.

Including today’s purchase, Fiat has exercised three of its six-monthly options, increasing its stake to 68.49 percent.

Fiat has said it wants full control of Chrysler, which would give it access to some of Chrysler’s cash flow for investments in new models.

Chrysler has become Fiat’s most reliable profit generator as the Italian company struggles to end losses in Europe that totaled 704 million euros ($903 million) in [...]

Shinji Aoyama, chief officer, regional operations (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor Company on Wednesday said Honda could overtake former partner Hero to become the largest two-wheeler maker in India by 2020.

Aoyama said, „2020 could be a possible year for us to become number one.“

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) on Wednesday commissioned the fourth assembly line at its manufacturing facility in Narsapura (Karnataka) turning it into the largest plant among Honda’s two-wheeler operations globally. The Narsapura plant can produce 2.4 million two-wheelers annually.

With this latest capacity expansion of 600,000 units, HMSI now has totalled annual production capacity of 6.4 million units across four plants in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka.

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India now has become the largest production hub for two-wheelers for Honda globally.

In terms of sales, India overtook Indonesia to emerge as the largest market for Honda’s two-wheeler operations last fiscal. India contributed 28% to Honda’s [...]

The new BMW Z4 has been officially teased for the first time, with a single, shadowy image of the new sports car, plus a promised unveiling next month.

The new Audi TT and Mercedes SLC rival will make its debut on 17 August. While that rules out a Frankfurt Motor Show reveal, it matches up nicely with the 2017 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Car Week.

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With BMW choosing Pebble Beach to debut the Z4, it’s likely that we’ll see the car in concept form rather than the finished product – full debuts are few and far between at the Monterey Car Week, though concept vehicles, one-offs and special edition cars often break cover.

Therefore, we could see BMW unfurl the new Z4 in a similar manner to the all-new 8 Series, with a revealing concept [...]

Oil futures climbed toward the $50 level on Thursday, driven higher by a bullish outlook following weekly U.S. inventory data, but market participants expected the commodity to trade in a narrow range ahead of a OPEC meeting next week.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September CLU7, -0.67% climbed 23 cents, or 0.5%, to $49.84 a barrel, after trading as low as $49.12 earlier in the session.

October Brent crude LCOV7, -0.29% on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 38 cents, or 0.7%, to $52.74, bouncing back from a loss of as much as 0.9% earlier on Thursday.Oil has experienced fitful trade over the past several weeks, but has managed to drift higher within range of its 200-day moving average at $49.45 a barrel, as investors have grappled with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’s attempts to cap global output, along with other major producers. U.S. shale producers [...]

The 3.1 million-lb scaffolding system is contributing to the replacement of the 50-year-old Gerald Desmond Bridge

Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

Workers in hard hats looked to the sky as a crew hoisted the $10 million steel piece of equipment designed in Norway and constructed in China, then moved by a super-powered jack. Longer than two football fields, the scaffolding system eliminates less reliable, traditional wooden scaffolding systems that can be more easily knocked out by wind or an earthquake.

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Construction crews lifted a massive 3.1 million-lb piece of scaffolding on Tuesday in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the construction of a bridge connecting Long Beach to Terminal Island.

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