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Archived Auto News and Events for December 2009

GM Makes Good on Bailout Loans: $7 billion to Be Rapayed by 06/2010
Ed Whitacre Jr., CEO and Chairman of General Motors Company, stated this past Tuesday that GM has definitive plans to repay the more than $6.7 billion that it has received in government loans, by no later than the last day of June, 2010.
December on Track to Have Strongest Year-Over-Year Numbers
Good news from Detroit this Holiday season: December, 2009, numbers are showing the American auto industry's strongest year-over-year sales increase of what has been a rather grim year.
VW Says Acquisiton Spree is Over
Reuters reports from Frankfort today that Volkwagen AG may be nearing the end of its recent spate of new strategic partnerships. .

According to CEO Martin Winterkorn, the recent deal-making spree, which included the acquisition of a stake in Suzuki Motor Corp., is winding down.
Ford Preps Global Ad Campaign for Revamped Ford Focus
News out of Detroit this morning is that Ford Motor Company is prepping its first global marketing event for a mass market car, the soon-to-be unveiled, revamped Ford Focus, which will be making its debut in January, at the Detroit Auto Show.
Chinese-based Geely Plans to Acquire Volvo by Chinese New Year
Reuters reports from Hong Kong this morning that the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has a goal of completing their acquisition of the Volvo unit of Ford Motor Co.
UAW Leadership Expected to Name King to Replace Gettelfinger
The leadership of the United Auto Workers will meet this week to name Bob King to replace President Ron Gettelfinger, who is retiring, according to a report by Automotive News .
Jaguar Tops J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index
For the fifth time in six years, luxury brand Jaguar has taken top honors in the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Satisfaction Index, released on Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
Honda Claims Fourth Best-Selling Spot
When the latest sales figures are officially released, Honda will become the fourth best-selling automaker in the United States, surpassing the Chrysler Group and further assailing the once rock-solid dominance of the Detroit Big Three.
Strickland to be Tapped as NHTSA Head
Leadership of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be handed to David Strickland, a lawyer currently serving as senior counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee, according to an official in the Obama administration.
Opel to Debut Mini Car, Contemplating Hybrid
In Europe, the fast-growing mini car genre will soon have a new entry from Opel / Vauxhall, potentially with an electric counterpart. The development of the new model is, according to Nick Reilly, CEO of the company, a "top priority.".
Hybrid Version of Tata Nano Planned
The Nano, the world's cheapest car, built by Tata Group of India, will soon have a hybrid version according to a South Korean newspaper interview with company chairman Ratan Tata.
2011 Audi A8 Gains in Technology, Fuel Efficiency
In an effort to better compete with the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series, the 2011 Audi A8 , which will go on sale in the United States a year from now, will feature fuel-efficient engine options and a host of new technologies.
Fritz Henderson Resigns as CEO of General Motors
On Tuesday, December 1, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson resigned following what board Chairman Ed Whitacre described as a "hectic" directors meeting.
Chevrolet Cruze to Appear at Los Angeles Auto Show
On Wednesday, December 2, General Motors will unveil its new small car, the 2011 Cruze, at the Los Angeles auto show, positioning the vehicle as a hopeful sales contender to go head-to-head with the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla .
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