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Archived Auto News and Events for January 2008

Suzuki's Global Sales Growing Inspite of Small U.S. Presence
With renewed interest in compact cars being generated worldwide, on Thursday, January 31 Suzuki Motor Corp. of Japan reported a 23 percent increase in its quarterly profits for the October-December reporting period.
Honda Reports Strong Profits in 4Q
For the October-December quarter Honda, the second largest automaker in Japan, saw its profits jump an impressive 38.1 percent with higher than expected foreign sales.
Chrysler Offers Worker Buy Out
On Monday, January 28, Chrysler LLC announced buyout offers for 14,000 hourly workers totaling as much as $100,000 each to effect 12 facilities in the Detroit area.
Kia Posts Better Than Ancipated 4Q Earnings
On Friday, January 25, Kia Motors Corp., currently the number two automaker in South Korea, reported stronger than anticipated quarterly numbers.

Showing an operating profit over its loss a year ago, Kia saw its shares pick up 6.75 percent on the news, besting the overall market improvement of 1.1 percent.
GM Exec Touts Ethanol and Biofuels
Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress on January 23, the vice chairman of global product development for General Motors, Bob Lutz, described E-85 ethanol and biofuels as America's best bet for a quick reduction of the nation's petroleum dependence.
Ford Posts Improved 4Q Numbers, Plans More Job Cuts
After an ambition interal program of lowering costs and enlarging margins on its vehicles, the Ford Motor Co. reported improved fourth-quarter loss figures as compared to a year ago.
Chrysler Chief Outlines Plans to Up Overseas Sales
On Tuesday, January 22 Chrysler LLC announced the formation of a product team to focus on mid-sized cars for the global market with regional product development centers slated to fuel an expansion of the company's sales overseas.
Ford Debuts 2009 SUV Models at Washington Auto Show
The Washington Auto Show, which opens to the public Wednesday, January 23, will include two vehicle debuts by Ford, the updated Ford Escape , and 2009 Mercury Mariner.
Government Gets Behind Plug-in Development
On Thursday, January 17, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $30 million worth of matching grants to aid in the development of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).
Rental Companies Embrace Carbon Offsets
Environmentally conscious rental car drivers guilty about their role in releasing harmful greenhouse gases can now avail themselves of a program to purchase carbon offset credits.
Toyota Introduces Venza Crossover at Detroit Show
Monday, January 14, Toyota unveiled its new 2009 Venza crossover at the Detroit auto show, a vehicle more like a station wagon than a sport utility vehicle.
GM Says Volt Plug-In on Schedule for 2010
General Motors continues to press for the appearance of its E-Flex Chevrolet Volt by 2010 after initiatives introduced by Toyota at the Detroit Motor Show on Sunday, January 13 further heated up the already growing hybrid wars.
Chevy Malibu Named Car of the Year
At the media preview day for the Detroit Auto Show on Sunday, January 13, the Chevy Malibu , a mid-sized sedan, was named North American Car of the Year.
Audi Brings TTS to Detroit Auto Show
As a more than worthy successor to the Audi TT , the company will debut a new high performance version, the "S," set to go before the public at the Detroit auto show the week of January 15th.
Tata Motors Introduces NANO
At the ninth annual New Delhi Auto Expo Tata Motors on January 10 displayed its much-discussed "people's car" now officially named the NANO with a sales price of $2,500.
GM's Wagoner First Automotive Exec to Deliver CES Keynote
In an appearance at the International Consumer Electronics Show currently underway in Las Vegas, Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors discussed the increasingly close relationship between the automotive and electronics industries.
Hyundai to Compete for Luxury Customers
Hyundai will take on the Mercedes E-Class, Infiniti M and Lexus GS for drivers when its 2009 Genesis sedan begins to appear on U.S. dealer lots this spring.
Microsoft, Ford take on OnStar with Sync Enhancements
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently underway in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced its intent to take on key aspects of the functionality of General Motor's OnStar service with upgrades to the Sync system used by Ford.
Ford Falls to 3rd Place in Overall U.S. Sales
In newly reported sales figures, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., moving 61,962 more cars and light trucks than Ford, bumped the Detroit giant into third place in U.S.
Tata Motors Top Bidder for Jaguar, Land Rover
Ford Motor Co. named Tata Motors Ltd. of India as the top bidder for Jaguar and Land Rover, with Tata itself indicating "focused negotiations at a more detailed level" are now underway.
Toyota Offers New Concept Pickup
Toyota has created a concept for a hybrid pickup, the A-BAT, aimed at suburban drivers with moderate hauling needs, which will be displayed at the Detroit auto show later this month.
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