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Archived Auto News and Events for June 2010

Ford Reduces Overall Debt with Early Payment
In an announcement on Tuesday, June 30, Ford Motor Co. said it would make a $3.8 billion payment to the United Auto Workers Medical Benefits Trust ahead of schedule, thus reducing its debt to approximately $27 billion.
Tesla Does Well in IPO, Raises $226 Million
In the first initial public stock offering by an automaker in the United States in 50 years, Tesla Motors, Inc., selling above its forecast price range, raised $226 million, a testament to investor confidence in an electric car company that has yet to post a profit.
Toyota to Recall 2010 Lexus HS 250h
Due to a potential for excessive fuel leakage following rear-impact crashes, Toyota Motor Corp. will recall approximately 17,000 Lexus HS 250h vehicles from the 2010 model year.
June Sales Figures Predicted to Be Lower than May
Edmunds.com predicts an increase of as much as 17 percent in new vehicle sales to almost a million units for June over the 2009 numbers, but also says the figures will come in below the May results.
Honda CR-Z Marriage of Sport Car and Hybrid
When the Honda CR-Z hybrid hits showroom floors on August 24, it will be the first hybrid in six model years to be offered with a manual transmission as well as a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Redesigned Honda Odyssey for Fall 2010
The popular Honda Odyssey minivan has been redesigned and will arrive in dealerships in fall 2010 with a lower, wider stance, greater aerodynamics, more interior room, and a host of new standard features for roughly the same cost as its predecessor.
Customers Antsy for Arrival of Ford Fiesta
While customers on Facebook who placed pre-orders are complaining that the small Ford Fiesta is late in arriving at dealer showrooms, the company maintains the car is on track for its "summer" 2010 launch, with cars shipping this week from the assembly plant in Mexico.
King to Be Elected UAW President
The United Auto Workers union is expected to elect Bob King, 63, to succeed Ron Gettelfinger as the organization's president today after Gettelfinger's two terms in office.
VW Shifting More Production, Repositioning Jetta to Up Sales
In hopes of doubling its sales by 2012, Volkswagen plans to make it top-selling Jetta compact larger by 3.5 inches and less expensive by $1,700 starting in October.
Nissan Adds Artificial Sounds to Leaf
In response to concerns from pedestrian safety advocates as well as groups supporting the blind, Nissan, in collaboration with a Hollywood sound-design company and acoustic psychologists, has added sounds to the otherwise silent Nissan Leaf, the company's futuristic all-electric vehicle.
GM Memo Touches Off Sentimental Controvery Over
According to an article by Rupal Parekh for Advertising Age, the ad agency currently working with General Motors Co. wants to make sure that the popularly abbreviated "Chevy" does not show up in company communications.
GM Recalls 1.5 Million Vehicles for Potential Fire Hazard
Eighteen General Motors models from 2006-2009 will be recalled beginning June 14 to address a problem with heated washer-fluid systems that may cause engine fires.
Executives at GM Receive $24.5 million in Shares
According to a report by Bloomberg, twelve top executives at General Motors have received stock shares that will be worth an estimated $24.5 million when the company goes public.
Chrysler Issues Recall for 25,000 Vehicles
The Chrysler Group has issued a recall of more than 25,000 Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass vehicles with accelerator pedals that could potentially become stuck and cause unintended acceleration.
Chevy Cruze Offers More Standard Features than Competitors
General Motors has set the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze to be a direct competitor with the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, but the $16,995 sticker price is higher than the Civic's $16,405 and the Corolla's $16,200.
Mercury To Be Discontinued in 4Q 2010
Ford has now confirmed the rumor that its Mercury brand, which has been in production for 71 years, will be discontinued in the fourth quarter of this year, blunting the announcement with the news that Lincoln will see seven new or refreshed models in the coming four years.
All Major Auto Makers Except Toyota Have a Double Digit May
Light-vehicle sales in the United States hit their highest level since December in May, with all major automakers except Toyota seeing double-digit sales gains.
Decreasing Numbers of Young Drivers Mandate Better In-car Tech
In an article for Advertising Age by Jack Neff, the effect of the Internet, which has changed how the music and publish industry function, and even how airlines prices and sell tickets, may not have transferred to the public's use of the automobile.
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