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Fiat sees ‘happiness’ in Chrysler ownership

Fiat SpA is pushing ahead with plans to get 51 percent of U.S. No.3 carmaker Chrysler, a goal that boss Sergio Marchionne defined on Wednesday as “happiness” for the Italian car maker. Get the full story »

Ford’s new Taurus to get 31 mpg

The 2013 Ford Taurus. (Ford Motor Co.)

Ford Motor Co. unveiled a more fuel-efficient version of its flagship sedan, the Taurus, aimed at attracting consumers sensitive to rising fuel prices.

The 2013 Ford Taurus is expected to get at least 31 miles per gallon on the highway and can be outfitted with two different types of engines, Ford executives said at an event linked to the New York auto show. Get the full story »

Google to provide map to EV charging stations

A Chevy Volt being charged at a public electric vehicle charging station in Detroit, Oct. 12, 2010. Google will help electric vehicle owners find charging stations. (Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg)

Soon electric vehicle owners looking for somewhere to charge up will need little more than Google.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday that a new partnership will draw on Google Maps to create an online network of all the charging stations in the country and will serve as a primary data source for GPS and mapping services to track electric vehicle charging locations. Get the full story »

Walgreens to install charging stations for electric cars

Walgreen Co. announced today it will install charging stations for electric vehicles as part of a Chicago-area public charging infrastructure rollout led by California-based 350Green LLC.

Already, more than 150 private charging stations have been installed throughout the city, and an additional 280 public charging stations have been announced for the Chicago area. Walgreens is the first company is the first retail partner to formally announce their participation in the $8.9 million project. Get the full story »

Toyota may shift U.S. sales goals due to Japan

Toyota may have to change its U.S. sales targets because of production slowdowns in Japan and North America, the U.S. sales chief of the world’s largest automaker said on Tuesday. Get the full story »

State acts to protect car buyers when dealers close

A Viking Dodge dealership in Crystal Lake that closed in 2009. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation that would protect consumers when auto dealerships close and fail to pay liens on trade-in vehicles.

In several instances, according to Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, lien holders have sought payments from consumers who traded in their vehicles to buy new ones. At least 60 dealerships have gone out of business since 2000 without paying off trade-ins, according to Madigan. Get the full story »

GM to raise car prices due to oil, metal costs

General Motors Co. says it will raise prices by an average of $123 per vehicle to make up for higher oil and metal costs. Get the full story »

Volkswagen shows off new Beetle design

Oprah Winfrey gives away, but doesn't show, the new Beetle late last year. (Harpo)

The 2012 Beetle. (Volkswagen)

The 2012 New Beetle, the car that Oprah Winfrey gave away to her audience back in November, is finally ready to show itself in public. The car was unveiled Monday at events held simultaneously in New York City and Shanghai.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey gave 275 of the cars to her studio audience as part of an “Oprah’s Favorite Things“ promotion. Volkswagen donated the cars for the promotion. Get the full story »

Fiat to pay $1.5 billion stake of Chrysler: Sources

Italy’s Fiat SpA is looking to pay around $1.5 billion for an additional 16 percent in Chrysler, which it hopes to purchase in the coming months, three sources familiar with the matter said. Get the full story »

Zipcar up 58% in Nasdaq debut

Shares of Zipcar soared 66 percent in early Nasdaq trading on Thursday as investors sought to buy into the leader of the growing U.S. car-sharing industry. Get the full story »

Ford F150 recall greatly expanded

Ford Motor Co. and U.S. safety regulators have agreed to a greatly expanded recall of the best-selling vehicle in North America, the Ford F-150 pickup truck, the regulators said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Littelfuse raises 1Q guidance

A Littelfuse R&D facility at 2110 S. Oak Street, Champaign, Ill. (BusinessWire)

Littelfuse, Inc., said its fiscal first quarter earnings would be better than expected, thanks to solid sales across most of its market but primarily in the automotive sector.

The Chicago-based company, which reports on its first quarter May 5, said it expects quarterly earnings to be in the range of 96 cents to 98 cents per share, including a non-cash accounting charge of 12 cents a share. Get the full story »

State Farm plans mileage-based premiums

State Farm plans to begin increasing or lowering some of its Illinois policy holders’ rates next year based on how far they drive.

The Bloomington-based company says its new Drive Safe and Save program will only be available to its customers who have OnStar devices on their vehicles and use its vehicle diagnostics tracking tool. Get the full story »

Toyota warns dealers about new car supply

Toyota Motor Corp. has warned its U.S. dealers that the supply of new vehicles could become “significantly impacted” by the summer, according to a memo distributed Sunday.

The memo is the clearest statement by Toyota that the shortage caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami will last into the third quarter. Get the full story »

Chevy Cruze recalled for steering wheel inspection

General Motors Co. is recalling about 2,100 2011 Chevrolet Cruze small cars to inspect for an improperly fastened steering wheel after discovering one vehicle with the defect. Get the full story »