Interesting Headlines we missed

Sorry, but there is just too much auto news coming out for us to catch it all. Here are just a few interesting stories that we missed.

Winterkorn open to further VW acquisitions

Volkswagen Group remains open to making further acquisitions, though the German group has its work cut out integrating its 12 brands, CEO Martin Winterkorn said.

“We are currently well positioned with 12 brands, but there are always opportunities that one cannot pass up,” Winterkorn said. “We have no further projects in the drawer, but we’re always wide awake to what’s happening in the world,”.

Jaguar Land Rover bullish on Europe

Jaguar Land Rover head of European operations Bernhard Kuhnt sees a positive 2013 for both UK brands in Europe because of strong demand for the recently launched new Range Rover and the early-summer arrival the Jaguar F-Type.

VW targets hike in U.S. sales, China output to counter Europe slump

VW is counting on growth in China and the United States, along with gains in the luxury-car market with the Audi brand, to help offset declining demand in Europe amid a recession

Marchionne says Fiat is in talks with banks about Chrysler merger

Fiat- Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said he is in talks with banks about financing a merger of the two automakers. The deal would involve purchasing the 41.5 percent of Chrysler that Fiat doesn’t own.

European auto execs see rebound next year at the earliest

The struggling European auto industry will bounce back next year. Or maybe in 2016. Or maybe later. It depends on whom you talk to among the executives here coping with depressed sales and the uncertain government response to Europe’s economic crisis.

Jaguar Land Rover bullish on Europe

Jaguar Land Rover head of European operations Bernhard Kuhnt sees a positive 2013 for both UK brands in Europe because of strong demand for the recently launched new Range Rover and the early-summer arrival the Jaguar F-Type.

Audi grapples with stagnant profit due to Europe slump

Audi aims for a “slight” increase in revenue this year after Europe’s slumping market hit the brand’s 2012 earnings. Audi forecasts higher deliveries this year on demand for the new A3 Sportback and the A3 sedan, which targets American and Chinese buyers.

China passes Sweden as Volvo’s No. 2 market

Volvo sold 8,719 vehicles in China in January and February to establish China as Volvo’s second-biggest market after the United States. Sales in China were strong enough to outpace Sweden, where Volvo sold 6,847 units in the first two months.

BMW 2012 profit gains as China demand offsets Europe drop

BMW reported a 3.5 percent gain in 2012 profit as demand for the new 3-series sedan in China and the U.S. more than offset a market downturn in Europe. Earnings before interest and taxes rose to 8.3 billion euros ($10.7 billion) from 8.02 billion euros a year earlier

German new-car sales down 10.5% in February

New-car sales in Germany fell 10.5 percent to 200,683 in February, the KBA federal transport agency said

Paris congress will explore Europe’s rocky road

The European auto industry is in for a rough ride over the next few years. What are the solutions? Which companies will emerge as winners? The 16th Automotive News Europe Congress will explore answers to those questions on June 12 in Paris

In the limelight, exotics shrug off austerity

So where’s the new austere, euro-pinching European auto industry, the one that’s struggling to cut capacity and bring wages to a competitive level? No where to be seen, at least at the luxo-elite displays here in Geneva

Carmakers warn of weak European market for years to come

New-car sales in Europe are at the low end of expectations and the market is likely to remain shaky for at least five years as the region implements austerity measures to cut its debts, industry executives warned on Tuesday.

VW brand sales flat in February, hit by weak Europe

Volkswagen said sales of its main namesake brand edged up 0.4 percent in February, the smallest gain in 13 months.

Western Europe car sales drop 10.6% in February

New-car registrations in western Europe fell 10.6 percent to 771,695 in February, market forecaster LMC Automotive said

Automaker chiefs urge end to European austerity

Automakers joined growing opposition to Europe’s austerity measures. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn urged government spending to revive the region’s anemic sales, which he forecast won’t recover for another three years.

Marchionne confirms Fiat’s 2013 targets, sees no European market recovery

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the company’s 2013 profit targets today and said a recovery in Europe’s car markets this year seemed unlikely.

PSA will offer retail banking to raise funds for dealers, auto ops

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen will offer savings accounts through its financing arm to raise funding for dealerships and other automotive operations. PSA is following Renault in setting up a retail banking arm.

Plastic Omnium to close bumper plant in Belgium

French supplier Plastic Omnium said it plans to close its Belgian bumper manufacturing plant this summer in response to shrinking car sales in Europe

Continental forecasts first-quarter sales drop on falling auto demand

Continental forecasts first-quarter sales will decline as much as 3 percent as demand for autos in its home market plunges. Revenue in the quarter will drop 1 percent to 3 percent, the company says

Renault gains union OK to cut 7,500 jobs, freeze pay

Renault can eliminate 7,500 jobs and freeze wages as part of a labor deal offering increased domestic production, after one of the main French unions at the carmaker gave their approval today

BMW shrugs off Europe market decline as Daimler seeks capacity

BMW and Daimler are shrugging off the European auto-market decline as sales growth in China and the United States pushes their luxury-car production to maximum rates

Russian car sales growth slows to 2% in February

UK car sales continue to defy Europe downturn with 7.9% rise in February

UK new-car registrations rose 7.9 percent to 66,749 in February as the market continued to defy the downward trend in other key European markets

Premium cars rule in fading European market

European sales fell by 8 percent to 12.5 million units last year, but that didn’t diminish buyers’ appetite for premium compact vehicles. Sales of premium medium SUVs grew 24 percent to 407,512 because of strong demand for the Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque, according to data from JATO Dynamics