MotorMediaWatch April 7

Big rebates available on big guzzlers
Car-shoppers in Southern California can find rebates of at least $5,000 on 11 models — most of them from Chrysler — in April. The largest cash-back deals are on bigger cars and trucks. (LAT)+++

Nissan says it will build and sell commercial vehicles in U.S.
DETROIT – Nissan Motor Co. says it will build and sell light commercial vehicles in the U.S., using its existing work force and factories. (SJM)+++

UAW, American Axle to meet Wednesday

Full bargaining teams from the UAW and American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. are expected to meet Wednesday in the first formal talks between the two sides in more than a month.(DFP)+++

Chrysler hopes Dodge crossover will carry optimistic message

BIRMINGHAM — As the economy slumps and gas prices rise, Chrysler LLC wants to remind consumers that cars can still be fun. To that end, the automaker is launching a corporate advertising campaign featuring the tagline “If you can dream it, we can build it.”(DFP)+++

Nissan to build, sell commercial vehicles in US

Nissan Motor Co. says it will build and sell light commercial vehicles in the U.S., using its existing work force and factories.(DFP)+++

Hyundai Motor has no plan to cut production at U.S. factory
SEOUL, South Korea — Hyundai Motor Co. is satisfied with sales levels in the United States and has no plans to cut production at its factory there, a top executive said.(DFP)+++

Heads of UAW, Axle to meet

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dick Dauch — leaders of the sides at odds in a six-week strike that has forced dozens of factory shutdowns and thousands of layoffs — are expected to meet privately today.(DFP)+++

Ford to tout quality in campaign

When Ford Motor Co. launches its “Drive One” campaign tomorrow, after previewing it tonight with dealers in Las Vegas, it will have some powerful new information to back its aggressive new sales pitch.(DFP)+++

Toyota pickup probe pushed
It’s a wonder Frank Visconi walked away from the crash that turned his new Toyota Tacoma pickup into an unrecognizable mush of metal, plastic and dirt. But Visconi has a different wonder — why Toyota doesn’t believe his complaints of sudden acceleration.(DFP)+++

Aston Martin: Not for sale

According to Autocar, rumors of Mercedes-Benz purchasing a major stake in Aston Martin don’t hold water. Aston’s current owners are reportedly not interested in selling all or part of their British sportscar marque to anybody at this time.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Isuzu, dumping product, posts highest sales since 2000

Aggressive dealer cash incentives ranging from $4,000 to $8,000 on vehicles has helped Isuzu record its first quarterly sales increase in nearly eight years.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Ford touting quality equal to that of Toyota and Honda

The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based RDA Group has found that Ford is on par with top-level stalwarts Toyota and Honda when it comes to vehicle quality.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Big 3 shedding, consolidating dealerships

Detroit’s Big 3 American automakers account for roughly half of new car sales in the United States. So how do you explain that they hold almost two-thirds of all the new car dealerships in the country between them? The automakers themselves recognize the problem, and have been closing dealerships faster than you can say “foreign competition”.(AUTOBLOG)+++

UK feeling special, gets Hyundai Coupe TSIII

Hyundai UK has announced that it’s offering a lightly-modified special edition Hyundai Coupe (that’s “Tiburon” in ‘Merican English… or Spanish, really).(AUTOBLOG)+++

Nissan entering light-duty commercial market in U.S. with three new vehicles
Big news from Canton, Mississippi today. Nissan North America has announced it will be entering the Light Commercial Vehicle business in the U.S. in a big way.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Nissan Intima Teana brochure leaked out
The Scoopers of Cars have gotten their hands on a scanned brochure of the production version of the Nissan Intima concept, and it seems that in addition to getting a mass-market makeover(AUTOBLOG)+++

American Axle Strike: Two GM factories up, one GM factory down
The American Axle strike, now in its second month, is causing General Motors more than a few headaches.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Subaru issues “stop sale” on all models equipped with turbo’d 2.5-liter
JL sent us over an email from Subaru of America that’s instructed dealers to immediate cease sales of all Subaru models equipped with the turbocharged, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine(AUTOBLOG)+++

Google Street Driveway View

Google Street View is a cool Google Maps feature, but it would appear that one of the Street View driver/camera operators in the Pittsburgh, PA area needs to exercise a little more common sense when recording the lay of the land.(AUTOBLOG)+++

Lexus execs spills the beans: GS F model, 1-series fighter, hybrid galore
Lexus Australia’s chief executive, John Roca, gave up a number of product details to The Australian in an interview this past weekend(AUTOBLOG)+++

Christopher Reitz named as new Alfa design chief
Alfa Romeo has announced Christopher Reitz as its new head of design, succeeding Frank Stephenson who announced his departure last week. (AUTOBLOG)+++

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