News Briefs: Feb. 13, 2012

Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • Hyundai may sell the Genesis, Equus and Genesis Coupe under a luxury sub-brand called Genesis, but it won't have a separate dealer network like Lexus or Infiniti, sales chief Dave Zuchowski tells Automotive News. The sub-brand would instead occupy dedicated sections in Hyundai showrooms.
  • Sister company Kia, meanwhile, unveiled sketches of its next flagship sedan, which will launch in South Korea later this year. The sedan, dubbed KH, will be Kia's first rear-drive sedan, The Wall Street Journal reports, but its indented grille resembles those across the rest of Kia's lineup. The Korean company hasn't said if it will bring the sedan to the U.S., but in a statement on Kia's website, overseas marketing director Soon-Nam Lee says the KH "will definitely become the leading model of our line-up around the world."
  • Mini may add a wagon, a van and possibly a sedan to its lineup by 2020, Automotive News reports. The vehicles will be based on BMW's front-drive platform, which underpins the next-generation Mini Cooper hardtop in 2014. Mini chief Kay Segler told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show the brand will debut three new vehicles by the end of the decade.
  • A Lundberg survey finds the average price for a gallon of gas has increased 11.6 cents in the past three weeks to around $3.51 per gallon, Reuters reports. Survey editor Trilby Lundberg blamed the rise on North Sea crude oil prices, which have increased more than $7 per barrel. Lundberg told Reuters that gasoline retailers have yet to pass on the wholesale price increase, so expect to pay a few more cents per gallon in the near term as it all shakes out.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined BMW $3 million for delaying how long it took to report safety-related defects on nearly 350,000 vehicles in 2010, Bloomberg News reports. It marks NHTSA's largest penalty since the agency fined Toyota $16.4 million in 2010. NHTSA reviewed more than a dozen BMW recalls involving the X5 and X6 SUVs, the 7 Series and 5 Series cars, the 1 Series coupe and BMW's motorcycles.
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