News Briefs: March 6, 2012

Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • Chrysler's new Diversified Certified program will allow Chrysler dealerships — which include Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat showrooms — to sell certified pre-owned vehicles from non-Chrysler brands, Automotive News reports. The program kicks off in early May. Qualifying cars will have to be model year 2008 or newer and have no more than 48,000 miles. Certified vehicles will have the usual inspection and include Chrysler's Maximum Care warranty — essentially a bumper-to-bumper policy — until they hit 60,000 miles or five years from the time they were brand new, Chrysler says. That differs from Chrysler's CPO program, which has shorter Maximum Care provisions but 80,000 to 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage, depending on the year.
  • GM's alliance with French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën is just one part of the Detroit automaker's plan to fix its ailing Opel division in Europe, Reuters reports. Analysts say GM is at least 20% over capacity in the region, where a sovereign debt crisis and falling consumer confidence continue to hammer the economy. At this week's Geneva International Motor Show, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky called Peugeot "an additional tool" to help bolster GM's sagging business across the pond, but Girsky wouldn't say what next steps the automaker would take to right its European ship. GM hasn't turned a profit in Europe in 12 years, Reuters notes.
  • Ford ships the first major update update to its buggy MyFord Touch multimedia interface this week, The Detroit Free Press reports. The software updates include simpler graphics and faster response for the touch-sensitive center controls. The updated system will phase in for the 2013 model year, but owners of existing Ford or Lincoln vehicles with MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch will receive flash drives in the mail to update their systems.
  • On the heels of GM announcing heavy-duty pickups that can use compressed natural gas, reports Chrysler will offer CNG capability on the Ram 2500 beginning in July.
  • Toyota issued a correction to February's sales results, which had the automaker up 12%, including Lexus and Scion. The revised figure is (wait for it) 39 cars higher than originally reported.
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