Daily News Briefs: April 20, 2012

Here's what we have our eye on today:

  • Invista, the company responsible for Stainmaster carpets, may relieve the auto industry's pending resin shortage, Automotive News reports. The shortage spawns from a March 31 plant explosion at Evonik Industries; Evonik is a leading global manufacturer for a chemical used in nylon resin, which makes up brake and fuel lines. Invista can produce the chemical at its Texas plant. Although automakers haven't slowed production yet, nearly 200 executives from eight automakers and 50 suppliers met in Michigan on Tuesday to discuss the situation.
  • Reuters reports Nissan will build cars for its Infiniti luxury division in China, the world's largest auto market. This move comes in the wake of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn telling us China and the U.S. were two potential areas to move Infiniti production from Japan. Nissan builds the Infiniti JX in the U.S. Production in China was all but certain, given Nissan recently moved Infiniti's headquarters to Hong Kong, and China imposes steep tariffs on imported cars. Additional U.S. production is still up in the air.
  • Based on tallies from earlier this month, J.D. Power and Associates expects April auto sales to rise just 4.5% over April 2011, hitting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.8 million. That would represent the lowest SAAR since October 2011, reflecting easing demand from February's highest annual rate in four years.
  • Alfa Romeo, which sold its last car in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago, may kick things off again with the 4C compact sports car, Bloomberg News reports. Parent company Fiat registered the nameplate with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 10 days ago. Fiat officials want to increase global sales for Alfa Romeo more than twofold by 2014 with six new models; CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he wants to bring the brand stateside to compete with BMW.
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