Daily News Briefs: July 2, 2012

Mercedes-Benz will introduce a wagon version of the coupe-like CLS-Class sedan dubbed the CLS Shooting Brake, but it won't come stateside. A shooting brake — an old term for wagon — hasn't been offered in the CLS' eight-year history. In back, the car gets hand-stitched sidings in the cargo area and porcelain trimmings, like in Mercedes' flagship S-Class, elsewhere. Aluminum cargo rails will be optional, as will a wooden cargo floor complete with contrasting inlays. Measuring less than an inch longer than the CLS sedan, the Shooting Brake boasts a 54.7 cubic feet of cargo room, Mercedes says. That's comparable to the E-Class wagon's 57.4 cubic feet, which is what Benz wagon fans in the U.S. will have to live with. Spokesman Dan Barile says there are "no immediate plans" for the CLS wagon to come here. Stay tuned for a photo gallery later today.

In other news:

  • The latest federal highway bill to pass Congress increases fines to automakers that fail to recall vehicles, but it lacks safety regulations proposed by the Senate over stopping distances, pedal placement and push-button start, the Detroit News reports.
  • Last week's 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court backing President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act will force car dealerships with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance by 2014 or face an annual tax, Automotive News reports.
  • Pent-up demand should drive June auto sales, which the industry reports tomorrow, to the highest June figure in five years, Reuters reports.

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