Auto News for April 26

The first quarter was not kind to Kia. Profit dropped 35 percent as the Korean currency fell against the Japanese yen and labor concessions limited output. Here in the U.S., sales were off just over eight percent.

Quarterly profit rose almost six percent at Honda. It benefited from the weak yen that helped reduce prices of vehicles sold in overseas markets.

GM reports the government now owns about 16 percent of the company after selling additional shares in the first quarter. As part of the government bailout, Uncle Sam once owned almost 61 percent of the automaker.

On a year over year basis, April auto sales will increase just over ten percent, according to a forecast from Edmunds.com. But change that to a month over month comparison, and sales would show a ten percent decrease.

A new survey shows that residents of Washington, D.C., Maine and Pennsylvania purchased the most diesel powered vehicles between 2010 and 2012. A diesel industry group cited figures from RL Polk.

Yours truly is now working his way through the more than 900 page owner’s manual covering the various elements of a high tech car. That doesn’t include the 248 page navigation system manual. That raises the question of what high tech information potential owners are looking for in their new cars. J.D. Power reports that tech related to fuel economy, smartphone integration, and voice activation lead the list. A rather surprising 76 percent wanted to know more about “Active Shutter Grill Vents.”

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