Volkswagen overtook Toyota in global vehicle sales for January to June, the first time the German automaker has come out on top in the intensely competitive tallies.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday that it sold 5.02 million vehicles in the first six months of this year, down 1.5 percent from the same period the previous year, as sales struggled, especially in the languishing Japanese market.
Volkswagen AG said earlier this month that it sold 5.04 million vehicles during the same period. Sales were robust in Europe and North America but fell in China, usually a strong market for the company. Its sales in the first half of the year were down 0.5 percent from the same period in 2014.
Detroit-based General Motors Corp. finished third at 4.86 million, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.
— Associated Press
U.S. auto-safety regulators have rejected a request from an advocacy group to investigate power-system failures in almost 5 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles that potentially could cause stalling and other problems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted Tuesday that two recalls of fuel pump relays took care of stalling and “no start” problems, and that there was no valid evidence to support the group’s other claims.
The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety filed a petition in August 2014 asking for an investigation. It contended that an electrical power control module used by Chrysler in millions of vehicles since 2007 can malfunction, causing them to stall in traffic and cut off devices powered by electricity. The allegation covered Ram pickup trucks, Chrysler and Dodge minivans, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Dodge Journey SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler, and other models.
NHTSA said it analyzed complaint data and determined that problems were addressed by the recalls of the fuel pump relays.
In September, Fiat Chrysler recalled nearly 189,000 2011 Grand Cherokees and Durangos to fix the fuel pump relays. It added 338,000 2012 and 2013 vehicles in February.
— Associated Press
● Ford Motor Co.’s net income jumped 44 percent to $1.9 billion in the second quarter as global sales rose and customers paid more for new trucks and SUVs with premium features. Ford pulled in a record quarterly profit of $2.6 billion in North America even though dealerships weren’t fully stocked with its best-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup. The results bode well for the second half of the year, when Ford’s two U.S. truck plants will be in full production and dealers will have more pickups to sell.
● U.S. home prices rose steadily in May, pushed higher by a healthy increase in sales this year. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 4.9 percent in May compared with 12 months earlier, down slightly from a 5 percent pace in April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Home sales have jumped as an improving economy enables more people to afford to buy. Yet the higher sales haven’t encouraged more people to sell their homes, leaving supplies tight and driving up prices.
● The U.S. government expects to spend $191 million to pay chicken and turkey farmers for birds lost to avian flu, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. That’s just a fraction of the federal government’s $700 million price tag for what is considered by many to be the worst animal-disease disaster to hit the nation, Vilsack said as he called for Congress to consider a disaster program for poultry producers similar to those for other livestock farmers. The government has spent $400 million on the cleanup of dead birds and disinfecting, and it is paying to research and stockpile a bird-flu vaccine. The flu killed 48 million birds, mostly turkeys and egg-laying chickens, in 15 states as it swept through the Midwest.
● U.S. consumer confidence fell this month to the lowest level since September amid consumer worries about the job market and events in Greece and China. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence fell to 90.9 in July from a revised 99.8 in June. That’s the lowest since September’s reading of 89.
● A Georgia judge has reduced the damages that Fiat Chrysler must pay the family of a child who died in a Jeep SUV fire from $150 million to $40 million. Decatur County Superior Court Judge J. Kevin Chason also denied Fiat Chrysler’s motion for a new trial, dismissing arguments that jurors acted irrationally in the case. In a ruling issued Friday and made public Tuesday, Chason decided that the family of 4-year-old Remington Walden should get $30 million for his death and $10 million for pain and suffering. The ruling was accepted by the family’s attorneys and opens a path for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to appeal. The child died after the Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his aunt in Bainbridge, Ga., was hit from behind in March 2012 and exploded into flames. The Jeep’s gas tank was mounted behind the rear axle, leaving it vulnerable in a rear crash.
— From news services
● 10 a.m.: Pending home sales for June.
● 2 p.m. FOMC meeting announcement.
● Earnings: Anthem, Facebook, Whole Foods. ●