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More fuel economy means more factory workers and more production for Toyota's most popular model in Europe. That simple equation explains why the Japanese automaker is boosting annual production of its gas- and hybrid-powered Yaris compact vehicles at its French factory. The new number will be about 222,000, a 15 percent increase. To do that, Toyota will need to add about 500 workers to bring its total there to more than 4,000, UK's The Green Car Website says. Vive le Toyota!

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Plant's director and human resources chief held by workers over plant closing

Two Goodyear bosses held captive by workers spent the night inside a factory in northern France that the company wants to close.

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Jaguar-Land Rover is not what you'd call a volume automaker by any stretch of the imagination. But in the dozen years since it started manufacturing at its Halewood plant near Liverpool, England, the automaker has already built its millionth vehicle.

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Another month of robust Leaf sales could spur Nissan to boost production of its all-electric vehicle at its Tennessee factory by a third, Automotive News says, citing Nissan North American factory chief Bill Krueger. Nissan moved US Leaf production to Tennessee from Japan earlier this year and the proposed increase would add a third production shift for the EV. It could also add a second production shift at the nearby lithium-ion battery production facility. The decision may come as soon as next

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'Follow the money,' states the old axiom, and when it comes to green-car production, Ford is doing just that. The US automaker is boosting its number of electrification-engineering staff by 50 percent this year to 500 workers while sinking $50 million in its electrified-vehicle development centers. And by the end of the year, Ford will have doubled its electrification-battery testing capacity.

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There are no changes in the Volt's 16.5-kWh battery capacity between the 2013 and 2014 model years

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Think of it as a 325-step process in 140 characters or less. Toyota is going the social-media route to publicize production if its upcoming Auris Hybrid in the UK with updates on Twitter.

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According to Automotive News, automakers are expected to manufacture 16 million light vehicles in North America in 2013. That's up 500,000 units from last year and marks the largest number since 2002. The prediction comes courtesy of LMC Automotive and IHS Automotive, which point to the improving US economy as a bellwether for total production. LMC Automotive says North America will produce 16 million vehicles while IHS has a slightly more optimistic forecast of 16.1 million units. A total of se

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There are now 1.1 million examples of the new Fiat 500 cruising the roads of 83 countries, one million of them made at the Fiat's Tychy plant in Poland, the rest in the Fiat plant in Toluca, Mexico. It's taken 69 months since the car's 2007 launch to reach the milestone, the capstone hatchback being an Abarth 500.

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Civil War Admiral David Farragut has famously been credited with saying, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" when he was presented with a challenging path ahead during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Specifically, the path was full of torpedoes. The Admiral has some "move forward!" ideological company in one Elon Musk.

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One result of the litany of problems that Fisker Automotive suffered in 2012 – floods, fires and recalls – was a production stoppage of the plug-in hybrid Karma that has already lasted six months. Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher told AutoblogGreen that the delay was due to an attempt to renegotiate the Valmet production contract and A123 Systems's bankruptcy proceedings.

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After the turmoil of last year, 2013 is getting off to a much better start for Mazda. The company has issued a release indicating that the forthcoming plant in Salamanca, Mexico has had its production capacity raised even though it isn't scheduled to go online until March 2014. The original plans called for a 140,000-unit capacity, 90,000 of that allotted for the Mazda2 and Mazda3, the remaining 50,000 for a small car Mazda would build for Toyota that would be based on the Mazda2. The new plans

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US ethanol production for September dropped to its lowest level in at least 27 months, in large part because of plant shutdowns. Ethanol plants produced 983.9 million gallons in September, down 9.4 percent from August. The previous low since the EPA started keeping such records in July 2010 was the 1.051 billion gallons produced in February 2011. The numbers come from the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Moderated Tracking System website and were reported in the energy-pricing publicat

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Automotive News reports Porsche is set to scale back the company's investment spending. The sports car manufacturer expects to see sales decline between five and 10 percent next year compared to earlier estimates, and the move is aimed to help the company keep its profitability up through 2013. According to Matthias Muller, Porsche brand chief, the cut in spending may delay a project or two, though there's no indication as to which exercises are going to get the back-burner treatment.

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It's either a drop in the bucket or a segment with lots of room to grow. Which aspect an advanced-powertrain vehicle advocate chooses depends on how he sees the challenge that hybrids face in the marketplace. Given a new study that once again shows that, after more than ten years on sale, gas-electric models still account for just a small fraction of the global light-duty vehicles made, we're inclined to see it both ways.

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After four years of partnering with Samsung SDI on lithium-ion battery production, Bosch apparently wants to go it alone.

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No surprise here. Both Nissan and Toyota have moved to cut production in Japan, according to Reuters.

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Reuters reports Ford may be considering launching vehicle brands just for the Chinese market in an attempt to capitalize on continued sales growth in the region. Last year, buyers brought home 18.5 million cars and trucks in China, and Ford aims to carve out a larger share of that figure for itself. The American automaker already produces Fiesta, Mondeo and Focus models in China through a partnership with Chongqing Changan Automobile Company and Mazda, and Jiangling Motors Corp produces Transit

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