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Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 06/01/2012

Daily News Briefs: June 1, 2012


The first of the month can mean only one thing to followers of the automotive industry: sales numbers. In early reporting, Toyota says its sales for May shot up a dramatic 87.3% on an unadjusted basis compared with a year ago. Even though it's a big boost, the company remains in third place behind GM (up 11%) and Ford (up 12.6%), respectively. Chrysler Group also reported robust sales growth of 30%, with the Chrysler brand up 77%. We'll have more sales reporting later in the afternoon.

In other news:

Honda remains the top brand in perceived quality, according to automotive consulting firm ALG, as reported by Automotive News . Toyota came in a close second. Hyundai and Ford saw the biggest improvements; their perceived-quality scores are above average now, ALG says.

Mazda will cut 250 jobs in Europe and the United States, according to Automotive News . The Japanese carmaker lost $1.3 billion altogether last fiscal year, and it hasn't made a profit in more than four years.

A123 Systems , a lithium-ion battery supplier to GM, Fisker and BMW, has told its investors that the company may run out of money, according to Reuters . The battery maker lost $125 million in the first quarter of 2012, mainly due to troubles at Fisker, one of A123's biggest clients.

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