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Magna International Inc. has held talks with several states and Canadian provinces about locating an auto manufacturing plant, a top executive of the Canadian auto supplier said.

Magna President Mark Hogan, a former General Motors Corp. executive, would not give a timetable for naming the plant location or comment on the specific states or provinces, the National Post of Canada reported.

"It's not a matter of if, it's just when," Hogan said.

Local governments in Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia are trying to lure Magna.

Magna builds cars and trucks for BMW and Mercedes-Benz at a plant in Graz, Austria

HYBRIDS: Lithium-ion issue denied

Toyota officials are denying that problems in developing a lithium-ion battery will delay its next generation Prius.

An executive, not named by the Associated Press, brushed off a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Toyota Motor Corp. was delaying the launch of the next generation Prius by as much as two years.

Hybrids now use nickel-metal-hydride batteries.

The Toyota official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the matter, said various innovations for the next Prius are being considered -- not just the lithium-ion battery.

In other alternative fuel news from Toyota, the Japanese automaker unveiled an upgraded fuel-cell vehicle that successfully completed a test run.

The latest model has accomplished a total distance of 480 miles with a single fueling, more than double the mileage achieved by Toyota's existing model, the company said in a statement.

AUCTION: Challenger draws big bids

The bids are coming in pretty high for the charity auction on eBay Motors for the second production 2008 Dodge Challenger.

As of Friday night, the highest bid was $85,100 for the Challenger and other goodies including a trip to a NASCAR race.

The auction ends Wednesday. United Way of Southwest Michigan receives the proceeds.

Freep.com

 
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