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Week of June 19, 2000


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HYUNDAI SAYS DC PARTNERSHIP IS IN THE BAG
GOVERNMENT QUESTIONS REFINERS
SATURN RETAILERS HELP EBAY
MICROSOFT CONQUERS DRIVEOFF
DODGE DUMPS VAN FOR SUV
AUTOMAKERS POST SLIGHT CAFE IMPROVEMENT
GM EXPANDS FLEXIBLE FUEL OFFERINGS
CAR THIEVES LIKE MERCEDES-BENZ MODELS
GOVERNMENT CUTS RESEARCH PROGRAM
GM TO GIVE US FIVE

 

HYUNDAI SAYS DC PARTNERSHIP IS IN THE BAG According to a Ward's Automotive International report, Hyundai Motors is in the final stages of an agreement with DaimlerChrysler to take possession of Daewoo Motor Corporation. Under the proposal, DaimlerChrysler would take 40 percent of Daewoo, while Hyundai would take 20 percent and the remainder would be distributed to creditors. The arrangement would benefit DaimlerChrysler by giving the automaker access to the Asian market and cheap small-car production facilities. Hyundai, as the minority holder, would have a firm hold on the majority of the Korean market and yet avoid being termed a monopoly. DaimlerChrysler has continued to deny the agreement with Hyundai.

 

GOVERNMENT QUESTIONS REFINERS Federal officials met with oil refiners, demanding an explanation for sharply rising gas prices. According to CNN, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department's policy office had jointly sent a letter to major refiners requesting the meeting, saying that their analysis showed that supplies of gasoline were adequate in the Midwest, where prices have exceeded $2 per gallon. The agencies also requested an explanation of additional costs in producing the reformulated gasoline that is now required in some areas. In the meeting, the EPA said that the agency had estimated the cost of the cleaner fuel to be temporarily five to eight cents per gallon more expensive, but that doesn’t come close to accounting for the 50 cents more per gallon that consumers in some areas are paying. Refiners declined to comment to the agency remarks or to reporters.

 

SATURN RETAILERS HELP EBAY eBay has announced that it will enter a partnership with General Motors' Saturn division. Saturn will help eBay sell used cars by offering a comprehensive, nationwide car inspection service. Vehicle inspections for cars offered online by eBay and partner AutoTrader.com will be given by the service departments at existing Saturn retailers. eBay says it chose Saturn because of the brand's retail reputation.

 

MICROSOFT CONQUERS DRIVEOFF Microsoft's CarPoint LLC has announced that it is acquiring rival company DriveOff.com, a similar service that lets customers browse online, choose a model for purchase, and finalize details online before being referred to an affiliated dealership. CarPoint says that the acquisition of DriveOff will give CarPoint a more effective, direct buying service. The acquisition will expand CarPoint's affiliated retail network from 3700 dealers to 5000 dealers.

 

DODGE DUMPS VAN FOR SUV DaimlerChrysler plans to cancel production of the Dodge Ram Van effective April 2002 so that the automaker can use the production space to make a new sport-utility vehicle, says Automotive News. The new SUV will be built on the next-generation Ram pickup platform. Some industry experts question the late timing of DC's introduction of a full-size sport-utility vehicle, reasoning that by then the competition will be fierce and gas prices and regulations may strain demand.

Read more about DC"s plans for a new SUV by clicking here.


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