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Week of March 6, 2000


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BIG THREE COMBINE ONLINE BUYING SITES
DC, FIAT TALKING ABOUT ALLIANCE
FIVE SUITORS ASKING FOR DAEWOO’S HAND
RENAULT SKEPTICAL ABOUT NEW ONLINE SUPPLY VENTURE
U.S. AUTO SALES UP FOR FEBRUARY
GM RECALLS 900 ELECTRICS
BMW’S NEW ROLLS TO BE A LIMO
DC ANNOUNCES PROFITS, FORECASTS FUTURE
GM EMPLOYEE WARRANTY AGREEMENT QUESTIONED
GM, ISUZU MAY DEVELOP COMMON SUV PLATFORM
KIA ISSUES RECALL ON 77,000 SPORTAGES
GM PLANTS CLOSE TEMPORARILY
VEE-DUB TO BUILD ITS OWN SUPPLY NETWORK
AUDI SETS SIGHTS ON JAPAN

 

BIG THREE COMBINE ONLINE BUYING SITES General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have decided to join forces and combine their plans for individual online buying sites into a single Internet portal that will be open to all their suppliers. This new system will give automakers the ability to cut costs for supplies ranging from car parts to office supplies. Other automakers will be offered equity stakes in the yet-to-be-named supply network. Renault and its Nissan unit have already indicated they will participate.

 

DC, FIAT TALKING ABOUT ALLIANCE DaimlerChrysler’s European unit is said to be in talks with Fiat to join its car businesses. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Fiat would contribute its car business in exchange for 13 percent ownership in the new company.

 

FIVE SUITORS ASKING FOR DAEWOO’S HAND Daewoo’s Corporate Restructuring Committee said that five automakers have submitted letters of interest in bidding on the ailing Daewoo Motor and Ssangyong Motor. One or two finalists will be selected from General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat and Hyundai to move to the final level in the process. Daewoo has chosen May 19 as the deadline for automakers to submit their bids for the company. Separately, Ford ‘s CFO Henry Wallace said that Ford was not interested in bidding jointly with another company, including Hyundai.

 

RENAULT SKEPTICAL ABOUT NEW ONLINE SUPPLY VENTURE Although Renault’s head Louis Schweitzer acknowledged that the Big Three’s new online supply network would probably set the industry standard, he questioned the cost savings to his company. "…I’ve been hearing some figures that astonish me," he said. "An auction system could be used for a number of our purchases, but that number is a very small part of our core business."

 

U.S. AUTO SALES UP FOR FEBRUARY Car and light truck auto sales in the U.S. were up by 6.1 percent over February 1999. The Big Three all reported gains, although analysts said that U.S. automakers were losing business to overseas rivals. Ford was up by 2.7 percent, while GM’s cars (including Saab) and light trucks jumped 16.1 and 20.8 percent respectively. DaimlerChrysler’s American brands saw a 5 percent increase. The following are the 20 top-selling vehicles in the country for 2000 thus far.

1. Ford F-Series 131,248
2. Chevrolet Silverado 106,357
3. Toyota Camry 74,572
4. Ford Explorer 68,347
5. Dodge Ram pickup 60,390
6. Dodge Caravan 57,978
7. Honda Accord 53,681
8. Ford Ranger pickup 52,478
9. Ford Taurus 51,612
10. Honda Civic 46,620
11. Ford Focus 42,838
12. Jeep Grand Cherokee 41,684
13. Chevrolet Blazer 39,263
14. Chevrolet Malibu 37,853
15. Toyota Corolla 37,566
16. Chevrolet Cavalier 37,015
17. Chevrolet S-Series 36,242
18. Pontiac Grand Am 36,235
19 Ford Windstar 33,904
20. Ford Expedition 31,683

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