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Week of March 27, 2000


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1243_image

DC-MITSU DEAL DONE, SAYS KYODO
RESIDUALS FROM ROVER BREAKUP
GM CONTINUES TO TANGO
FIAT TO PROPOSE TO VOLVO, SCANIA
RENAULT, SAMSUNG CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS
M-B C-CLASS DEBUTS
SUBARU’S CONCEPT ST-X TO BECOME SUV FOR U.S.
NISSAN’S HIRSHBERG TO RETIRE
SUVS GET CAR-FRIENDLY
DAEWOO SALE EXPECTED BY SEPTEMBER
EV1S CAN BE FIXED, BUT NOT EASILY
FEDS SNIFF AROUND ONLINE SUPPLY SITE
FORMER GM EXEC SETS UP NEW WEB SITE

 

DC-MITSU DEAL DONE, SAYS KYODO Japan’s Kyodo news agency reports that a deal between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi has been completed as of Saturday. The deal, in which DC would take a 33.4-percent stake in Mitsu, is in the form of a letter of agreement that will allow the automakers to continue discussions past this week. On March 29, Mitsubishi must make a decision regarding the future of NedCar, the Dutch joint-venture assembly plant it shares with Ford’s Volvo unit. Reports suggest that DC will purchase Ford’s share in the plant as well. DaimlerChrysler will gain veto power over Mitsubishi board decisions.

For more on the DC-Mitsu deal, click here

 

RESIDUALS FROM ROVER BREAKUP After agreeing to buy Land Rover, Ford is in the logical position to acquire Rover’s R&D division, according to British Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers. Meanwhile, Rover’s new owner, Alchemy Partners, announced it will hire Chris Woodwark, a former exec at Rolls-Royce and Rover, to head the new company. BMW still has a lot to work out before the sale is complete, including cooperating with the British government to try to minimize the job cuts when the sale goes through. Despite all of the forward steps to sell Rover to Alchemy, the British government still says it’s not too late for other bidders and U.K. millionaire John Hemming said he’s gathered five investors in an effort to place a rival bid.

 

GM CONTINUES TO TANGO General Motors forged an alliance with Fiat partially to keep it away from competitors, according to the head of GM’s Adam Opel AG unit. Although Fiat has a put option with GM, Fiat chairman Paolo Fresco said that he didn’t think it would be selling the remaining stake to its new American partner. Separately, a CNBC news report that News Corp. and a subsidiary of AT&T were interested in buying GM to get at its Hughes’ satellite TV unit caused GM stock to jump. GM declined to comment on the report, while a News Corp. spokesperson said it was false.

 

FIAT TO PROPOSE TO VOLVO, SCANIA After announcing an alliance with General Motors last week, Fiat is contemplating a deal with truckmakers AB Volvo and Scania AB. The European Union recently rejected a proposed merger between the two truckmakers, which would have made it the world’s second-largest truck and bus manufacturer. Milan’s daily newspaper said that it was likely Fiat and Iveco, its truck unit, would only be interested in bidding for Scania.

 

RENAULT, SAMSUNG CONTINUE NEGOTIATIONS Renault will start negotiating with Samsung’s creditors again next week in an effort to buy the Korean automaker. Samsung’s creditors said that it would issue a formal counter-offer this week to Renault. Of the talks next week, one of the main creditors said it "expects Renault to change its position" on the purchase price or there will not be a deal.

000327_BenzCClass

000327_BenzCClass

M-B C-CLASS DEBUTS Mercedes-Benz has taken the covers off its redesigned C-Class, according to a report in Automotive News. Sources told Automotive News’ sister publication Autoweek that the ultra-power C32 AMG model will have a supercharged 3.2-liter V-6 that produces at least 320 horsepower. Other revisions include an upgrade from a double-wishbone suspension system to a three-link unit made primarily out of aluminum. The C-Class is slated to hit U.S. dealers this fall as a 2001 model.


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