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Headlight News Weekly for November 6, 2000


GM TO INVEST IN SMALL-CAR PLATFORMS
FORD INVESTS IN RIVER ROUGE
BABY JAG GETS A NAME
DC AND GM GIVE WORKERS AOL ACCESS
DAIMLERCHRYSLER TO IDLE PLANTS
NISSAN PROFITS FROM RESTRUCTURING
GM SALES UP, FORD DOWN
FORD-FIRESTONE RELATIONSHIP NOT FINISHED
U.S. TO GET BRITISH HONDAS
MITSUBISHI CONSOLIDATION DONE
J.D. POWER RATES NAV. SYSTEMS
FUEL CELL PARTNERSHIP OPENS
NHTSA TESTING MOST CARS EVER
FORD RECALLS ESCAPE AGAIN
LAND ROVER SETTLES WITH WORKERS

 

GM TO INVEST IN SMALL-CAR PLATFORMS With an announcement by GM North America president Ron Zarrella, General Motors Corporation confirmed plans to spend significant development money on small-car platforms over the next four years. Two new platforms will be developed, providing updates for the Saturn S-series cars, the Chevrolet Cavalier and S-10 pickup, Saturn's upcoming sport-utility vehicle, corresponding vehicles from GM’s Opel and Vauxhall divisions in Europe and the U.K., and two new future crossover vehicles from Chevrolet and Pontiac. Zarrella confessed that in recent years the automaker had shunned away from spending on small cars in favor of more profitable pickups and SUVs. GM will save some money with the projects by sharing platforms and development costs with several other automakers, including Isuzu and Toyota.

For more information about GM’s upcoming small-car platforms, click here.

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FORD INVESTS IN RIVER ROUGE Ford Motor Company is planning to invest $2 billion into cleaning up its aged River Rouge assembly plant. The facility, Ford’s largest, dates back to 1917. Ford plans to give the complex a new look incorporating landscaping and a new assembly plant as part of the facility. Decontamination of some of the plant's surroundings is also included in the plan.

For more information on Ford’s plans to turn Rouge green, click here.

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BABY JAG GETS A NAME Jaguar has revealed that its upcoming compact luxury sport sedan previously referred to as X400 will be sold as the X-Type. The car is expected to compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3-Series when it goes on sale summer 2001. Jaguar plans to more than double its annual worldwide sales, currently at about 85,000 cars per year, with the mass-production X-Type.

For details about Jaguars upcoming compact sedan, click here.
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DC AND GM GIVE WORKERS AOL ACCESS DaimlerChrysler and General Motors have chosen to give their employees reduced-rate America Online Internet access, available early next year. The offer is currently only to be offered to U.S. employees, although Canadian workers will soon also get the benefit. The auto-industry employees would get unlimited AOL access for three dollars per month, or options for a television-based service. The move by the two automakers is in response to an earlier decision by Ford to supply all of its workers worldwide with free computers and five-dollar-per-month Internet access.
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DAIMLERCHRYSLER TO IDLE PLANTS DaimlerChrysler plans to idle seven U.S. and Canada assembly plants for a week in order to cut excess vehicle inventories. Chrysler division sales for many models have posted a decline in recent months. The 20,000 combined workers at the plants will receive 95 percent of their normal pay during the shutdown under a union labor agreement.
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NISSAN PROFITS FROM RESTRUCTURING Nissan Motor Co. has already been rewarded by its restructuring plan: The recently struggling automaker, now a unit of France's Renault, will post a profit in the six months ending September 30. The Nissan group's expected operating profit of $1.2 billion is more than triple that of last year, and the strongest since 1990. In 1999, Renault acquired a 37-percent stake in Nissan, then close to bankruptcy. Since, through the restructuring plan, 16,500 jobs have been cut worldwide.
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