LET FUJI BE FUJI Is there a Subaru car in GM’s future? That’s a possibility, now that GM owns a 20-percent stake of Subaru’s parent, Fuji Heavy Industries. Takeshi Tanaka, president and CEO of the Japanese automaker told TCC that product swapping is one of the issues likely to come under discussion as the two carmakers complete the recent deal, though "I hope we avoid that." While it’s unclear you’ll see a Legacy Outback-badged Chevrolet, it’s all but certain that Fuji technology, especially its four-wheel-drive hardware, will show up on GM models in the near future. GM production of a Subaru model, such as the ST-X concept, is also a distinct possibility, company officials said.
2000 mini concept
BIG PLANS FOR A MINI CAR With the struggling Rover division continuing to serve as a strain on parent BMW's bottom line, the German automaker is looking for ways to expand global demand for such cars as the redesigned Mini, due out in 2001. Confirming long-standing rumors, BMW announced Monday that it intends to bring the Mini back to the U.S. for the first time in more than 30 years. Despite the car's cult-like status, that could pose a challenge considering the steadily shrinking market for small cars in the United States.VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTALISM Wonder how much of your new car can be recycled, or just how much pollution it puts out? You can get the answer-at least if you're driving a Ford product-simply by pointing your Web browser to www.FordEnviroDrive.com. The site is the latest piece in Ford's increasing emphasis on things environmental. "Envirodrive will provide the more than four million 2000 model year owners of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the U.S. with an easy and comprehensive way to look at their cars and trucks from an environmental perspective," said Jim Schroer, Ford vice president, Global Marketing