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Headlight News Weekly for Dec. 4, 2000 Page 2


 

ACTIVIST PETITIONS TO FIRE SCHREMPP Ekkehard Wenger, a German shareholder activist, plans to petition for the firing of DaimlerChrysler chairman and chief executive Jeurgen Schrempp and the sale of Chrysler operations. Wenger said that he will also petition to remove supervisory board chairman Hilmar Kopper. Wenger accuses the company of mismanagement of Chrysler operations as the cause of massive company losses. DaimlerChrysler posted a $512 million loss in the third quarter of this year. In a separate announcement, DaimlerChrysler board member Eckhard Cordes backed the company's decision to "merge" with Chrysler, admitting that there have been a few more problems than the company originally anticipated, but compared the troubles with Chrysler to the troubles of bringing up children.
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DAEWOO UNION CONCEDES, CREDITORS GIVE IN Daewoo Motor Co.'s labor union has finally agreed to a deal with management that would concede to allowing some layoffs in company restructuring. Most of the Korean automaker's operations are currently shut down while the company waits to see if pending court receivership is granted. The receivership would automatically freeze existing debts and appoint new management. Later in the week though, Daewoo’s creditors, in a change of heart, decided to grant the automaker new funds. Approximately $600 million has been offered to the automaker, with about half of the money available immediately and the other half to be granted after the company shows progress in restructuring. The company will, in turn, sell off some of its insolvent bonds. Daewoo has not yet announced when normal company operations will resume.
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FERRARI TACKLES REPLICA MAKER Ferrari has waged a lawsuit against a Portland, Oregon, body shop, claiming that the shop is building illegal fakes of the F355 GTS. The body shop claims that it has only performed paint-work and doesn't make the cars, suspected to be assembled from kits. The completed kit cars sell for a small fraction of what a real Ferrari would cost, and anyone familiar with Ferraris would be able to tell the difference, but the automaker is most heated by the use of Ferrari logos, including the "prancing horse," without permission. Ferrari isn't the only one taking action against the kit-car business: In the last year, Shelby American has also filed a suit for financial damages against a replica maker.
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MEXICO LEGALIZES CHOCOLATES Last week, Mexico's Senate passed legislation that will allow U.S. cars illegally brought into Mexico before October 31 of this year to be legally registered in Mexico. The law will allow the registration, provided the cars were originally manufactured between 1970 and 1993. Approximately 1.5 million unregistered, illegally imported cars are estimated to be on Mexico's roads, and recently the auto industry in Mexico has spoken out, saying that the country's policies on these cars, called "chocolates," need to be tightened.>
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ESCAPE RECALL, NUMBER FIVE Ford has issued yet another recall for its Escape sport-utility vehicles, this time for potentially defective windshield-wiper ball sockets. Defective sockets could cause the wipers to stop working. This latest recall, the fifth recall so far for the Escape, affects all 51,022 Ford Escapes and about 24,000 Mazda Tributes already built, of which 27,516 Escapes and about 12,500 Tributes have already been sold. Ford expects about six percent of the vehicles to have the defective wiper ball joint.
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