Mitsu Ousts Gagnon, Takes On O’Neill
Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Sunday it replaced CEO Pierre Gagnon with Hyundai's U.S. chief Finbarr O'Neill. Gagnon resigned to "pursue other opportunities," but, in fact, was ousted because of Mitsubishi's suddenly bleak results in North America brought about by aggressive lending practices that have created credit losses, as well as charges that Mitsubishi has sometimes artificially boosted monthly sales figures in the last two years. Gagnon joined Mitsubishi Motors in 1997 and had been CEO since July last year, during which time he consolidated Mitsubishi Motors' North American operations into a single organization.
Mitsubishi Ousts Gagnon as CEO (9/1/2003)
Will a turn to Hyundai’s O’Neill help sagging sales?
UAW Hasn’t Picked Target Yet
The United Auto Workers contracts with the Big Three automakers are set to expire in less than two weeks, but UAW officials aren’t ready to name a lead company or target in this year’s negotiations. Ron Gettelfinger, UAW President, indicated that the pace of the contract negotiations had intensified over the Labor Day weekend as the union’s negotiating teams at General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler worked throughout the holiday. The UAW president, however, also said he is not yet prepared to focus on one company during an impromptu press conference following the dedication a new monument in Flint to the sit-down strikers of 1936-37. “That’s my decision to make and I have not made the decision on who would be a lead company or when the time is right,” Gettelfinger said.
UAW Hasn't Picked Target Yet (9/1/2003)
Which automaker will the union tackle first?
WORLD REPORT More Frankfurt Newcomers by Ian Norris
2003 Frankfurt Show Preview by TCC Team (8/11/2003)
Mercedes and BMW assert their territorial rights.
2003 Toyota CS&C conceptToyota will show a new hybrid concept car at Frankfurt that will take the company’s hybrid technology into a new market segment. It already has a hybrid family sedan, the Prius, in production, but the new car is an out-and-out sports car. The CS&S (Compact Sports & Speciality) concept is a 2+2 mid-engined car midway in size between Toyota’s MR2 and Celica conventional sports models. Like the MR2, the main engine of the CS&S is mounted in the center of the car, driving the rear wheels. The front wheels are also driven by a powerful electric motor, which contributes to the car’s sporting characteristics by providing strong acceleration. The system is similar to that used in the Prius sedan in that the electric motor is more powerful than those used in other hybrid designs. The CS&S was designed by Toyota’s styling studio in the south of France and is unusual in that although it appears to be a two-seater, it actually has two additional rear seats that are concealed by removable rear canopies. The car introduces a new control technology that uses holographic technology to enable the driver to operate certain systems by ‘touching’ virtual switches that appear as spheres floating in space.
2003 Toyota CS&C conceptEnlarge Photo
2004 Lexus LS430Enlarge Photo
2003 Peugeot 307 Elixir conceptPeugeot’s stand in Frankfurt will highlight a new sedan concept and the company’s 2004 entry in the World Rally Championship. The 407 Elixir points the way to the French company’s next family sedan, with fluid lines that sweep back to rear end that has no visible trunk but features an opening rear window and tailgate that put the car mid-way between a station wagon and a hatchback. The Elixir is evidence of an increased interest in wagons in Europe, but it is far from any conventional ideas of the wagon as a load-carrier — the concept has only two doors and just four seats.
2003 Peugeot 307 Elixir conceptEnlarge Photo
2004 Peugeot 307 WRCEnlarge Photo