Week of March 6, 2000

March 6, 2000

BIG THREE COMBINE ONLINE BUYING SITES
DC, FIAT TALKING ABOUT ALLIANCE
FIVE SUITORS ASKING FOR DAEWOO’S HAND
RENAULT SKEPTICAL ABOUT NEW ONLINE SUPPLY VENTURE
U.S. AUTO SALES UP FOR FEBRUARY
GM RECALLS 900 ELECTRICS
BMW’S NEW ROLLS TO BE A LIMO
DC ANNOUNCES PROFITS, FORECASTS FUTURE
GM EMPLOYEE WARRANTY AGREEMENT QUESTIONED
GM, ISUZU MAY DEVELOP COMMON SUV PLATFORM
KIA ISSUES RECALL ON 77,000 SPORTAGES
GM PLANTS CLOSE TEMPORARILY
VEE-DUB TO BUILD ITS OWN SUPPLY NETWORK
AUDI SETS SIGHTS ON JAPAN

 

BIG THREE COMBINE ONLINE BUYING SITES General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler have decided to join forces and combine their plans for individual online buying sites into a single Internet portal that will be open to all their suppliers. This new system will give automakers the ability to cut costs for supplies ranging from car parts to office supplies. Other automakers will be offered equity stakes in the yet-to-be-named supply network. Renault and its Nissan unit have already indicated they will participate.

 

DC, FIAT TALKING ABOUT ALLIANCE DaimlerChrysler’s European unit is said to be in talks with Fiat to join its car businesses. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that Fiat would contribute its car business in exchange for 13 percent ownership in the new company.

 

FIVE SUITORS ASKING FOR DAEWOO’S HAND Daewoo’s Corporate Restructuring Committee said that five automakers have submitted letters of interest in bidding on the ailing Daewoo Motor and Ssangyong Motor. One or two finalists will be selected from General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat and Hyundai to move to the final level in the process. Daewoo has chosen May 19 as the deadline for automakers to submit their bids for the company. Separately, Ford ‘s CFO Henry Wallace said that Ford was not interested in bidding jointly with another company, including Hyundai.

 

RENAULT SKEPTICAL ABOUT NEW ONLINE SUPPLY VENTURE Although Renault’s head Louis Schweitzer acknowledged that the Big Three’s new online supply network would probably set the industry standard, he questioned the cost savings to his company. "…I’ve been hearing some figures that astonish me," he said. "An auction system could be used for a number of our purchases, but that number is a very small part of our core business."

 

U.S. AUTO SALES UP FOR FEBRUARY Car and light truck auto sales in the U.S. were up by 6.1 percent over February 1999. The Big Three all reported gains, although analysts said that U.S. automakers were losing business to overseas rivals. Ford was up by 2.7 percent, while GM’s cars (including Saab) and light trucks jumped 16.1 and 20.8 percent respectively. DaimlerChrysler’s American brands saw a 5 percent increase. The following are the 20 top-selling vehicles in the country for 2000 thus far.

1. Ford F-Series 131,248
2. Chevrolet Silverado 106,357
3. Toyota Camry 74,572
4. Ford Explorer 68,347
5. Dodge Ram pickup 60,390
6. Dodge Caravan 57,978
7. Honda Accord 53,681
8. Ford Ranger pickup 52,478
9. Ford Taurus 51,612
10. Honda Civic 46,620
11. Ford Focus 42,838
12. Jeep Grand Cherokee 41,684
13. Chevrolet Blazer 39,263
14. Chevrolet Malibu 37,853
15. Toyota Corolla 37,566
16. Chevrolet Cavalier 37,015
17. Chevrolet S-Series 36,242
18. Pontiac Grand Am 36,235
19 Ford Windstar 33,904
20. Ford Expedition 31,683


 

 

GM RECALLS 900 ELECTRICS General Motors is recalling 450 1997 EV1s and all of its Chevrolet S-10 electric pickups due to a charger port problem that could cause a fire. To fix the defect, GM will modify the charge port on the pickups and return them to their owners, but the EV1s cannot be repaired. Owners of the Generation I EV1 will be given a free rental vehicle with GM picking up the gasoline tab, until it can determine how many owners want to move into Generation II EV1s. Only 150 Generation II cars are available, however, so GM may find itself in a quandary if more owners want cars than cars are available.

 

BMW’S NEW ROLLS TO BE A LIMO When it takes over ownership of the Rolls name in 2003, BMW’s first Rolls-Royce vehicle will be a limousine. It will build 800 to 1200 limos a year that will compete in the high-end limousine market, where retail prices are typically $150,000 and above. Although the strength of the British pound has increased the costs of manufacturing in Britain, BMW said it wouldn’t consider producing the Rolls anywhere else. "It would be like putting the Vatican in Alaska," said Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, head of the Rolls-Royce project.

 

DC ANNOUNCES PROFITS, FORECASTS FUTURE After announcing a 16 percent jump in net profit, DaimlerChrysler execs forecasted an 11 percent rise by 2002 as the Latin American and Asian markets grow. Chief Exec Juergen Schrempp acknowledged that DC may acquire or get a stake in another company this year as part of its plan to gain presence in the Asian market. The rise in net profits also means record profit-sharing for 82,600 DC employees, who will receive payments averaging $8,100 each.

 

GM EMPLOYEE WARRANTY AGREEMENT QUESTIONED The Michigan attorney general may soon take on General Motors because its warranty policy for employees who buy or lease a vehicle may violate state and federal consumer protection laws. The agreement requires employees to use a binding, out-of-court arbitration process for GM vehicle warranty claims and limits the amount of damages. Employees who seek a lawsuit face the possibility of termination, according to the agreement. The company has 10 days to respond before it faces a lawsuit.

 

GM, ISUZU MAY DEVELOP COMMON SUV PLATFORM General Motors and its Isuzu affiliate are discussing the possibility of developing an SUV platform that will be shared by the Isuzu Trooper, Rodeo and a General Motors SUV. A shared platform, which would be targeted for the U.S. market, might help speed up the progress on a new Trooper, which has not been redesigned since 1992.

 

KIA ISSUES RECALL ON 77,000 SPORTAGES Kia will recall about 77,000 1997-1999 model year Sportages due to poor connections in the fuel-injection wire harness, which could cause the engine to stall. No deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of this problem.

 

 

GM PLANTS CLOSE TEMPORARILY General Motors closed several of its plants last week to adjust its inventory. Both of Saturn’s plants in Wilmington, Del., and Spring Hill, Tenn., were idle, although workers at the Spring Hill plant did training and maintenance work. GM also closed its Kansas City plant, which produces the Pontiac Grand Prix and Oldsmobile Intrigue, as well as its St. Therese, Quebec facility, which produces Chevy Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds.

 

 

VEE-DUB TO BUILD ITS OWN SUPPLY NETWORK After the Big Three automakers joined forces to build an online parts supply exchange, Volkswagen announced that it found the system "unattractive" and said it would launch its own supply network. Other European and Asian automakers, including Peugeot Citroen, BMW and Toyota, said it was too soon to make a decision about joining the new exchange led by GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler.

 

 

AUDI SETS SIGHTS ON JAPAN German automaker Audi is aiming to triple its Japanese sales to 20,000 annually over the next five years. The carmaker will invest about $318 million in Japan to develop a small network of Audi dealers, each with a large sales territory. Audi vehicles are currently distributed through Toyota outlets and Volkswagen’s dealership network.

2019
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2019
The Car Connection
Commenting is closed for this article
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.