TCC's Daily Edition: 9/7/01

September 7, 2001

A LAND ROVER FOR THE PEOPLE?
In an effort to make a name for itself near the mass-market end of the sport-utility-vehicle craze in North America, Ford’s Land Rover arm is bringing its Freelander stateside. Land Rover says the compact SUV is priced right and powered right for the U.S. market, but TCC Publisher TCC Team says that the Freelander introduction faces Land Rover with some of its biggest challenges ever. Read all about it.
Land Rover Going All Over? by TCC Team (9/3/2001)

PEUGEOT ANTICIPATES A RETURN TO AMERICA
In a remark that could go down as the understatement of the year, PSA Peugeot-Citroen Chairman Jean-Martin Folz called the United States a "significant" automotive market. He also intimated that the French automaker was certainly considering a return to the U.S. market, possibly as early as 2005. Folz’s comments came at a Paris conference organized on behalf of French companies by the French securities firm HSBC-CCF. In Western Europe, only Volkswagen has a bigger piece of the automotive market than PSA, and on a number of occasions Folz has outlined ambitious plans for further expansion of PSA’s product lines. "That does not mean we will definitely go [into the U.S.] in 2005 or 2006," he said coyly, "but perhaps we will." Interestingly, Folz made his speculations on September 6, 2001, almost ten years to the day that Peugeot announced its withdrawal from the U.S. in 1991.

 

AT FORD, COST CUTTING CONTINUES TO BE JOB ONE
As we reported in yesterday’s Daily Edition, Ford Motor Company has decided to merge its car and truck engineering groups into a single entity as part of its no-holds-barred efforts to save money. Today, TCC has learned that the man chosen to lead the combined group is Chris Theodore, henceforth known as Chris Theodore, vice president, Ford North America Product Development. Anticipating the long road of continued cost cutting ahead for Ford, the Wall Street Journal is predicting that the company may close as many as three of its North American factories—two truck plants, one full-size-van facility.
Ford Cuts Jobs, Delays T-Bird by TCC Team (8/20/2001)

 

PORSCHE SIGNS UP WITH SIRIUS AND XM SATELLITE RADIO
As the industry gears up for the future of in-car broadcasting, satellite radio deals are gaining momentum with automakers. A few weeks ago, BMW of North America announced that it was contracting with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (which also has Ford and DaimlerChrysler on its roster). This week, General Motors outlined its plans to offer XM Satellite Radio as an option on 20 of its 2003 models next fall (along with Honda). Now Porsche Cars North America has decided that more is better, and has cut a deal with both Sirius and XM. Satellite radio is a subscription-based option that allows customers to "personalize" their listening by offering digital-quality radio playing dozens of channels covering nearly every imaginable style of music and format. Porsche’s dual-service deal will allow it to offer clients more than 100 channels of music, talk and sports. The company expects to begin offering satellite radio on all Porsche models in two to three years.
Auto Tech Talk: Satellite Radio by TCC Team (4/23/2001)

 

DAIMLERCHRYSLER’S 4TH-QUARTER AD BUDGET: $150 MILLION
In an effort to stem the tide of slumping sales in North America, DaimlerChrysler is budgeting at least $150 million for advertising from now to the end of the year. The money will be used to produce new spots, promote the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brand messages, and push new slogans—"Drive=Love" for Chrysler, "Grab Life by the Horns" for Dodge. The company cut prices across the board for its 2002 models (versus 2001) last week, and announced a 24-percent decline in August sales compared to August 2000. DaimlerChrysler’s overall year-to-date sales for 2001 are 11 percent behind what they were a year ago.

Chrysler Cuts 2002 Prices by Joseph Szczesny (9/3/2001)

 

TOYOTA AND SONY DEVELOP A CAR WITH A.I. (BUT WITHOUT SPIELBERG)
Toyota Motor Corporation and Sony Corporation have joined forces to develop a car incorporating "artificial intelligence capabilities." For its part, Toyota has been pursuing ITS (Intelligent Transport System) technologies designed to make cars safer and easier to use. Sony brings lots of experience in robotics to the table, as well as its formidable electronics expertise. The first fruits of this partnership between the Japanese giants, a prototype vehicle, will be unveiled at the Tokyo auto show in October.

 

EXCURSION LIMO? ABSOLUTELY, SAYS FORD
Already dominating the carriage trade with the Lincoln Town Car, Ford has approved and certified its Excursion platform for limousine conversions, the first Qualified Vehicle Modifiers (QVM) conversion for an SUV. Despite some aftermarket modifications of Expeditions and Navigators (some of these done before the Lincoln was in the showrooms) the Excursion is ideal for the severe-duty service typical of limousine operation. "There were a lot of converters in the market doing non-certified Excursion limos on their own," said Paul Anderson, Excursion Fleet Marketing Manager. "Our certified package provides Ford Motor Company support to ensure the finished vehicles are up to customers’ high expectations and safety standards." Ford has owned the limo market since GM went to less-preferred front-drive platforms. With both GM and Chrysler going to rear-drive large cars in the near future, Ford and Lincoln seem to be cementing their stake in the market, even offering an enlarged trunk in future models to correct an oversight on the current Town Car. — Reported by Bob Storck for TheCarConnection.com

 

 

FROM THE SOURCE:

From PR Newswire American Axle & Manufacturing has opened its new Stabilizer Systems Development Center at AAM headquarters in Detroit, Michigan . . . TRW’s Occupant Safety Systems group and Chassis Systems group are absorbing the company’s Automotive Electronics group as part of a money-saving initiative . . . Visteon Corporation's facilities in Europe and Mexico have won significant business to supply Renault with interior pieces and climate control components . . . Gentex Corporation has begun shipping interior automatic-dimming rearview mirrors for the Nissan Altima . . . Delphi Automotive Systems is nearing completion of phase one of a U.S.- government-sponsored safety research program being conducted jointly with General Motors Corp. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate consumer responses to forward-looking collision warning systems

THE TICKER:

Autoliv (ALV), Closed 19.83, up 0.03

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ArvinMeritor (ARM), Closed 17.89, down 0.05

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American Axle (AXL), Closed 18.88, down 0.02

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Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), Closed 16.39, down 0.93

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Dana (DCN), Closed 19.79, down 0.34

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DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Closed 42.90, down 0.10

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Donnelly (DON), Closed 15.76, up 0.06

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Delphi Automotive (DPH), Closed 14.87, down 0.08

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Eaton (ETN), Closed 72.34, up 0.60

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Ford (F), Closed 19.40, down 0.57

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General Motors (GM), Closed 53.27, down 1.13

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Gentex (GNTX), Closed 30.25, up 0.25

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Goodyear (GT), Closed 24.36, down 0.75

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Johnson Controls (JCI), Closed 73.26, down 0.15

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Lear (LEA), Closed 36.25, down 0.42

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Magna International (MGA), Closed 57.78, down 1.53

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Nissan (NSANY), Closed 10.76, up 0.17

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Toyota (TM), Closed 61.35, up 0.18

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TRW (TRW), Closed 34.84, down 0.92

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Visteon (VC), Closed 17.13, down 0.64

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