eyes LCVs for future growth
JAPAN -Reuters/just-auto.com -21 Feb 2006: Nissan plans to produce more of its own light commercial vehicles (LCVs), and buy in fewer rebadged models in the future, according to Reuters... Longer term, Palmer told Reuters, Nissan is aiming to become a global leader in LCV sales by 2010, which the news agency calculated would mean selling an additional million units a year...
Chicago,Ill,USA -The Chicago Tribune -Feb 21, 2006: General Motors Corp. has begun a review of operations at its European commercial vehicle plants and said a report that says the Azambuja, Portugal, factory may be closed is "highly speculative."
Automotive News Europe said the factory may be shuttered in 2008, citing unidentified suppliers. "We do not confirm that story,"
said Ruediger Assion, a spokesman in Zurich for the Detroit-based carmaker...
Set to Restart Production
Moscow,Russia -The Moscow Times, by Anna Smolchenko -Feb 21, 2006: GM-AvtoVAZ is set to restart production Tuesday following a shutdown that lasted more than a week after the company's main shareholders reached an agreement at an emergency meeting on Monday... The GM-AvtoVAZ venture and its parent companies declined to disclose what terms had been agreed on, saying only that the companies remained in negotiations... The deal allowing GM-AvtoVAZ to restart production comes as speculation mounts over a government plan to pump $5 billion into the country's automotive industry...
* Hyundai May Build Cars in Czech Republic
PRAGUE,Czech -Global Auto Systems -Feb 17, 2006: The Korean automaker is said to have concluded negotiations on a $1.2 billion facility to assemble 300,000 vehicles a year... Hyundai's Kia subsidiary will begin assembling cars this year at a new plant in neighboring Slovakia. The two brands are among the fastest-growing in Europe...
* U.S. auto sales drop in early February
DETROIT,Mich,USA -AP, by DEE-ANN DURBIN -Feb 21, 2006: Sales of new vehicles fell 8 percent overall during the first two weeks in February, but there was some indication General Motors Corp.'s new vehicles and lower prices are attracting buyers, an automotive data firm reported Tuesday... Honda Motor Co. was the only manufacturer that saw its U.S. vehicle sales climb in the first 12 days of the month, up 4 percent from the same time a year ago... Several automakers, including GM, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., saw their sales fall slightly but at a slower rate than the industry. GM and Toyota both saw 1 percent sales declines, while Nissan was down 7 percent. It was the first time GM has outperformed the industry since its employee discount incentive program ended last fall...* Moody's further cuts General Motors' debt rating into 'junk' territory
DETROIT,Mich,USA -AP, by DEE-ANN DURBIN -Feb 21, 2006: Moody's Investors Service lowered General Motors Corp.'s debt rating further into "junk" territory Tuesday, citing uncertainty the company can establish competitive wages and benefits without filing for bankruptcy protection... Moody's lowered GM's $30 billion US in debt one level to B2 from B1, five rungs below investment grade...* Wages talks adjourned at VW unit Auto 5000
HAMBURG,Germany -Reuters/Automotive News -Feb 21, 2006: Wage talks for around 3,800 staff at Volkswagen
's low-cost division Auto 5000 have adjourned until mid-March with both sides far apart, the IG Metall labor union said on Tuesday... IG Metall chief negotiator Hartmut Meine rejected as unacceptable VW's demand for a pay freeze and fewer holidays. The union is pushing for a 5 percent pay increase, in line with increases it is seeking for other German metalworkers...* Hungary not out of race on Hyundai car plant
BUDAPEST,Hungary -Reuters/Automotive News/daily Vilaggazdasag -Feb 21, 2006: Hungary is in talks with Hyundai Motor Co. on a car plant investment which the Czech Republic is hoping to win, business daily Vilaggazdasag said on Tuesday, without revealing its sources...* Nissan targets net sales of commercial vehicles
YOKOHAMA,Japan -Reuters/Automotive News -Feb 21, 2006: Nissan Motor Co., currently a net buyer of business-use vehicles built by other automakers for sale under its own badge, said on Tuesday it wanted to reverse that situation to become a net seller as early as 2008 to boost the segment's lagging profitability...