Chevy, GMC raise prices
DETROIT - Chevrolet and GMC have joined Ford Division in raising prices of compact two-wheel-drive pickups. Chevy and GMC increased their S10 and Sonoma models $100, the same boost Ford applied to its Ranger a few days earlier.
None of the three makers announced the increase. It was the first price increase since January for the Chevrolet S10, and the first since late December for the GMC Sonoma.
Starting prices for the compact pickups are: Ford Ranger, $11,580; Chevy S10, $12,213; GMC Sonoma, $12,227. The figures include the $510 destination charge on all three lines.
Homes searched in VW probe
BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany -Police searched 14 homes and offices last week in connection with an investigation into allegations that purchasing executives at Volks-wagen AG have solicited bribes and kickbacks from suppliers.
The searches took place in Emden, Mannheim, Stuttgart and other cities. In Emden, where VW makes the Passat, the home of the director of the factory's paint shop was searched.
The bribery charges center on the construction of a paint shop for VW's Skoda subsidiary in the Czech Republic. According to a complaint filed by ABB Brown-Boveri, a Swiss-based engineering company, VW executives demanded bribes in order to award the paint shop contract to ABB.
VW spokesman Kurt Rippholz said the company welcomed all investigations by authorities.
Automotive News Europe
Smith reveals global goal
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chairman Jack Smith said General Motors wants to sell 5 million vehicles outside North America by 2006, up from 3.1 million units last year.
Smith said China is a key market, and GM is negotiating with Chinese officials for joint ventures to produce engines, Opel cars and light-duty trucks in that country.
He spoke at the company's annual shareholder meeting last Friday, May 23.
See related story on Page 1.
Toyota plans supplier center
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said it will build a five-story supplier support center at its Toyota City headquarters to 'foster open and global procurement and boost contacts with suppliers, both in Japan and overseas.'
Construction will begin this month and will end by March 1998, at a cost of about ¥2.5 billion, or about $21.7 million at current exchange rates.
The 67,000-square-foot building will have presentation rooms where suppliers can show their wares, and will have teleconferencing capabilities.
James B. Treece