Agency switch seen for Mazda
Mazda Motor of America Inc.'s $225 million advertising account could be up for grabs, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News.
True North Communications of Chicago, which handles Mazda through its Foote, Cone & Belding unit, is expected to announce the purchase this week of Bozell Worldwide, which handles Chrysler Corp. advertising.
Industry insiders say Chrysler likely would have problems working with an agency with links to Ford Motor Co., which owns 33 percent of Mazda.
Peregrine looks to triple sales
DETROIT - Auto supplier Peregrine Inc. has taken a step toward tripling sales to $3 billion by the turn of the century.
Last week, the newly formed supplier bought MSI Manufacturing Inc., a stamping company in Madison Heights, Mich. MSI's annual sales are $119 million. A source familiar with the deal put the price at $80 million to $90 million.
Peregrine CEO Ed Gulda's mergers and acquisition team now is poised to add a new company 'every two months.' Gulda said he is ready to consider the purchase of more troubled parts plants from General Motors.
Peregrine was formed six months ago from four spun-off GM units. Its products include trim, motion-control devices and seating mechanisms.
Intrigue ads will start soon
Oldsmobile doesn't plan to start the $30 million national launch of advertising for its new Intrigue sedan until July, but TV viewers may start seeing spots as soon as this week in regional markets.
Oldsmobile has taken the unusual move of giving its regional dealer groups a TV spot by national agency Leo Burnett USA to run in their areas, Kenneth Stewart, the Intrigue's brand manager, told Advertising Age.
Dealers who have received shipments of the mid-sized sedan also may run the spot. Intrigue's major national blitz will kick off in movie theaters next month, with national TV spots breaking the last week of July.
Nissan confirms Tenn. sport-ute
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. in Japan has confirmed that it will build a small sport-utility in Smyrna, Tenn.
The plan will yield a second Nissan-badged sport-utility in summer 1999. The vehicle will be smaller and less expensive than the current Pathfinder, and it will be designed by Nissan's U.S. design team. No other details were released. Automotive News reported Nissan's plans for the vehicle in August 1996.
In order to make room for it, Nissan is pulling Sentra production out of Smyrna and moving it to Aguascalientes, Mexico. The company also says it will introduce a new or replacement vehicle every six months in the United States for the next four years, beginning with the 1998 Altima. (See Page 4.)
Progress on labor front
General Motors and the UAW are making progress to end labor troubles at the company. Workers at a catalytic converter plant in Milwaukee will vote on a new contract Monday, June 23. A strike at the plant could lead to a virtual shutdown of all GM plants in North America. UAW workers at a foundry in Saginaw, Mich., approved a new pact Thursday, June 19, that will add 80 new jobs.
UAW spokesman Reg McGhee said progress is being made in contract talks at a metal stamping plant in Grand Rapids, Mich., but GM and the union are not close to an agreement that would end an eight-week strike at a full-sized pickup truck assembly plant in Pontiac, Mich.
Honda women seek class suit
A lawyer representing four Ohio women said he intends to seek class-action status for their complaints of sex discrimination at Honda factories.
If the request is certified, the complaint would cover 3,000 female workers at Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. and other women who may have been rejected for jobs there.
The suit, filed May 30 in U.S. District Court in Dayton, Ohio, alleges that Honda of America excludes females from skilled technical positions, fails to promote women, does not provide easier jobs for injured or pregnant women, and fires women who make state workers' compensation claims.
In a statement, the company said, 'Honda has one of the highest rates of female employment in the motor vehicle industry.' The company said women fill 31 percent of Honda's production jobs and 27 percent of all of its jobs.