Better news for Mazda
TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. said profits for the year ended March 31 were better than previously forecast, thanks to cost cutting and a weak yen. Mazda now estimates a net loss on a consolidated, or worldwide, basis of ¥7 billion, or $53.8 million at current exchange rates, sharply better than last year's $135 million loss. Parent-only net income now is estimated at $88.5 million, up from the prior forecast of $76.9 million and almost double last year's $47 million.
GM GETS A2 RATING
NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service raised the debt ratings of General Motors and General Motors Acceptance Corp. one notch to A2. 'Along with an improved balance sheet, GM continues to reduce costs, improve processes and increase efficiency in its North American Operations,' the ratings agency said in a written report. The new rating is still five steps below the highest 'Aaa' rating held by Toyota Motor Corp.
SUIT WILL PROCEED
LOS ANGELES - A U.S. District Court judge here has rejected a motion by Consumer Reports magazine to dismiss American Suzuki Motor Corp.'s lawsuit against it, clearing the way for the action to proceed.
The Suzuki suit alleges the magazine engaged in product disparagement and deceptive practices when it stated in an article that the Samurai sport-utility is 'not acceptable' and 'prone to rollovers.' Suzuki alleges the statements were knowingly false and accuses Consumer Reports of rigging its tests for dramatic effect.
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Urban League gave Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. the Whitney M. Young award for 'building bridges of understanding across racial and cultural lines,' for Toyota's work in South Central Los Angeles after the 1992 riots. It was one of the first corporations to put money back into the community by building the Toyota Automotive Training Center, which trains technicians.
MAZDA CUTS PRICES
LOS ANGELES - Mazda North American Operations lowered prices last week on several types of parts related to routine maintenance, including brake pads and shoes; air, oil and fuel filters; spark plugs and plug wire; and distributor caps and rotors. The cuts amount to 23 percent on a sales-weighted basis and apply to dealers and independent shops.