U.S. Rodeos to Japan
LOS ANGELES - Isuzu Motors America Inc. has begun shipping the first of 18,000 U.S.-made Rodeo sport-utilities to Japan. The right-drive Rodeos are manufactured at Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc. in Lafayette, Ind. Including the exports, SIA plans to produce 122,000 sport-utilities in calendar 1998.
CHAIN FILES FOR IPO
WATERTOWN, Conn. - Hometown Auto Retailers Inc., a chain of eight car dealerships based in Watertown, Conn., has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a $20 million initial public offering. The company, which has applied for a listing on the NASDAQ market under the symbol HCAR, intends to offer 2 million shares at $9 to $11 per share. The dealerships sell 12 makes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont. The company intends to acquire small and mid-sized suburban dealerships in New England and New Jersey. It also intends to expand its limousine sales operation and build a chain of satellite service centers.
HYUNDAI JOB CUTS
SEOUL - Hyundai Motor Co. told its unions late last week that as many as 15,000 jobs will have to be cut to cope with a 50 percent drop in sales so far this year. The union threatened a three-day strike but had not walked out as of Friday, May 22. Under Korean labor laws, Hyundai has 60 days to consult with the union. Some of the 15,000 jobs likely will be saved. But by most accounts, 8,000 workers, or about 18 percent of Hyundai's work force, face the ax.
BUDD IN MEXICO
DETROIT - Budd Co. has formed a joint venture in Mexico to make sheet-metal stampings for automakers there. The venture will be owned equally by Budd and two Japanese partners. The venture, Aventec SA de CV, will be based in Silao, where General Motors has a truck plant. The $50 million project will employ 400 workers. Budd expects to complete the plant next February.
T&N BEARINGS GO
DETROIT - Federal-Mogul Corp. must sell a key part of T&N PLC, the British parts maker it acquired in March for $2.42 billion. In February, Federal-Mogul, in a deal with the Federal Trade Commis-sion, agreed to sell T&N's automotive bearing business in return for regulatory approval to buy T&N, the company disclosed in a recently issued prospectus. The agreement also stipulates that the T&N bearing business be maintained as a viable, independent competitor of the company.