Japanese lose fight on tariff
OTTAWA - In a setback for Japanese carmakers, the Canadian government said it would reduce but not abolish a 6.7 percent tariff it imposes on vehicles imported from outside North America.
Under a 1988 trade pact, the Big 3 can import vehicles to Canada from anywhere in the world duty-free, while Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp., which have Canadian assembly plants, cannot.
The government said the tariff will be reduced next year to 6.1 percent.
MORE USED ACURAS
LOS ANGELES - Acura Division has extended the eligibility for vehicles in its certified used-vehicle program. Acura vehicles from the 1992 model year with less than 80,000 miles are eligible to be certified. Previously, vehicles could be no more than 4 years old and have less than 50,000 miles.
LOS ANGELES - Hyundai Motor America has broadened coverage of its roadside assistance program to include vehicles up to 36 months from purchase, with unlimited mileage. Towing has been expanded to any inoperable condition, including accidents. Fleet cars, including rentals, also will be covered when they are resold. The program will be retroactive for 1998 models already sold.
ASBURY BUYS CROWN
PHILADELPHIA - Asbury Automotive Group took another step toward going public last week, making its seventh major acquisition: Crown Automotive Management Co., with eight locations and 13 franchises, based in Greensboro, N.C. Terms were not disclosed, but Asbury bought a 51 percent share. Tom Gibson, Asbury chairman, said earlier that before Asbury goes public, it wants eight to 10 regional groups.
DETROIT - Chrysler Corp. made deep cuts in Plymouth brand ad spending in the first quarter, reports Advertising Age, a sister publication to Automotive News. Chrysler shifted media dollars from Plymouth to focus on a trio of car launches for the Chrysler brand - the Concorde, LHS and 300M - said spokeswoman Carrie McElwee. Plymouth got $28.5 million in measured media in the first quarter, down 43.5 percent from
a year ago, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Nearly $20 million of that was spent on the Voyager minivan.