Nasser says no mergers
Where hundreds of journalists gather, rumors abound. And in the wake of the DaimlerChrysler merger, takeover talk has the show buzzing.
Ford Motor Co., sitting on a cash horde of $22 billion, is the industry's current most eligible suitor. Rumors have Honda, BMW and even Volvo taking a trip down the aisle with the blue-oval bunch.
'It's preposterous,' says Jac Nasser, Ford president. 'I never say never, but there are no discussions or possibility of announcements pending.'
Ford doesn't need an acquisition to grow because of its current strengths and brand depth, Nasser said. Nor are acquisitions the only route. Joint ventures such as the Ford-Daimler hookup to explore fuel-cell technology are another avenue, he said.
Still, when pressed about mergers and other link-ups, Nasser says, 'We've got an open mind about it.'
American Honda Motor Co. said its hybrid V V will go on sale in November and sell for less than $20,000. The two-seater is powered by a three-cylinder lean-burn VTEC gasoline engine that is supplemented by an electric motor and battery pack. Honda said the new vehicle weighs less than 2,000 pounds and can achieve 70 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The company expects to sell 5,000 to 6,000 annually.
BMW PLANS ROADSTER
A two-passenger, high-performance roadster based on BMW's CO7 concept will go into production late this year. BMW said the new model will be called the C8 and be produced in limited numbers. The car will be powered by a 400-hp, 5.0-liter V-8, the same engine used in the new BMW M5.
BMW V-8 M5 ARRIVES
BMW introduced its redesigned, V-8 powered M5 to the North American market. This is the first M5 to have a V-8; previous models had fine-tuned four- or six-cylinder engines.
REVAMPED OUTBACKS BOW
Subaru of America Inc. debuted the redesigned 2000 Outback station wagon and sedan at the Detroit show.
The new models are based on the redesigned Legacy, which bowed in Japan last year. The U.S. market receives the new Legacy and Outback models in July.
George Muller, president of the U.S. subsidiary, said the new models have engine improvements, a new transmission, a wider stance and more interior room. Side airbags are optional.