Pestillo to lead auto trade group
WASHINGTON - Ford Motor Co. Vice Chairman Peter Pestillo will be the first chairman of the new trade association of domestic and import-brand companies, sources said.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers will be unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 12. It replaces in part the former Big 3's American Automobile Manufacturers Association. A search continues for a chief administrator, who would be a full-time employee working with Pestillo.
Phillip Brady, who was second-in-command at AAMA, will become COO for industry relations at the National Automobile Dealers Association.
The move is part of a restructuring at NADA. Brady, the son of a dealer, is a former Reagan and Bush administration official.
Harry Stoffer and Donna Harris
Lear's growth will slow
DETROIT - Lear Corp. expects single-digit revenue increases for the next three years, according to an analyst who attended a private meeting last week at the supplier's headquarters in Southfield, Mich.
McDonald & Co. analyst Gregory Kagay said it will be several years before Lear's rate of annual revenue growth returns to the low- to mid-teens. That's when the fruits of acquisitions and newly booked business will kick in, said Kagay, who is with McDonald's office in Birmingham, Mich.
Company officials still expect to deliver annual earnings-per-share growth of 15 percent or more and strong cash flow.
Lear last week said it had signed a letter of intent to purchase a portion of Hyundai Motor Corp.'s seating business.
Ford outlines goals for 1999
In 1999, Ford Motor Co. expects to cut costs by $1 billion, generate net income greater than 5 percent on North American sales, boost earnings 10 percent at Ford Motor Credit Co. and obtain $2 billion in new business at Visteon Automotive Systems. The automaker also anticipates record Hertz earnings in 1999. In the first nine months of 1998, Ford earned 5.7 percent on North American sales.
Ford laid out the plan Thursday, Jan. 7, at a meeting with analysts in Detroit.
In 1999, the automaker expects its European operations to generate more net income. Ford earned $267 million in Europe in the first nine months of 1998. The company wants to improve operating results in South America, where it lost $75 million in the first nine months of 1998. In 1999, capital spending will rise to $8.5 billion. Ford spent $5.7 billion through the third quarter of 1998.