Ford Division hikes car prices
DETROIT - Ford Division matched Mercury's increases in the prices of 1999 cars. The Ford hikes are $50 on the Escort, Escort ZX2 and Contour and $100 on the Crown Victoria. Mercury's are $50 on the Tracer and Mystique and $100 on the Cougar and Grand Marquis (story on Page 38).
Automotive News estimates that the Ford car increases raised the average price of a 1999 Ford Motor Co. car and light truck $8.48 on a sales-weighted basis.
Greenquist returns to GM
ZURICH, Switzerland - Mark Greenquist, 40, has been named vice president of finance at General Motors Europe.
He replaces Deborah Hopkins, who recently was named CFO of Boeing Co.
Greenquist returns to GM after a stint as vice president and treasurer of Delta Air Lines Inc. He was managing director of GM Poland in 1995 and assistant treasurer of GM in 1996.
Opel reports profit for '98
Adam Opel AG reported net income of $237 million for 1998 - a sign that General Motors' German operation is rebounding.
Last year GM shook up Opel's management after the operation lost $135 million in 1997. Opel's most popular model was the Astra; 219,000 were sold in Germany.
American Axle is near an IPO
DETROIT - American Axle & Manufacturing Inc., a key General Motors supplier, is expected to raise about $115 million through an initial public offering, expected as early as this week, analysts said.
The Detroit-based supplier of axles and driveshafts will sell 7 million shares at $16 to $18. Public ownership of the company would be about 11 percent.
Company executives this week are meeting with institutional investors, including pension funds, insurance companies and others that buy large amounts of stock.
American Axle was sold last year to the Blackstone Group, a New York merchant banking concern. Blackstone operates a leveraged buyout fund that acquires companies. Blackstone and top American Axle executives will maintain their majority ownership in the company.
American Axle posted revenue of $1.4 billion for the first nine months of 1998. The company last year obtained 96 percent of its sales from GM. American Axle is expected to use the IPO proceeds to pay down debt and invest in new equipment and technology, according to its offering statement.