2000 Neon gets a $1,000 rebate
DETROIT - DaimlerChrysler has slapped a $1,000 customer rebate on the 2000 Dodge Neon and Plymouth Neon, which have been on sale for only a month. The 1999 Neon carries a $1,500 rebate.
The spring incentives on the cars and trucks built by the former Chrysler Corp. expire July 6 on 1999 models and July 31 on 1998 models. They are little changed from those in effect during winter. A major addition on the 1999s is a $1,500 giveback to buyers of the Chrysler Cirrus and a $500 increase (to $1,500) on the Dodge Stratus and Plymouth Breeze.
A wide range of 1998 Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth models have rebates of $1,000 to $2,000. Short-wheelbase 1998 minivans now bring $1,500, up from $1,250. Topping the list is a $3,500 payment (up from $2,000) on some 1998 Dodge RV conversion vans.
The Incentive Watch tables and story are on Page 49.
Subaru recalls 221,000 units
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Subaru of America Inc. has recalled about 221,000 1998 and 1999 Foresters and Legacys, including Outback models, to fix a problem with the brake master cylinder.
During normal brake use in temperatures of minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit and below, drivers of some of the affected vehicles have noticed the brake pedals travel farther than usual and the vehicles' stopping distance is increased. The cause: The master cylinder momentarily sticks open, decreasing braking pressure on the secondary circuit.
No accidents or injuries have been reported. Dealers will inspect the master cylinder and replace it if necessary.
The recall does not include 1999 2.2-liter Legacy models (Brighton, L and Postal Legacy).
A small step for Saturn SUV
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Saturn sport-utility moved a step closer last week when the General Motors North American Strategy Board gave GM's small-car vehicle line team responsibility for producing it.
The small-car team is responsible for the Saturn brand.
It is widely assumed that Saturn Corp.'s factory in Spring Hill, Tenn., will build the sport-utility, which is already under development. The GM board has not given final approval to the project or a manufacturing site.
Ford targets supplier waste
DETROIT - A program aimed at reducing waste in Ford Motor Co.'s supply chain is getting new resources and a new headquarters.
Supply chain waste is enormous, said Carlos Mazzorin, Ford's group vice president for purchasing and Ford of Mexico. He addressed suppliers at the opening ceremony for the automaker's Total Cost Management Center in Dearborn, Mich. But, he said, 'we can't do it alone.'
Ford introduced new programs, training and resources to share with suppliers. They include lean manufacturing training sessions and new methods for lowering commodity costs and eliminating design-related problems.
BMW to tighten control of Rover
MUNICH - BMW AG's new management team will move quickly to integrate the ailing Rover Group subsidiary, which has been allowed to run independently for five years.
Several BMW board members will take direct control of Rover functions as part of a new management structure that will be announced this month. Some top Rover jobs are expected to be eliminated.
'We have learned that the original strategy - BMW leads BMW and Rover leads Rover - did not work,' said BMW Chairman Joachim Milberg. Milberg was named chairman in February following the ouster of Bernd Pischetsrieder and product development boss Wolfgang Reitzle. Pischetsrieder had been under fire because of mounting losses at Rover.
Dorothee Ostle and Georg Auer