Toyota unit will develop fuel-cell cars
TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. has set up a division devoted exclusively to developing fuel-cell vehicles. Employees from Toyota Group affiliates Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co. will join Toyota staff members in the effort. About 300 workers will be involved.
In April, Toyota and General Motors agreed to work together for five years developing advanced technology for electric and fuel-cell vehicles.
LEAR TAKES OVER VENTURE
DETROIT - Automotive interiors giant Lear Corp. is buying out Donnelly Corp.'s 50 percent stake in the two companies' joint venture. The venture, Lear-Donnelly Over-head Systems LLC, makes headliners, sun visors, lighting and overhead consoles. The companies formed the partnership in 1997, but Donnelly, of Holland, Mich., has decided to focus on core products such as glass and mirrors. The acquisition will help Lear, of Southfield, Mich., market complete interior systems. Terms were not released.
TOKYO - The Daimler side has emerged on top in an integration of DaimlerChrysler AG's two units in Japan. Rainer Jahn, former president of Mercedes-Benz Japan Co., is president of the new DaimlerChrysler Japan Ltd. Robert Bowen, former president of Chrysler Japan Sales Ltd., is vice president.
Last year, about 42,300 Mercedes vehicles were sold in Japan, compared with about 8,300 Chrysler vehicles.
KELLER JOINS WEB FIRM
STAMFORD, Conn. - Maryann Keller, one of the best-known Wall Street auto analysts, has joined Priceline.com as president of the Internet company's Automotive Services Unit.
Keller, 55, had been auto industry analyst for ING Baring Furman Selz LLC since 1986.
Customers tell Price-line.com where they live and how much they want to pay for a particular make and model. The company, without disclosing the shopper's name, canvasses affiliated dealers by fax in the relevant area to see if they are interested in the bid.
The service now is available only in the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey and Connecticut. Keller said it will be nationwide by early next year.