Visteon, Lear mull merger
Visteon Automotive Systems reportedly is in talks with Lear Corp. to merge operations, a merger that would create an automotive behemoth with annual sales of $27 billion.
The companies have not decided how to combine the businesses, and no agreement may be reached, sources familiar with the talks told Bloomberg News Service.
The talks come as Visteon's corporate parent, Ford Motor Co., is considering the spinoff of its parts-making operation. A successful spinoff is by no means assured; to preserve high wages and job security, the UAW wants Visteon to remain under Ford's wing.
On the other hand, the Southfield, Mich.-based Lear has friendly relations with the union. Investors reacted favorably to the rumors. Lear's stock closed at $49.88 a share on Friday, July 16, up from $46.88 at the beginning of that week.
Chevy pickups up $26 to $427
DETROIT - Chevrolet has raised prices on 56 of its 61 pickups for the 2000 model year. The increases range from $26 to $427.
The lightest bumps - $26 and $27 - are on T10 four-wheel-drive compact pickups. The biggest hike of $427 is on an S10 two-wheel-drive model. The base S10 with 117.9-inch wheelbase has been reduced $77.
In the top-volume Silverado 1500 line, the four base 2wd and 4wd pickups are unchanged. Six models are up $29 to $31, and 10 others have risen $129 to $281.
Ten models in the Silverado 2500 series are up $84 to $86, and eight are up $136 to $281.
The increase is $179 on each of the 15 choices in the C/K2500, C/K3500 and Crew Cab lines.
John K. Teahen Jr.
CarMax offers prices online
RICHMOND, Va. - CarMax Group is offering consumers in 10 cities no-haggle prices on 13 brands of new cars via its Web site, www.carmax.com.
Using CarMax's 'Insta-Price On-line New-Car Buying Service,' customers can browse the company's selection of new cars and trucks and see the prices of those vehicles. Sales consultants help consumers with purchase details via e-mail, telephone or fax; consumers come to the CarMax dealership to pick up the vehicle.
CarMax is offering the service in Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Greenville, S.C.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Orlando, Fla.; and Washington.
CarMax has taken the program a step further in Los Angeles by offering free home delivery along with the online shopping.
Autobytel plans new ad blitz
LOS ANGELES - Autobytel.com in Irvine, Calif., will spend $15 million in the next six months for a new TV, print and Internet ad campaign. The blitz breaks Monday, July 19, and debuts the new tag line, 'The road to your next car.'
In addition to touting the ease of car shopping on its Web site, the ads showcase the company's new Service.autobytel.com Web site, which allows visitors to make service appointments and receive recall data about their vehicles.
Grey Advertising in New York also created a Web sweepstakes that will run through August at win.autobytel.com.
D/C's Winn moves to Magna
Craig Winn, who was vice president of Jeep platform engineering at DaimlerChrysler, has been named president of Magna International's Symatec North America. Winn, who worked for DaimlerChrysler 19 years, will join Symatec on Jan. 26. Symatec is a Magna business unit that promotes the company's integrated component systems.
DaimlerChrysler filled the vacancy with Craig Love, effective last Friday, July 16. Love worked on two niche programs at DaimlerChrysler, the Plymouth Prowler and the EPIC electric minivan. Both changes were announced Friday.