FOR SHOW, NOT GO
The unveiling of the Lexus sport coupe marked the first showing of a Lexus-badged product in Japan. Toyota also is displaying Lexus-badged products at its MegaWeb retail/entertainment center in the Tokyo waterfront district. But Toyota Motor Corp. President Fujio Cho said there are no plans for a Lexus retail channel in Japan. 'We already have five channels,' he said. 'To allocate to each is a tough and demanding task.'
TOYOTA SUV IS SEQUOIA
Toyota Division has named its new sport-utility the Sequoia. The choice was inspired by the tree's long life - the longest of any life form on the planet, said Jim Press, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. The Sequoia will be powered by V-8 and V-6 engines. Production will begin next summer in Princeton, Ind. The Sequoia is based on the Tundra pickup, which also is built at the plant.
TOYOTA/GM GREEN TEAM
Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors have identified the focus of their joint efforts on clean-air technologies. The companies agreed to work together last April. Now they have agreed to develop similar hybrid-powered four-wheel-drive systems; create a smaller inductive charging coupler for electric vehicles; research fuel-cell vehicles; and standardize the hydrogen supply system for fuel-cell vehicles.
FIAT SHOPS JAPAN
Fiat Auto is considering buying engines in Japan from Mitsubishi and Isuzu to power the top versions of its new flagship. The Lancia K replacement, code-named project 841 and scheduled to arrive in late 2001, will be a retro-styled four-door sedan, sized between the Mercedes-Benz E class and S class. But Fiat lacks upscale engines. Fiat is discussing the 3.5-liter gasoline direct-injection V-6 with Mitsubishi. Talks with Isuzu focus on a version of a new, 24-valve, 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6.
FORD GLOBAL ADS
On Nov. 1, no matter 'where you are or what you do, you will see our new TV campaign to salute the new millennium,' said Ford Motor Co. CEO Jac Nasser. The ads group Ford's seven brands in what Nasser called the first truly global ad campaign. The ads show vehicles in settings from China to Rome to the U.S. Midwest. Images include a last kiss with a dying mother and the birth of a baby, symbolizing the passage from the old to the new millennium.
FUJI MAY ACCEPT SUITOR
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, may sell a share of the company to a foreign automaker if Fuji remains independent, said President Takeshi Tanaka.
He declined to comment when asked if Fuji Heavy Industries is talking to General Motors, Ford Motor Co. or Renault SA.