Wagoner: GM still talking with Daewoo
'We had hoped we could have been finished by the end of this year' with talks aimed at taking a stake in Korea's Daewoo Motor Co., said General Motors President Rick Wagoner. 'I don't rule that out, but we're going to have to hustle.'
Mitsubishi Motor Corp.'s Illinois plant will begin production of a Mirage-based next-generation Montero Sport within three years, said Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Managing Director Takashi Sonobe, head of all North American operations.
In another sign that nothing is sacred at Nissan Motor Co., President Yoshikazu Hanawa told one of the company's cross-functional teams to look into whether the company should move out of its headquarters building in the pricey Ginza district of Tokyo. The team eventually decided the company's headquarters should stay where it is because moving would cost more.
At a show where practically every other stand displayed a fuel-cell-powered vehicle, Honda Motor Co. President Hiroyuki Yoshino was asked if Honda would be building a production fuel-cell vehicle in four years. 'It depends on the definition of a production vehicle,' he replied.
Asked if Honda will make or lose money on its Insight hybrid vehicle that goes on sale in Japan in November and later in the United States, Europe and Asia, Yoshino said only, 'The customers will benefit.'
To make hybrid cars commercially viable, Yoshino said that the price of gasoline would have to rise from Japan's current ¥100 per liter, or about $4.00 a gallon, to $6 or $8 a gallon.
Bridgestone Corp. supplied run-flat tires for five of the show's concept cars, and was actively promoting the technology. After extensive research, Bridgestone was not able to find a single country in the world requiring that a spare tire be mounted on cars, said Hideo Hara, unit leader of Bridgestone's product planning department. Still, 'We need to educate consumers,' he conceded.