Rubin joins Ford board
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. has named former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to its board of directors. Rubin, an investment banker, was chairman of the National Economic Council from 1993-95 and then was treasury secretary until leaving the Clinton administration in July. He recently was named chairman of the executive committee at Citigroup Inc., the giant financial services firm. He will receive fees of $40,000 a year, a Ford spokesman said.
WASHINGTON - After a one-year pause, the threshold for the federal tax on luxury vehicles is to rise again Jan. 1, 2000. It will increase to $38,000, from $36,000. At the same time, the rate will fall to 5 percent, from 6 percent, in accordance with a phase-out schedule enacted in 1996. The tax is to expire in 2003. The Internal Revenue Service did not change the threshold at the beginning of 1999 because 1998 inflation was so low. Officials at the American International Automobile Dealers Association said the IRS informed them that the 2000 threshold would be published in a tax bulletin dated today, Nov. 15. The bottom line for next year: a 5 percent tax will be charged on transaction prices above $38,000 for new cars and trucks of up to 6,000 pounds GVW.
ADT: 50 CENTERS BY JAN. 1
DETROIT - ADT Automotive Inc. shared its goals for its Service Solutions lease return centers as it marked the opening of an outlet in Sterling Heights, Mich., last week. The company expects to have at least 50 centers operating by year end, up from 31 currently. Plans call for an additional 100 in 2000. While the Sterling Heights location is freestanding, about 95 percent of the centers are being located in Penske Auto Centers. Penske operates about 650 aftermarket service centers at Kmart stores in the United States. Each center is expected to process at least 50 vehicles per week. CEO Tony Moorby said ADT will have invested about $15 million in the project once the launch is complete.
MANGUSTA GETS NET HELP
LOS ANGELES - Qvale Automotive Group will use an Internet-based support system from Strategic Business Systems for the launch of the DeTomaso Mangusta in America and Europe. Dealer communications, inventory control, factory-to-distributor support and data center facilities will be controlled by Strategic, which is based in Ramsey, N.J. Lansa Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill., provides the Web-based software.