OnStar adds cell service
DETROIT - General Motors will begin providing cellular phone service through its OnStar in-vehicle communications system later this year. The automaker said it had picked Bell Atlantic Mobile and GTE Wireless to create a nationwide wireless network. The network will allow OnStar subscribers to make personal calls and access Internet information through OnStar's upcoming Virtual Advisor service.
$100,000 FOCUS in SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE - Ford Motor Co. was scheduled to begin selling the Ford Focus here this past weekend. Government permits to purchase and operate the cars cost $32,300, Bloomberg News Service reported. The car itself, equipped with a 1.6-liter engine, will sell for about $68,000. Singapore's new-car volume is expected to reach 44,900 units this year, 24 percent more than in 1999. Analysts have rated Singapore as the most expensive place in the world to own a car.
GM plans to open plant in may
BANGKOK, Thailand - General Motors said that in May, almost a year behind schedule, it will produce the first vehicle for market at its $500 million Thailand plant. The automaker has downsized, delayed and changed plans at the plant several times since 1996, Bloomberg News Service reported. GM plans to make 8,000 units of the Zafira compact van at the plant by year end. Capacity at the plant is 40,000 units a year, and 85 percent of those are scheduled for export. They will be sold under the Opel brand in Europe, the Holden brand in Australia and the Chevrolet brand in Latin America and Thailand. Ford Motor Co. in mid-1999 opened a $500 million plant in the same industrial park as GM. Ford produces small pickups that are sold in about 100 countries.