DCX plans to make more PTs
DETROIT - DaimlerChrysler is expected to announce today, March 20, it is expanding production of the Chrysler PT Cruiser by 50,000 units annually. The company will start assembling the car at Eurostar Automobilwerk in Graz, Austria.
PT Cruiser production there should start in mid-2001. The move will allow DaimlerChrysler to ship to North America the entire PT Cruiser production of its Toluca, Mexico, assembly plant, 180,000 units per year. Eurostar assembles the Chrysler Voyager minivan. The PT Cruiser is set to arrive on North American dealers' lots in late March. For additional coverage on the PT Cruiser, see Page 6.
GM vet takes on ad duties
DETROIT - Following Phil Guarascio's decision to retire, GM's advertising strategy will move to a GM veteran with ties to dealers and brand strategy.
The advertising and corporate marketing staff will be added to the responsibilities of John Middlebrook, general manager of vehicle brand marketing. Middlebrook was formerly general manager of Pontiac.
Guarascio, vice president of corporate advertising and marketing, will retire from the company on May 1. Under his tenure, GM developed stronger ad campaigns for its individual models and new methods to measure the effectiveness of advertising.
Guarascio, 58, said last month's successful triple bypass heart surgery played a role in his decision. 'There's no doubt that my recent experience provided me with a chance to take stock (and) evaluate life's priorities,' he said. He joined GM in 1985 after 21 years with New York advertising agency Benton & Bowles Inc.
John D. Stoll
Makers press Korea on trade
WASHINGTON - European and U.S.-based automakers will step up their campaign this week to convince South Koreans that they must make their automobile market more accessible to overseas competitors
Steve Collins, president of the Automotive Trade Policy Council, and Camille Blum, secretary-general of the European manufacturers association, planned to detail their complaints during a Washington news conference today, March 20. His group represents General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler.
Imports accounted for about 0.2 percent of sales in South Korea last year.
Cadillac names marketing head
Today, General Motors will appoint Michael O'Malley as marketing general manager of Cadillac, replacing John Smith. Smith was appointed GM vice president in charge of the Service Parts Operations earlier this year.
O'Malley's appointment takes effect April 1.
O'Malley, 48, moves from his post as North Central regional general manager. Before that, he was marketing services manager for Pontiac-GMC. O'Malley's appointment sets in motion several other job changes:
Peter Gerosa will replace O'Malley. Gerosa, 57, is Northeast regional general manager.
Walter Dewar will replace Gerosa. Dewar, 45, is director of marketing and sales at GM do Brasil.
Mazda U.S. r&d chief named
LOS ANGELES - Mazda North American Operations has combined its product planning, design, engineering, manufacturing and supply divisions under the aegis of the research and development division.
The organization will be led by Gordon Dickie, who previously was vice president of engineering, manufacturing and supply. He was responsible for engineering, manufacturing, production, quality assurance, testing and accessory development. He now adds design, advanced planning and marketability testing to his authority.
He will continue to work from the AutoAlliance factory Mazda shares with Ford Motor Co. in Flat Rock, Mich.