Blue-chip maker bags bucks from blue films
The adult film industry is a $10 billion per year business. So it shouldn't be a big surprise that some blue-chip corporations, including General Motors, are getting a cut. GM, through its DirecTV satellite TV service, has become a major distributor of pornographic movies, The New York Times reported last week. DirecTV subscribers spend about $200 million per year on the pay-per-view sex films offered by the satellite service, the newspaper said. DirecTV Inc. is owned by GM subsidiary Hughes Electronics Corp. Other companies making money off sex films include AT&T Corp., Time Warner Inc., Marriott International Inc. and News Corp. While the article was accurate, said DirecTV spokesman Bob Marsocci, DirecTV's adult films are not available to customers unless they subscribe to it. 'We offer programming virtually for everyone,' he said.
FULLY FOCUSED - Ford Motor Co. CEO Jac Nasser still enjoys the simple pleasures of driving and has the entire lineup of Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin vehicles at his disposal. What does he like to drive? The Focus. Nasser says he drove a Focus as his main car in Detroit for nine months and didn't want to give it up. 'I went from a Focus into a Jaguar S-Type,' Nasser said. 'I missed my Focus.'
NOT SCARED - Critics label Vice President Al Gore an environmental extremist and auto industry foe. But Jac Nasser, Ford Motor Co. CEO, isn't worried about whether Gore or George W. Bush lands in the White House. 'We don't see any major difference between them from an automotive industry viewpoint,' Nasser said. Gore 'has been a big supporter of making clean air and fuel economy more competitively minded, which we support,' he said. Nevertheless, campaign finance reports show that Nasser has spent $5,000 of his own money supporting either Michigan Republicans or Bush.
MINI MILESTONE - Japan, a country where minis make up a third of the entire market, is down to its last 1,000. Rover Minis, that is. Minis with a capital 'M.' Not the other kind, minis with a small 'm' and engines of 660cc. Japan has been the world's largest market for the Rover Mini, but BMW Japan Corp. said it expects to sell its last one by year end. It says it still has the basic Mini Mayfair and sporty Mini coupe in stock, as well as special limited-edition 40th anniversary editions of both, but all are clearing out fast.