Subaru parent profit declines
TOKYO - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s sales and profits in the first half of the fiscal year fell because of the strength of the yen, a problem shared by other Japanese automakers.
For the six months through Sept. 30, consolidated operating profit at the maker of Subaru cars fell 20.1 percent to ¥33.2 billion, or $310 million at current exchange rates, from the same period a year earlier. Sales slid 16.3 percent to $5.9 billion.
Fuji Heavy posted a net loss of $51.5 million, swinging from a net profit of $90.2 million, as it took one-time charges of $441.8 million, mostly to cover a shortfall in its employee pension reserve. Accounting changes that take effect in the current fiscal year require Japanese companies to disclose pension shortfalls.
General Motors holds a 20 percent stake in Fuji. Another GM affiliate, Suzuki Motor Corp., also saw first-half profits tumble. See Page 6.
DuPont to skip SAE show
DETROIT - DuPont Automotive has joined a host of North America's major auto suppliers in skipping next year's SAE World Congress and Exposition.
DuPont, one of the last materials suppliers planning to have a display at the Society of Automotive Engineers' show, has withdrawn, said spokesman Terry Cressy. A survey conducted for DuPont last year found that the number of prospective buyers visiting its SAE display had dropped dramatically. The number of automaker and auto supplier engineers visiting the company's booth also had declined. DuPont estimated that it spent about $500,000 on its presentation last year.
The world's two biggest auto suppliers, Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. and Visteon Corp., have given notice that they will not attend next year's SAE show. Nor will Budd Co. and Continental Teves Inc.
The 2001 Congress will be held March 5-8 at Cobo Center in Detroit. DuPont supplies engineering polymers, fibers, refrigerants and finishes.
Chrysler: Less profit to share
The Chrysler group's financial woes will hit hourly workers hard with a steep drop in profit-sharing checks.
Larry Robinson, president of UAW Local No. 10 in St. Louis, where Chrysler builds minivans, said union officials were told in late September that profit-sharing checks could drop from last year's average $7,400 to about $2,800.
The checks could be even smaller after Chrysler's warning on Nov. 17 that it will post another loss in the fourth quarter. That follows a $512 million loss in the third quarter.
Sources said the UAW is expected to issue a statement today, Nov. 27, about Chrysler's financial situation. It is not known whether profit-sharing will be addressed.
Susan Carney and Harry Stoffer