U.S.-Japan trade talks: Time out
SEATTLE - Talks between the United States and Japan over an expiring automotive trade agreement recessed Friday, Dec. 1. The main point of agreement was that more talks are needed by higher-level officials.
No date or place was set for the next round. 'The Japanese don't want to do this,' said a source familiar with the talks, who requested anonymity.
The parts industry has been much more vocal than automakers about the need for a tougher trade deal.
The automakers say the 1995 agreement, aimed at cutting the U.S. automotive trade deficit with Japan, could not work as intended because of Japan's economic recession.
More suppliers exit SAE show
DETROIT - A Paris-based interiors supplier, Dana Corp. and the newly merged ArvinMeritor Inc. are the latest automotive suppliers to bow out of next year's SAE World Congress and Exposition.
French parts maker Faurecia and others have joined Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., Visteon Corp. and other industry heavyweights in giving notice that they will not have displays at the world's largest automotive parts trade show.
Faurecia last week decided to exhibit directly to the automakers after its internal studies showed fewer visits to its booth this year from the automakers' engineers, said spokeswoman Traci Littlebury.
The 2001 Society of Automotive Engineers' show would have been the first opportunity for the former Arvin Industries Inc. and Meritor Automotive Inc. to show off their combined wares. Instead, the company 'will focus on other events that allow us greater contact with potential and existing customers,' said Lin Cummins, senior vice president.
Dana, of Toledo, Ohio, also will focus on automakers' technology shows, said Gary Corrigan, company vice president.
Ford, Chrysler will cut output
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group will cut light-vehicle production to cope with slower sales.
Ford will cut output 7 percent in the fourth quarter and 10 percent in the first quarter of 2001, compared with year-earlier periods. The production cuts reflect projections that sales are cooling from the hyper pace logged from December 1999 to April 2000, said George Pipas, Ford spokesman.
The automaker will produce 77,000 fewer cars and light trucks in the fourth quarter, compared with the period in 1999. In the first quarter of 2001, Ford will build 113,000 fewer light vehicles, compared with year-ago assembly, the company said on Friday, Dec. 1.
The Chrysler group will cut 50,000 light vehicles from December production, said spokesman Trevor Hale. Added to October and November cuts, that drops Chrysler's total fourth-quarter output by 146,000 units to 641,000, down 20.9 percent from the same period in 1999, and down 18.5 percent from what had been forecast for 2000.
Mary Connelly and Susan Carney
Covisint has 2 CEO candidates
STRASBOURG, France - The protracted search for a Covisint CEO has netted two 'very serious candidates,' said Peter Weiss, DaimlerChrysler's lead representative on the electronic exchange.
'We have various candidates and two very serious candidates,' Weiss said here Friday, Dec. 1, during the Automotive News Europe e-Business Conference. 'The negotiations are ongoing.'
He could not say when a final decision would be made.
Covisint went live two months ago with its first online auction, but it still has no permanent CEO.