Chevy Avalanche priced at $30,965
DETROIT - Chevrolet's Avalanche, a sport-utility with a pickup bed, will start at $30,965 when it goes on sale at the end of May. Initial distribution will be in California, Florida and Texas. It will be available nationally in July.
The $30,965 is for a two-wheel-drive model; the 4wd version will be $33,965. Prices include the $720 destination charge. Chevrolet said fully equipped models will be $35,409 (2wd) and $38,409 (4wd). The Avalanche is built on the Chevrolet Suburban full-sized sport-utility platform.
Delphi to sell spring business
DETROIT - Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. says it will sell its Liteflex fiberglass spring business as part of a focus on producing electronics systems for cars and light trucks.
The business includes plants in Ande, France, and Dayton, Ohio, that make parts for springs and suspension systems, Delphi said. The plant in France has about 280 workers. The one in Ohio employs about 20 people.
Delphi said in December that it would review options including sales, closings and joint ventures for businesses with $4 billion to $5 billion in annual sales.
Delphi may sell units that make heating and air-conditioning systems, airbags and ignition products, analysts said.
Auto lessee sues Bank One
CHICAGO - Bank One Corp. has been hit with a lawsuit charging it deceived customers by waiting until it could charge late fees before posting some auto leasing payments.
The suit was filed in federal court in Nashville, Tenn., on behalf of Joyce Cope, a Tennessee resident who leased a vehicle through the bank's auto finance subsidiary, based in Louisville, Ky.
Cope's lawyer said his client was charged late fees even though Bank One Kentucky Vehicle Leasing Co. received her payments before penalties legally could be triggered. Cope is seeking class-action status for the case, which also claims the bank failed to disclose the fees.
Slowdown hits Lithia
MEDFORD, Ore. - The economic downturn took a toll on the fourth-quarter results of Lithia Motors Inc. The publicly held dealership group's net profit declined to $5.6 million from $5.7 million in the last quarter of 1999.
Revenues increased to $402.1 million from $353.4 million during the fourth quarter of 1999.
But same-store sales - sales at stores Lithia has owned for a year - were down 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, which means the revenue growth came from acquisitions.
Still, Lithia posted net profits of $24.3 million for 2000 compared with the $19.2 million the company netted in 1999. Revenues climbed last year to $1.7 billion from $1.2 billion in 1999.