Reward for finding Kim
Against a backdrop of production and job cutbacks and mounting turmoil at Daewoo Motor Co., the automaker's main labor union dispatched a three-man 'arrest squad' to find company founder and former chairman Kim Woo Choong and return him to Korea to face charges of looting the company.
This poster, possibly tongue-in-cheek, offers only $500 for information leading to his arrest.
Kim, who has not been seen in 18 months, was last reported to be living in Austria. Several former presidents of Daewoo units, including former Daewoo Motor President Kim Tae Gou, have been arrested on fraud charges stemming from the collapse of the group.
Suppliers say no to D/C
The first step in DaimlerChrysler's North American turnaround strategy has suffered a setback.
Nearly 70 percent of the automaker's largest 100 suppliers have rejected its demand for an immediate 5 percent price cut that would have saved the troubled Chrysler group $2 billion this year, according to supplier CEOs and industry insiders. The group has more than 900 production suppliers.
The revolt has forced Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche to pay more than he had planned for parts. Negotiations with suppliers to accept a cut less than 5 percent are continuing, according to the sources.
Of the six suppliers providing Chrysler with more than $1 billion annually, five rejected the full price cut.
Electronics supplier Robert Bosch GmbH rejected the demand out of fear that General Motors and Ford Motor Co. would order similar reductions if it capitulated. That concern is shared by other suppliers.
Lincoln heads for Europe
Ford's Lincoln brand in the US will expand its lineup to as many as eight cars and sport-utilities from five in the next six years.
The new products, to be built around European-style power and handling characteristics, reflect Lincoln's efforts to raise brand cachet to the levels enjoyed by BMW and Mercedes-Benz so that some Lincoln products can be marketed globally.
In particular, Lincoln believes a new Ford Explorer-based sport-utility and an entry-level sedan will have European appeal.
'I wouldn't call [the plan] a reinvention of Lincoln,' said Lincoln Mercury President Mark Hutchins. 'I would call it an expansion of the brand. We did research around the world because at some point we want to take Lincoln global.'
A Lincoln spokesman said the automaker's intent is to 'go to Europe when we have an appropriate showroom of products that are appropriate for the market.'
Lincoln is part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group that includes Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin.
MG Rover back on show
Just because MG Rover will have a stand at Geneva this week does not mean the British car company has decided to return to auto shows full time.
You may recall MG Rover did not appear at the Paris auto show last September. It also failed to materialize at the Birmingham event a few weeks later, even though Britain's premier auto show is right next door to MG Rover headquarters.
John Towers, head of the Phoenix consortium that took over MG Rover from BMW last summer, announced at the time that his company would not take display stands at auto shows unless it made economic sense to do so.
But MG Rover believes it has much to gain by appearing at Geneva. The newly independent British manufacturer has several products it wants to show the world.
The Rover 75 Tourer, the station wagon version of the Rover 75, will make its world debut in Geneva, as will the three new MGs the company introduced to reporters a few weeks ago. Those cars are code named X10, X20 and X30, and are based on the Rover 75, 45 and 25 respectively.
Kevin Jones, Rover spokesman, also said the company may have a surprise at Geneva. That could be an MG version of the Rover 75 Tourer.
But Jones said MG Rover has not changed its position on auto shows and will evaluate the merits of each event as it happens.