BMW's 1 series will come stateside
LOS ANGELES - BMW of North America Inc. will get a version of the 1 series, the smallest car in the BMW lineup, after it debuts in Europe in 2004.
When the project was announced in July 2000, BMW refused to confirm that the small car would come to the United States. But the move upscale by the 3 series sedan and coupe has created a need in BMW's U.S. product line for the entry-level car, BMW executives confirmed last week.
Henrik Fisker, president of BMW's Southern California studio, Designworks/USA, said in a Los Angeles speech that the 1 series will be rear-wheel drive and 'a premium car, not a cheap downmarket car.'
BMW spokesman Jack Pitney confirmed that U.S. dealers will get the car.
Siemens starts U.S. stock sales
DETROIT - Siemens AG, the German electronics and automotive giant that has operated in the United States for nearly a half century, this week will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The move is aimed at raising the company's image in the United States, now its largest single market. Siemens shares will trade in the form of American depository receipts beginning today, March 12. American depository receipts are substitute certificates for stock in a foreign company held in trust by an American bank.
Siemens Automotive Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., had original-equipment parts sales of $1.24 billion in the fiscal year that ended last Sept. 30. The parent company posted sales of $74 billion and profits of $2.5 billion for the same period.
Hertz becomes part of Ford
DETROIT - Rental car company Hertz Corp. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. on Friday, March 9.
Ford owned about 81.5 percent of the outstanding shares of Hertz, of Park Ridge, N.J., when its $720.7 million tender offer was announced in September. Ford paid $35.50 for each share of Hertz stock.
The New York Stock Exchange told Ford it will suspend trading in Hertz today, Monday, March 12.
Lithia adds 2 stores
MEDFORD, Ore. - Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired two stores in Pocatello, Idaho - Ted's Honda and Ted's Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge-Hyundai - the company said Friday, March 9.
The stores have combined estimated 2000 sales of $48 million. Lithia said its net investment was about $5.5 million and was paid in cash.
Including the acquisitions, Lithia sells 26 brands of new vehicles at 56 stores.
GM minority dealership ranks grow
DETROIT - General Motors said Friday, March 9, that the number of minority-owned dealerships selling GM brands grew from 320 in 1999 to 350 by the end of 2000.
Seventy percent of its minority dealers own 100 percent of their business, GM said. GM has more than 7,000 dealerships.