Ford will expand at Norfolk
Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce a $375 million expansion of its Norfolk, Va., F-150 truck plant today, July 23. The investment will increase the plant's overall output and add specialty versions, such as the F-150 Flareside model, the company is expected to reveal.
The project will include a 350,000-square-foot expansion of the body shop.
The plant produced 230,628 trucks last year.
2 execs leave JWT unit
DETROIT - Two top executives left Ford Motor Media Friday, July 20, and a reorganization is scheduled to be announced soon. Ford Motor Media is a unit of J. Walter Thompson in Detroit and makes the national media buys for all Ford Motor Co. brands.
The resignations of Robert Mancini, the managing director who has led the buying unit since its inception in 1997, and Thomas Johnson, director of print buying, were voluntary, said Owen Dougherty, a J. Walter Thompson spokesman in New York. He said Andy Prakken, director of media services at the agency, and Kevin Brown, director of global communications, will take over Mancini's and Johnson's duties until successors are named.
- Laura Clark Geist
DCX considers certified program
DETROIT - DaimlerChrysler is considering a certified used-vehicle program.
Spokesman Marc Henretta said the company is researching and benchmarking other companies' certification programs. Among other things, DaimlerChrysler is trying to determine whether vehicles should be certified at the wholesale or retail level. It will be at least 60 to 90 days before details are released, Henretta said.
- Arlena Sawyers
Subaru recalls 180,000 Legacys
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Subaru of America Inc. is recalling about 180,000 1995-1999 Legacy sedans and wagons to replace front springs that can corrode and break.
Subaru said the problem is caused by a supplier improperly painting the springs. The springs can corrode in states where salt is used on roads.
The recall covers vehicles in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
VW names marketing chief
DETROIT - Karen Marderosian has been named director of marketing at Volkswagen of America Inc. Marderosian, 33, most recently the brand manager for the VW Passat, fills the position vacated by Liz Vanzura, who left the company in December and took a job with General Motors on March 1.
Prior to joining Volkswagen two years ago, Marderosian worked at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles for 10 years, where her responsibilities included the Pontiac account.
She will oversee marketing and advertising for Volkswagen in the United States and Canada and will maintain the automaker's relationship with Arnold Worldwide Boston and PALM Publicite Marketing in Montreal, VW's advertising agencies.
Manheim closes unit
Manheim Interactive Inc. is closing its Orlando, Fla., operation that produces its Tracker business software for independent dealers. The company will integrate many Tracker features into a group of products that can be accessed via the Internet, said George Largay, Manheim Auctions Inc. director of communications. Manheim Interactive is owned by Manheim Auctions.
In a Thursday, July 19, letter to customers, Manheim Auctions and Manheim Interactive said customer feedback indicated the service from Tracker was 'lacking.'
Largay said Manheim Interactive will service and support Tracker through July 2003 or longer if necessary. He said dealers may use Tracker for as long as they wish for free and may access Manheim Online for free until the end of the year.
- Arlena Sawyers