The top stories from Automotive News Europe's March 31, 1997 edition - and how they developed.
Lancia large-car delays
Lancia will show a large concept car at Frankfurt this autumn.
* Frankfurt 1997 came and went with no announcement from Lancia. The Italian carmaker showed its Dialogos large-car concept at the April 1998 Turin auto show, but then things went quiet again. In December 1999, Lancia presented John Paul II with a new 'Popemobile' that was said to be a close preview of its new flagship model. Finally, Lancia got around to showing the range-topping Thesis at March 2001 in Geneva. But Thesis sales won't begin until this spring.
Matra loses Espace
Renault may build the next Espace in one of its own factories, rather than continue to contract the job to Matra Automobile.
* Renault's new Espace is due on sale this autumn. It will use the same P5 platform as the Laguna II and Vel Satis. Renault's plant in Sandouville, France, will produce all three models. To compensate for the loss of the Espace, Renault awarded Matra the production contract for the Avantime.
Tritek plant was a one-off
Any future BMW joint ventures will be with Chrysler, said BMW Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder. The two automakers are in the early stages of establishing a joint-venture engine plant in Brazil.
* The Tritek plant in Brazil builds engines for BMW's Mini, but it is facing overcapacity as several other projects were canceled. Future joint ventures are remote now that Chrysler is part of DaimlerChrysler - which owns Mercedes-Benz, BMW's rival. Pischetsrieder is VW group's incoming chairman.