Visteon Corp. has said often that it wants to become less dependent on Ford Motor Co., which accounted for 80 percent of the Tier 1 supplier's business last year. With Ford's announcement that it will cut second-quarter production by 15.4 percent from the levels of last year's second quarter, that figure could get knocked down "closer to 75 percent," says Visteon spokesman Greg Gardner. So the number will go down - but it's not the way Visteon would have liked to do it.
MOST ADMIRED - Three automakers - none U.S.-based - have landed on Fortune magazine's list of the Top 10 most admired companies in the world. Coming in at No. 1 was Toyota Motor Corp., followed by BMW AG. Honda Motor Co. was No. 8. Taking the top positions on Fortune's "Industry Champs" list were Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. in the motor vehicles category and AutoNation Inc. for automotive retailing. Lear Corp. was ranked first in the motor vehicle parts category.
THAT'S WHY THEY'RE CALLED CAR THIEVES - There is one category in which cars far outdistance trucks in popularity. Popularity among thieves, that is. CCC Information Services Inc. of Chicago says only four trucks made it onto its annual top 25 list of most stolen vehicles. The trucks: the 1994 Chevrolet C1500 4x2 pickup, 1997 Ford F150 4X2, 2001 Ford F150 4x2 and 1997 Chevrolet C1500 4x2. The most stolen vehicle overall was the 1989 Toyota Camry.
PLACING THE FACE - People who know and love cars are giving a boost to science. New research shows that car lovers use the same part of the brain to identify cars that they use when recognizing faces. A section of the brain is hard-wired to recognize faces at a glance, and many experts believe that this ability is something we are born with, not something that we learn, according to University of Colorado researchers interviewed by Reuters. But experiments with car aficionados showed that these experts can recognize cars as a whole unit rather than a sum of their parts and that this ability can be learned. Scientists say the research will help them look for ways to help people who have problems recognizing faces, such as children with autism.