Jyundai needs 100,000
HYUNDAI SAYS it will be five years before it has enough volume to justify a plant in Europe. 'We need to be able to build 100,000 examples of one model to make a production center viable,' said a spokesman for Hyundai Car UK. Hyundai's volume leader is the Accent, which sold 70,000 units last year, a rise of 16.6 percent. At that growth rate, Hyundai should start building its plant today. However, through April, Accent sales were slightly below last year's level.
The 2000 glitch
US SUPPLIERS are holding a conference on the Year 2000 computer problem. The Automotive Industry Action Group will devote 26 August to the subject at its AutoTech conference and exposition in Detroit. Ralph Szygenda, chief information officer at General Motors, will be the keynote speaker.
A FORMER JAGUAR executive at Mazda says he 'certainly would not rule out' some form of collaboration between the two Ford subsidiaries in the future.
'There may well be some synergies to be found there,' says the Mazda Motor Corp. director of product planning, Martin Leach.
UK registration tricks
UK AUTOMAKERS and importers registered cars to themselves in April in order to give a false impression of success, says the industry commentator Glass' Information Services. Most observers had predicted that with the uncertainties of an approaching 1 May British election, sales would fall, but they rose by 20,000 units in April.
Mondeo music released
POP MUSIC backing a Ford TV commercial for the Mondeo has been released as a CD by Island Records. 'Speaking of Happiness' features New York classical jazz artist Gloria Lynne. 'We received a lot of calls from people who asked us where they could buy the music from the TV ad,' said Richard Wright, the Mondeo brand manager. The ads play in the UK.
Why photogenic cars cost more in Europe
GERMANS like press photos taken with long lenses, that show off a car's technical details. Britons like a background that helps position the car socially. The Dutch don't like to see a German number plate. Southern Europeans like people in the photos, a lively scene. Chrysler Europe spokesman Han Tjan said that helps explain why communications cost more in Europe than in the US. Chrysler recently relaunched the Neon in France and Germany - with lots of photos.
Video will thank Volvo safety innovator
An AB Volvo retiree whose invention saves hundreds of lives each day will get a video thank-you. Nils Bohlin, a former engineer at the Volvo safety laboratory in Gothenburg, Sweden, invented the one-piece, three-point lap and shoulder belt in 1958. This week, attendees at a Florida conference on highway safety will contribute to a tape that will be sent to Bohlin, 76. The Lifesavers 15 conference is being held in Orlando, Florida, through 11 June.
Ford shrinks suppliers
Ford will get rid of almost half its current component suppliers in the next three years. It has 2,040 now, it wants 1,150 by 2000, says Ford Vice-Chairman Ed Hagenlocker. He quoted one industry study which found that the 30,000 automotive suppliers of 1988 would shrink to 8,000 by 31 December 1998.
A GROUP of Italian businessmen hopes to assemble 30,000 units a year of a SsangYong sport-utility. The group, Vignuzzi, announced a joint venture to assemble this new vehicle, called MJ. Financing for the project is still uncertain. Around $100 million is required.