BUDAPEST - Four used-car dealerships suffered damage on 5 June when Yugoslav-made hand grenades were thrown into their premises. Police believe the attacks could be the work of a gang demanding protection money. The police linked them to a gun attack on a bus.
LONDON- Daewoo is extending its UK partnership with Halfords, the retail automotive accessories and service company. Daewoo has added five showrooms to Halfords service and repair centers. Daewoo has 136 support centers in Halfords garages. It plans to add more showrooms. Support centers account for 23 percent of Daewoo's retail sales.
Unions attack Renault plan
PARIS - Unions at French carmaker Renault SA oppose the company's plan to form a subsidiary to run its 77 French dealerships and bring the 10,000 staff under the same collective agreement. Renault's 77 French dealerships generated 26 percent of its sales in France last year. Fifty-three of the dealerships are company branches, employing 8,600. The other 24 dealerships are structured as corporate subsidiaries, with 1,400 workers.
Reuter News Service
FRANKFURT - Japanese carmaker Toyota is adjusting dealer margins in Germany next January in an attempt to make money selling cars. Karl-Heinz Engels, managing director of Toyota Deutschland GmbH, told the newspaper Handelsblatt that profit margins for dealers will depend more on individual performance in the future. In the last financial year, the German sales subsidiary posted a profit of DM1.4 million ($820,000) on sales of 86,605 cars.
WARLEY, UK - The first students have signed up for a unique three-year university course sponsored by Ford of Britain offering graduation in Retail Automotive Management. The course is open to English-speaking Ford personnel throughout the EU. The course is designed for dealership employees with the potential to manage their own outlets.
Paris Peugeot repair shop
PARIS - Automobiles Peugeot has set up a FF15 million ($2.6 million) body shop for its Paris area factory dealers. The shop is called CRC (carrosserie reparation centralisee, or central repair bodyshop). CRC's 56 workers and technicians handle 20 cars daily. By the end of 1998 the capacity will reach 30-35 cars per day. The bodyshop handles all repairs requiring over five hours, the average job being around 10 hours. It repairs cars for five factory dealers now, and eventually will handle work from all 11 factory outlets in the Paris area.