GM raises output for Brazil 'bubble'
SAO PAULO - GM do Brasil is raising car production, to about 2,000 units a day, after cutting output by 25 percent in November. The cut followed a sudden rise in interest rates and taxes. GM said it was reacting to a 'consumption bubble' affecting Vectras, Blazers and five-door Corsas. Early in March GM will review its production plans.
Meanwhile Fiat said it would extend its collective vacation until 4 February, as dealers stiill have 30,000 cars in stock.
Faure sales rise
PARIS - Seat manufacturer Bertrand Faure's 1997 sales rose 14.6 percent over 1996, to FF15.9 billion ($2.7 billion). Sales to North America rose 45.3 percent.
Older workers can work part time
STUTTGART - Daimler-Benz will introduce part-time working for German employees aged 55-60. Workers affected receive 85 percent of their previous net wages. They work full time for a period, then take a holiday. Workers retire at 60.
Dana closes plant
TOLEDO, Ohio - Dana Corp. will close its Vimercate, Italy, plant that makes axles for off-road vehicles to cut costs. Production will be transferred to three plants in Italy, the UK and USA by 1999. Dana will also cut its r&d facilities from seven to three locations.
Mosel output up
MOSEL, Germany - Volkswagen will increase output at its Mosel plant to 750 units a day from 432 units in December. The number of workers at the plant rose from 2,500 at the beginning of 1997 to 4,500 now. The plant makes the Golf and Passat.
Skoda plans 15% increase
PRAGUE - Skoda Auto expects to raise output by 15 percent this year. It built 357,405 vehicles last year, a rise of 20 percent on 1996. Octavia production will double this year to more than 120,000 units, including a new station wagon version. The company had sales of 85-90 billion koruna ($1.4-1.5 billion).
Reuters News Service
Agnellis drop stake to 30% of Fiat
TURIN - The Agnelli family's holding companies IFI and IFIL cut their stake in Fiat SpA to 30 percent on 15 January. San Paolo di Torino bank paid L423 billion ($235 million) for 2.2% of Fiat.
Granaria buys in
DETROIT - Netherlands-based investment company Granaria Holdings BV has agreed to buy a controlling stake in rubber products supplier Eagle-Picher Industries Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Eagle-Picher's senior managers will also take stakes in the company. The deal is expected to be finalized in February. Eagle-Picher had 1996 sales of $891.3 million.
Crain News Service