Daimler sets goal for 2000
STUTTGART - Daimler-Benz projects sales of 1.2 million passenger cars by 2000, up from 715,055 last year. Chairman Juergen Schrempp said the company will back that with annual r&d investment of around DM14 billion ($7.7 billion). In the first quarter, car sales were up 30 percent to 200,900. Revenue increased 23 percent to DM14 billion. Schrempp predicted annual passenger-car revenue of DM69 billion in 2000.
PARIS - Citroen's Chinese joint venture with Dongfeng Motors has cut its 1998 production target from 60,000 ZX cars to 50,000.
France up 20.9%
PARIS - French car registrations rose 20.9 percent in March compared with last year. French carmakers raised their market share to 57.9 percent, from 55.4 percent in March 1997. The Renault Clio was the No. 1 seller, with 10.5 percent of sales.
TURIN - Magneti Marelli's pretax profit rose 213 percent to L204 billion ($113 million) on sales that were up 14 percent to L6.7 trillion, compared with 1996. The company will invest 10.8 percent of sales in r&d and capital spending.
Michelin in Brazil
PARIS - Michelin will open its first Brazilian passenger-car tire plant in Itatiaia, 170km south of Rio de Janeiro, by mid-summer. The company aims to raise its share of the Brazilian tire market from 10 percent to 33 percent in 2005.
Skoda sales up
PRAGUE - Skoda Auto's 1997 sales rose 53 percent to 90.1 billion koruna ($2.7 billion), compared with 1996, but profit after tax was level at 1.2 billion koruna.
Volvo Trucks grows
GOTHENBURG - Volvo Trucks has set up a new subsidiary in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, called Volvo Beograd DOO, to sell both trucks and buses. Volvo Trucks has also renamed its Canadian subsidiary Volvo Trucks Canada Inc. after buying GM Canada's minority stake. The company previously was called Volvo GM Canada Truck Corp.
LONDON - LucasVarity's operating profit rose 15.5 percent to £388 million ($653 million) in the year that ended 31 January. Sales rose 1.8 percent to £4.7 billion.
The company said it cut costs by £43 million in the first financial year since Lucas Industries merged with Varity Corp. in September 1996.
3rd Kangoo shift
PARIS - Renault has added a third shift at its Maubeuge, France, plant to keep up with demand for the Kangoo. The company has orders for 85,000 units.
Reuters News Service