Cowger to replace Herman at Opel
GARY COWGER will replace David Herman as chairman of Adam Opel AG, and Herman will become GM's new vice president for Russia and other markets of the former Soviet Union.
The changes were delayed several months while internal political battles raged between Opel and GM International Operations in Switzerland.
Cowger, 51, has been vice president of manufacturing for GM Europe since January. He had been president of GM de Mexico.
Herman, 52, has been chairman of Opel since July 1992. He is of Belorussian descent, speaks Russian and has long shown an interest in markets of the former Soviet Union. In 1976, he worked for GM International Operations in London as manager of sales development for what was then the USSR.
Diana T. Kurylko
Peugeot invests in Chilean plant
LOSA ANDES, Chile - In July, Peugeot Chile will begin exports to Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. Peugeot spent $800,000 upgrading the assembly lines at its plant, 90km outside of Santiago.
Toyota, Honda profits rise
TOKYO - A weak yen and higher exports to North America and Europe brought record profits for Toyota and Honda in the fiscal year ended 31 March, despite poor sales in Japan and the rest of Asia.
Toyota's pretax profit rose 17 percent to $6.3 billion on sales that fell 4.6 percent to $88.4 billion. Honda's sales rose 13.3 percent to $45.4 billion, while pretax profits rose 13.5 percent to $3.4 billion.
James B. Treece
Lutz to retire 1 July
DETROIT - Chrysler Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, 66, will retire on 1 July, not 31 December as previously expected. Lutz has been on leave of absence at his own request since late April to avoid any potential conflicts of interest while he looks for post-retirement job opportunities.
Lutz is writing a book: 'Guts: Unconventional Business Wisdom From Chrysler's Second Dramatic Turnaround.'
Reuters News Service
April sales off 1.7%
BRUSSELS - European car registrations fell 1.7 percent in April after a strong first quarter.
The decline to 1,255,500 units reflected fewer working days because of Easter, said Arthur Maher, an analyst with J.D. Power-LMC in London. Maher estimated the sales loss at 130,000.
The German market was down 13.9 percent in April because of a tax change. German consumers rushed to register cars in March to avoid a 1 April increase in the value-added tax.
For the year through April, European registrations are up 8.1 percent to 5,077,100 units, according to ACEA, the European auto manufacturers' association.
See April sales chart, Page 23
Diana T. Kurylko