Shutdown in Brazil
TURIN - Fiat and Volkswagen suspended production in Brazil because strikes and work slowdowns by customs workers disrupted the supply of imported components.
Fiat shut nearly all its operations on 24 August because about 300 containers of parts were trapped in four ports. 'We had to virtually halt production because we couldn't get these components out of the ports,' said Fiat Automoveis spokesman Marcio Gomes.
On the same day Volkswagen said it would suspend production for up to three days.
Fiat logistics move
TURIN - Fiat Auto has completed its plan to totally outsource the logistics functions at its Italian plants.
Logistics for Adriatic area plants (Melfi, Termini Imerese and Termoli) will be done by Arcese SpA, based in Trento.
Earlier, TNT Automotive Logistics took over the just-in-time supply of Fiat Auto plants of the Northern area (Mirafiori and Rivalta), and SADA SpA was given the Tyrrhenian plants (Pomigliano d'Arco and Pratola Serra).
Over 3,000 workers moved from Fiat Auto to the three logistics companies.
Chrysler, Daimler prepare in Australia
SYDNEY - When the Daimler-Chrysler merger is approved in September, DaimlerChrysler will take over distribution of Chrysler and Jeep vehicles in Australia. Chrysler executives negotiated the deal with C.K. Liew, chief executive officer of its current distributor, Astre Automotive. Australian press reports said Astre is trying to replace the Chrysler business with Renault.
Honda City exports
BANGKOK - Honda will export its Thai-built City to five new markets in the Middle East and Africa in September, according to the Business Day newspaper.
'We expect to ship some 600 units of a left-hand-drive version of the Honda City to these new export markets in the Middle East and Africa,' said Asian Honda Motor President and CEO Satoshi Toshida.
The Honda City launched in Thailand in April 1996 and kits are now assembled in six Asian countries.
Toyota takes over Daihatsu
NAGOYA, Japan - Toyota will make Daihatsu a subsidiary by buying shares from institutions to raise its stake from 34.5 percent to 50 percent. Toyota also plans to take control of another affiliate, Hino Motors Ltd.
Hyundai resumes work after strikes
ULSAN, South Korea - Work resumed 24 August at Hyundai's Ulsan plant after a month of labor strikes. 'We don't expect much trouble in restoring production to normalcy,' said a spokesman. 'No production lines were destroyed during the strike.' But Hyundai said 219 completed cars were damaged after strikers used them to build barricades against expected police raids.