New-vehicle sales up 6.9% in Europe
LONDON - New-vehicle sales in western Europe rose by 6.9 in September compared with a year earlier, according to manufacturers' association ACEA.
The French market jumped 32.9 percent as demand continues to recover from the year-ago slump that followed the ending of government scrapping incentives.
Germany was up 8.8 percent to 302,000 in September, but so far this year is only 4.3 percent ahead of the 1997 period.
Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and Alfa Romeo brands all outperformed the European sales market in September.
Ford cuts shifts at Dagenham
LONDON - Ford Motor Co. has announced further production cuts at its Dagenham, UK, plant due to a fall in demand for vehicles in Europe. Ford makes Fiestas, Courier vans and Mazda 121s at Dagenham and exports 45 percent of its production. Ford's German unit, Ford Werke AG, is also considering production cuts at its Cologne plant, where it manufactures Fiestas. Ford will cut five production shifts from the Dagenham schedule, resulting in a loss of 4,000 vehicles. Dates are 20 and 27 November and 21 and 22 December. Employees will still report to work on those days and perform maintenance tasks. Ford spokesman Don Hume said the company may trim an additional three shifts: 4, 11 and 18 December.
Truck cutbacks for Mercedes in Brazil
SAO PAULO - Brazil's largest truck and bus maker, Mercedes do Brasil, will not renew the contracts of 500 temporary workers. Production has been cut to 165 buses and trucks per day from 170 daily units in September. Mercedes sold 15,033 trucks and 8,526 buses in the first nine months, against 15,910 trucks and 7,872 buses in the same period last year.
Reuters News Service
Paris show record
PARIS - A record 1,250,000 visitors attended the 100th Paris auto show, which ended 11 October. The attendance was 15.5 percent up on the last event, in 1996. Around 40 vehicles made their world debuts.
Volvo truck profits up, cars down
STOCKHOLM - Volvo Car Corp.'s operating profit fell 22 percent to SKr2.6 billion ($315 million) in the first nine months on sales that rose 6 percent to SKr73.9 billion. Worldwide car sales were up 3 percent to 290,270 in the period.
Presenting the group's third-quarter results, AB Volvo president Leif Johansson said: 'Volvo's operations have followed the growth strategy that was presented in 1997.' But if the global economic crisis continues, 'measures will have to be taken to adapt the group's level of costs to smaller volumes.'
Operating profit at AB Volvo's truck subsidiary jumped 96 percent to SKr1.9 billion on sales that were up 26 percent to SKr45.0 billion. Truck sales rose 26 percent to 59,570.