Rover fleet losses
Rover is facing heavy losses in its fleet business after a collapse in UK used car values, BMW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder said last week. Rover has been agreeing to buy back ex-fleet cars from customers at the end of their contracts - but the scheme has backfired as residuals across the market plunged by up to £2,000 ($3,320) per car.
Analysts estimated BMW may be facing a £90 million bill to help bail out Rover.
LONDON - Autobytel UK Ltd. has named Grey Communica-tion Group as its advertisement agency. Inchcape plc, the London-based global automotive distribution company, recently acquired the rights to Autobytel in the UK.
The UK is the first European foothold for Autobytel, an Internet-based car buying system that has taken off in the USA. Kevin Turnbull, chief executive, said expansion into other European markets will follow.
Dana set to grow
Dana Corp. has acquired the filtration manufacturing operation of Delphi Energy and Engine Management Systems UK Overseas Corp., based in Southampton, UK. The Delphi subsidiary had 1997 sales of $50 million from its filtration products. Bill Lasky of Dana's Filtration Products Group said: 'This deal offers Dana a European foothold from which we can grow the business.'
Reuters News Service
Daewoo Motor Corp. has agreed to take over Samsung Motors. Under a government-led restructuring of Korea's huge conglomerates, Samsung Group will trade its automaking unit to Daewoo Group in exchange for Daewoo Electron-ics. Combined with an earlier acquisition of SsangYong, Daewoo now has a 36.4 percent share of the Korean market, based on year-to-date sales. Hyundai, with Kia and its Asia Motors truck unit, has a 63.6 percent share.
Mellier on move
PARIS - Philippe Mellier, 43, vice president of sales and marketing at Ford of Europe, will move to Renault to head European sales operations, effective 1 January. He will succeed Philippe Gamba, 51, who has been appointed chairman of Renault Credit International, replacing Gilbert Guez, 64.
NedCar stake sold
The Dutch government will sell its 33.3 percent stake in NedCar, a three-way joint venture with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Volvo Car Corp. in Born, the Netherlands. Volvo and Mitsubishi will each pay Fl110 ($58 million) for the stake and will continue to run NedCar as a 50/50 joint venture.
NedCar, which was formed in 1991, produces the Volvo S40/V40 and Mitsubishi Carisma on a single assembly line, and also the Mitsubishi Space Star.
Wim Oude Weernink