DaimlerChrysler set records in 1999
DaimlerChrysler set new sales, revenues and earnings records in 1999, and expects further gains this year. According to preliminary figures, revenues rose 12 percent to euro 148 billion. 'Nearly all our vehicle brands reached all-time highs,' said D/C Chairman Jurgen Schrempp. Vehicle sales rose to more than 4.8 million units from 4.5 million in 1998. After a slow start, Smart group Micro Compact Car GmbH achieved sales targets for the year.
Leaded gasoline ban is delayed
Greece, Italy and Spain have been granted another two years before they have to ban unleaded fuel in accordance with the Auto Oil EU directive.
The directive banned public distribution of leaded fuel from January 1, 2000. Greece, Italy and Spain will now impose the ban on January 1, 2002. To date, unleaded fuel only amounts to 54 percent of gasoline sales in Italy.
Japan auto sales expected to rise
TOKYO - Japanese auto sales will rise 2 percent to 6 million units in 2000, according to The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Sales of cars, trucks and buses should rise modestly as the nation's economic recovery gathers pace, JAMA said.
Sales in 1999 amounted to an estimated 5.88 million units, compared with 5.9 million the previous year. Sales fell to their lowest level for 12 years in 1998 as Japan suffered its worst recession since World War Two.
Palio hatchback to debut in Italy
Fiat Auto will introduce three- and five-door hatchback versions of the Palio in Italy this month. Fiat wants to offer a budget-priced model in the mini segment, and is hoping to repeat the success it has enjoyed with the Panda in the supermini segment. The Panda is cheaper than the more modern Seicento.
Originally launched in Brazil in May 1996, the Palio hatchback was not originally planned for western Europe. It will not be exported to other western European markets.
A story on Page 1 of the December 6 issue incorrectly attributed a statement to Volkswagen AG executive Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz. Sanz did not say that VW's future purchasing strategy will be similar to DaimlerChrysler's Tandem system. The statement should have been attributed to a Volkswagen source not named in the story.