German authorities are investigating allegations of insider trading at BMW shortly before it announced that its Rover subsidiary was to be sold off in March.
BMW's plan to sell Rover began to leak out two days before the decision was announced, by which time BMW's share price had risen sharply.
According to German reports, up to 30 senior BMW staff are being investigated, including board members. BMW said it was a routine investigation. Rover was finally sold to British consortium Phoenix.
Brussels-based Solvay Automotive has signed an agreement to acquire Nissan's plastic fuel systems business.
The activities are concentrated on two Japanese sites in Oppama and Kyushu.
Solvay said the production units will be transferred to Solvay Automotive Asia between November 2000 and April 2001.
Solvay's plastic fuel systems business, including the acquired business, is scheduled to be folded into a 50-50 joint-venture with France's Plastic Omnium, INERGY Automotive Systems, with effect from September 2000.
INERGY Automotive Systems will be a global market leader in plastic tanks with production of 9 million tanks a year and sales of about E1 billion.
Valeo, Ichikoh link
France's Valeo and Japanese lighting supplier Ichikoh Industries Ltd. have agreed to set up a global business tie-up for lighting systems and equipment.
The venture is expected to expand after Valeo's acquisition of the 20 percent ownership held by Nissan Motor Co. in Ichikoh. Ichikoh has an option to take up to 20 percent ownership in Valeo's lighting business. The combined companies operate 23 lighting plants worldwide.
R-R, Bentley rise
Rolls-Royce and Bentley sales rose 17.5 percent in the USA last month.
The luxury carmaker is currently owned by Volkswagen, although the Rolls-Royce brand will pass to BMW control after 2002.
Unit sales jumped to 61 from 54 in the same period last year, fueled by the new Rolls-Royce Corniche and Bentley Arnage Red Label.
European logistics company Christian Salvesen has won a contract worth around E100 million to handle General Motors distribution for four years.
The contract involves collection of production parts from 360 suppliers for delivery to the Luton, England, plant and to nine other GM plants in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Poland.
A story on Page 8 of the July 31 issue contained an inaccurate report of French supplier Valeo's first-half financial results. The story should have said that Valeo's sales grew by 15 percent to E4.5 billion in the January-June period. First-half profits rose 10 percent to E170 million.
Valeo, Textron tie-up, Page 20