Opel fined E43m
BRUSSELS - The European Commission has fined General Motors Corp.'s Dutch subsidiary Opel Nederland BV E43 million for obstructing sales of cars to consumers from other EU countries.
In 1998, the Commission fined VW E102 million for stopping non-Italian consumers from buying its cars in Italy. The fine was later cut to E90 million on appeal.
The Commission is also investigating DaimlerChrysler, Peugeot and Renault.
EC truck approval
The European Commission has approved Volvo's acquisition of Renault's heavy-truck business - but with several conditions.
Volvo will have to sell its remaining 46 percent stake in Swedish rival Scania within three years. Volvo is discussing the divestiture with Volkswagen, which already owns 18.7 percent of Scania.
Meanwhile, Renault will have to withdraw from its joint venture with Finnish truckmaker Sisu. Renault will also have two years to dissolve Irisbus, its joint venture with Iveco, Fiat's commercial vehicle division. But Renault is reluctant to sell its 50 percent share to Iveco and would prefer to merge it with Volvo's bus business.
FRANKFURT - DaimlerChrysler will lay off 20 percent of its work force at its Freightliner subsidiary in the US after a decline in the US truck market. The cuts will affect about 3,800 people.
Dieter Zetsche, D/C management board member responsible for truck operations, said: 'To maintain profitability and adjust to the shrinking market we will cut down Freightliner production.' He was speaking at the commercial truck show here last week. Freightliner is the largest heavy-truck maker in the USA.
Despite faltering US sales, Zetsche said his unit's 2000 sales should still be around 1999's E26.7 billion. Sales will be slightly below last year's 550,000 units.
Punto boosts Fiat
TURIN - Fiat Auto reported an operating profit of E64 million in January-June 2000 compared with a loss of E257 million in the year-ago period. Success of the second-generation Punto and the new Lancia Lybra contributed.
Parent Fiat SpA's consolidated operating profit grew to E475 million from E163 million in the first half. Group revenues increased 26.4 percent to E29.8 billion.
PSA profit rise
PARIS - PSA/Peugeot-Citroen increased its net profit in first-half 2000 by 39 percent to E755 million compared with January-June last year. Operating profit was up 36 percent to E1.16 billion thanks to strong sales of the Peugeot 206 and Citroen Xsara Picasso. Total sales climbed 18.2 percent to E22.5 billion.