GM's JAPAN DEALINGS GROW .. . as the company announces plans for sales of possibly three different Japanese cars. GM's announcement of their intended purchase of at least 150,000 cars from Isuzu for sale in America in 1984 stunned the industry. GM also purchased some $200 million worth of convertible debentures issued by Isuzu to allow them to develop and produce some 300,000 of the small cars for sale around the world. It is still not clear whether or not the Chevette will be discontinued in that model year to make room for this Isuzu model. GM is also talking with Suzuki, of which it owns 5.3 percent as well as with Toyota. The talks with Toyota gel more serious every day as GM says they may build a car in conjunction with Toyota, in a currently idle California GM factory.
JAPANESE TRUCK MAKERS BEGIN PRICE WAR . . . in their bid to hang onto their slipping share of the U.S. mini-truck market. Sales of the new small domestic trucks, especially the S- models from GM, have forced the Japanese manufacturers against the wall as far as prices are concerned. Trucks are not covered under current voluntary import restrictions, so this is where the Japanese makers look for necessarily strong sales. Nissan/ Datsun has cut their standard truck price by $291 (4.7 per cent),Toyota has introduced a base mini-truck priced at $5998 (a lowering of 448 percent) and Mazda continues their $5795 low-pricing. According to the Wall Street Journal, while the domestic trucks are priced above the imports, they have qualities and features Americans appreciate, such as size, gas mileage, V6 power, and the fact that the perceived quality of American trucks has not dropped in the consumers eyes as it has with cars over the past five years.
NEW MODELS FROM DODGE AND CHRYSLER HAVE DATES ANNOUNCED . . . and some will be introduced 'later' in the 1983 model year, according to Fran Hazelrolh, fleet chief of the company. In a message to all fleet buyers, Hazelroth informs them that the new front wheel drive Dodge 600, Dodge GOO ES and Chrysler Gran LeBaron will be available with, initial production and introduced, with all other Chrysler Corporation car lines on announcement day, currently planned for September 30, 1982. The front wheel drive New Yorker will be introduced 'later in the 1983 model year,' and the rear wheel drive New Yorker Fifth Avenue will be available at normal announcement lime. Buyers are encouraged to contact their fleet zone offices about possible early delivery of units for 1983.
AWARENESS OF 'BUYING AMERICAN' SEEMS TO BE GROWING . .. and more and more articles about such are appearing in newspapers and magazines in an effort to stem the tide of dollars going overseas. Adrian Bulman of American Southern Leasing sends an article from the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, headlines 'Your job may hinge on the car you drive.' Writer Ralph Wayne Wright states people must consider the 'ripple effect' throughout all of industry when American dollars go overseas. However, with the recent, revelations about GM and Isuzu, Suzuki and Toyota, even those sentiments may change with time as a global economy seems to be here now for corporations, and public awareness of it will make it a reality. Look for legislation soon to prohibit American companies from making overseas investments except under specific circumstances, to try and keep dollars at home.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES IS HIGH ON METHANOL . . . and in an editorial they give their okay to the California, state methanol project to purchase 1000 vehicles powered by the fuel (see this issue for more info). The Times points out the state tried three fuels, methanol gasohol and ethanol, and, found Mmethanol the most attractive. The Times completed their editorial by stating 'The state has made a promising start on an important program. The Legislature should make sure that experiment continues.' Sure enough, the state Legislature has given the energy commission $5 million to fund their methanol project.
SHORT TAKES . . . Avis reports around, one and a quarter million cars will be stolen this year in the United States costing some three billion dollars . . . GBS Leasing was listed as GRS Leasing in our May issue. Their Newport Beach, CA offices are headed by Richard Green-show, John Barrie Jr. and Michael Sweeney . . . Lincoln-Mercury anticipates putting into effect a program to financially aid the person wishing to buy a corporat limousine with certain deleteladditions packages and cost assistanc . . . . Barry Stevens, late of Runz-heimer, now president of Forekay Associates, Burlington, WI, will be giving an AMA. management seminar in New York July 26, 27 and 23-on 'Managing the Business Auto Fleet.'