CHRYSLER TURNS A PROFIT . . . in the second quarter of the year, and, Detroit turns ecstatic. Sales of larger cars is tagged as the reason for the surge, of Chrysler stock in buyer's eyes, as well as strategic sales of Chrysler divisions (military equipment, etc.). The company posted a $104 million profit for the term, measured, and the United Auto Workers say they want to share a, piece of that pie. UAW 'workers make on the average $8 per hour less than counterparts at other manufacturers, having made concessions in last bargaining period, to help save company. Chairman and, Chief Executive Officer Lee Iacocca says the company is ready to bargain. Iaocca, has been deeded to a, one-year term as chairman of the board of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States trade and lobbying group. Iaocca succeeds General Motors chieftain Roger Smith in the position. MVMA's members produce more than 99 percent of domestic cars, trucks and buses.
RECORD EARNINGS FOR U.S. AUTO MAKERS SEEN.. . within the next three to five years, says Value Line, the nation's largest investment advisory service. In their Investment Survey newsletter, the service predicts the industry will report earnings of about $1.2 billion in 1982 and $4.3 billion in 1983. Between 1985 and 1987, auto profits should soar to approximately $6.8 billion. Value Line attributes their bullishness chiefly to higher volume and cost-cutting as well as growth in export sales. The service also points to purchasing power on the rise, improving confidence, stabilized car prices and somewhat stabilized gas prices as factors in their predictions.
GM, TOYOTA VAN TO BE BUILT IN CALIFORNIA ...at an idle GM plant? As reported first in AUTOMOTIVE FLEET, plans for GM and Toyota to begin production on a vehicle in a closed-down California factory are rolling along, but now MOTOR TREND magazine and the LOS ANGELES TIMES both report that vehicle is all but, finalized, and will be a mini-van. Toyota spokespeople say there "hasn't been mention of a van," and the report "caught everyone by surprise." GM people, meanwhile, maintain that all negotiations between the two companies "have centered on small cars." However, a small van, from the two world giants would be timely, as Mitsubishi and Isuzu, both have announced, plans to import their own small vans, and Chrysler is actively designing their own. Small van vehicles, popular in the Orient (see AF, 12/81 for exclusive photos), are in demand by fleets and, would be sure big-sellers.
CALIFORNIA PASSES A LEMON LAW . . . and it is being praised by new car dealer associations throughout the state. The Motor Car Dealers Association of Southern California, representing 900 new car dealers, says the law "helps erase any consumer concern about, buying a new car that proves to have major defects." The Association says that any such law "which instills greater public confidence in new automobiles, and at the same time treats the consumer, the dealer and the manufacturer fairly, is a law that all dealers can support enthusiastically. " The Lemon Law takes effect January 1, 1983, and provides consumers with ways to receive refunds and/or other vehicles in the event their newly-purchased, auto has certain major defects over a certain period of time. The, law passed by the nation's most populous state 'means added support for a passage of a Federal bill of the same type. A similar law has been passed, in Connecticut.
LATE PERSONNEL ITEMS WORTHY OF INTEREST . . . include the, retirement of Lee Whiteman, September 30 of this year, after 34 years with the Ford, Motor Company. G. B. Willis, manager of the Ford, Division district sales office, will replace Whiteman. Marty Levine of American Motors is moving to become zone manager of their Denver operation. Mike Burke moves into Levine's position, Mickey Melcher moves into Burke's spot. Erie Strickland is named to the newly-created position of truck merchandising manager for Nissan, U.S.A. (Datsun) and John Rock becomes vehicle sales and service manager for GMC.
SHORT TAKES. .. Avis executives confide to an import executive that "we've cut $23 million worth of fat" out of the company since management changeovers . . . Sandman Bros, in Shelbyville, Indiana now carries Chrysler-Plymouth product as well as their lines of Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac and GMC. . .Wilson Driveaway has opened, a, main California office in Los Angeles, adding to their Chicago office winch has been in business for 85 years . . . Crown Divisions of the Allen Group will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 19 to mark the reopening of their Mississauga plant in Ontario to produce the light duty crew cab for Ford, Motor Company . . . Peterson, Howell & Heather reports serving more than 1000 corporations and, 235.650 drivers, purchasing 79,854 vehicles in 1982, giving them a total of 235,650 vehicles