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Auto/The Charlotte Post
Thursday November 13, 1997
Rebates will be around through most of 1998
The Completely Reinvented 1998 Isuzu Rodeo
By John Hughes
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
• DETROIT - The $500 and
$1,000 auto rebates that have
lured people to dealerships in
■1997 vrill likely continue in 1998,
analysts said recently.
’ The incentives ■wiU stay strong
until March on older and some
hewer models in order to coax
buyers from their homes during
"chilly winter months, said Art
SpineUa, an analyst with CNW
“The industry has pretty much
decided that’s the only way to
keep things going,” he said.
“Consumers are going to have a
field day by tbe end of this year.”
Automakers held the line on
1998 model prices with the hope
ithey could discontinue the costly
incentives, Spinella said. But
^consumers are still demanding
the incentives - and automakers
mre forced to oblige, he said.
David Healy, an analyst with
■Burnham Securities Inc., said
■most vehicles that aren’t new
■models or haven’t been
.redesigned are carrying incen
tives. Automakers wiU be forced
Ito keep them rmtil early next
■year because of competition, he
; “There’s still a war going on in
;small- and medium-sized pas-
^nger cars,” Healy said.
; General Motors Corp. last
■month had incentives on light
205hp V6, 5-link suspension, rack & pinion
steering, in-dash 6-disc CD, spacious
Isuzu Certified Sales Professional
GRIFFIN MOTOR., INC. 2500 W. Roosevelt Blvd. (704)289-3135
trucks and even on some 1998
model cars, including $750 on the
Che-vrolet Cavalier and $500 on
the Pontiac Sunfire, said Donald
R. DeVeaux, GM’s director of
market analysis. “It was fairly
As for incentives continuing
next year, DeVeaux said, “That’s
probably true given the way ...
customers are responding to the
kind of deals they are seeing out
1998 Dodge Caravan
Across the U.S. industry in
October, dollar incentives were up
nearly 12 percent from the same
month last year, according to
CNW Marketing Research.
Chrysler Corp., for instance,
armounced late last month that it
was extending offers of up to
$1,000 cash back to buyers of
Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler
minivans through Jrm. 5.
PHOTO / CHRYLSER CORPORATION
Automakers have been able to
offer the rebates and still make
profits through cost-cutting and
because profits they make on
light trucks remain high, analysts
said. The big test will come during
the first quarter of next year,
“By holding prices and giving
incentive money,” he said, “it is
going to impact profitability at
some stage - it has to.”
Old Mustangs find new life, home
Continued from 16B
every inch of the warehouse with
all things Mustang - from T-
shirts and caps to rebuilt engines
io seats and grilles and wheels for
the classic cars.
-The Mustang Corral bills itself
as “Your One Stop Pony Shop.”
“If you want it, by and large
we’ve got it. It’s like going to the
maU,” Harville said.
“We also sell high-performance
equipment for the newer genera
tion of Mustangs,” said Shawn
HarviUe, who handles the parts
side of the brrsiness. Brother Tim
heads up the restoration shop,
while sister Dynel keeps track of
“We got into the business
because Dad always had
Mustangs,” Shawn HarviUe said.
“Now it makes kiUer profits and
keeps us out of trouble.” Bemie
Harville remembers his first
Mustang fondly, a 1966 model
that he bought in 1967. He said it
was cool then for someone like
him, whom he affectionately
dubbed “Mr. Milquetoast,” to have
a car like that.
The family’s love of that particu
lar breed of car grew from there.
Tim HarviUe currently is working
to restore his 1961 Mach I, whUe
Shawn HarviUe is planning a
“complete and total restoration”
on his 1973 Mach I, turning it into
a high-speed road car. Bernie
HarviUe slowly is working on
his ‘67 hardtop.
Even Dynel HarviUe used to
drive one. Now, her main job is
keeping track of the money.
‘Tt doesn’t take long to count
up how much money we’ve got,”
Bernie HarviUe said with a
laugh. “It takes longer to figure
out what we owe. Just Uke
CREATING A HIGHER STANDARD.
SEE YOUR CADILLAC
SALES & LEASING SPECIALISTS
RAY J. JOHNSON, JR. Ill
MAURICE E. LAWS
ARNOLD PALMER CADILLAC - EAST
8218 E. INDEPENDENCE BLVD.
Ford may move truck production
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford
Motor Co. would boost truck pro
duction by as much as 30,000
vehicles per year imder a plan to
shift from car to truck production
at its Rouge plant in suburban
•The Detroit Free Press, citing
unidentified analysts, reported
'Iliursday that Ford is consider
ing shifting to Ranger truck pro
duction at the Rouge complex as
part of a $2 bUlion redevelop
Analysts say the plan also
would add between 2,000 and
3j000 jobs at the plant. The new
assembly operation would pro
duce more than 300,000 vehicles
Eord would shift most of its
Ranger assembly operations to
the Rouge complex under the
proposal, the analysts said. Ford
now assembles 270,000 Rangers
a year at its Twin City Assembly
Plant in Minnesota and Edison
Assembly Plant in New Jersey.
Ford’s Louisville Assembly
Plant also makes Rangers and
Explorer sport utility vehicles.
Ford pubhc affairs manager
Mike Vaughn called the report
“No decisions have been made
as to sourcing any new product at
the Dearborn assembly plant,”
Vaughn said. “Tbday, (the plant)
makes the Ford Mustang. That’s
Vaughn also would not elabo
rate on the $2 biUion renovation
plan that was approved last
month as part of negotiations
with the United Auto Workers
union. UAW agreed to change its
local contract at the Rouge com
plex to limit some workers’ in-
In return. Ford agreed to spend
$2 billion renovating the Rouge
plant and make a new Mustang
at the plant in 2001. The renova
tion includes $1.25 bilhon for a
body shop and paint shop, $500
million in the Rouge engine plant
and $88 million eac'h in the frame
and tool & die plants, according to
Vaughn said Ford won’t discuss
the issue until its board of direc
tors approves the plan.
‘We’ve been talking to the UAW
for sometime about a package to
make the Rouge more viable into
the 21st century,” Vaughn said.
The 1,100-acre Rouge facility
was once the world’s largest auto
plant. Over the protests of skep
tics, Henry Ford built the plant in
1918 because he dreamed of
budding a car from start to finish
in one location.
The complex grew quickly. At its
peak in the 1940s, 85,000 people
worked at the plant in Dearborn,
about 7 mdes west of Detroit.
It also was the site of notorious
labor conflicts. In 1932, when
more than 3,000 people gathered
outside the plant to protest
Henry Ford’s layoffs, a clash with
police left four demonstrators
dead and more than 50 injured.
About 8,000 people work at the
six Ford factories still in opera
tion at the Rouge. The complex
has acres of vacant space, but
remains Ford’s largest concentra
tion of employees and factories.
Mercedes eyes expansion plans
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
VANCE, Ala. - Mercedes-Benz
is considering minivan produc
tion at its Alabama plant, accord
ing to published reports that a
described as speculative.
'The plant was constructed to
manufacture the German
automaker’s new M-Class vehi
cle in the sport-utdity category.
But a minivan with optional
four-wheel drive may be pro
duced at Vance within three or
four years, a Mercedes board
member told Automobile maga
zine in its December issue.
The Birmingham News report
ed Wednesday that a major
M:ercedes supplier confirmed
tljat Mercedes and suppliers
hgve been in discussions about
supplying Mercedes with mini
Xn executive with the supplier
said no deal had been signed,
however. Automobile magazine
did not identify the board mem
ber who discussed the minivan
Linda Paulmeno, spokeswoman
for Mercedes-Benz U.S.
International Inc., the Alabama-
based manufacturing division of
the German company, said no
decision regarding minivan pro
duction has been made and called
the magazine report “specula
“We’re exploring a lot of differ
ent options. Tb do that you have
to talk with people,” she said,
explaining the discussions
between the company and its
TTie board member told the
magazine the vehicle would be a
standard-size minivan vrith rear-
wheel drive and optional four-
wheel drive. It would use compo
nents of the next generation E-
Mercedes already makes a pas
senger van for sale in Europe, but
the company has said in the past
that the vehicle is too boxy for
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