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The Charlotte post. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1918-????, November 13, 1997, Image 31

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ipmi 15B 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 Marketing Research. “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 ^d. ; “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 SEE BANITO BROWN 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 broad coverage.” 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 there.” 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, Spinella said. “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 the books. “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 home.” 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. (704)531-9700 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 Detroit. •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 ment plan. 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 aiyear. 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 “pure speculation.” “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 aU.” 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- plant transfers. 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 UAW documents. 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 company spokeswoman 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 van parts. 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 plans. 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 tive.” “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 suppliers. 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- Class sedan. 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 U.S. tastes. Get you copy of The ‘97 Black Guide from CFiarlotte ^osft Serious Selection. Featuring the S- Class, of course. PRE-OWNED CARS The Most Comfortable, Pre-o-wned, Buying Experience Ever. • 3 Day Buy Back Guarantee. You Have 3 Days/100 Miles To Make Sure You Did The Right Thing! • Over 50 Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz In Stock Every Month. • Each Vehicle Put Through A Strenuous 100 Point Check. • Each Vehicle Cosmetically Re-Conditioned By An In-House Expert. • 30 Day/1,000 Mile Guarantee From The Date Of Purchase Against Any Mechanical/ Eleatical Breakage At No Cost To You! 14 in Stock! 5141 E. INDEPENDENCl BLVD. CHARLOTTE, NC 535.6400 Exchtsivcl]! Mercedes-Benz

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