Fiat says no dividend
Fiat SpA says it will not pay out a dividend this year due to a $2 billion net loss. Last year the company paid out a small dividend ($.41 per share). The company continues to suffer losses at its automotive unit and has had to write-down some of its equity investments. But the company did say it was moving forward with " />

Issue: Apr 2003


International Trends



by Andrea Wielgat

Fiat says no dividend
Fiat SpA says it will not pay out a dividend this year due to a $2 billion net loss. Last year the company paid out a small dividend ($.41 per share). The company continues to suffer losses at its automotive unit and has had to write-down some of its equity investments. But the company did say it was moving forward with its asset disposal program including selling its insurance unit, Toro Assicurazioni, and a majority of its consumer finance arm, Fidis.

BMW, Brilliance China form venture
BMW AG and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. form a new joint venture that will see 3-series production starting later this year in northeast China. BMW will own 50 percent of the joint venture and will invest about $450 million in an existing facility located in Shenyang. Brilliance China, which is registered in Bermuda but is Chinas largest minivan maker, will own the remaining 50 percent.

Toyota cuts board
Toyota Motor Corp. announces that it is cutting its 58-member management board to 20-30 members in an effort to improve management efficiency. The company also will take on executive officers but will continue to give the board responsibility for business execution. Toyota will appoint 30-40 executive officers including foreigners, which had been excluded in the past. It will also increase its number of corporate auditors from six to seven.

Ford to export from Thailand
Ford Motor Co. says it will export a new SUV from Thailand to 50 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The seven-passenger Everest is built on a pickup truck platform and will be built at a rate of about 27,000 units per year in Thailand. Half that number will be exported. The vehicle will be equipped with a 2.5L or 2.6L engine. Once the SUV enters production it will increase production at its plant to capacity.

Japan Production
Exports 4.7% increase to 394,050
U.S. exports 15% drop to 150,113
Europe exports 26% increase to 98,980

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