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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS SAYS BIG 3 PLAN NEW CONSORTIUM ON EMISSIONS

 AUTOMOTIVE NEWS SAYS BIG 3 PLAN NEW CONSORTIUM ON EMISSIONS
 DETROIT, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The Big 3 are expected to announce a new "breakthrough" consortium June 8, aimed at developing joint technology to reduce vehicle emissions, according to a report in today's edition of the trade paper Automotive News.
 It will be the ninth Big 3 consortium formed since 1988. The cooperative ventures are designed to help cut costs of technology development.
 The emissions consortium is viewed as a high-profile, significant development in Big 3 cooperation because it deals with a core industry issue that could significantly affect competitiveness, according to the trade paper.
 The newspaper said that on June 8, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp. also are expected to announce the formation of USCAR, an administrative umbrella for all the Big 3's consortia activities.
 Automotive News quotes sources familiar with the project who said the organization, which will monitor consortia activities, will be headquartered in Dearborn near Ford's headquarters.
 The emissions consortium will focus on developing technology to meet the stringent vehicle emissions standards adopted in California and under consideration in states throughout the country, according to sources familiar with the plan.
 Automotive News reports that the U.S. government's blessing of the new partnership represents a big change in the government's attitude toward cooperation among U.S. automobile producers in recent years.
 PRICE HIKES TO BE MODEST
 In another article in the June 1 edition of Automotive News, Chrysler Corp. President Robert Lutz says he expects 1993 model Big 3 price increases to be "extremely modest."
 Lutz said Chrysler will use recent price hikes by Japanese vehicle makers to gain market share.
 "We do not consider the Japanese raising their prices as an umbrella that is going to permit us to improve our per-unit margins," Lutz told Automotive News. "We view this frankly as an opportunity to regain market share."
 Automotive News reports that Lutz expects U.S. automakers to "claw" one to three percentage points of car and truck market share away from Japanese makes each year through the mid-1990s.
 Rising costs for the Japanese and a narrowing product-quality gap between U.S. and Japanese vehicles will propel the domestic resurgence, Lutz said.
 A Big 3 gain of two points a year for the next three years would reduce the Japanese share of the U.S. car and light-truck market to less than 20 percent by 1995. Japanese makes took 25.7 percent of the U.S. market in 1991.
 Automotive News is published each Monday in Detroit by Crain Communications Inc., which publishes 25 business and consumer magazines and newspapers.
 -0- 6/1/92
 /CONTACT: Ed Lapham or Mary Connelly of Automotive News, 313-446-6000/ CO: Automotive News ST: Michigan IN: AUT PUB SU:


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Date:Jun 1, 1992
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