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'NO TIME FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL' ON DEFICIT AND JAPAN'S CLOSED MARKETS, HOUSE PANEL IS TOLD

'NO TIME FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL' ON DEFICIT AND JAPAN'S CLOSED MARKETS,
 HOUSE PANEL IS TOLD
 WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Saying "this is no time for business as usual," a Chrysler executive today told Congress that, despite massive investments, the U.S. auto industry will be in jeopardy unless action is taken to correct the trade deficit and open up the Japanese market to American goods.
 Robert A. Perkins, Chrysler's vice president of Washington Affairs, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that Chrysler is in the midst of a $16.6 billion investment program, which includes a new technology center, an inner-city Detroit assembly plant, and a new Jeep and new line of passenger cars.
 Still, if trends continue, foreign nameplates will own "over 38 percent of the 1992 car market and there will be no domestic auto industry in this country by the year 2010," Perkins said.
 He said Japan's refusal to allow foreign companies to gain volume access to its markets "is a major barrier." As an example, he cited the company's export experience with Jeep Cherokees.
 The Jeep Cherokee and the Honda Accord are built just 76 miles apart in Ohio. Both are exported to Japan and distributed through the Honda dealer network. Yet, the Jeep has a dealer mark-up of 36 percent, while the Accord's mark-up is just 25 percent. In addition, despite Chrysler's $35 million investments to produce a right-hand-drive Cherokee, Honda has committed to sell only 1,200 Cherokees by 1994.
 By restricting volume access, he added, Japanese companies "operate out of a sanctuary. They make enormous profits at home and engage in predatory practices in the U.S. and other markets.
 "Between 1987 and 1990, the seven main Japanese automakers made about $10 billion a year, while losing $3 billion a year in the U.S. and over $1 billion a year in Europe."
 Perkins said the current bilateral trade deficit must be corrected, either
by negotiations or legislation. He also called for a new standard to determine domestic content "which would apply to all vehicles sold in the U.S., including the labeling of the vehicle."
 -0- 4/8/92
 /CONTACT: J.E. Guiniven of Chrysler, 202-862-5409/
 (C) CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan, District of Columbia IN: AUT SU:


ML -- DE012 -- 6198 04/08/92 11:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 8, 1992
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