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Nissan is to radically streamline its management board, from 37 to 10, in order to speed decisionmaking. Emboldened by an alliance with Renault, Nissan President Yoshikazu Hanawa aims to root out the culture of collective responsibility he believes hurt Nissan's performance.

Ford and Mazda will co-develop a new family of 1,500 -- 2,000cc engines for the 2001 model year. The engines will be used in the next Mazda Familia sedan and the Ford/Mazda SUV. Platform sharing will reduce the number of Mazda platforms from 17 to seven.

Ford and Volvo are contemplating building Volvo vehicles in the U.S. beginning in the 2003-04 timeframe. The deal would likely be a new product that would have components shared with a Ford-badged vehicle since Volvo plants in Europe are running under 80% capacity.

In the wake of a recent five-year collaboration between General Motors and Toyota to develop advance technology vehicles, a GM exec secretly says there is discussion of formal partnerships and more business ties. "The merger of other major automakers opens the door for what was once impossible," he says.

General Motors is returning to the Korean market after an 18-month hiatus caused by the collapse in luxury import sales and a wave of anti-import sentiment among consumers. GM says it is using the Cadillac STS Seville as "a test of the vitality of the Korean market."

Toyota has licensed DaimlerChrysler and TOYOTA Volkswagen to use its patented, ultraclean N0x "Storage Reduction" three-way catalyst system. Conversely, DC granted Toyota a license to use its brake-assist system, which amplifies braking power when the driver is faced with an imminent collision.

Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz will make up to 10,000 Oka small cars a year in Karachi, Pakistan, through a joint venture with Sindh Engineering. Production could begin before the end of this year. Most of the cars will be sold in Pakistan, with some being exported to neighboring countries.

Nissan continues to reduce costs following a global alliance with Renault. It will sell its industrial machines division, which makes forklift trucks, to American company Nacco for an estimated $300 million. It's the first time Nissan has sold an entire operating division to a foreign company.

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Publication:Automotive Industries
Date:Jun 1, 1999
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