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TOYOTA TO REBADGE GM CARS; LANDMARK DEAL SET FOR SIGNING

 DETROIT, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Corp. dealers in Japan will begin selling Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac Sunbirds as Toyotas in 1996 under a landmark agreement to be signed Thanksgiving week, Automotive News reports in its Nov. 15 edition.
 Quoting unnamed senior GM executives, the weekly trade paper says the agreement calls for GM to supply Toyota with about 20,000 right-hand drive cars a year for sale by its Japanese dealers.
 The GM cars most likely will be built in Lansing, Mich., Automotive News reports.
 If completed, the agreement will be a first for the U.S. and Japanese auto industries. Although each of the Big 3 sell rebadged Japanese vehicles as their own, no Japanese carmaker sells a Big 3 vehicle as its own.
 The GM sources acknowledged that the agreement is scheduled to be signed the week of Nov. 22, but did not know whether the two companies intended to announce it immediately.
 "This is very sensitive ... it involves not just the two companies, but U.S. foreign policy," said one senior executive.
 With 20,000 cars at an average wholesale price of $10,000, the agreement could be worth an indicated $200 million a year to GM. GM sold only 9,089 U.S.-built vehicles in Japan last year.
 The agreement follows 18 months of negotiations between Toyota and GM.
 Bargaining began shortly after President Bush's visit to Tokyo in January 1992 with then-Big 3 chairmen Robert Stempel of GM, Lee Iacocca of Chrysler Corp. and Red Poling of Ford Motor Co.
 During that visit, several Japanese companies pledged to market a total of 20,000 U.S.-made vehicles a year in Japan as a means of helping to reduce Japan's $50 billion a year trade surplus with the United States.
 Automotive News is published each Monday in Detroit by Crain Communications Inc., a privately held company that publishes 25 consumer, business and trade publications.
 -0- 11/15/93
 /CONTACT: James R. Crate, international editor of Automotive News, 313-446-1601/
 (TOYO GM)


CO: Toyota Motor Corp.; General Motors Corporation; Automotive News ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SB -- DEMO01 -- 4130 11/15/93 06:01 EST
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Date:Nov 15, 1993
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